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 Michael Griffin, JD, LCSW, Staff Attorney

 Treating Minors Common Issues Involving Confidentiality (3/27/2017) 
   Therapists who work with minors must have a thorough understanding of the laws and ethical standards concerning the issue of confidentiality.
 Therapists as Diplomatic Gatekeepers (3/27/2017) 
   This article discusses the topic of responding to requests for confidential information regarding patients in relation to ???risk-adjustment audits??? by insurance carriers. Insurance companies who provide coverage to individuals under the Affordab
 The Supervisors Role Legal and Ethical Considerations (3/27/2017) 
   Clinical supervisors play an important role in the training of every therapist. This article emphasizes the need for supervisors to be familiar with the laws, regulations, and ethical standards which govern the conduct of supervisors and supervisees.
 Making the Transition to ICD-10 (3/27/2017) 
   
 Starting a Private Practice Part Two (3/1/2017) 
   This article discusses the topic of starting a private practice. It is intended as a squeal to Part One of "Starting A Private Practice." Issues covered in Part Two included Initial inquiries and requests for service, intake procedures, record-keepi
 Starting a Private Practice Part One (12/1/2016) 
   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 p
 Selecting the Right Videoconferencing Technology for Telehealth (12/1/2015) 
   This article discusses the general topic of providers utilizing Skype as the source of videoconferencing technology. It explains why Skype is not considered to be compatible with the requirements of HIPAA and recommends the use of HIPAA complaint al
 Working With Clients Who Are Involved With The Legal System (7/1/2015) 
   This article examines a number of legal and ethical issues, problems, and concerns that therapists often encounter when working with clients who are involved with the courts.
 Avoid Legal and Ethical Problems (3/2/2015) 
   Avoid Legal and Ethical Problems
 Its What You Dont Say (3/2/2015) 
   By Michael Griffin, JD, LCSW, Staff Attorney; Learn how the therapist's opinion, regardless of whether it is documented in a report, expressed on the witness stand, or written in a letter, can have a powerful impact on the person's life.
 The Use of Arbitration Agreements (11/3/2014) 
   The Use of Arbitration Agreements as an Alternative to Litigation This article provides an overview of the use of arbitration agreements by therapists as an alternative to litigation. In addition to pointing out the specific legal requirements for th
 Law and Ethics of the Therapy Practice (11/3/2014) 
   Responses to Vignette Article Law and Ehtics of the Therapy Practice: Two Vignettes to Consider
 Marital Therapy Vignette (9/9/2014) 
   Marital Therapy Vignette - Vignette Discussion to Treating Couples: Identifying and Managing Legal & Ethical Issues
 Understanding Financial Abuse (7/1/2014) 
   A Closer Look at the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act.
 When Insurance Plans Ask For Their Money Back (3/1/2014) 
   When Insurance Plans Ask For Their Money Back by Michael Griffin, JD, LCSW, Staff Attorney
 Making the Most of Consultations with the CAMFT Staff Attorneys (11/1/2012) 
   By Michael Griffin, JD, LCSW, CAMFT Staff Attorney
 Treating Couples Identifying and Managing Legal & Ethical Issues (7/1/2012) 
   We invite you to provide CAMFT with your written analysis of the legal and ethical issues that arise based on the actions taken by the therapists in four clinical vignettes.
 On Ethics Avoiding Problems with Fees, Payment Agreements, and Health Insurance (4/1/2012) 
   On Ethics: Avoiding Problems with Fees, Payment Agreements and Health Insurance by Michael Griffin, JD, LCSW, Staff Attorney
 The Role of the CAMFT Ethics Committee (4/1/2012) 
   The Role of the CAMFT Ethics Committee by Michael Griffin, JD, LCSW, Staff Attorney
 Working with Suicidal Clients (2/1/2012) 
   Working with Suicidal Clients by Michael Griffin, JD, Staff Attorney
 Parting Ways Anticipating and Avoiding Problems Which Commonly Occur During Termination (2/1/2011) 
   Parting Ways: Anticipating and Avoiding Problems Which Commonly Occur During Termination
 The DSM-5 A Brief Look at the Future Manual for Diagnosing Mental Health Disorders (12/1/2010) 
   In May, 2013, the American Psychiatric Association plans to release the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistacle Manual of Mental Disorders, (DSM). This event is likely to have an impact on the lives of most clinicians. Learn about the possib
 A Call for Comment Proposed Revisions to CAMFT Ethical Standards Part II (11/1/2010) 
   A Call for Comment: Members of CAMFT are Invited to Comment on the Proposed Revisions to Part II of the CAMFT Code of Ethics. A significant number of changes to Part II of the CAMFT Code of Ethics have been proposed by the CAMFT Ethics Committee, Exe
 Proposed Revisions to CAMFT Ethical Standards Part II (11/1/2010) 
   A significant number of changes to Part II of the CAMFT Code of Ethics have been proposed by the CAMFT Ethics Committee, Executive Director, and legal staff. CAMFT members are urged to offer feedback by January 8, 2011.
 Closing a Psychotherapy Practice Further Considerations (3/1/2010) 
   This article takes a closer look at some of the legal and ethical issues presented in Richard Leslie's article. "Closing a Practice," and discusses various options that a therapist should be aware of when closing his or her practice.
 Psychotherapist Social Networking and Self Disclosure on the Internet (7/1/2009) 
   Do you Tweet? Are you LinkedIn? Do you Facebook? Is your Blogger blog on your Wikipaces wiki? If you know what these terms mean,you belong to a very large group of people who participate in various forms of social networking.
 An Overview of the Revised CAMFT Ethical Standards (9/1/2008) 
   As of July 1, 2008, the revised CAMFT Ethical Standards, Part L became effective. The product of many hours of hard work over the past two years by the CAMFT Ethics Committee, Executive Director and CAMFT legal staff and consultants, the Ethical Stan
 Confidentiality Issues in Agency and Private Practice Settings (9/1/2008) 
   The confidential nature of the therapist-patient relationship is an essential element of psychotherapy.Confidentiality, therefore, is of considerable importance to psychotherapists, regardless of where they may practice. Yet, treatment settings are n
 Special Education and Related Services in California Schools (11/1/2007) 
   When beginning the treatment of a child, a therapist conducts an assessment of the child's past and present behavior. Gathering information about the child's history provides the therapist with important data that may be used in treatment plannin
 A Call for Comment Proposed Revisions to CAMFT Ethical Standards Part 1 (11/1/2007) 
   Members of CAMFT are invited to comment on the proposed revisions to Part I of the CAMFT Code of Ethics
 On Writing Progress Notes (3/1/2007) 
   Generally speaking, most therapists write a corresponding progress note in their patient???s treatment record for every therapy session they provide. However, some therapists wonder whether or not the time that they spend writing progress notes is we
 Revisiting Informed Consent (9/1/2006) 
   Although most therapists consider informed consent to treatment to be an important principle in healthcare, some question whether informed consent differs from ordinary consent to treatment and if so, how it applies to the practice of psychotherapy.
 On Ethics Dual Relationships and Patient Therapist Boundaries (5/1/1993) 
   Each of the following brief vignettes describes a hypothetical scenario that involves a therapist interacting with his or her current or former patient outside of the context of therapy. You are invited to provide CAMFT with your written analysis of