Do I Need an Expert Witness in My Professional License Defense

As a licensed professional, you can face disciplinary action by your licensing board or agency based on numerous grounds. Some of these grounds may relate to the technical aspects of your practice that an expert can best judge. In those cases, you may need an expert witness to testify on your behalf in your disciplinary proceedings. If you are facing disciplinary proceedings before your professional licensing board or agency, you should not hesitate to contact a licensing board defense lawyer for advice and counsel. We can help determine whether an expert witness is necessary in your case and what other strategies are best calculated to defend you from adverse action against your license. 

Cases that May Necessitate Expert Witnesses 

Whether you need an expert witness in your professional license defense case depends entirely on the nature of the allegations against you. In some cases, the testimony of an expert witness may be necessary to help disprove allegations against you. 

Deficiencies in Patient Care / Medical Malpractice

One common case that might necessitate an expert witness involves a doctor, nurse, physician assistant, or any healthcare professional whose licensing board alleges a lack of patient care, neglect, medical errors, or similar deficiencies. Suppose your defense is that your behavior did not violate any rules or laws that govern your profession. In that case, it may be helpful to have a professional in your field testify that your actions were reasonable and in line with the accepted standard of care. 

Violations of Standards of Care for the Profession 

Another area in which expert witness testimony may be useful is those disciplinary cases in which the licensing board or agency has accused the professional of actions that fall below the standard of care for that profession. Particularly when it comes to a technical profession, such as an architect or an engineer accused of violating the standard of care, an expert witness in the field may be useful in providing evidence about whether the professional’s action breached the standard of care for the profession. 

Violations of Ethical Rules by Attorneys

Likewise, an expert witness may be helpful if you are a lawyer facing disciplinary charges for an alleged ethical violation, such as a breach of client confidentiality. For example, another lawyer or a law professor specializing in ethics could testify that your actions fell within a reasonable interpretation of the rule at issue or that you acted reasonably under the circumstances. 

Allegations of Healthcare Fraud

Another example in which an expert witness might be valuable is if you are a doctor or healthcare professional alleged to have committed healthcare fraud. A forensic accountant or billing expert could be invaluable as an expert in disproving allegations of inconsistent or fraudulent billing. 

Conviction for a Criminal Offense

Depending on the circumstances, a professional facing disciplinary action due to a criminal conviction may or may not benefit from expert testimony. If the criminal conviction involved drugs due to the professional’s addiction, having an expert witness testify about the professional’s completion of rehabilitation and addiction counseling and services could provide mitigation in their disciplinary proceedings. Even so, an expert witness may not be useful if the conviction is for theft.

Cases that May NOT Necessitate Expert Witnesses

On the other hand, in other cases, an expert witness is likely unnecessary. For example, if the alleged misconduct has nothing to do with professional technical skills unique to your career, then expert witness testimony may be completely irrelevant. 

Failure to Complete Continuing Education Requirements 

Many professionals can face disciplinary action for failure to complete mandatory education hours or credits. These cases only involve evidence about whether the professional completed the required number and type of hours. An expert is unnecessary to prove or disprove these allegations. 

Obtaining or Submitting Fraudulent Diplomas or Education Credentials

If you submitted a fake or fraudulent diploma or education credentials to your licensing board, an expert witness is not likely to be helpful to your case. There is likely no expert testimony that would be useful in defending this type of case. 

Inappropriate Relationships Between Professionals and Those They Serve

Many professions are governed by extensive ethical rules and laws about personal and intimate relationships between professionals and their clients, patients, and students. Suppose a professional violates one of these rules or laws due to an inappropriate relationship. In that case, the licensing agency will present evidence of the relationship, which the professional will admit or deny. In this case, there is no need for expert testimony.

Standing Up for Your Rights, Defending Your License

Facing an investigation and potential disciplinary proceedings before your professional licensing board can be difficult and stressful, especially if you are unsure what to expect. In addition, you may fear the consequences of those proceedings on your career and your future. Together, we can work to resolve your disciplinary investigation in the most positive manner possible. Get legal assistance from an experienced Texas licensing board defense attorney today. Contact Bertolino LLP at (512) 515-9518 or visit us online.

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