About Me

Representative Work

Menendez v. Superior Court (1992) 3 Cal. 4th 435.  The California  Supreme Court adopted positions on confidentiality and privilege put  forward in an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the California  Psychiatric Association.

California Association of Psychology Providers v. Rank (1990) 51 Cal.3d 1.   Represented the California Psychiatric Association in proceedings to  implement the California Supreme Court's opinion concerning medical  staff issues. 

Regents v. Rosen (2018) 240 Cal.App.4th 1296. Court of Appeal adopts position taken in amici curiae brief filed on behalf of California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, American Psychiatric Association and California Psychiatric Association and rules in favor of immunity for treating psychotherapist from suit for injuries caused by a patient.  California Supreme Court subsequently overturns the Court of Appeal decision, except the ruling in favor of the psychotherapist.

Rea v. Blue Shield of California (2014) 226 Cal.App.4th 1209.   Represented Hon. Helen M. Thomson, author of California Mental Health  Parity Act, and the California Psychiatric Association as amici curiae in successful appeal to uphold mental health parity.

Ford v. Norton (2001) 89 Cal. App. 4th 974.  The Court of Appeal adopted positions propounded in an amicus curiae brief regarding  immunity from malpractice claims for early release of patient from an  involuntary hold.

In re Family Health Services, Inc. (9th Cir. B.A.P. 1991) 130 B.R. 314.  Represented an HMO that successfully reorganized in a bankruptcy proceeding.

California Psychiatric Association v. Gausewitz (March 14, 2006, Sacramento County Superior Court Case No. 5 CS 655).   Judgment against the State of California on successful petition for a writ of mandate invalidating underground regulations concerning hospital  care of the mentally ill.

Walker v. California (2007, U.S. District Court, Central District of California).  Intervened on behalf of California Psychiatric Association in civil rights lawsuit and defeated plaintiff's claim for prescribing privileges for psychologists.

Great American Bank.  Represented multi-billion dollar bank  in the defense of class actions and shareholder derivative suits.  Successful litigation on behalf of the bank to obtain directors’ and officers’ liability insurance coverage.

In re Comark.  Successful prosecution of involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy of failed government securities broker dealer.

Serves as General Counsel to Southern California Psychiatric Society and advises other non-profit  medical professional societies and associations.

General Counsel to the California Psychiatric Association (1990-2019).

Outside counsel to the University of California on mental health law (2007-2010). 


Professional Affiliations


Of Counsel, Schiff and Bernstein, 2008-2019. 

Saint Barnabas Senior Center Of Los Angeles, member of the board of directors, 2007 - 2014. 

USC Medical School, UCLA Medical School and California Psychiatric Association, frequent volunteer lecturer, 1990 – present. 

Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District Hearing Board, Former Member, 1999-2000 and Vice Chairperson, 2000-2002. 

Federal Bar Association Delegation to the State Bar Convention, Member, 1995. 

Constitutional Rights Foundation, Director, 1981-1994, and Vice-President, 1983-1989. 

Los Angeles County Bar Association Delegation to the State Bar Convention, Member, 1975-1977. 

American Bar Association 

American Health Lawyers Association 

California Society for Healthcare Attorneys

- California Academy of Attorneys for Health Care Professionals (President 2018) 


Representative Presentations


 -"Legal Issues For Early Career Psychiatrists", presentation to UCLA psychiatry residents, January, 2020, presentation to UCLA forensic psychiatry fellows, April, 2019, and presentation to USC forensic psychiatry fellows, March, 2019. 

 -"The Erosion of Psychotherapist Patient Confidentiality", Southern California Chapter of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, June 22, 2019.

-"The Importance And The Impact Of The Psychotherapist-Patient Privilege In Child Custody Disputes," Southern California Chapter of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, May 17, 2014 

 -"What To Do When The Board Of Pharmacy Calls," 2013 Seminar of  California Society Of Health-System Pharmacists, Anaheim, CA, November 2, 2013.

 -"The Clash Between Best Interests And Parental Treatment  Confidentiality," co-presenter, 50th Anniversary Conference of  Association Of Family And Conciliation Courts, Los Angeles, CA , May 31,  2013.
“Important Legal Developments In The Last Year”  Annual Meeting of California Psychiatric Association, 2005 - 2013 Annual Meetings of the California  Psychiatric Association. 

"Student  Mental Health Concerns," National Association of College And University  Attorneys, NACUA 2009 Annual Conference, Toronto, Canada, June 26,  2009. 

"Finding The Will:  A Panel On Professional Wills," New Center For Psychoanalysis, Los Angeles, California, March 28, 2009. 

"Significant  Legal Developments Concerning Psychiatry in 2008," Southern California  Chapter of American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, Los Angeles,  California, January 24, 2009. 

"Sharing  Mental Health Information Within The University," University Of  California Academic Advising Conference, Monterey, California, May 1,  2008. 

“Legal-Ease for Mediators - Health Care,” Southern California Mediation Association, January 20, 2007 and February 2, 2008. 

“HIPAA  Privacy Rules and Tarasoff Warnings,” Southern California Chapter of  the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law, January 27, 2007. 

“Legal Issues in Psychiatric Care,” Pacific Hospital, Long Beach, CA, December 8, 2006. 

“Significant  Legal Developments Concerning Psychiatry” Grand Rounds, Department of  Psychiatry, Sepulveda VA Medical Center, October 7, 2006. 

“Derailing Litigation by Physicians against Hospitals and Medical Groups” Southern California  Association for Risk Management, January 17, 2006. 

“The  Duty to Warn:  Are There Limits To Tarasoff” Department of Psychiatry,  Grand Rounds, Sepulveda VA Medical Center, November 17, 2004. 

“Physicians  Impaired By Substance Abuse And The Law - Confidentiality Of Treatment  And The Medical Board of California” Annual Meeting of the American  Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Annual Meeting, Scottsdale, Arizona,  October 24, 2004. 

“Legal  Issues Concerning Pain Management and End of Life Care” Annual Meeting  of the California Psychiatric Association, October 10, 2004. 

“Common  Risks Of Malpractice, Peer Review and Licensing Board Claims In The  Practice Of Medicine” UCLA Psychiatry Residents, February 2004. 



J.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 1973. 

Ph.D., University of Chicago, 1968. 

A.M., University of Chicago, 1966. 

A.B., University of California, Los Angeles, 1964, with highest honors



The United States Supreme Court. 

The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

The United States District Courts for the Southern, Central, Northern and Eastern Districts of California.