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Tarasoff Case

A number of states have adopted "duty to warn" or "duty to protect" laws following the landmark court case Tarasoff v. Regents of University of California (1976). In addition, there are other mandated exceptions to maintaining client confidentiality such as reporting child or elder abuse, or the reckless transmission of HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases. Most statutes protect mandatory reporters from liability claims, including those based on a breach of confidentiality. Counselors need to remain apprised of their state's statutes related to confidentiality and "duty to warn," and understand how these statutes apply to their own practice. In addition, as you review the Tarasoff case and related readings, be mindful of the issue of vicarious liability, which extends "duty to warn" liability to a counselor's supervisor.

Reference: Tarasoff v. Regents of University of California, 17Cal.3d425, 131Cal.Rptr.14, 551P.2d334 (1976).

1. Give a brief description of the State of Maryland case law and statutes related to the Tarasoff decision. Then, analyze how a professional counselor would resolve "duty to warn" and/or "duty to protect" dilemmas, noting relevant ethical codes and decision-making models. Be specific, referencing specific case law and statutes.

Solution Summary

This solution discusses the issues of the duty to warn and duty to protect based on the landmark case court case Tarasoff vs. Regents of University of California.