I have an oral argument soon in my appeal. Should I mention I have Bipolar Disorder to the panel of Judges? It was brought up...

during the trial. Bipolar Disorder can impair my judgment. I wan to make the panel of judges aware of that.

Santa Ana, CA -

Attorney Answers (4)

John M. Kaman

John M. Kaman

Criminal Defense Attorney - San Francisco, CA
Answered

If you are unrepresented by counsel it doesn't make much difference what you do because the chances are great that you will lose anyway. If the bipolar disorder was not in evidence in the trial court the appellate panel hearing your appeal will not consider it. Better not to bring it up.

Michael Raymond Daymude

Michael Raymond Daymude

Litigation Lawyer - Sherman Oaks, CA
Answered

I would not bring it up. It is not relevant to the issues in the appeal, although it may explain your conduct in pursuing a frivolous appeal.

I am licensed in California only and my answers on Avvo assume California law. Answers provided by me are for... more
Joseph Salvatore Farina

Joseph Salvatore Farina

Criminal Defense Attorney - Sacramento, CA
Answered

Unless it was introduced at trial for some relevant purpose, then it is irrelevant and won't be considered. Best not to mention it.

The information and legal suggestions made herein do not in any way create an attorney-client relationship. The... more
Vijay Dinakar

Vijay Dinakar

Criminal Defense Attorney - San Jose, CA
Answered

Don't bring it up, why would you? Bipolar disorder means you cycle between periods of depression and euphoria. By itself it does not include hallucinations, extreme paranoia, or a propensity towards violence. The medications prescribed for it (mood stabilizers and standard anti-depressants) do not usually induce severe reactions. I don't have any idea why or in what context your bipolar condition was brought; possibly it was brought up because you were on medication and this medication induced a severe reaction tantamount to intoxication which then arguably vitiated your specific intent. This is all idle speculation obviously. Unless your condition was directly related to your defense at trial (and it's an issue on appeal), I wouldn't bring it up. The judges will already (unfortunately) view you as less than stable to be representing yourself in an appellate mater of this sort, you needn't confirm their suspicions by alerting them that you're suffering from bipolar disorder. Good luck.

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