Committee on Legal Issues

Statement of Mission
  1. Overall statement of mission. COLI is an ad hoc Committee that reports through the APA Board of Directors. COLI makes recommendations, prepares and issues reports, and takes other action in order to educate APA and psychologists about psycho-legal issues, in order to promote the field of psychology as it interfaces with the law, and in order to implement APA's policies. In fulfilling its responsibilities, COLI does not serve as legal counsel to or form an attorney-client relationship with the APA or the Board.
  2. COLI as "think tank." COLI has a primary responsibility for serving as a "think tank" for the Board of Directors ("Board") on psycho-legal issues.
  3. Review of Documents. At the request of the Board, the Council of Representatives, APA legal counsel, an APA directorate, an APA division or another APA board or committee, COLI may review internal documents such as proposed guidelines, publications and policy statements. In this regard, COLI is expressly not acting as an attorney. COLI may identify possible legal issues for possible referral to the General Counsel, and may also provide its thoughts on the broader psycho-legal implications.
  4. APA amicus activities. COLI shall make recommendations about APA's amicus involvements, according to procedures adopted by the Board.
  5. Liaison activities. COLI shall recommend and implement liaison with law-related groups.
  6. APA Board of Directors. COLI shall take other action and engage in other activities as requested by the Board or the APA CEO.
II. Statement of Procedures
  1. Membership. COLI consists of nine APA members with broad expertise and interests in psycho-legal issues. Membership on COLI is on a rotating basis, with members appointed for a three-year term. COLI requires knowledge and practical experience in legal concepts and principles. The ratio of attorney/psychologists to psychologists should be no less than 2 to 1, a significant portion of which should have experience as practicing attorneys.
  2. Meetings. COLI is funded to meet twice a year, in the Washington D.C. area, in conjunction with the Consolidated Meetings, in March and November of each year.
  3. Subcommittees. COLI is funded to conduct its business through subcommittees that meet via conference telephone calls. COLI shall formulate and convene its subcommittees at its discretion. The Board or the APA CEO may request COLI subcommittees to meet in person in Washington, D.C. or at another location.
  4. Task forces. COLI is funded to operate one or two task forces annually, on particular psycho-legal issues, with the goals and methodologies to be developed by COLI.
  5. APA Convention. At the annual APA Convention, COLI may present an update dealing with APA's amicus and/or legislative or regulatory involvements. COLI may also make one or more other presentations dealing with other activities of COLI or with other psycho-legal issues.
  6. APA Monitor. COLI may present informational items on psycho-legal issues to APA Public Communications staff for possible publication in the APA Monitor or elsewhere.
  7. APA General Counsel. COLI is expected to maintain a close working relationship with APA's General Counsel and related staff, consistent with COLI's mission.

Staff Liaison

Donna Beavers (email)

Members

  • 2014 Chair: Terese A. Hall, JD, PhD (2014)
    Tulsa, Okla.

  • Jason A. Cantone, JD, PhD (2014-16)

  • A. Steven Frankel, PhD, JD (2013-15)

  • Michele Galietta, PhD (2013-15)

  • Lisa K. Strohman, PhD, JD (2014-16)

  • Melissa J. Westendorf, JD, PhD (2012-14)

  • Richard A. Wise, JD, PhD (2013-15)

  • Jennifer L. Woolard, PhD (2012-14)

  • John A. Zervopoulos, PhD, JD (2014-16)

Additional Information