Introduction to the Legal System

  • Barbara A. Weiner
  • Robert M. Wettstein


An overall understanding of the legal system is important for placing in context the system’s specific impact on the mental health professional. This chapter introduces the legal system, beginning with a brief history of its development. The chapter sets forth the sources of law in the United States and describes the federal and state court systems. We explain the mechanics of filing a lawsuit, including the rights of the parties. The chapter concludes with a description of the legal system of citation, with examples which should facilitate the reader’s use and understanding of legal references.


Legal System United States Constitution Court System Juvenile Court Supreme Court Decision 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barbara A. Weiner
    • 1
  • Robert M. Wettstein
    • 2
  1. 1.Weiner and Eglit, Ltd.Highland ParkUSA
  2. 2.Western Psychiatric Institute and ClinicUniversity of Pittsburgh School of MedicinePittsburghUSA

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