Attorneys in the Department represent clients who have been placed in psychiatric hospitals against their will. Under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act, people who have been involuntarily conserved can challenge their conservatorship with the aid of an attorney.
LPS clients have the right to a jury trial once a year. At the trial the state must establish beyond a reasonable doubt that the person is incapable of providing food, clothing and shelter, or is a danger to self or others, due to mental illness. Our attorneys safeguard the due process rights of these clients, ensuring that the state does not conserve people who do not fit within the parameters of the Act.