Defense Against Department of Health (DOH) License Complaints
Anyone with a license can have a complaint filed against them, whether or not the complaint is founded. If the Department of Health (DOH) or Washington State Bar Association (WSBA) believes that the public welfare may be at risk, they will likely investigate the complaint. Sometimes the complaint is considered to be “founded,” and sometimes it is dismissed.
If a complaint if filed against a licensee, s/he should consult an attorney for representation before responding to the complaint. Sometimes counselors and attorneys think they don’t need to go to the trouble of representation, but that can be a mistake. Just as a doctor shouldn’t operate on him/herself, a counselor or attorney should generally not represent him/herself in such situations. As Abraham Lincoln said, “Anyone who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.”
I work with licensees anywhere throughout the State. I have worked with counselors, nurses, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, and doctors. If you have a Board complaint against you, call me so I can help you figure out next steps!
My goal is to help you stay safe as you help your clients get better. Whether you are a Psychologist, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW), Licensed Mental Health Counselor (LMHC), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), related Associate, or other licensee, I strive to have a working knowledge of various clinical challenges, including dual roles that you may have unintentionally formed with your clients, which can place you at risk for DOH complaints.
As an educator, I have been able to translate complicated legal concepts into “plain English” so that licensees can make educated and informed decisions to limit legal risk. I help my clients understand how to anticipate what might be a legal issue, so that you can address ethical questions well before they turn into ethical dilemmas. With my help, my clients are able to get ahead of potential problems, rather than to have to “clean up” something that could have been easily avoided with a little knowledge on the front end. When my clients come to me with DOH complaints filed against them, I aim to help them face the complaint with dignity and to respond with clarity in order to receive the best result possible.
I am told that what makes me different from other attorneys is that my dual-degreed training and experience in both law (JD) and social work (MSW) give me the ability to understand the ethical and legal issues that can affect counselors of all disciplines.
Testimonials for DOH Complaint
Please note that testimonials found on this website are actual client commentary. While I appreciate my clients and their willingness to share their experiences, it is important to keep in mind that the success of any legal matter depends on the particular facts of each case, and I cannot guarantee particular or even similar results for future clients based on results I achieved in past legal matters. Thus, these testimonials or endorsements do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.
Client, PsyD (Bellevue)
“Frances Schopick helped me tell the truth in answer to a dishonest ethical complaint. In working with her, I saw an expert level of skill in presenting a case to the ethics board in my field, because it’s more than a matter of honesty. It’s a manner of communicating and substantiating events in such a way that they can cut through the falsehoods with persuasive power that would be difficult for ethics board members to ignore—a difficult task when it’s your word against an accuser’s. Along the way, Ms. Schopick was respectful, responsive and approached her work with me in good faith. Collaboratively, we produced a forceful and fair response to the allegations, and I felt proud of my work rather than ashamed because someone filed an ethics complaint against me. Not only was she expert in guiding me through the process—it was clear to me that she was personally invested in the just outcome of the claim. Her attitude and expertise were a profound support during the hardest time of my professional career.”
Client, PhD (Tumwater)
“I’m a licensed psychologist in Washington State and had a complaint from the licensing board. Thanks to Ms Schopick”s very diligent and brilliant work the case was dismissed. Without her efforts I could have lost my license to practice.”
Client, LMHC (Tenino)
“Frances Schopick was an invaluable asset when I had to deal with an unreasonable board complaint. Her expertise included both the mental health world, as a clinician, and legal issues as a lawyer. In both capacities, she was immensely helpful in legally defending my clinical opinions and stance in a very difficult state board complaint. She was a great support in bridging the huge gap between the legal and counseling worlds. In addition she helped me maintain my own mental health at a very stressful time. Couldn’t have done it without Frances!”
Client, LMHCA (Olalla)
“Throughout my experience with Frances Schopick as my attorney, I’ve had the utmost trust and regard for the services she has provided. She guided me through every step of my legal responsibilities as they applied to my case. From the first contact on, she was candid in conversation and provided legal guidance and insight in language that is understandable.”
Client, MA, LMHCA, CDP
“Fran has been exceptionally thorough in interviews with me and gathering information related to my case, whether conducted by phone or in person. Ms. Schopick’s broad knowledge and expertise regarding law and ethics related to my profession provided me with hope and a sense of security as it related to my case. She was timely in all her responses to my questions and inquiries as they arose. Her openness and honesty was reassuring and supportive. And, above all, throughout the whole of my experience, I have felt listened to, heard, and understood.”