After a licensing board, state agency, or commission notifies you of a complaint filed against you, there are three primary things you should avoid doing. Complaints and subsequent investigations can harm your reputation, and possibly lead to suspension or revocation of your license. Your livelihood and career on are on the line.
Do Not Avoid Dealing with the Complaint – Do Not Miss Deadlines, Do Not Put Off Hiring an Attorney
It is important to address the complaint head-on. If you try to ignore the complaint or miss important deadlines, you may irretrievably forfeit important legal rights.
We strongly urge you to hire an experienced professional licensing defense attorney as soon as you are notified of a board complaint filed against you. Our firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case.
Even in the initial stages of the complaint process, your attorney can advocate for you and protect your rights. The truth is, the initial responses you submit to the board are critical to the ultimate outcome of your case. It is not uncommon that we are able to get a complaint against our client dropped at this initial stage with a strategic, well-crafted initial response to the complaint allegations.
When you’re facing allegations of misconduct or other wrongdoing by a licensing or regulatory board, you need an experienced professional license defense attorney who thoroughly understands the law and the complaint process.
Do Not Alter or Destroy Records
Under no circumstances should you alter, destroy, or attempt to hide records. Your records are evidence in your case, and it is imperative that you don’t do anything to alter or destroy them.
Even if you think the records are damaging to your case, do not alter or destroy them. Doing so would make your situation worse.
Even if you believe the records will be more accurate if you alter them, do not make alterations. If after gathering all of the records requested by the licensing board, you find there are material errors or omissions in any of the original records, then we advise you to speak with your professional license defense attorney about any legal and ethical options you may have.
Perhaps you may be able to include a supplementation, amendment, or addendum, that is properly dated, made in accordance with previously established record-keeping practices, and gives a reason why the additional information is necessary to complete or correct the original record. Do not alter records or include any additional information beyond what the board requests without first consulting with your license defense attorney.
Do Not Talk to Anyone Who Isn’t Your Attorney
As a rule, you should not discuss the matter with anyone other than your attorney. Any person with whom you speak about the complaint may repeat anything you say during a conversation with them. The licensing board may even call these people to be witnesses against you. Any discussions you have about the complaint with a third party has the potential to damage your defense.
On the other hand, anything you share with your attorney is privileged and confidential. Your license defense attorney has a duty to keep all of your communications confidential. There are very few limitations on attorney-client privilege. This is why discussing your board complaint with only your attorney is the wisest course of action.
As important as it is to know what not to do, it is important to know what you should do and the immediate steps you should take as soon as you are notified of a complaint filed against you. Read out article The 3 Things You Must Do Immediately After Being Notified of a Board Complaint.
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.
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