Your trusted CPD partner

Capacity - key advice and tools

Capacity - key advice and tools
Add to CPD Planner
Register Now


Many lawyers face the dilemma of representing clients with compromised capacity on diverse legal matters. Understanding whether clients have capacity is a key feature of legal practice. This seminar will provide insights by a psychogeriatrician and legal academic on when to query capacity, how to assess, when to refer for a medical assessment, and how to sensitively manage this issue in legal practice.

This seminar will include:

  • A brief definition and discussion of the essentials of capacity
  • Outline of the different levels of capacity
  • Real world practical examples of the red flags – what to look out for when assessing capacity
  • Discussion of questions you can ask if you are concerned of your client’s capacity
  • Advice for when requesting a medical assessment
  • Discussion of case law examples
  • Best practice advice on methods to use to promote your clients’ abilities to express capacity
  • We will end with a role play demonstrating what to look out for and the relevant questions to ask to establish capacity.

Learning objectives

By attending this seminar you will gain:

  • Increased awareness of when capacity issues exist.
  • Insights on the spectrum of capacity.
  • Increased understanding of strategies to promote a person’s ability to express capacity in legal settings.
  • Understanding of how to undertake a robust capacity assessment.

Who should attend

Intermediate level lawyers engaged in the practice of: family law, elder law, mental health law, trusts, wills and estates.


A short paper, in PDF format, together with a copy of the powerpoint presentation will be emailed out prior to the seminar.


  • 4.00pm - 6.00pm (tea and coffee available on arrival)

Fee (incl GST)

In Short

  • $115 - NZLS members and Associate members
  • $165 - Non-members
  • Live web stream group pricing available! Click here

Do you want to register more than one person for this course? Click here
Download registration form

Auckland 27 September
Live Web Stream 27 September


PhotoKate Diesfeld (3) WEB EDIT Professor Kate Diesfeld
Auckland University of Technology, Auckland

Kate is a member of the California State Bar. She represented people with disabilities in Los Angeles and in England. Kate supervised the Kent Law Clinic (Mental Health and Learning Disability) at Kent Law School in England. She was the Director of the National Centre for Health Law and Ethics at AUT. At the University of Waikato School of Law, Kate was the Associate Dean of Research. She co-edited Involuntary Detention and Therapeutic Jurisprudence (2003) and Elder Law in New Zealand (2013). Kate chairs AUT’s Ethics Committee.

Dr Mark Fisher WEB EDIT Dr Mark Fisher
Service Clinical Director for Liaison Psychiatry and Mental Health Services for Older People, Auckland District Health Board, Auckland

Mark has worked as a Consultant Psychiatrist and Clinical Leader in mental health services in NZ and the UK for over 20 years. His interests are in dementia, provision of mental health services, mental health law and ECT.


Cancellation and refund policy

If written notice of cancellation of a registration arrives before the day of the seminar we will refund the registration fee, less an administration fee of $40. If you are unable to attend, you may send a substitute - to correctly assign CPD credit, CLE must be notified in advance. NZLS CLE Ltd reserves the right to cancel or reschedule seminars if necessary.

freephone (within NZ)
0800 333 111


04 472 7837

04 463 2986
Law Society Building
26 Waring Taylor Street
Wellington 6011

DX SP 20202
PO Box 5041
Wellington 6140
New Zealand