Handling Subpoenas and Calls to Deposition

April 17th, 2019
Handling Subpoenas and Calls to Deposition

Most mental health professionals have had to deal with a variety of legal issues over the course of their careers. It’s just part of the job. Inevitably, they get involved in the discovery phase of a legal case. Reasons often relate to instances in which a patient involved in a legal matter has their mental health called in to question. Attorneys issue subpoenas to mental health professionals to provide written notes or records. They also frequently get called into a deposition. It’s important for mental health professionals to seek legal counsel before responding to any subpoena or request for a deposition. Deposition attorneys will be able to give advice that will protect you from liability and other legal concerns. The right deposition advice is critical to protecting your practice and clients.

Whether or Not to Respond to Subpoenas

Many mental health professionals immediately respond to subpoenas. Being subpoenaed is a bit like talking to the police; it’s often implied that compliance is required. However, that’s not always the case. You need to carefully examine who is requesting documents or records.   Is it you client’s attorney?  The opposing attorney?   Has the client authorized the release of those records?  A capable attorney will be able to help a mental health professional navigate the legal and ethical issues surrounding such requests.

Handling Depositions

Going through the deposition process can be stressful. Therapists and other mental health professionals are frequently called upon to testify under oath about a patient they have treated. It’s important to understand your confidentiality obligation and the limits of those obligations. Requesting deposition advice from a deposition attorney is the best strategy to prepare for questioning.  An experience attorney can help you understand and prepare for the likely questions and how best to respond to them.

The right legal team can help mental health professionals prepare for depositions and make sure they don’t expose themselves to any liability as a result of their testimony. Questioning investigators arrive at a deposition with a carefully crafted strategy on how to extract information. People giving testimony need to be equally prepared. Find the right deposition attorney at Bowne-Barry & Barry Attorneys at Law. We have extensive experience protecting mental health professionals facing subpoenas and deposition requests.