Mental Health Law

The Mental Health Law Practice Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara, Wolf & Carone, LLP is currently the only practice in New York State, possibly in the country, which concentrates exclusively in Mental Health Law

Our practice services include representation of hospitals, outpatient mental health agencies, skilled nursing facilities, individual mental health practitioners, families and individuals with mental health and/or substance abuse issues, as well as higher education institutions, families and students also in need of addressing mental health, medical health and/or substances concerns.

The mental health attorneys in the practice are specially trained and experienced in applying state mental hygiene, public health and education law, as well as applicable federal law to all cases referred to them. They also employ both straight line interventions as well as those which require the ability to 'think out of the box" to develop appropriate and timely legal and clinical interventions.

Due to our vast resources, including relationships with mental health and substance abuse facilities as well as all levels of mental health professionals, treatment can be obtained at all levels and at all times, day or night. Treatment facilities range from hospital inpatient to all levels of outpatient psychiatric and/or substance abuse programs. Mental health professionals range from M.D. psychiatrists to Ph.D. psychologists to licensed social workers to various other therapists and mental health care managers. In addition, treatment facilities and mental health professionals in the geriatric field range from skilled nursing facilities to geriatric care managers. Professionals and programs can be hand-picked based upon client preference for age, gender, location, experience, expertise and related requests.

Part of the services offered to clients in the practice include the availability of a 24-hour 7-day per week answering service, with attorneys in the mental health practice on-call and readily accessible at any time of the day or night. This allows for timely intervention and treatment arrangements in an urgent and/or emergent client situation. In turn, mental health and related health care facilities can be accessed, even in off hours, as the need arises.

As the only mental health law practice which concentrates in this area, client goals, plans of action and legal and clinical interventions and treatment can occur efficiently and effectively An experienced and efficient multi-disciplinary team can be organized and pulled together timely so that a client crisis can be addressed, which, in turn, provides both emotional and legal support for a facility, family or individual in need of assistance and case resolution. Attorneys in the practice are also trained and skilled in providing follow up and ongoing assistance as the need arises even after initial case resolution.

The combined education, training and experience of attorneys in the mental health law practice of the Firm exceeds over thirty years. Each attorney in the mental health practice comes from a background of public and private sector experience, representation of both institutions and individuals, and clients in all categories of mental health facilities and professionals. Our attorneys also have vast experience with individual families or loved ones and clients and with a wide range of mental health diagnoses, age, treatment and issues. Client matters range from legal interventions, such as obtaining mental health warrants, guardianship or involuntary commitment, to advice and consultation on navigating through the complex mental health and health care systems. Other matters may include family court legal proceedings involving custody of minors for grandparents, when parent(s) are unable to care for their children due to serious mental illness or substance abuse, coordination of mental health professionals in cases involving hoarding, eating disorders, personality and related disorders and student medical leave situations in the higher education setting.

When necessary, our attorneys coordinate with "investigative agency" which staffs former federal law enforcement and related professionals to perform supportive and often life-saving "interventions" in cases involving serious mental illness and/or substance abuse of family members or other loved ones in need to urgent or immediate psychiatric treatment.

The attorneys in our mental health law practice work tirelessly in both the legal field and with mental health care providers, to bring about an effective, efficient and safe intervention in the best interest of our clients. Only through thoughtful, diligent and careful, but flexible planning, can everyone seek the resolution of a client crisis or concern. From the inception of a client relationship our goal is to develop a plan of action, remain available to alter the plan as needed and work within both the legal and mental health/health care system to bring about a case resolution as best we can. The approach in each case may be different, whether in the health care or higher education systems, or both, but, the goals are always the same, achieve the best outcome we can for each and every client.

For further information about our mental health law practice, please contact our law firm on Long Island at 516-328-2300, in Brooklyn at 718-215-5300, Manhattan at 212-279-9200, White Plains at 914-607-7010 or Rochester, New York, at 585-218-9999, to schedule an initial consultation.


Carolyn Reinach Wolf- Partner-In-Charge Jamie A. Rosen

Seth L. Berman

Douglas K. Stern Danielle M. Visvader

Sarah A. Chussler

Eric Broutman

Elizabeth Kase