In 1982 the authors published the first edition of their book, which received the Manfred Guttmacher Award of the American Psychiatric Association and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law for "outstanding contribution to the literature of forensic psychiatry."
Nearly a decade later, new developments in the forensic arena as it applies to psychiatric practice have made it necessary to undertake major updating. The authors accomplished this within the original format of using case examples to open each chapter. Many new case examples were added. The development of child psychiatry and the law as a subspecialty in its own right is given recognition in this edition. Other issues in the book relate to failure to protect victims of patients' violence, rights to refuse antipsychotic medication, responsibility for causing tardive dyskinesia and other drug-related complications, confidentiality and third-party reviewers, and other problems confronting mental health practitioners in their everyday practice.