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N Cal Atty
N Cal Atty, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 9415
Experience:  attorney at self
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I am a therapist, just received a subpoena for a client I

Customer Question

I am a therapist, just received a subpoena for a client I saw 5 years ago, no release and from opposing counsel. She is suing her former employee. How do I handle this? Thank you, *****
JA: Because laws vary from place to place, can you tell me what state the subpoena was issued in?
Customer: California
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: I don't know, is it on the subpoena somewhere
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: no
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  N Cal Atty replied 2 months ago.

Thank you for your question.

As an LMFT, you are protected by the privilege specified in Evidence Code § 1010.

As noted here,

"The psychotherapist who received or made a communication subject to the privilege under this article shall claim the privilege whenever he is present when the communication is sought to be disclosed and is authorized to claim the privilege under subdivision (c) of Section 1014."

You can phone the attorney who issued the subpoena and explain that you are required to claim the privilege unless your client waives the privilege, and you are willing to obey the subpoena if they pay the witness fee but that you will not answer any questions relating to your former client. Maybe that will convince the attorney to withdraw the subpoena. If possible, you could try to speak with your former client's attorney prior to phoning opposing counsel.

I hope this information is helpful.