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Five Common Mistakes Professionals Make When Facing Licensing Issues

| April 29, 2022

Whether you are a doctor, a lawyer, or some other professional, you need to be licensed by the state of Maryland in order to practice. In other words, a denial of your application or a disciplinary complaint means that you will be unable to work in your profession. Unfortunately, many professionals make mistakes that can put their livelihoods at risk. Whether you are applying for or renewing your license or facing a complaint, a Maryland employment attorney can help you overcome the challenges you may face. 

1. Failures to Disclose

If you are seeking to obtain or renew a professional license in the state of Maryland, you need to candidly answer all questions in the application. Depending on the application, this may require you to disclose the following: 

  • Prior criminal charges or convictions
  • Any unsatisfied debts  
  • Any civil judgments or pending legal actions
  • Any prior disciplinary actions from other jurisdictions

In some cases, this may require you to disclose even minor infractions such as traffic violations or parking tickets. You may need to provide a credit report. When it comes to applying for a professional license, it is always better to err on the side of caution – it is often the case that the failure to disclose is more problematic than the underlying issue. If you have questions regarding whether or not something should be disclosed, a Maryland employment attorney can provide the guidance you need.  

2. Failing to Notify Your Malpractice Carrier

Every malpractice insurance carrier requires that you promptly notify them of even potential claims. If you fail to do so, they could deny coverage, meaning that you would have to cover the cost of your defense. These costs could be substantial if you have to engage counsel, file an appeal, or take part in an extensive investigation. As a result, you should contact your malpractice insurance carrier immediately upon receiving the complaint, even if you believe the complaint lacks merit or are worried about increased premiums. 

That said, you should also be aware that your carrier may not necessarily be on your side. The insurance company may look to settle the claim as quickly as possible in order to reduce its costs. They may try to persuade you that settlement is the best course of action, even if you have to admit to wrongdoing that you do not want to admit. A Maryland employment attorney with experience in professional disciplinary matters can help you navigate the claim process and protect your best interests. 

3. Failing to Notify Your Employer

For professionals who work in a larger practice, you should immediately inform your employer if you have received a complaint concerning your license. Even though the complaint may involve only you, failing to inform your employer could result in immediate termination regardless of the final outcome. 

4. Failing to Take Immediate Action

This may seem obvious, but you need to act immediately if you have been notified that someone has filed a complaint against you with your licensing board. Disciplinary actions are extremely time-sensitive and failing to respond in a timely manner will create additional difficulties in your case, even if the complaint is without merit. That said, most professionals are extremely busy people. Many professionals fall into the trap of prioritizing their business with every intention of dealing with the complaint and then finding that they are running out of time. Most complaints will require some investigation followed by a formal response that is accurate and thorough. If you are worried that you may not have the time or ability to respond to the complaint, a Maryland employment attorney can provide the assistance you need. 

5. Attempting to Persuade the Complainant to Withdraw the Complaint

Many of the complaints that get filed are not based on some alleged or perceived ethical misconduct – instead, they are filed by a client who believes that they received poor service. If this is the case with your complaint, you may be tempted to contact the client and attempt to resolve the matter with them directly. Unfortunately, this is a grave mistake that can make the matter worse instead of better. 

Once the complaint has been filed, it is now a matter between you and your licensing board. As a result, do not make any attempt to contact the complainant either directly or indirectly. The board will handle all communications with the complainant, including whether the complaint is not actionable. A Maryland employment attorney can assist you with responding to the complaint to demonstrate that it is without merit. 

Are You Facing Professional Licensing Issues? Contact Maryland Employment Attorney J.W. Stafford Today

The biggest mistake that professionals make when facing a licensing issue is not getting the help they need. Maryland employment attorney J.W. Stafford helps professionals across the state of Maryland address these obstacles and obtain a fair outcome. To discuss your case and how we can help, contact us today at 410-514-6099.