Carolyn Reinach Wolf
Carolyn Reinach Wolf is an Executive Partner in the law firm of Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf & Carone, LLP and Director of the Firm's Mental Health Law practice. She is the only attorney in the country with a family-focused mental healthcare practice. Supported by a team of expert clinicians, she specializes in guiding families through the complex landscape of legal issues that impact loved ones with serious mental illness and/or substance abuse issues. She also represents institutions, such as major hospital systems, community hospitals, skilled nursing facilities and outpatient programs, consulting on matters including capacity, mental hygiene law, end of life decision making, development and ongoing functioning of ethics committees, advance directives and institutional review boards. She also represents mental health and healthcare professionals, and higher educational institutions. A New York Times profile of her is available here.
Ms. Wolf’s expertise encompasses mental hygiene law, including retention and treatment over objection psychiatric cases; mental health warrants; capacity determinations; informed consent and medical treatment cases; confidentiality and release of records matters; interaction with law enforcement in family matters, health care facilities and institutions of higher education; Kendra's Law applications (Assisted Outpatient Treatment Orders); Article 81 and 17-A guardianship proceedings; civil and criminal litigation and negotiation specific to mental health issues; consultation and advice in navigating the mental health system and legal interventions in the inpatient and outpatient treatment settings as well as mental health issues in the higher education setting.
Ms. Wolf is immediate Past President of the National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA), a membership association serving more than 1,500 professionals in schools, colleges and workplaces whose role is to support individuals in need of mental health intervention and to minimize the potential for school and workplace violence. She is also a frequently invited speaker and consultant to healthcare and mental health organizations, as well as institutions of higher education, specifically university counseling centers and administrators, and professional associations throughout the country regarding mental health law issues and many of the above-mentioned topics. She has been selected to the New York Super Lawyers list since 2013.
Ms. Wolf holds a J.D. from Hofstra University School of Law, an M.S. in Health Services Administration from the Harvard School of Public Health and an M.B.A. in Management from the Hofstra University School of Business. She is admitted to practice in New York State and Federal Courts as well as the U.S. Supreme Court. In addition, Ms. Wolf is an adjunct professor at Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University, teaching “Law and Psychiatry.” Prior to practicing law, Ms. Wolf was a hospital administrator and Director of Hospital Risk Management.
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces
U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
Hofstra University School of Law, Hempstead, New York
Harvard University, School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
Major:Health Services Administration
Hofstra University School of Business, Hempstead, New York
University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland
Recent Published Works
New York Times article, His College Knew of His Despair. His Parents Didn't, Until It Was Too Late (May 2018), Quoted
Nassau Lawyer article, Guardianship Proceedings and Mental Illness (March 2018), Co-Author
Wall Street Journal article, Documents You Need When A Child Turns 18 (November 2017), Quoted
Huffington Post article, Holiday Season Support: A Must for Shooting Survivors and Others in Crisis (November 2017), Author
The Risk Management Quarterly Journal article, The Increased Threat of Hospital Liability After Munsey v. Delia (August 2017), Co-Author
Bloomberg Law article, Improving Mental Health Care in America (April 2017), Author
Distinguishing Dementia from Mental Illness and Other Causes of Decline, 89.1 NYSBA Journal 22-27 (Jan. 2017), Co-Author
New York Law Journal article, 'Munsey' Changed Landscape of Involuntary Psychiatric Admissions (June 2016), Co-Author
The Risk Management Quarterly Journal article, How High is the Risk to Your Organization? Risk Management and Medical Marijuana (April 2016), Co-Author
Best Interests of the Special Needs Child: Mandating Consideration of the Child’s Mental Health, 54 FAM. CT. REV. 68 (Jan. 2016), Co-Author.
Missing the Mark: Gun Control Is Not the Cure for What Ails the U.S. Mental Health System, 104 J. CRIM. L. & CRIMINOLOGY 851, Co-Author
Representing Clients with Mental Illness, 64.10 NASSAU LAWYER 19 (June 2015), Co-Author
Professional Associations and Memberships
Association for Healthcare Risk Management (ASHRM), New York State, President, 2007-2008
ASHRM, New York State, Board of Directors, 1983-Present
Nassau County Bar Association (NCBA), Hospital and Health Law Committee, Member
NCBA, Lawyers Assistance Program Committee, Member
New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), Health Law Section, Member
NYSBA, Health Law Section Subcommittee on Mental Health Law, Co-Chair
National Center for Higher Education Risk Management (NCHERM), Affiliated Consultant
National Behavioral Intervention Team Association (NaBITA), Advisory Board Member, 2010 - Present
NaBITA, President Elect, 2015-2016
NaBITA, President, 2016-2017