2017 Fall UW Series

Forensic Psychiatry for the General Psychiatrist

Saturday, September 23 | 8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
University of Washington South Campus Center 1601 NE Columbia Rd, Seattle, WA 98195

A lawsuit for psychiatric malpractice is an occupational hazard feared by many psychiatrists. Liability may occur when psychiatrists fail to adhere to the standard of professional care, resulting in harm to a patient. Psychiatrists may also face legal action for certain violent injuries caused by a patient to a third party. This was confirmed by the Washington Supreme Court case, Volk v. DeMeerleer, on outpatient clinicians' duties to protect the foreseeable victims of their patients' violent acts. Assessment of violence risk has become a necessary part of mental health practice.

This program will review the most common causes of psychiatric liability and some strategies for risk management. The Volk ruling will be reviewed. The program will discuss risk factors for violence and provide practical guidance on assessment of violence risk. The session will conclude with the role of psychiatrists in court.

Register Now!

Registration fees:

WSPA Members: Free

Non-Member Physicians: $95

Non-Physicians: $50

UW/Providence Psychiatry Residency Spokane: Free
(ID required at registration)


  • Jennifer Piel, JD, MD
  • Bruce Gage, MD
  • Joseph Vlaskovits, MD


7:00 - 8:00 am Breakfast, Exhibitors, & Registration
8:00 - 8:05 am Welcome & Introduction
8:05 - 9:00 am

Psychiatric Liability

9:00 - 9:10 am


9:10 - 10:00 am Duty to Protect / Volk Update
10:00 - 10:10 am


10:10 - 11:00 am

Violence Risk Assessment

11:00 - 11:10 am


11:10 am - 12:00 pm

Psychiatrists in Court

Learning Objectives:

After attending this presentation, the participant will be able to:

  • Describe core concepts of psychiatric liability
  • Become familiar with Washington’s laws on the duty to protect
  • Discuss factors important in violence risk assessment
  • Understand types of witness testimony in court

Sponsorship and Exhibiting Opportunities are available! Learn more