California Board of Psychology
Since 1971, we have handled State Board licensing cases throughout California.Call 619-583-0350 to schedule an appointment and/or a teleconference with our Managing Attorney, Sam Spital , an experienced and distinguished administrative law lawyer. Sam has the highest rating in California for professional licensing cases. A perfect score of 10 out of 10. Additionally, Sam has the highest number of five-star client reviews and endorsements from lawyers all over the United States.
Sample Recent Case: Lawyers cannot use past performance to predict future results
Board of Psychology vs. J. J.
What Types of Complaints Does the Board of Psychology Investigate or Prosecute?
- Sexual contact by a Psychologist with a patient
- A Psychologist’s violation of the patient’s confidentiality
- Providing services for which the Psychologist has not been trained or licensed
- Drug abuse of various types by a Psychologist
- Fraud or Deceit and other crimes against a Psychologist
- False advertising by a Psychologist
- A Psychologist paying or accepting payment for patient referral
- Unprofessional, unethical or negligent acts committed by a Psychologist
- Focusing therapy on the Psychologist’s &/or registrant’s own problems, rather than the patient’s
- A Psychologist who serves in multiple roles, i.e., having social relationships with patients, lending them money, employing them, etc.
What are the Complaints the Board of Psychology does not handle?
Generally, fee and/or billing disputes, general business policies and practices, personality conflicts, and/or those individuals licensed by other boards (for example, clinical social workers; marriage, family, and child counselors; educational psychologists; psychiatrists; or psychiatric technicians). However, these complaints usually are referred to the State Board that has jurisdiction over the individual (e.g. California Medical Board for Psychiatrists).
What if my Complaint involves a Minor Violation?
Some complaints may be deemed minor and, therefore, may be handled by the Board of Psychology seeking to mediate a resolution between the complainant and the Psychologist &/or registrant; they may issue a letter of reprimand/warning (private or public reproval); and/or set up a conference between the Psychologist &/or registrant and an expert case reviewer and/or Board staff. As defense counsel for Psychologists in California, we recommend all Psychologists not to attend any “conference,” “meeting” or “interview” without experienced and qualified legal representation. Any attorney can represent a licensed professional, but you should protect your license and career by selecting a highly experienced and distinguished California professional license defense attorney. Don’t settle for any lawyer who has handled a few license cases when you can obtain an outstanding attorney, Sam Spital, who has handled these cases as a Deputy Attorney General in 1971, and since 1978 on the defense side!. Call us for your winning defense…. from anywhere statewide in California .
How are Serious Violations handled?
If the complaint involves a serious violation (for example, allegation of sexual abuse, gross negligence or incompetence), it will be immediately referred to an investigator. If you are contacted during this process, you need to retain legal counsel to assist you. While a licensee might be willing to discuss the details of the complaint and wish to provide a “rebuttal,” this is not an opportunity to present your version of the facts and be confident the matter will be closed without further action. The Board of Psychology submits cases to the Office of Attorney General, California Department of Justice, and a Deputy Attorney General (DAG) will be assigned the matter for the filing of a formal action entitled an Accusation against the psychologist’s license; this almost universally occurs when the investigator has concluded there is a basis for disciplinary action.
Tough & Determined California License Defense Lawyers
Winning Record California Defense of Psychologist’s Attorneys
Our goals are simple:
- Superior Ethics : We always conduct our license defense practice honorably and ethically. We will not engage in any Board of Psychology, civil or criminal case that compromises our work or our integrity or are at the expense of our clients. We don’t short cut and advise our client to make any admissions and/or acknowledge any responsibility unless and until we have aggressively analyzed the State Board, civil or criminal case as well as evaluate possible defense strategies.
- Service Excellence & Powerful Defense Strategies : We deliver superior service, superior client relations and competent results for our Board of Psychology defense clients. The key to our success is teamwork, powerful, relentless and superior advocacy skills . As your personal administrative law defense attorney, our role is to “find the errors and mistakes” of law enforcement and/or the state board case. We also are proactive, not only taking the defensive but offensive stance for clients charged with any act of unprofessional conduct, civil misdeed or wrongdoing &/or felony or misdemeanor crime. We analyze every single aspect of a case: the law, the defenses, the procedures, the witnesses, and the facts.
- We are the law firm to rely on : We continue to earn the Highest Rated Professional State Board License Defense report card to be your most desirable law firm. As our client, we will provide the highest integrity, honesty and moral character. We don’t assume we are going to win as other lawyers often do. We don’t take things for granted. Best of all, we consistently win licensing cases statewide for our clients .
When you retain our law firm as your personal California State Board of Psychology Defense Lawyers , you can trust that we fully understand the laws and can develop a strong and effective License Defense strategy, no matter how small it may be to the most complex and egregious administrative law case, we take our clients seriously. We care about you and will take into consideration your present concerns, reputation and future status. We get it !
Often, our clients feel as if they should suffer the consequences, incur the sentence and pay the penalties because they engaged in wrongdoing. However, you should not be defined by an isolated misdeed or even a series of bad decisions . Protect your career and good name. Call our experienced Board of Psychology Defense Lawyers.
We raise Constitutional Guarantees at all stages of your case.
We not only want to win your Board of Psychology case, we want the state to be held accountable . Our license defense attorneys believe our clients should have the best administrative law defense to prevent the government from over-reaching in all license cases. Aside from the multiple licensing defense strategies we develop for each client, we want to be sure that illegally obtained evidence cannot be introduced. We also want to safeguard you from violations of procedural and Constitutional guarantees.
As your Skilled and Dedicated California State Board of Psychology Defense Attorneys, here is how we will help by employing Powerful Strategies and asserting your:
- Right to Effective and Successful Legal Counsel
- Right to Remain Silent
- Right to Speedy Trial (Administrative Hearing)
- Right to imaginative use of Administrative Law Discovery Rules & Procedure
- Right to Subpoena and Compel Witnesses to Testify
- Right to use cost-effective and distinguished Expert Testimony
- Right to aggressively Cross Examine and Confront the Prosecution’s Witnesses
- Right to challenge the introduction and use of all evidence
- Right to the use of a powerful Trial Brief
- Right to assert all Constitutional defenses
- Right to employ Demonstrative Evidence
- Right of Presumed Innocence
- Right to Testify on Own Behalf
- Right to assert Creative Options as your “master” of persuasion
- Right to negotiate Lesser Penalties and Reduced Terms and Conditions
- Right to Appeal adverse rulings, appealable errors and improper Decisions
DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS BY THE BOARD OF PSYCHOLOGY
Investigation closed – minor violation : These are complaints where it has been determined there is no patient harm and there is a minor violation of the Psychology laws, but the Board has determined no disciplinary action should be filed.
- Investigation closed – no violation : These are complaints where it has been determined through formal or informal investigations that the allegations in the complaints present no violations of law. For example, there is insufficient evidence to prove a violation in an administrative hearing. Such investigations are closed without administrative action, are not published on the Board web site and, therefore, remain confidential from the general public.
- Case closed – mediation : These are complaints in which the Board staff resolve issues between a consumer and the Psychologist, and are mediated at the complaint level. For example, billing misunderstandings, request for records misunderstandings, etc As these types of cases do not present a clear violation of law, subsequent to successful or unsuccessful mediation, they are closed without administrative action, are not published on the Board web site and, therefore, remain confidential from the general public.
- Case closed – letter of warning : Complaints resulting from minor infractions by the Psychologist that involve no harm to the public are resolved by a letter of warning. This letter outlines the allegations, the law, and warns the Psychologist if the situation is true and repeated, formal disciplinary action will be filed. For example, an advertisement in which the Psychologist does not include his/her license number. These cases are closed without administrative action, are not published on the Board web site and, therefore, remain confidential from the general public.
- Educational Review Optional Term of Probation #13: After formal investigation and expert review, possible violations of law related to a consumer complaint confirm that departures from the standard of care occurred. The Board of Psychology has determined they will not refer the case to the Attorney General to file an Accusation. This is due to evidentiary problems &/or other deficiencies, such as a case in which the state expert did not find a clear departure from the standard of care, but there are serious concerns. Here, the psychologist may voluntarily participate in an “educational review,” which is a face-to-face dialogue involving the issues of concern. These cases are closed without administrative action, are not published on the Board web site and, therefore, remain confidential from the general public. Board Of Psychology Disciplinary Guidelines
- Citation and Fine : The Board may issue a citation and fine in what they deem less egregious violations such as false advertising. Fines range from $100 to $2,500 per violation depending on the number and severity of violations (and the number of similar and previous violations). Orders of Abatement are included in all citation and fine cases and specifically require the cessation of certain activities or behaviors. An Order of Abatement may be used to follow a warning letter if the individual fails to heed the warning. Citations and fines are public information but are not considered to be disciplinary actions.
- Public reprimand : After the Board files an Accusation in which the alleged violation is relatively minor and no patient harm has occurred, a public reprimand can be issued; this includes a summary of the allegations, the impropriety of those acts, any courses the psychologist must take, the cost recovery sought by the Board and may include any other term or condition in the Board’s Disciplinary Guidelines. The letter of reprimand is considered a disciplinary action, is published on the Board’s web site and, therefore, is available to the general public.
- Stipulation : After the Board files an Accusation with alleged minor violations and the psychologist has no previous disciplinary record, no patient harm has occurred and remedial action can satisfactorily close the case, the Board may enter into a stipulation. For example, a psychologist uses an inappropriate billing code and an insurance company reports this to the Board demanding restitution. The Board may require the psychologist take and pass an insurance billing code educational course and to have a billing monitor for his/her practice for a specific period. Then, the Board will withdraw the Accusation after these conditions have been met. These stipulations are deemed disciplinary actions; the Accusation, written stipulation and the Withdrawal of Accusation are published on the Board’s web site.
- Probation : A published Decision to place a psychologist on probation may be obtained as a result of a stipulation or as ordered by an Administrative Law Judge subsequent to an administrative hearing. The possible terms and conditions of probation are contained in the Board’s Disciplinary Guidelines. Here, the psychologist’s license is revoked, but the revocation is stayed for a specified period. In the event a psychologist does not comply with probation, the license may be revoked. Decisions ordering probation constitute disciplinary actions and are published on the Board’s web site. Board Of Psychology Disciplinary Guidelines
- Suspension : The Board’s Disciplinary Guidelines provide the details in which a suspension may be imposed. During the suspension, a psychologist may not practice psychology or refer to him/herself as a psychologist. A suspension is a disciplinary action and is published on the Board’s web site
- Interim Suspension Order : These are cases in which the Board deems the psychologist to have previously or in the immediate future likely to engage in behavior that presents an immediate threat to the public health, safety and welfare. Then, the Board requests a hearing to immediately suspend the psychologist’s practice; if granted by an Administrative Law Judge, the psychologist must immediately cease his or her practice. The Board must file an Accusation within 15 days of the issuance of the Interim Suspension Order, and an administrative hearing must be held within 30 days. These are disciplinary actions and published on the Board’s web site.
- Stipulation to surrender License : Rather than taking a case through the administrative hearing process, a psychologist may choose to surrender his/her license. Stipulations to surrender a license may or may not contain admissions to the allegations contained in the Accusation, but the psychologist is required to admit to their truth in the event of a future petition to reinstate his/her license. The waiting period is 3 years before the psychologist can seek reinstatement. These are disciplinary actions and published on the Board’s web site.
- Revocation : This is an outright loss of a psychologist’s license generally as a result of an administrative hearing in serious cases (see Board’s Disciplinary Guidelines for examples) A psychologist must wait 3 years before seeking reinstatement of a license. These are disciplinary actions and published on the Board’s web site.
At Spital & Associates , our experienced State Board of Psychology Defense Lawyers know the law and we encourage you to contact us for more details. Ask for Sam Spital, a former Deputy Attorney General.
For a FREE Attorney Consultation, call now 619.583.0350