Attorney Articles | Michael Griffin, JD, Staff Attorney
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Articles by Legal Department Staff

The Legal Department articles are not intended to serve as legal advice and are offered for educational purposes only. The information provided should not be used as a substitute for independent legal advice and it is not intended to address every situation that could potentially arise. Please be aware that laws, regulations and technical standards change over time. As a result, it is important to verify and update any reference or information that is provided in the article.

 

This article discusses a number of key legal issues which are generally applicable when treating a suicidal client. The article also briefly discusses the topic of assessing and managing risk when working with suicidal clients.

This article discusses the topic of independent contractors, including relevant legal factors to consider regarding their use. Consideration is given to a recent California Supreme Court decision concerning the classification of independent contractors.

This article discusses a variety of issues that therapists commonly encounter involving fees, payments and insurance. The article points out key legal and
ethical issues which are relevant to fee setting, reduced fee agreements, collecting copayments, billing insurance, and other topics, and offers suggestions to clinicians which are intended to avoid problems in such areas.

This final installment of the three-part series called Practice Guidelines for School-Based Psychotherapists discusses scenarios psychotherapists who are working in schools frequently encounter and ideas about how to address those issues based on the application of FERPA, HIPAA, CA laws and/or ethical codes.

This article is Part II of a three part series called Practice Guidelines for School Based Psychotherapists. The article discusses the application of HIPAA,
California laws and professional ethical codes to school based practice.

This article is intended to discuss specific legal and ethical issues which should be considered when a therapist is exiting a work setting.

Scope of Practice. Questions often arise regarding the breadth of the scope of practice of the marriage and family therapist professional, or with regard to any profession or professional . What is a scope of practice? And, how does it differ from a scope of competence? If challenged, can you articulate your scope of practice?

This article is intended to help therapists anticipate, manage, and avoid problems that commonly arise when terminating treatment. Relevant legal and ethical issues are discussed, and examples are provided, regarding actions that may result in disciplinary actions, and/or ethical complaints for improper termination.

The article discusses the topic of starting a private practice. It is intended as a sequel to Part One of “Starting a Private Practice,” which was published in the November/December issue of The Therapist. Issues covered in Part Two includes: Initial inquiries and requests for service, intake procedures, record-keeping and documentation, fees and insurance related issues, and key issues when advertising a practice.

This article discusses starting a private practice. It stresses the importance of planning and identifies key considerations before opening a practice. Practical needs are discussed, legal considerations are identified, and multiple resources are provided to assist in getting started.