VCTLA is proud to present:
Substance Abuse in the Legal Profession: Prevention, Detection, and Treatment
David Mann, Consultant to The Other Bar
In this presentation, Mr. Mann provides a review of the brain chemistry of addiction and alcoholism, as well as a discussion of the behavioral and health consequences of the disease. Insights are offered into the personality traits of attorneys and the qualities of the legal profession that combine to make lawyers significantly more susceptible to addiction, and more difficult to treat, than the general population. The presentation includes a case study of an addict attorney, as well as a self-diagnosis exercise for attorneys to utilize if they are concerned that they may have a problem which needs to be addressed. Concluding remarks are directed towards both systemic and individual solutions to the problem, with references to specific strategies and resources available to attorneys. Mr. Mann approaches this very serious topic in a manner that incorporates humor and irony and invites attorneys to engage in a bit of sometimes much-needed self reflection.
David Mann is a graduate of Ohio State University and Stanford Law School. He served as a Deputy Public Defender in San Francisco before becoming a solo criminal defense practitioner. After 12 years of practice, substance abuse-related issues caused him to resign from the bar with disciplinary charges pending. Following a relentless battle with addiction which included numerous hospitalizations and periods of living on the streets, he succeeded in getting clean and sober in 1998. Since then he has worked, among other things, as a cab driver, a private investigator, a paralegal, and a drug and alcohol rehabilitation counselor. He presently serves as the Northern California Consultant to The Other Bar, a statewide organization of recovering attorneys, judges, and law students. In this capacity, he spends his time providing outreach and education to the legal community, and assisting attorneys as they struggle with substance abuse and related challenges that threaten their ability and/or eligibility to practice law.