This article discusses various aspects of representing individuals who are allegedly "mentally ill and dangerous," under the provisions of the Nebraska Mental Health Commitment Act. The discussion deals primarily with the involuntary commitment of such individuals. Commitment of those accused or convicted of criminal offenses are only alluded to in passing, while voluntary admissions to a mental institution are not addressed. The purpose of this article is to discuss the various problems inherent in representing mentally ill individuals and to examine the legal and tactical aspects involved in the handling of such cases.

I. Introduction

II. Involuntary Commitment Procedure

III. Applicability of Constitutional Law

IV. Hearing Procedures

V. Mental Illness

VI. Prediction of Dangerousness

VII. The Nexus Requirement

VIII. Alternatives to Commitment

IX. Post-Commitment Proceedings

X. Conclusion