LITIGATION POLICY AND FEES FOR COURT-RELATED SERVICES
Due to the nature of the therapeutic process and the fact that it often involves making a full disclosure with regard to many matters which may be of a confidential nature, it is agreed that should there be legal proceedings (including but not limited to divorce and custody disputes, injuries, lawsuits, etc.), you agree that neither you, your attorneys or anyone acting on your behalf will subpoena records from my office, or subpoena me to testify in court or in any legal proceeding. By your signature below, you agree to abide by this agreement.
If I am subpoenaed to provide records or testimony in violation of this agreement, you acknowledge and agree that you will pay for all of my professional time, including preparation and transportation charges, regardless of which party issues the subpoena or requires me to testify.
If I am required to testify in court or give a deposition, the hourly fee is $300 per hour for a minimum of 4 hours and this includes preparation time, travel time and attendance at any legal proceeding. If the testimony or deposition exceeds 4 hours there will be an additional charge of $300.00 per hour for every hour or portion of an hour spent in court or deposition.
When I go to court or give a deposition, I have to clear my schedule and not see other clients, so there is a 48-hour cancellation policy for court and depositions. For example, if the court appearance or deposition is scheduled for Monday, this office must be notified of any cancellation no later than Noon on the Thursday before. Any cancellations that occur within the 48-hour time frame of the court appearance or deposition are NON-REFUNDABLE.
I will accept cash, money order, cashier’s check, MasterCard, Visa or Discover for payment of time related to court appearances or deposition. NO PERSONAL CHECKS WILL BE ACCEPTED FOR THESE SERVICES. All payments are due 48 hours prior to the scheduled court appearance or deposition, and no later than 12:00 Noon on Thursday if the court hearing/deposition is scheduled for a Monday.
If I am subpoenaed by one party to provide records or testimony in violation of this agreement, I also reserve the right to terminate our professional, therapeutic relationship immediately and refer you to other mental health providers.
I will NOT provide custody evaluations or recommendations regarding access to or visitation with minor children. I will NOT provide medication or prescription recommendations. I will NOT provide legal advice. None of these activities are within scope of my practice.
Court Appearances - My focus in providing counseling and psychotherapy is on treatment and healing. It is NOT my intention to become involved in cases that require evaluation (either written or otherwise) or my testifying in court. You should hire a different/neutral mental health professional for any evaluation or testimony you require. If you choose to involve the legal system in our work together by issuing a subpoena for my treatment records or my testimony in court, this will represent a conflict of interest for me, and I will terminate our therapeutic relationship and provide referrals to other providers. This position is based on two main reasons: 1) My statements may be seen as biased in your favor because we have a therapeutic relationship, and 2) The evaluation/testimony may affect the therapeutic relationship and that relationship must come first. This applies to clients of all ages. If I am required to appear in court or conference via telephone, the CLIENT/GUARDIAN will be REQUIRED to pay my fees listed above.
Cancellation and Missed Appointments - Since scheduling an appointment involves reserving a time specifically for you, a 24-hour advance notice is required for cancellations. If you cancel less than 24 hours before your appointment, you will be considered a NO SHOW for that visit and you will be charged the FULL FEE for that session. Once you have two NO SHOW appointments, you will be required to secure any subsequent appointments with a credit card. Subsequent NO SHOW appointments will be charged the FULL FEE for the missed session. By initialing, you agree to these terms.