Four Reasons to Hire a Professional/Occupational License Defense Attorney
Don't Face the Board Alone!
It's the letter that no licensed professional wants to receive: a notice from your licensing board informing you that someone has filed a formal complaint against you, and you are under investigation for misconduct. All allegations of professional malfeasance need to be taken very seriously. You need to consult with an experienced license defense attorney as soon as you are notified of a pending complaint. You should NEVER face the board alone.
Four Reasons to Hire Legal Counsel
- Your licensing board is not looking out for your best interests.
All Texas licensing boards function to serve the public. Your licensing board is not on your side, and is not looking out for you. Once a complaint has been filed against you, your licensing board is investigating you―they are not trying to defend you or protect you. That is not their job. It is up to you to take the necessary steps to defend yourself against allegations of professional misconduct or other malfeasance, which includes hiring legal representation.
- To protect your license and livelihood.
Even a single complaint filed against you with the licensing board can put you at risk of license suspension or revocation. A license suspension lasts for a defined amount of time. A license revocation may be indefinite. If your license is suspended or revoked, then you will not be authorized to perform your job.
- Defend yourself from the start of the board's investigation.
Mounting a strong defense from the beginning, with your initial response to the board's notice of complaint, helps ensure you will be able to achieve the most favorable outcome possible in your case. Do not wait until a formal hearing has been schedule with the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearing (SOAH) before hiring an attorney. You want to get in front of the investigation and be proactive throughout the process to defend yourself at every opportunity. Moreover, appealing an unfavorable ruling is far more difficult and can be costlier than properly defending allegations in the first place.
- Have an advocate by your side.
The board always has experienced Staff Attorneys advocating and working for them. And I assure you that they are extremely well prepared to prosecute cases. That is why representation from an attorney well-versed in administrative law and experienced with licensing board matters is invaluable. Some of the things your attorney will do for you include:
- Defend your legal rights. If you are adequately represented, the board will not be in a position to take advantage of you.
- Help guide you through the board's investigative process.
- Craft well-planned initial responses to the allegations pending against you.
- Design a legal defense strategy plan that is specific to the facts of your case and your personal goals.
- When appropriate, negotiate the terms of a proposed Board Order to settle the case prior to formal hearing.
- Represent you at all legal proceedings, including before the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH), if your case proceeds to a formal evidentiary hearing.
- Explain the penalties and sanctions the board could impose and what disciplinary action the board is likely to pursue based on the facts of your case.
Your professional license defense attorney can help alleviate some of the stress from facing a board complaint and investigation. Again remember, you do not have to face the board alone. - Managing Partner, Tony Bertolino