Robert Schopp

Professor Bob Schopp

Robert Schopp Robert J. Kutak Professor of Law

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Biography

Professor Schopp practiced clinical psychology before turning to the study of law and philosophy in an attempt to understand some perplexing issues that he encountered during ten years of clinical practice. So far, he remains perplexed, but he likes to think that he is perplexed in a deeper and more comprehensive manner. He joined the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1989 after completing the concurrent law/philosophy program at the University of Arizona. His primary areas of interest involve questions that lie at the intersection of law, psychology and philosophy. These issues tend to arise in criminal law, mental health law, jurisprudence and professional ethics.

Courses

Capital Punishment Law 685/G (1-4 cr hr)
Legal doctrine and policy regarding capital punishment in the United States. Draws heavily but not exclusively on decisions by the US Supreme Court. Includes: various Constitutional challenges and limitations according to Supreme Court decisions; aggravating and mitigating circumstances; jury selection and qualification; discriminatory application; the use of clinical testimony; and the role of counsel. Differs significantly from the Jurisprudence course that addresses capital punishment and directs primary attention to jurisprudential arguments regarding the justification of capital punishment in principle and in practice, with only secondary attention to a few of the central court cases. Court cases and legal doctrine and policy issues arising out of those court cases. Thus, the two courses are complimentary with relatively little overlap, and neither presupposes the other.

Criminal Law Law 508/G (EDAD 970) (3 cr hr)
Substantive criminal law, focusing on the theoretical foundations, general principles, and doctrines that govern the rules of liability and defenses, both in the common law tradition and under the Model Penal Code.

Jurisprudence Law 672/G (EDAD 973) (3 cr hr)
What is good and what is bad about law; the judicial process; principal schools of jurists; theories of the nature of law and the legal order; the American social system and the law; obligations to obey or to disobey the law; and ideas of justice.

Mental Health Law Law 763/G (Psyc 988) (1-4 cr hr)
Critical review of the mental health laws throughout the nation and their psychological foundations. Emphasis on the research that illuminates the problems facing mental health law, system, and processes and the available solutions. Includes the insanity defense, competency to stand trial, guardianship, conservatorship, and civil commitment.

Mental Health Law Seminar Law 772/G (1-4 cr hr)
Students who have previously taken LAW 763G may not take this course. Critical review of the mental health laws throughout the nation and their psychological foundations. Emphasis on the research that illuminates the problems facing mental health law, system, and processes and the available solutions. Includes the insanity defense, competency to stand trial, guardianship/conservatorship, and civil commitment.

Articles

Competence for Execution, Human Dignity, and the Expressive Functions of Punishment,  Criminal Law Bulletin (forthcoming)

Retribution and Revenge in the context of Capital Punishment,  50 Criminal Law Bulletin 1091 (2014)

Mental Illness, Dangerousness, and Police Power Interventions in Pursuit of Justice and Well-Being,  Justice, Conflict, and Wellbeing: Interdisciplinary Work in Social Sciences and the Law (2014)

Mental Health Courts: Competence Responsibility, and Proportionality, Problem Solving Courts: Social Science and Legal Perspectives 163  (2013)

Mental Illness, Police Power Interventions, and the Expressive Functions of Punishment,  39 New Eng. J. On Crim. & Civ. Confinement 99 (2013)

Pursuing Non-Adversarial Justice within an Adversarial Structure,  37 Monash Univ. L. Rev. 102 (2011)

It Counts, But Only When It Does Not Matter?: Evolving Standards of Decency and the Law of Other Countries,  International Criminal Justice: Critical Perspectives and New Challenges 1 with George Andreopoulos, Rosemary Barberet, & James P. Levine, eds., 2011

So Sick He Deserves it: Desert, Danerousness, and Character in the Context of Capital Sentencing,  Action, Ethics, and Responsibility 259 with Joseph Keim Campbell, Michael O'Rourke, & Harry S. Silverstein, eds., 2010

The Mental Health Challenge: Treating Patients and Protecting Society  DeVos Medical Ethics Colloquy (2009), with Paul S. Appelbaum

Treating Criminal Offenders in Crrectional Contexts: Identifying Interests and Distributing Responsibilities,  7 Behav.Sci.&L. 833 (2009)

Depression and the Criminal Law: Intergrating Doctrinal, Empirical, and Justificatory Analysis,  Mental Disorder and Criminal Law 12 (2009) with Richards L. Weiner, Brian H. Borstein, and Steven L. Willborn, eds.

Psychological Expertise and Amicus Briefs in the Context of Competence to Face Execution,  Mental Disorder and Criminal Law 12 (2009) with Richard L. Weiner, Brian H. Bornstein and Steven L. Willborn, eds.

Determinations of Dangerousness: Roles and Responsibilities,  27 Amer.Psychol.Soc.News 6. & (2007)

Two-edged Swords, Dangerousness, and Expert Testimony in Capital Sentencing,  30 L. & Psych. Rev. 57 (2006)

Involuntary Treatment and Competence to Proceed in the Criminal Process: Capital and Noncapital Cases,  Behav. Sci. & L. 495 (2006)

Expressing Condemnation that Fits the Crime,  6 Amer. Philosophical Assoc. Newsletters 1 (2006)

Decision-Making About Volitional Impairment in Sexually Violent Predators,  30 L. & Humm. Behav. 587 (2006)

Joel Feinberg,  Dictionary of Modern American Philosophy (2005)

Tarasaurus Rex: A Standard of Care that Could Not Adapt,  11 Psychology, Pub. Pol'y, & L 109 (2005)

Evaluating Sex Offenders Under Sexually Violent Predator Laws: How Might Mental Health Professionals Conceptualize the Notion of Volitional Impairment?,  10 Aggression & Violent Behv. 289 (2005)

Dangerousness, Risk Assessment, and Capital Sentencing,  10 Psychology, Pub. Pol'y, & L 471 (2004)

The Guilty Mind and Criminal Sentencing: Integrating Legal and Empirical Inquiry as Illustrated by Capital Sentencing,  21 Behav. Sci. & L. 631 (2003)

Sexual Aggression: Mad, Bad, and Mad,  Sexually Coercive Behavior, 989 Annals N.Y. Acad. Sci. 324 (2003)

Outpatient Civil Commitment: A Dangerous Charade or a Component of a Comprehensive Institution of Civil Commitment?,  9 Psychology, Pub. Pol'y, & L 33 (2003)

"Even a Dog...",  Sexually Violent Offenders 183 (2003)

Justifying Capital Punishment in Principle and in Practice: Empirical Evidence of Distortions in Application,  81 Neb. L. Rev. 805 (2002)

Introduction to The Nebraska death Penalty Study: An Interdisciplinary Symposium,  81 Neb. L. Rev. 479 (2002)

Multiple Personality Disorder, Accountable Agency, and Criminal Acts,  10 S. Cal. Interdisc. L.J. 297 (2001)

Reconciling "Irreconcilable" Capital Punishment Doctrine as Comparative and Noncomparative Justice,  53 Fla. L. Rev. 475 (2001)

Psychopathy, Criminal Responsibility, and Civil Commitment as a Sexual Predator,  18 Behv. Sci. & L. 247 (2000) (Schopp & Slain)

Expert Testimony and Professional Judgment: Psychological Expertise and Commitment as a Sexual Predator after Hendricks,  5 Psychology, Pub. Pol'y, & L. 120 (1999) (Schopp, Scalora, & Pearce)

Therapeutic Jurisprudence: Integrated Inquiry and Instrumental Prescriptions,  17 Behav. Sci. & L. 589 (1999(

Natural Born Defense Attorneys,  Genetics and Criminality: Perspectives from Science, Philosophy, and Law 82 (1999)

Integrating RJ and TJ,  67 Revista Juridica U. De Puerto Rico 665 (1998)

Civil Commitment and Sexual Predators: Competence and Condemnation,  4 Psychology, Pub. Pol'y, & L. 323 (1998)

Expert Testimony and Sexual Predator Statutes after Hendricks,  6 Expert Evidence 1 (1998) (Schopp, Pearce, & Scalora)

Verdicts of Conscience: Nullification and Necessity as Jury Responses to Crimes of Conscience,  69 S. Calif. L. Rev. 2039 (1996)

Communicating Risk Assessments: Accuracy, Efficacy, and Responsibility,  51 Amer. Psychologist 939 (1996)

Sexual Predators and Legal Mental Illness for Civil Commitment,  13 Behav. Sci. & L. 427 (1995)

Behavior Control,  Encyclopedia of Bioethics (1995) (revised edition)

Sexual Predators and the Structure of the Mental Health System: Expanding the Normative Focus of Therapeutic Jurisprudence,  1 Psychology, Pub. Pol'y, & L. 161 (1995)

Self-defense,  In Harm's Way 255 (1994)

Battered Woman Syndrome, Expert Testimony, and the Distinction between Justification and Excuse,  1994 U. Ill. L. rev. 45 (1994) (Schopp, Sturgis, & Sullivan)

Self-Determination and Well-Being as Moral Priorities in Health Care and in Rules of Law,  8 Pub. Aff. Q. 67 (1994)

Justification Defenses and Just Convictions,  24 Pac. L.J. 1233 (1993)

Therapeutic Jurisprudence and Conflicts Among Values in Mental Health Law,  11 Behav. Sci. & L. 31 (1993)

International Human Rights, Morality in War, and the Structure of Rights,  2 Pac. Rim. L. & Pol'y J. 37 (1993) (O'Dowd & Schopp)

The Normative and Conceptual Foundations of a Clinical Duty to Protect,  11 Behav. Sci. & L. 165 (1993) (Quattrocchi & Schopp)

Therapeutic Jurisprudence: A New Approach To Mental Health Law,  Handbook of Psychology and Law 361 (1992) (Wexler & Schopp)

Wake Up and Die Right: The Rationale, Standard, and Jurisprudential Significance of Competency to Face Execution,  51 La. L. Rev. 995 (1991)

The Psychotherapist's Duty to Protect the Public: The Appropriate Standard and the Foundation in Legal Theory and Empirical Premises  70 Neb. L. Rev. 327 (1991)

Education and Contraception Make Strange Bedfellows: Brown, Griswold, Lochner, and the Putatuve Dilemma of Liberalism,  32 Ariz. L. Rev. 335 (1990)

Free Will as Psychological Capacity and the Justification of Consequences,  21 The Philosophical Forum 324 (1990)

Depression, the Insanity Defense, and Civil Commitment: Foundations in Autonomy and Responsibility,  12 Int'l J. Law & Psychiatry 81 (1989)

Shooting Yourself in the Foot With Due Care: Psychotherapists and Crystallize Standards of Tort Liability,  17 J. Psychiatry & L. 163 (1989) (Wexler & Schopp)

How and When to Correct for Juror Hindsight Bias in Mental Health Malpractice Litigation: Some Preliminary Observations,  7 Behav. Sci. & L. 485 (1989) (Wexler & Schopp)

Returning to M'Naghten to Avoid Moral Mistakes: One Step Forward to Two Steps Backward for the Insanity Defense?,  30 Ariz. L. Rev. 135 (1988)

Punishment as Treatment and Obligations of Treatment Providers,  7 Int'l J. Law & Psychiatry 195 (1984)

Tarasoff, the Doctrine of Special Relationships, and the Psychotherapist's Duty to Warn,  12 J. Psychiatry & L. 13 (1984) (Schopp & Quattrocchi)

Books

Mental Disorder and Criminal LawSpringer Science and Business Media, 2009 (w/ Richard L. Wiener, Brian H. Bornstein, and Steven L. Willborn, eds.)

Civil Juries and Civil JusticeSpringer Science and Business Media, 2008 (w/ Brian H. Bornstein, Richard L. Wiener, and Steven L. Willborn, eds.)

Social Consciousness in Legal Decision MakingSpringer Science and Business Media, 2007 (w/ Richard L. Wiener, Brian H. Bornstein, and Steven L. Willborn, eds.)

Competence, Condemnation, and CommitmentAmerican Psychological Association Press, 2001

Justification Defenses and Just ConvictionsCambridge University Press, 1998

Automatism, Insanity, and the Psychology of Criminal Responsibility: A Philosophical InquiryCambridge University Press, 1991

Presentations

Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Parens Patriae Interventions, and Human Dignity, Presentation to the Aotearoa Conference on Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Auckland, New Zealand

Therapeutic Jurisprudence, Police Power Interventions, and the Human Dignity, Presentation to the International Academy of Law and Mental Health, Vienna, Austria, July 14, 2015

Psychological Impairment and Capital Punishment, Presentation to the American Psychology-Law Society, San Diego, CA, March 20, 2015

Competence of Execution, Human Dignity, and the Expressive Functions of Punishment Presentation to the Conference of Criminal Law Professors, Rutgers University College of Law, Newark, N.J., July 2014

Civil Commitment, Post Insanity Commitment, and the Expressive Functions of Punishment Presentation to The International Academy of Law and Mental Health, Amsterdam, July 16, 2013

Mental Health Courts: Competence, Responsibility, and Proportionality, Presentation to the Section on Law and Mental Disability at the Annual Conference of the AALS, Washingon, D.C., January 6, 2012

Justifying Intrusive Interventions: Police Power or Parens Patriae, Presentation to the Symposium on Ethics, Mental Illness, and Mechanical Restraints by The Saks Institute for Mental Health Law, Policy, and Ethics at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, April 22, 2011

Integrating Psychological Research and Testimony Regarding Dangerousness with Relevant Legal Doctrine, Presentation to The American Psychology-Law Society, Portland, Oregon, March 9, 2013

Pursuing Non-Adversarial Justice within an Adversarial Structure, Presentation to The Australian Institute of Judicial Administration Non-Adversarial Justice Conference, Melbourne, Australia, May 5, 2010

Decision Making Capacity in Vulnerable Populations: Why Should We Care?, Presentation to American Psychology- Law Society, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, March 18, 2010

Applying Psychological Expertise to Legal Doctrine in Amicus Briefs, Presentation to American Psychology- Law Society, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, March 20, 2010

It Counts, But Only When It Does Not Matter?: Evolving Standards of Decency and the Law of Other Countries, Presentation to a faculty colloquium at the University of Wyoming College of Law, Laramie, Wyoming, December 9, 2009

Is It Important That Punishment "Fits" the Crime?, Presentation as part of the Criminal Sentencing Panel, Wyoming Law Week, University of Wyoming College of Law, Laramie, Wyoming, September 22, 2009

Protecting Well- Being without Sacrificing Other Important Values, Presentation and Session Moderator at the Congress of the International Academy of Law and Mental Health, New York, New York, June 29, 2009

The Natural World: Why Should One Person Care?, Presentation to the Inland Northwest Philosophy Conference, Moscow, Idaho, May 2, 2009

Risk and Dangerousness in Clinical and Legal Contexts, Presentation to the DeVos Medical Ethics Colloquy on The Mental Health Challenge: Treating Patients & Protecting Society, Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 16, 2009

It Counts, But Only When It Does Not Matter?: Evolving Standards of Decency and the Law of Other Countries, Presentations to the International Conference: Justice and Policing in Diverse Societies, San Juan, Puerto Rico, June 10, 2008

Amicus Briefs and Expert Testimony: Roles, Rules, and Responsibilities, Presentation to the Annual Conference of the America Psychology-Law Society, Jacksonville, Florida, March 8, 2008

Awards

Alumni Council Distinguished Faculty Award  (2005)

Other

Editorial Board: Behavioral Sciences & the Law,  since 1991

Editorial Board: Psychology, Public Policy, and Law  since 1998

Editorial Board: Law & Human Behavior  (2003 - 2006)

Manuscript Reviews:  American Psychologist, Behavioral Sciences and the Law, Cambridge University Press, Cornell University Press, Ethics, Law & Human Behavior, Journal of Applied Social Psychology, Law and Policy, Legal Theory, and Psychology, Public Policy and Law

Chair,  American Association of Law Schools, Section on Law and Mental Disability (2000)

Program Chair and Chair-Elect,  American Association of Law Schools, Section on Law and Mental Disability (1999)

Secretary-Treasurer,  American Assocation of Law Schools, Section on Law and Mental Disability (1998)

Member,  American Psychology - Law Society (1993-Present)

Member,  American Society for Political and Legal Philosophy (1993-Present)

Member,  Nebraska State Bar (1990-Present)

Education

Ph.D., Philosophy, 1989, University of Arizona
J.D., summa cum laude, 1988, University of Arizona
M.A. Philosophy, 1983, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
Ph.D., Psychology, 1977, North Carolina State University
M.A., Psychology, 1971, College of William & Mary
B.S., magna cum laude, Psychology and Sociology, 1969, Northland College

Areas of Expertise

Appointments

Professor of Philosophy, 2005
Robert J. Kutak Professor of Law, 2002
Professor of Law and Psychology, 1996
Associate Professor of Law and Psychology, 1993
Assistant Professor of Law and Psychology, 1989