University of Pittsburgh
October 30, 2005

Pitt to Hold Distinguished Nordenberg Lecture Nov. 10

Focus will be on assessing one's competency to stand trial
Contact:  412-624-4147

PITTSBURGH-Grant Morris, professor of law at the University of San Diego, will present the University of Pittsburgh School of Law's Distinguished Nordenberg Lecture in Law and Psychiatry, at noon Nov. 10 in the Barco Law Building's Teplitz Moot Memorial Court Room, 3900 Forbes Ave., Oakland.

Morris' free lecture is titled "Is Competency to Stand Trial Assessed Competently?"

Also a clinical professor in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, Morris has been involved in mental health issues in the criminal justice system for years. Morris served on mental health law revision projects for the states of New York, Michigan, and Arizona, as well as a legal reporter for the American Bar Association.

In his capacity as mental health hearing officer for the Superior Court of San Diego County, Morris conducted administrative hearings to determine whether mentally ill persons met statutory criteria for involuntary detention. Currently chair of the Attascadero State Hospital Advisory Board, Morris previously was the inaugural chair of the Law and Psychiatry Section of the Association of American Law Schools.

Morris has written or contributed to more than a dozen books and more than 40 law review articles dealing with issues in the interface of psychiatry and the law. The subject of his Nov. 10 lecture involves an empirical study he conducted of 273 forensic psychiatrists and psychologists in which he evaluated their ability to assess criminal defendants and their competency to stand trial.

Morris received the Bachelor of Arts and Juris Doctor degrees, with honors, from Syracuse University. He also received the Masters of Law degree from Harvard University.

The lecture, named after Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, former dean of the law school, is approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for one hour of substantive CLE credit. For more information, e-mail or visit