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Program in Psychiatry and the Law

What is Forensic Psychiatry?

Forensic Psychiatry is a subspecialty of psychiatry that encompasses the interface between the law and psychiatry.  A forensic psychiatrist can provide evaluations for numerous legal purposes, including competency to stand trial and mental state opinion, among others.

The Program in Psychiatry and the Law at Stanford is comprised of a multidisciplinary team of world-class faculty who combine clinical experience and specialized knowledge and experience in medicine, mental health, and ethics.  We are able to work on queries related to mental health issues that arise in criminal or civil law, on an individual, corporate, or government level.

How does it work?

Our mission is to provide you with the highest level of ethical, comprehensive, unbiased, and evidence-based forensic assessments possible.  We embrace the core values of integrity, excellence, and professionalism in all of our cases. We review all pertinent information and apply clinical expertise to each unique case to ensure that we are providing the most objective psychiatric assessments and expert opinions.

We will work with you to ensure that all evaluations and/or assessments address clinical and forensic considerations. These typically occur in our Outpatient Clinic located at 401 Quarry Road.

Areas of Specialization

  • Addictions
  • Anxiety Disorders
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • Competency Evaluations
  • Criminal Responsibility Evaluations
  • Dementia
  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Functional Neurological Disorders
  • Geriatric Mental Health
  • Mood Disorders
  • Neuroimaging
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Neuropsychological Assessment
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Pain Assessment
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Psychopharmacology
  • Sleep Disorders
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

Publications and Talks

Disruptive Behavior: Development, Psychopathology, Crime, & Treatment

Hans Steiner, Whitney Daniels, Christina Stadler, and Michael Kelly

  • Examines disruptive behavior through a developmental perspective, focusing on extensive research and clinical experience
  • Bridges medicine to crime and the world of law
  • Highlights the forensic dimensions of developmental psychiatry

What Neuroscience Can and Cannot Answer

Octavio S. Choi
Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online September 2017, 45 (3) 278-285


Can Neuroscience help us eradicate psychopathy?

Octavio Choi | TEDx
Dr. Choi digs into the psychopaths brain, literally. He examines how their brain reacts and thinks compared to an average brain, hoping that we do our part to guide the psychopaths to a better life. This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community.

Learn more at: https://www.ted.com/tedx

Get in touch

To learn more about the Program or to speak with one of our experts please contact us.

Voicemail: (650) 497-7676
Fax: (650) 724-9900
Email: forensicpsychiatry@stanford.edu

Our Academic Faculty and Staff

James Armontrout
Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Octavio Choi, MD, PhD
Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Whitney Daniels, MD
Clinical Associate Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences - Child & Adolescent Psychiatry and Child Development
Rona Hu
Clinical Professor, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Ana C. DiRago, Ph.D.
Academic Staff - Hourly - CSL, Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences