After being notified of a complaint filed against you with your licensing board, it is important that you not do anything that will harm your defense. How you respond and every action you take matters. As soon as you are notified of a complaint, hire a license defense attorney to be your advocate, to protect your rights, and to help you navigate the complaint process.
As a follow up to our article 5 Legal Mistakes to Avoid After A Licensing Board Complaint Has Been Filed Against You (LINK, November Set 1, Blog #5), we share 5 more mistakes to avoid.
5 More Legal Mistakes to Avoid After a Licensing Board Complaint Has Been Filed Against You
Failure to respond to every allegation in the complaint.
Your written responses to the allegations should be thorough and complete. Take care to respond directly to each and every allegation in the complaint. Do not gloss over an allegation that you believe to be superfluous or baseless. Even if you believe you explained the situation in another section of your response, reiterate your stance to ensure each allegation is addressed. Do not mistakenly think that the Board will dismiss an allegation on its own.
Your initial response to the Board is your first opportunity to defend yourself―take advantage of it by delivering a thorough, thoughtful, and concise response.
Failure to respond on time.
A bigger mistake than failing to respond to every allegation made against you, is failing to respond at all. It is critical that you respond to all Board requests by the deadline given.
Failure to timely respond to a board complaint will harm your credibility. If you miss an important deadline, you may irretrievably forfeit important legal rights. Further, missing a deadline may result in sanctions or some other disciplinary action that may not have otherwise been imposed. Many Texas licensing boards have rules that make failure to respond to a board complaint, or failure to respond on time, a violation of the board’s rules, which can give rise to additional sanctions.
Depending on your field, your responses to the Board may require production of records and other evidence. Gathering the necessary documents and crafting thorough responses is time consuming. Begin early and hire your professional license defense attorney immediately. Preparing a proper defense takes time.
Attempting to hide, alter, or destroy evidence.
Under no circumstances should you hide, alter, or destroy evidence. And any attempt to do so will make your situation worse.
Even if you think the evidence is damaging to your case, do not hide, alter, or destroy it. Instead review the evidence with your license defense attorney. Your attorney can speak with you about any legal and ethical options available to you. Together you can explore how to best present the evidence to the Board.
Failure to maintain professional decorum.
It is never advisable to respond to a licensing board or complainant angrily. We understand that you are likely experiencing intense emotions. Perhaps you’re angry, even livid, afraid, or hurt. Your license and reputation are at stake, it is important to maintain your professional decorum and keep your emotions in check.
An aggressive or overly-emotional response will make you look bad and can ultimately be harmful to your defense. Keep your interactions with the Board factual, cooperative, and persuasive. Avoid personally attacking or blaming the complainant. Show respect for your licensing board and the complaint investigation process.
Discussing the complaint with others.
Do not discuss the complaint with colleagues, the complainant, or patients or customers. Do not discuss the complaint with the licensing board informally. Only communicate with the Board as part of the official complaint process.
Only discuss the complaint with your attorney. Communications with your attorney are protected by attorney-client privilege. Conversations with other people are not protected. Colleagues and others may be subpoenaed to testify against you.
You may have a duty to inform certain people or entities of the complaint, such as your supervisor or insurance carrier. Notify all parties who must be notified, but share only the information they require.
Hire the Experienced License Defense Attorneys of BERTOLINO LLP
The attorney at BERTOLINO LLP know how to carefully research every potential case. We know where to look for evidence and how to use that information to build a successful legal strategy. We know federal and state law and we understand how each Texas state licensing board operates. Our firm is prepared to represent you at every stage of the complaint process.
We provide aggressive advocacy for our clients who are facing disciplinary action from a licensing board, agency, or commission in Texas. Our Firm has an impeccable reputation throughout the Lone Star State. Founder and Managing Partner, Tony R. Bertolino holds a 10 Superb top attorney Avvo Rating.
“I was recently asked an interesting question by a prospective client: What distinguishes your law firm from other law firms? And I got to thinking about it and it seems to me there are three things, three distinguishing qualities that I’ve recognized since I’ve begun my own practice. First is the compassion. Secondly is the attentiveness. And thirdly is the aggressiveness.”
– Tony R. Bertolino, Founding Attorney
We offer the following free resources:
- The Do’s and Don’ts of Appearing Before the Texas Medical Board (TMB)
- The Do’s and Don’ts of Appearing Before the Texas Board of Nursing (BON)
- The Do’s and Don’ts of Appearing Before the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC)
- Expert Articles
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The professional license defense lawyers at BERTOLINO LLP have consistently won significant cases for doctors, nurses, lawyers, architects, pharmacists and other professionals dealing with issues that could jeopardize their ability to work. We know how to build a persuasive case to protect your license – and your livelihood. Our results speak for themselves.
If your professional license is at risk of suspension or revocation, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We represent licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation. Contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.