Expanding its leadership in veterans legal research and practice, Stanford Law School will hold a conference on May 6-7, 2016 on the subject of Veterans Treatment Courts (VTCs).

Thanks to generous sponsors, the conference is free and open to the public.  Journalists should contact Terry Nagel at tnagel@law.stanford.edu.



Veterans Treatment Courts provide eligible veteran defendants with services and treatment in lieu of jail. The number of VTCs has increased dramatically in recent years with more than 300 VTCs now operating across the country. The courts are products of state law and, sometimes, county law, and differ widely in terms of eligibility, diversionary procedures, the rule of the presiding judges, and the range of services. Despite the proliferation of VTCs and a general sense of their value, however, there is currently little empirical research on their efficacy, leaving jurisdictions that are considering instituting VTCs to operate without reliable data to guide best practices.

SLS to hold Veterans Treatment Court Conference on May 6-7, 2016

The Veterans Treatment Courts conference will bring together scholars, judges, policymakers, and practitioners to discuss the justification for, and operation of, VTCs. Participants will discuss such topics as the political economy of specialized courts, methods for evaluating the efficacy of such courts, and how to apply or adapt lessons drawn from the broader context of diversionary and treatment courts.

The conference reflects Stanford’s commitment to veterans, and its recognition that, as a research institution, it has an important role to play in providing policymakers and the public meaningful tools with which to better serve veterans and their communities.

The conference is held in partnership with the Stanford Journal of Criminal Law and Policy, which will dedicate its fall 2016 issue to veterans in the justice system.  Details about submitting research for publication by SJCLP is available on their website.

The conference is co-sponsored by the Stanford Law School Law and Policy LabStanford Public Interest Law FoundationStanford University Graduate Student CouncilStanford Law Veterans Organization (SLVO), and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Schedule for the conference is:

Friday, May 6
Check-in begins at 12:00pm at Stanford Law School’s F.I.R. Hall, Room 190.

12:00-12:45pm – Journalist panel.  Room 180.  Journalists should contact Terry Nagel for more details.

All conference panels are in Room 190.

1:00-2:00pm – Presentation of research from the Stanford Law and Policy Program on Veterans Treatment Courts

  • Introduction: Dean M. Elizabeth Magill (SLS)
  • Moderator: Prof. Robert Weisberg (SLS)
  • SLS Veterans Treatment Court Policy Practicum Students

2:30-4:00pm – Panel on “The Political Economy of Diversionary Courts”
What can Veterans Courts learn from other specialized/diversionary courts?  Are there lessons from Veterans Courts that could be applied more broadly?

  • Moderator: Prof. Joe Bankman (SLS)
  • Prof. Nora Engstrom (SLS)
  • Commentary from Prof. Anne O’Connell (UC Berkeley Law School)

4:00-5:30pm – Reception for attendees

Saturday, May 7
Check-in begins at 8:00am at Stanford Law School’s F.I.R. Hall, Room 190.  All panel events are in Room 190.

8:00-9:00am – Breakfast buffet

9:15-10:15am – Keynote Address: Judge Jeffrey S. Ross, Superior Court, County of San Francisco, and presiding judge of the San Francisco Veterans Justice Court

10:30am-12:00pm – Panel: “Measuring the effectiveness of Veterans Treatment Courts”
How do we measure the effectiveness of Veteran Treatment Courts?  Do veterans who go through these courts have different outcomes?  At what cost to society and the legal system?

  • Moderator: Judge John L. “Jack” Grandsaert (San Mateo County Veterans Treatment Court)
  • Maj Gen (Ret.) Clyde Tate (Justice for Vets)
  • Justice Evelyn Stratton, Retired (Ohio State Supreme Court; founder of the Veterans in the Courts Initiative)
  • Dr. Stephanie Brooks Holliday (RAND Corp.)

12:00-1:30pm – Catered Lunch

1:00-1:20pm – Presentation: “Drafting a Model Veterans Treatment Court Act: An Update from the Uniform Law Commission”

  • Prof. Stacey-Rae Simcox (Stetson University College of Law; Reporter to the Uniform Law Commission’s Veterans Court Act Committee)

1:30-3:00pm – Panel: “Determining scope and eligibility of Veterans Treatment Courts”
Who should be eligible for these courts?  Should veterans with “Other Than Honorable” (OTH) discharges be eligible?  What sort of offenses should qualify?

  • Prof. David Engstrom (SLS)
  • Judge Stephen Manley (Santa Clara County Mental Health Courts)
  • Prof. Evan Seamone (Mississippi College School of Law; Major, U.S. Army, Judge Advocate)
  • Brad Adams (Swords to Plowshares)

The conference is open to the public by registration.


Please contact policylab@law.stanford.edu for more information.  Journalists should contact Terry Nagel at tnagel@law.stanford.edu

8 Responses to SLS to hold Veterans Treatment Court Conference on May 6-7, 2016
  1. Do you recommend any local hotels to stay out since this event is 2 days and don’t want to commute back to San Francisco due to peak hours of traffic?

  2. We’re glad you can make it! Stanford has an extensive hotel directory on its visitor page: http://visit.stanford.edu/plan/lodging.html.

  3. Where do you recommend we park? Also, is there a calendar for events happening on campus Friday night for those of us who will be overnighting?

  4. We’ll have free spaces reserved on LL1 of the Wilbur Field Underground Garage near the law school. Parking is free campus-wide after 4pm on Friday and all day on Saturday. We’ll e-mail out additional details to registrants on Wednesday.

    There are always a lot of events happening on campus. Check out https://events.stanford.edu/ for the broadest listing.

    We’re glad you’re making the trip! See you soon.

  5. Hi Cynthia,

    There is going to be a Native American Pow wow which is on campus with food, vendors, and all weekend for Mothers Day.

  6. Hi John,

    I not sure if my registration went through but I did not get a email confirmation.


  7. Hi Juan,

    It doesn’t look like it went through. Please try again so that we have your info in the system and can send follow-up messages to you. I’ll forward the e-mail we sent out last night to registrants. We look forward to seeing you soon.


  8. John,

    I registered today Friday, May 6, 2016 @ 7:30 a.m. and agree I skipped this process.

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