Interested in Forensics? Interest Group Meeting Next Week

This invitation is from the Forensic Group, a group of mental health professionals and lawyers who gather to discuss various topics of interest roughly every other month during the academic year. Feel free to join if you’re interested! 

We hope you’ve had a great summer and are looking forward to a productive fall. Our first meeting of the new academic year will be held next Wednesday evening, September 12 at 7:00 p.m. in Room 131 in Storey Hall at SMU’s Dedman School of Law, on Daniel Street just east of the Hillcrest and Daniel intersection. As always, feel free to join us at 6:00 p.m. for a bite to eat at Peggy Sue’s Barbeque, located on Daniel Street just west of Hillcrest  in Snider Plaza.

The meeting will focus on a key, but often misunderstood, aspect of capital murder cases: mitigation law and practice. What is mitigation’s role in the legal system? Why is it important that jurors and judges consider a defendant’s mitigation factors in the most serious of crimes? What special concerns arise in mitigation practice? A multidisciplinary panel of professionals who specialize in this area will present these issues from the perspectives of the lawyer, the consultant, and the testifying expert.

Ms. Robbie McClung—a 1994 graduate of Texas Wesleyan School of Law, a former prosecutor, and now a prominent criminal defense lawyer—will discuss the social policy behind mitigation and dealing with mitigation issues in practice.

Mr. Vince Gonzales, a litigation consultant, conducts a private practice that specializes in mitigation issues in murder cases. He will discuss how he works with lawyers and organizes  teams of professionals to deal with particular mitigation issues that may arise in a given case.

Finally, forensic psychologists Toni McGarrahan, Ph.D. and Tim Proctor, Ph.D., ABPP will present ethical concerns that mental health experts face in their testimony on mitigation issues.

The evening’s program promises to be informative and stimulating for both lawyers and mental health professionals. Come ready to learn and participate.

For mental health professionals who want continuing education credit for the meeting (1.5 hrs.—will include .5 hrs. ethics credit), keep this email for the description of the meeting’s topic. This email and the certificate you will receive at the meeting’s end (8:30 p.m.) should suffice for proof of your attendance.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email John Zervopoulos at <>.


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