LCL Terms of Service

INFORMATION FOR NEW CLIENTS OF LAWYERS CONCERNED FOR LAWYERS. INC.

Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers, Inc., funded by a portion of the annual bar registration fee, is an independent, private, non-profit corporation, whose purpose is to help attorneys, law students, judges, family members and associates with a variety of personal problems affecting their career functioning. LCL staff clinicians (and clinical affiliates in areas outside Boston) are not attorneys, but licensed mental health/addiction professionals.

We provide the following confidential services:

  • Assessment and recommendations/referral (not ongoing treatment)
  • Support/Discussion groups
  • Peer support network
  • Educational outreach
  • Monitored probation with client consent

There is no fee for our services. We may refer you to any of a variety of resources, many of which do charge fees and/or bill health insurance coverage. Although we do not meet criteria requiring compliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), we are joining your other clinical service providers in offering, by means of this form, more detailed information on our policies and procedures in matters including privacy.

RECORDS

In keeping with professional standards, we keep clinical records of our assessments and ongoing clinical work. Via written request, you may examine and/or receive a copy of your records unless we believe that reading them would affect you adversely, in which case we could provide you with a summary or have your records sent to another mental health provider of your choice or your attorney. Since untrained people may misinterpret clinical language, it is best to initially review records with your LCL clinician or a clinician of your choice. You may submit any of the following kinds of requests: amendment to your record; restriction on what information is disclosed; accounting of information disclosed without consent/authorization; determination of destinations to which information has been sent; notation in records of any complaints you may have about our policies or procedures; provision of a paper copy of any information forms about our privacy policies.

The information in your record may be used for purposes of follow-up contact or for reviews/studies of clinical or administrative data as part of our process of improving services or sharing our experience with other programs. Any such use of information would be presented in aggregate form with no indication of a client’s identity.

CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY

The law protects the privacy of communications between mental health professionals and their clients. In most situations, we can only release information about your treatment to others if you sign a written (revocable) authorization form that meets certain criteria. LCL’s support groups allow participants to share their experiences with confidence that other participants are required by the Rules of Professional Conduct to keep them confidential, and that Rule 8.3 (the mandatory reporting requirement) does not require them to report misconduct disclosed in an LCL support group meeting. There are other situations that require only that you provide written, advance consent. Your signature of having read and agreed to this statement provides consent for those activities as follows:

    • Occasional case consultations with other health professionals (in general, there will be no reason for LCL to reveal your identity). We may share clinical information with other LCL staff (clinicians, director, office manager, LOMAP). In both cases, those with whom we may share information are equally bound to keep it confidential.
    • Disclosures necessary for making clinical referrals.
    • If you choose to include others in sessions here (e.g., family members or associates), the confidentiality becomes modified accordingly.
    • Disclosures required to collect overdue fees. Since LCL charges no fees, this would apply only to failure to repay amounts borrowed from our Endowment Fund (usually to assist in payment of clinical expenses).
    • We may use information in your record to contact you (e.g., for follow-up, or to offer further services, unless you have indicated that you want no contact), or for purposes of program evaluation or other study of clinical or administrative data (from which any reports would not disclose a client’s identity).

There are situations that can require or permit disclosure without your consent or authorization:

  • If you are involved in a court proceeding and a request is made for clinical information, such information is protected by clinician-client privilege. We cannot provide any information without your (or your legal representative’s) written authorization, or a court order. (This privilege may not apply if you are being evaluated for a third party or where the evaluation is court-ordered.) If you are considering or involved in litigation, you should consult with your attorney as to whether a court would likely order us to disclose information.
  • We are told that any clinical agency may be required to provide information to a government agency (e.g., HHS) for health oversight purposes.
  • If a client files a complaint or lawsuit against LCL or its staff, we may disclose relevant information regarding that client for purposes of defense.
  • We may need to provide information to the Department of Social Services, the Department of Elder Affairs, or the Disabled Persons Protection Commission if we become aware that a child (under 18), elderly person, or disabled person is suffering from serious physical or emotional injury resulting from abuse.
  • If a client communicates an immediate threat of serious physical harm to an identifiable victim, or appears to have the intent/history/ability to harm such a person, we may be required to take protective actions, which may include notifying the potential victim, contacting the police, and/or seeking to arrange hospitalization for the client.
  • If a client threatens self-harm, we may have to seek hospitalization for him or her and/or contact family members or others who can help provide protection.
    If such a situation were to arise, we would, if possible, discuss it with you before taking action, and would not disclose any more information than necessary.
    While we have attempted here to offer a (non-exhaustive) summary of exceptions to confidentiality, the relevant laws can be complex, and our staff members are not attorneys. For further consumer information on health care privacy, a useful web site is: www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/. Active LCL clients will be informed of any changes we may make in our policies.

COMPLAINTS

If you think that we may have violated your privacy rights or have other complaints, we encourage you to write to the Executive Director, LCL, 31 Milk Street, Boston, MA 02109. Beyond that, you may also lodge any complaints with the LCL President (name and address of current president can be obtained from LCL).

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