Heaven Forbid! What to do if you are Served or Have to Testify

Presented and developed by Frances Schopick, JD, MSW, LICSW

Receiving a subpoena and/or being required to testify in a deposition or in court can be a rattling experience. A lot of counselors are unclear as to what their responsibilities may be. Do they respond to a subpoena?? (Spoiler Alert: The answer is: YES.) Do they give the person writing the subpoena what they want? (Spoiler Alert: The answer is: Maybe, maybe not. It depends.) This interactive workshop is designed to help attendees understand what it means to receive a subpoena, what is required for response and, if a court appearance is required, how to listen to questions and respond to them within the proper scope of clinical practice.

To understand how to respond to a subpoena, observing both the law and ethical codes.

  • Attendees will have an overview of rules and exceptions regarding the subpoena of healthcare and mental health records.
  • Attendees will have an overview of rules and cases regarding disclosure of client records.
  • Attendees will have an overview of how to respond to a subpoena without crossing or blurring professional boundaries.

To have a comprehensive overview of issues to consider if asked to testify in court (or deposition)

  • Attendees will come away with an understanding of reasons they may not have to testify at deposition or in court.
  • Attendees will have an overview of the differences between acting as a fact witness and an expert witness.
  • Attendees will come away with an understanding of how to conduct themselves in court if they must testify.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

6 CEs

6 Law and Ethics CEs

Frances Schopick, JD, MSW, LICSW

Frances Schopick, JD, MSW, is an attorney with a background in Social Work and psychiatric research. She worked for nearly 20 years as a mental health diagnostician and clinician in agency, research and private practice.  Living in Seattle, she is on the Adjunct Faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the Departments of Psychiatry and Preventive Medicine, and was formerly on the Faculty of Harvard Medical School in the Department of Psychiatry.  Research publications, abstracts, and presentations reflect her work in Mood and Personality Disorders including Narcissism and Psychopathy. 

Now an attorney, Fran works with mental health provider DOH Licensees of all disciplines who have received subpoenas, have to testify, or who have DOH complaints against them.  She also provides consultation on ethical and practice clallenges that put counselors at risk for DOH Complaints.  She completed her BA at Barnard College at Columbia University in New York City, a Master's Degree in Social Work (MSW) at the Hunter College School of Social Work in MYC and a Juris Doctor (JD) at the University of New Hampshire.  She holds Washington State licensure as both an attorney and LICSW. 

Upcoming Dates and Registration

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