The Lawyer, The Addict

A high-powered Silicon Valley attorney dies. His ex-wife
investigates, and finds a web of drug abuse in his profession.

 

In July 2015, something was very wrong with my ex-husband, Peter. His behavior over the preceding 18 months had been erratic and odd. He could be angry and threatening one minute, remorseful and generous the next. His voice mail messages and texts had become meandering soliloquies that didn’t make sense, veering from his work travails, to car repairs, to his pet mouse, Snowball.

Continue reading here…

July 20th, 2017|

Jennifer Gros Promoted to JLAP Clinical Director

We are very excited to announce that Jennifer Gros is JLAP’s new Clinical Director! She has been on JLAP’s Professional Clinical Team as a full-time Clinical Case Manager since 2014. Jennifer is a Louisiana native, born and raised in Baton Rouge. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Louisiana State University in 2004. Thereafter she attended the University of North Texas where she was accepted into the National Scholars Honor Society and graduated Cum Laude with a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling in 2007. Jennifer is a Master Addiction Counselor and a Licensed Professional Counselor in Louisiana.

Prior to her tenure at JLAP, Jennifer’s broad professional experience includes having practiced in both outpatient and inpatient mental health settings, providing group therapy and psychosocial assessments to patients with chronic mental illnesses. She has also served as the Clinical Director for a Residential Treatment Facility for substance use disorders.

In 2012 Jennifer was honored by the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse for the Greater New Orleans area and received its “Excellence in Treatment” Award.

Since 2014, Jennifer has been providing outstanding clinical assistance and support to JLAP’s clients in all categories including totally confidential cases, cases referred to JLAP by the Louisiana Supreme Court’s Committee on Bar Admissions (COBA), and cases involving disciplinary matters referred to JLAP by the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel (ODC).

Please join us in congratulating Jennifer on her new role at JLAP!

May 16th, 2017|

National Workshop for State LAPs and JLAPs

On May 5-7th 2017 LAP Directors from across the country and Canada came together in Atlanta, GA, for the first ever Independent Annual Retreat for LAP Directors and Assistant Directors. The event was organized by the Louisiana, Colorado, Delaware, Montana, New Jersey, Mississippi and Montana programs

Attendance was limited to LAP Directors and Assistant Directors only, and this one-and-one-half day seminar was a closed, confidential forum for LAPs’ Staff to discuss internal operating challenges and share experiences on how to address them. LAP Directors came to Atlanta from as far away as Vancouver BC and even the Hawaiian Islands.

Several presentations were made, including Louisiana’s presentation wherein the Michigan and Louisiana Directors made a presentation on Louisiana’s JLAP Performance Audit and answered questions about the Audit. The attendees were very grateful that the Louisiana Audit was available to them. Many other presentations and topics were covered by various State LAPs over the course of the weekend and it was a great success. LAP Directors are already committed repeating the seminar next year.

May 16th, 2017|

JLAP is an exhibitor at the New Orleans Bar Association’s 2017 Bench Bar Conference in Point Clear, Alabama

Buddy Stockwell greets attendees at the New Orleans Bar Association’s 2017 Bench Bar Conference at The Grand Hotel in Point Clear, Alabama.

March 31st, 2017|

JLAP Performance Audit

Louisiana’s JLAP has successfully completed one of the most arduous and comprehensive performance audits ever performed of a professionals’ program. The audit has deemed JLAP a top-tier program.

You can read the full story and see the JLAP Performance Audit and JLAP’s Response to the Audit here:

JLAP Performance Audit

March 28th, 2017|

JLAP’s Annual Report FYE 2015-16

The Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, Inc. (JLAP) has published its Annual Report for fiscal year 2015-2016. You can review the entire report here: JLAP Annual Report 2015-2016

The most exciting achievement in the last year is that the majority of JLAP cases in 2015-16 involved persons reaching out to JLAP voluntarily and confidentially. In many cases they obtained completely discrete help from JLAP before there was any harm to their career, the profession, or the public. This reflects JLAP’s recent campaigns to raise awareness about JLAP’s totally confidential help.

As to program improvements, the new JLAP now offers a wide array of mental health assistance and is now a comprehensive professionals’ program that offers help with all types of mental health issues, not just alcohol and drug issues.

Achievements include:

1) Restructuring JLAP’s governance;

2) Amending La. R.S. 37:221 to include judges programing and also expand JLAP’s clinical scope to include all mental health issues;

3) Recruiting and developing a full-time Professional Clinical Staff;

4) The development of Professional Intervention Services;

5) A new JLAP Diversion Track available to judges involved in disciplinary matters;

6) The creation of a comprehensive JLAP website;

7) A new JLAP Exhibit and Mediation Training classes at the LSBA’s Summer School;

8) New law school outreach services including wellness presentations and “JLAP Office Hours” wherein a JLAP Clinician periodically travels to law schools and offers free, confidential mental health services onsite to law students thereby greatly increasing their access to mental health support;

9) Expansion of CLE presentation topics to provide education on mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and perfectionism, and compassion fatigue;

10) New protocol for assisting those who contact JLAP confidentially about a mental health issues;

11) In-house library of available professionals’-level publications that address various mental health issues that lawyers and judges predominantly face, with these materials provided based upon the individual’s needs;

12) Improvement of JLAP’s formal monitoring services resulting in a no-relapse and fitness-to-practice efficacy rate of 90% or better.

With many challenges complete, JLAP is now offering comprehensive services that will help save more lives and careers than ever before.

And this mission has never been more important to the health of the legal profession. As discussed in the JLAP Annual Report, a recent study (included as an attachment to the Annual Report) reveals stunning levels of substance use disorders and other mental health issues such as depression in the legal profession. JLAP’s services are now more important than ever, and as the Annual Report demonstrates, JLAP is now meeting the demand to provide effective and reliable clinical support to the profession on all levels.

February 2nd, 2017|

2017 Annual JLAP Wellness CLE

Please join JLAP for the 2017 Annual Wellness CLE to be held at the Renaissance Hotel in Baton Rouge on Friday, March 24, 2017.
Check-in begins at 7:30 a.m. with a continental breakfast.
Earn up to 5.0 CLE hours including Ethics and Professionalism.

For additional information Click here.
Register here.

January 31st, 2017|

Facing Addiction in America

facing-addiction

The first-ever Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health reviews what we know about substance misuse and how you can use that knowledge to address substance misuse and related consequences.

To see the full report, click here.

December 19th, 2016|

Louisiana’s JLAP in Chicago, November 10, 2016

Louisiana JLAP’s Executive Director, Buddy Stockwell, participated in a panel presentation on Ethics at the ABA’s National Conference of the 10th Annual Labor and Employment Law Section. Hundreds of lawyers from across the country attended this conference that provided programing spanning four days.

chicagoJLAP’s Executive Director, Buddy Stockwell, participated in the “Diligence verses Perfection” presentation:

Practice and Professionalism (8:00 am – 9:15 am)

Diligence vs. Perfection:  Maintaining High Ethical Standards While Avoiding Burnout (E)

Cosponsored by ABA Center for Professional Responsibility

Sheraton III

The ethical obligation of diligence requires lawyers to pursue matters “despite opposition, obstruction or personal inconvenience” to the lawyer. Many lawyers strive for more than mere diligence – they shoot for perfection. As many of us know all too well, the quest for perfection can lead to severe anxiety and depression. Some lawyers turn to harmful behaviors such as substance abuse, while others suffer mental illnesses or suffer in silence. Many simply drop out of the profession. This panel will explore practical strategies for lawyers to fulfill their professional obligations while preserving their mental health and deriving satisfaction from the practice of law.

The presentation focused on what it takes to maintain healthy boundaries between work and play and how to choose healthy coping strategies for managing stress. Moreover, the panel provided insight as to why mental health issues in the profession have now become more prevalent, why it is becoming ever more important for the profession to reduces stigmas and address these issues head-on, and how bar admissions and the public expect our profession to ensure that our members are managing the stress and pressure of practicing so as to maintain their own mental health and thus remaining fully fit to practice and not burning out.

PANELISTS (L-R):

J.E. “Buddy” Stockwell, Judges and Lawyers Assistance Program, Inc., Mandeville, LA

William D. Frumkin, Frumkin & HunterLLP, White Plains, NY

Melvin S. Schwarzwald, SchwarzwaldMcNair & Fusco LLP, Cleveland, OH

Barbara J. D’Aquila, Norton Rose Fulbright, Minneapolis, MN

The program was well-attended and well-received. Several members of the audience courageously participated in the discussions and thus the group enjoyed being able to openly discuss some of the everyday mental health issues that come with practicing law, such as stress, anxiety and frustrations that come with being an imperfect human being working in a profession that is intensely perfectionistic by nature.

Real solutions were also explored such as better mental health and self-care habits, setting boundaries, managing client expectations, and exploring new solutions for anxiety reduction such as meditation. The audience was also invited to visit www.louisianajlap.com for self-tests and additional information on managing anxiety and burnout. JLAP also provided handouts on developing resiliency and improving one’s ability to manage the stress of practicing law.

Direct feedback after the presentation included:

“This presentation made the whole conference for me. It was the most important presentation in my view.”

“As young lawyers, this presentation was extremely valuable. We need all the support we can get when it comes to learning how to deal with the stress of becoming a lawyer, and we learned things here that we had not yet heard from anyone. Thank you!”    

Louisiana JLAP was very grateful for the opportunity to participate in such a prestigious national conference and greatly appreciates the efforts of the ABA in producing such a fabulous seminar.

November 11th, 2016|

Buffalo lawyer brings depression out of the darkness

You get to be 40 and you figure you’ve outrun your past.

A father who used booze to drown stresses endured in the Pacific during World War II, who was tough on his five kids and died at age 56, when you were just 19.

A mother who spent far too many days on the couch in front of the TV, eating to comfort her own sorrows.

Grow up in such circumstances and you learn to push through adversity, maybe go to college, get a good job, start a family.

Read more here.

November 1st, 2016|