The Private Defender Program represents clients who, due to a mental illness or developmental disability, are alleged to be (1) gravely disabled so as to be unable to meet their own needs of food, clothing or shelter, or (2) a danger to themselves or others.  The PDP lawyers advocate for mental health patients who want to contest their involuntary treatment under the provisions of the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act and Welfare and Institutions Code sections.  This Act specifies the conditions under which a person may be involuntarily hospitalized and the rights afforded a person for whom involuntary hospitalization is being sought.  The lawyers act to safeguard due process protections and the constitutional rights of those clients facing a civil commitment. 

LPS Conservatorship is different from a probate conservatorship, which is established for the management of a person’s finances.  An LPS Conservatorship of the person is a protective relationship in which a person is appointed by the court to act in the best interest of a gravely disabled individual to ensure that the basic needs for food, clothing, and shelter are met, and if required, to provide the disabled individual with psychiatric care and treatment.

For assistance during regular business hours:

please call (650) 298-4000

​Monday-Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM

"If there is no equal justice,
there is no justice at all."

Chief Justice Warren Burger