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Law & Ethics: Therapists & the Legal System: Avoiding Problems When Working With Clients Who Are Involved With the Courts

Presented by Michael Griffin, JD, LCSW, CAMFT Staff Attorney and Ian Russ, PhD, LMFT - 3 CE Hours

Workshop Description:
This intermediate level workshop examines the role of a therapist who is working with clients who are involved with the legal system. The presenters will discuss the application of relevant ethical and legal standards to common clinical scenarios and offer suggestions to therapists on how to reduce the likelihood of encountering lawsuits, ethics complaints and complaints to the licensing Board.

Learning Objectives:
Upon Completion of this workshop, attendees will be able to:
1. Identify at least three ethical codes which are relevant when working with clients who are involved with the courts;
2. Explain why therapists should avoid performing both treatment and evaluations for clients who are involved in legal proceedings;
3. Explain why therapists should clarify role expectations and the extent of confidentiality with clients at the outset of treatment;
4. Discuss why therapists should remain impartial, regardless of their role in a legal proceeding;
5. Describe the meaning of the terms, legal custody, physical custody, sole custody, and joint custody and their relevance when testifying in a legal matter;
6. Identify one or more statues which permit a minor to consent to his or her mental health treatment;
7. Identify the legal qualifications for custody evaluators; 
8. Discuss the key issues that therapists should keep in mind when expressing their professional opinions about clients.

Not for Psychologists, Certified Alcohol and Drug counselors, and RNs.