What a Professional License Defense Lawyer Can Do for You

January 17, 2023
The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford

Whether you are a nurse, a realtor, or some other licensed professional, an ethics complaint can potentially jeopardize your career. And in the event that a complaint is filed against you, it is vital to remember that your licensing board is not on your side. Fortunately, you can get help – a professional license defense lawyer can protect your rights and fight for a fair outcome at every step in the process. 

Provide Guidance on Ethical Questions and Potential Licensing Issues

It’s easy to find yourself in a situation where you don’t know what to do. On the one hand, you may have an obligation to serve your client or patient, but you may be worried about competing ethical obligations or other concerns that could affect your license. A professional license defense lawyer can provide confidential guidance to help you navigate these issues and avoid potential pitfalls, thus avoiding the anxiety and expense of facing a disciplinary proceeding. 

Investigate Potential Ethical Breaches

For professionals in larger practices, it is possible for an ethical violation to be committed by a colleague or staff member in your practice. In these situations, it is important to be proactive and get out in front of the violation in order to limit the exposure to yourself and your practice as a whole. An experienced professional license defense lawyer can help you by investigating the facts surrounding what happened and assessing the damage to any client’s or patient’s interests. 

Evaluate Complaints

It is an unfortunate reality that many licensed professionals will face ethical complaints at some point in their careers. Many of these complaints are without merit – the patient or client is upset or frustrated about something and lashes out by filing a complaint with your licensing board. And while you may know that the complaint is frivolous, it will still trigger an investigation. That said, many licensed professionals mistakenly assume that the complaint is without merit or that it won’t go anywhere, and they only realize their mistake once it’s too late. A knowledgeable professional license defense lawyer can evaluate any complaint filed against you and determine whether it poses any potential risk to you or your practice. They can also monitor the status of the complaint and keep you apprised of any developments so that you can focus on your practice. In the event that the complaint does pose some risk, they can advise you as to what you can expect and how to prepare.  

Assist in Investigations

Even if the complaint is without merit, the investigation that follows can be incredibly time-consuming. Furthermore, failing to produce documents or otherwise respond appropriately can make a bad situation worse. Alternatively, the investigation may be overly broad, requiring you to release documents and other information you do not need to. A professional license defense lawyer can handle the heavy lifting involved in the investigation ensuring your compliance without exposing you to additional liability. 

Explain Your Options

An experienced professional license defense lawyer can also help you understand your options. While the answer is almost always to fight the complaint if you did not commit a violation, the situation becomes more complicated if a violation did occur. They can explain the potential outcomes and penalties you face, how the process will proceed, and what your best course of action may be. In short, they can help you make an informed decision as to how to respond to the complaint. 

Negotiate a Settlement

In some cases, settling the complaint may be the best option. In fact, your licensing board may even offer you a settlement. A professional license defense lawyer can assess the fairness of any proposed settlement and handle the negotiations on your behalf. 

Represent You at the Hearing

Most disciplinary proceedings culminate in a hearing to determine whether a violation occurred and what the appropriate penalty would be. These hearings are typically quasi-judicial proceedings, somewhat similar to a trial – the board or hearing panel will receive evidence and hear testimony from witnesses. Both sides may be represented by counsel who will make opening and closing statements. If the hearing becomes necessary, it could be the most important moment in your career. Protect yourself and ensure that you are well represented by engaging a professional license defense lawyer. 

Contact Professional License Defense Lawyer J.W. Stafford Today

At The Law Firm of J.W. Stafford, we know the challenges licensed professionals face when it comes to disciplinary proceedings. We help our clients at every stage of the process and even help them avoid potential licensing issues. To discuss your needs and how we can help, contact us today by calling 410-514-6099 to schedule an appointment.