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. -

Articles by David Jensen, JD, Staff Attorney

 The Muddle of Minors and Privilege (1/3/2019) 
   The issue of who can waive the psychotherapist-patient privilege on behalf of minor patients is complex, and in this article Dave Jensen, JD, sets forth some of the approaches to dealing with this complex topic.
 The Myth of the Wooden Spoon (12/5/2018) 
   The Myth of the Wooden Spoon Does a parent???s use of a wooden spoon to spank a child, even when such action results in some bruising to the child, automatically constitute abuse of a child? Dave Jensen, JD, discusses a recent legal case involving
 No Straying Allowed (1/3/2018) 
   Marriage and family therapists are reminded often that they are reporters of abuse and not investigators of it, but where, exactly, is the line between the two concepts? This article explores that line.
 When Your Patient is Ready to Die (9/1/2017) 
   This article discusses the differences between the legal and ethical requirements of treating a patient who is suicidal versus treating a patient who has chosen to end his or her own life after complying with California’s End of Life Option Act.
 Have You Completed All of Your CEs (5/1/2017) 
   This article reviews the continuing education requirements for LMFTs, and it also addresses the issue of what happens if a licensee does not complete all of her continuing education requirements.
 Administrative Compliance Worksheet (5/1/2017) 
   Administrative, Physical, and Technical Safeguard Standards Compliance Worksheet
 Approaches to Recordkeeping (5/1/2016) 
   Are the recordkeeping requirements of government programs and managed care companies similar or different? In this article David Jensen, JD explores the recordkeeping requirements of these disparate systems.
 Follow Ariadne's Thread (2/5/2016) 
   When practicing psychotherapy, some cases or issues can seem labyrinthine in nature. But. what if there was a way out of the labyrinth?
 Your Duty to Report Serious Threats of Violence (2/1/2015) 
   Your Duty to Report Serious Threats of Violence to the Police, Which is Like Your Tarasoff Duty to Protect, but not Exactly The duty to report is different from the Tarasoff duty to protect, both in terms of the aims of the laws and how they are d
 Limited Waiver of the Privilege (1/2/2014) 
   But is it Merely a Limited Waiver of the Privilege? by David G. Jensen, JD
 Time to Remodel Your Notice of Privacy Practices (9/5/2013) 
   Time to remodel your notice of privacy practices, HIPAA
 Are Nonprofits Commercial Enterprises (7/1/2013) 
   Are Nonprofits Commercial Enterprises
 The Creation of the Psychotherapist Patient Privilege (5/1/2013) 
   Three Planks, Some Nails, and the Creation of the Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege
 Lost in the Tule Fog of Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse Reporting (3/1/2013) 
   By David Jensen, JD, Staff Attorney; In light of some drastic changes to the elder and dependent (E/DA) abuse laws, which into effect January 1, 2013...
 President Obama Extends HIPAA's Reach and Alters the Health Care Landscape (9/4/2012) 
   President Obama Extends HIPAA's Reach and Alters the Health Care Landscape
 The Tarasoff Two-Step (9/1/2012) 
   There is a "dance" that all therapists must know how to do, and do well, which means smoothly executing the "steps" involved, and not tripping over one's feet in the process. This dance is called The Tarasoff Two-Step.
 Have You Really Been Served A Subpoena (2/1/2012) 
   Have you really been served a subpoena? Determine if you have been served properly in accordance with California law
 Disclosing Outpatient Records (9/1/2011) 
   Part of the deal of being a therapist is responding to subpoenas, should the need arise. Therapist should have a working knowledge of the laws pertaining to the preparation and service of subpoenas.
 Thoughts on Classifying Marriage and Family Therapists (5/1/2011) 
   Thoughts on Classifying Marriage and Family Therapists as Independent Contractors Versus Employees
 Training Sites for Trainees Nonprofits Only (3/1/2011) 
   The over-arching question for graduate programs should be: Is this a place at which we want our students getting hours of experience? Get they answer in David Jensen's article Training Sites for Trainees: Nonprofits Only?
 Minors the System the low of Information and the Mud in the Middle (1/1/2011) 
   The issue of treating minors who have been removed from their homes, or who have come under the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, has always presented challenges for clinical, courts, and government agencies, especially county probation and county
 Uh Oh, Now What (9/1/2010) 
   Each issue of The Therapist evidences unprofessional or unethical conduct in one's life or practice that has resulted in disciplinary action by the Board. Learn what can be done to minimize the Board's consequences.
 Are You a Covered Entity (8/1/2010) 
   Are you a Covered Entity. Understanding which health care providers are and who are not covered entities is important because such entities must comply with HIPAA, a complex body of federal regulations.
 DUI DU Wrong (5/1/2010) 
   Staff Attorney David Jensen writes about his recent observation of the many number of Board Accusations involving the crime of driving under the influence of alcohol. Learn how one too many drinks may affect your professional license.
 EBSCO and You (3/1/2010) 
   Do you know that as a CAMFT member you have unlimited, 24/7, access to EBSCO Host's Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection? This Collection is a database of almost 600 journals devoted to the fields of psychology and the behavioral sciences.
 HIPAA's Minimum Necessary Standard (1/1/2010) 
   According to the Office of Civil Rights, wich is the federal agency that investigates and enforces HIPAA violations, some covered entities ("CEs")are getting themselves into difficulty under HIPAA by forgetting about HIPAA's "minimum necessary" stand
 Expunged Does Not Necessarly Mean Completely Erased (7/1/2009) 
   Have you ever been conflicted of, plead guilty to, or plead nolo contendere to any misdemeanor or felony? This question can be tricky to answer if the misdemeanor or felony was expunged.
 Privilege and Confidentiality Upheld (1/1/2009) 
   Privilege and Confidentiality Upheld
 The Dominos are Falling Internet Psychotherapy (11/1/2008) 
   The Dominos are Falling! Internet Psychotherapy across state lines deterined to be unlawful
 MFTs Members of the Clergy and Their Reporting Obligations (5/1/2008) 
   MFTs, Members of the Clergy, and their reporting obligations under CANRA
 Unlawful and or Unethical Dual Relationship (1/1/2008) 
   Not all dual relationships are unlawful or unethical; in fact, some cannot be avoided. But, how does a therapist keep his or her conduct out of the deep rough and on the fairway?
 Diagnosing a Subpoena for Validity (11/1/2007) 
   Part of the deal of being a therapist is responding to subpoenas, should the need arise. Therapist should have a working knowledge of the laws pertaining to the preparation and service of subpoenas.
 What MFTs Need to Know Mental Health Services Ac t (7/1/2007) 
   What MFTs need to know to work in programs created by the Counties pursuant to the Mental Health Services Act
 Could Your Personal Life Pllute Your Professional Life (3/1/2007) 
   Could your personal life pollute your professional life? Too many licensees and interns are not aware of the potential danger to their license or intern registration.
 Becoming a Substance Abuse Professional (11/1/2006) 
   Are you looking to add another demension to your practice? If so, you should consider becoming a substance professional for drug and alcohol programs connected with the Depart of Transportation (DOT)
 Joint Advertising Profits or Peril (7/1/2006) 
   The profits or peril of joint advertising
 Complaints of HIPAA Violations Enforcement (5/1/2006) 
   Any person who believes that a covered entity is not complying with HIPAA has the right to file a complaint with HHS
 Fundamentals of Reporting Elder Dependent Adult Abuse (3/1/2006) 
   One of the more significant legal responsibilities that licensees, interns, and trainees have is the reporting of elder and dependent adult abuse.
 Don't Fumble The Information (11/1/2005) 
   Don't fumble the information concerning a patient's risk of suicide
 So What Exactly is a Dual Relationship (7/1/2005) 
   Experience has been that licensees and interns create a lot of fear for themselves around the issue of dual relationships. The fear is somewhat irrational because the majority of practitioners have nothing to fear because they practice lawfully.
 When Worlds Collide (5/1/2005) 
   When Worlds Collide: Who wins when ethical standards conflict with government policies and procedures?
 The Two Ewing Cases and Tarasoff (3/1/2005) 
   The Two Ewing Cases and Tarasoff. Ewing I and Ewing II have sent shock waves throughout California's legal and therapeutic communities. Understanding these cases begins with a working knowledge of the factual and procedural backgrounds of them.
 Proposition 63 (3/1/2005) 
   Proposition 63, California MFT Licensees, Interns and Trainees formally known as the Mental Health Services Act.
 Towards a Model Independent Contractor Agreement (1/1/2005) 
   One of the morals of the story regarding classifying marriage and family therapists as independent contractors is that it is not enough, under the watchful eyes of the law, to simply call someone an independent contractor, or to label someone as an i
 Classifying Marriage and Family Therapists as Independent Contractors (11/1/2004) 
   Thoughts on classifying Marriage & Family Therapists as Independent Contractors versus Employees.
 A Tale of Two Supervisees (9/1/2004) 
   Many laws and regulations affect supervisors, interns and trainees, but when it comes to actually supervising such individuals, there are a few laws and regulations on this particular subject.
 Independent Medical Review (7/1/2004) 
   A Slingshot in your patient's battle with the Goliath of Managed Care
 Damned If You Do and Damned If You Dont (5/1/2004) 
   The reporting of Elder & Dependent Adult Abuse by mandated reporters who work in Federally assisted alcohol & drug treatment programs.
 Dealing with Unqualified Incompetent or Dishonest Interns (11/1/2003) 
   Supervising interns can be a rewarding experience, professionally speaking, of course. And, in a perfect supervision world, your interns will sail smoothly through their internships and never run into turbulent waters as they make swift and steady pr
 Telemedicine AKA Online Therapy and Mandatory Informed Consent (9/1/2002) 
   By bringing health care to the patient instead of the patient going to the provider, telemedicine is providing alternatives to the way health care services, including mental health services, are rendered to consumers. In a nutshell, telemedicine, or