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Weaver Fellows Now Working In Local Courts


For the first time since its founding at the College of Law in 1998, the Glenn M. Weaver Institute of Law and Psychiatry has put its six fellows to work in Hamilton County courts that deal with mental health issues. Brendan O’Reilly and Mark DeYoung are working with attorneys representing individuals facing hearings for involuntary hospitalization conducted at Summit Behavioral Center by the Hamilton County Probate Court. Joel Schneider and Amberle Houghton are assigned to the Mental Health dockets of Judge Jody Leubbers and Judge John West. Erica Helmle and Melissa Thompson are working with the Veterans Court dockets of Judge Melissa Powers and Judge Ethna Cooper.

The Mental Health and Veterans Courts provide mentally ill criminal defendants and veterans, many of whom suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, an alternative to usual prosecution with an emphasis on treatment and rehabilitation programs. Defendants who successfully complete these programs can have their charges dismissed. The Administrator of these Courts is Kieran Hurley, a UC Law grad and former Weaver fellow.  

Institute co-Director Jim Hunt said, “The feedback both from the students and those they are working with has been uniformly positive. This type of hands-on experience is something that Dr. Weaver always wanted to provide for the fellows. I would like to thank Kieran and all of the specialty docket judges, and Probate Judge James Cissell, for allowing our fellows into their court rooms and for their support of this project.”