Hallmark Achievements From Bertolino LLP
Our results speak for themselves. In case after case, the attorneys at our Texas-based law firm have successfully helped clients resolve a wide range of complicated legal matters involving professional license defense, medical license defense, and vocational license defense. We know how to build a strong case to protect your license – and your livelihood. To read what some of our satisfied clients have to say about us, please visit our testimonials page.
With years of combined experience and knowledge, our attorneys thoroughly understand state and federal laws and how they apply to each case. We use this information to custom design the best possible defense for each client. Our tailor-made approach means we will not treat you like a number. Your case matters here.
But don’t take our word for it. Read on to see some of our most notable case results:
Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board v. C.S.
C.S. is a licensed residential appraiser who was alleged to have purposefully undervalued a residential home to his own benefit and to the detriment of the sellers, who were also the complainants. Specifically, the complainants alleged C.S. visited their home under false pretenses because he never intended on appraising the fair value of their home and instead wanted to “low-ball” the value to benefit his buyer-client. They further alleged that, even if C.S. was rightfully appraising their home, C.S. should not have accepted the assignment because he did not have the proper experience with their neighborhood.
Of course, C.S. denied the allegations. In response to the complaint, C.S. hired our firm to compile all the required documentation and respond in writing to the Board’s investigators. After doing so, the firm convinced the Board that the allegations had absolutely no merit, and the Board dismissed the complaint.
Texas Education Agency v. W.B.
W.B. is an educator who was accused of inappropriate conduct at school, including sending a message through a dating application. W.B. hired our firm to provide a detailed written response to the allegations and to attend an informal conference before the Texas Education Agency ("TEA"), where W.B. would have the chance to discuss their side of the story.
As it turned out, W.B. was beta-testing the application for extra income, as W.B. had done in the past. When W.B. downloaded the application and checked to see if it was running properly, the name of one of W.B.’s students appeared as a suggested “friend.” W.B. contacted the student and told them to remove themselves from the application and further informed the student that W.B. would have to inform the proper school officials because the student was a minor and the dating application was for adults only.
Upon making the report, school officials contacted the TEA, in part, because they felt it W.B. should not be contacting their students via the application. W.B. denied any wrongdoing and, after explaining the details to TEA, including providing substantive evidence in W.B.’s favor, our firm secured a dismissal of the complaint against W.B.
Texas Education Agency v. K.H.
K.H. is an educator who was accused of inappropriate conduct at school, including allegations that K.H. engaged in sexual conduct on campus. K.H. vehemently denied the accusations and hired our firm to represent them before an informal conference at the Texas Education Agency ("TEA").
We attended the informal conference with K.H. and showed TEA that the allegations arose out of fabrications made by K.H.'s former significant other, who had engaged in a scheme to humiliate K.H. and attempted to derail K.H.'s stellar career as an educator by making false accusations and reports to school and school district administrators.
After reviewing the evidence and hearing K.H.'s side of the story, TEA dismissed the complaint and informed K.H. that their educator's certificate would not be affected.
Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists v. A.L.
A.L. is a licensed psychologist who was alleged to have engaged in sexual improprieties with one of their patients. The Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (the “Board”) therefore began in investigation, requested a written response to the allegations, and set an informal settlement conference (“ISC”).
After submitting a written response to the allegations, which we found to be completely baseless, we successfully obtained a dismissal of the complaint from the Board. Our investigation of the matter revealed that the complainant was making completely false allegations and had a history of doing so, particularly with regard to making sexually-related claims against licensed psychologists.
Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists, IMO L.H.
T.H. is a psychologist who applied to the Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (the “Board”) for licensure. Shortly thereafter, T.H. received notice the Board was denying T.H.’s application due to the fact that a gap of greater than two years existed between the date of completion of T.H.’s hours of supervised experience and the date of T.H.'s application for licensure. However, a Board rule allows for a waiver of this two-year gap rule upon a showing of “good cause.”
The Board invited T.H. to make a case for such “good cause,” which led T.H. to hire our firm to represent them at the Board meeting. We attended the Board meeting with T.H. and presented a case for why good cause warranted a waiver of the two-year gap rule. After successfully making the case, the Board granted the waiver and will issue a license to T.H.
Texas Medical Board v. J.B.
Our client was alleged to have had a sexual encounter with one of their patients. The Texas Medical Board (TMB) therefore set an informal show compliance conference (ISC), which we attended with our client. At the ISC, we successfully obtained a dismissal of the complaint based on evidence that the complainant was making completely false allegations and had a history of doing so, particularly with regard to making sexually-related claims against medical caregivers.
Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners v. T.H.
T.H. is a veterinarian who was alleged to have kept inadequate records after being called out by police in the middle of the night to aid in the apprehension of two horses running loose on the side of the road. The horses were extremely malnourished and sick, so T.H. ordered they be euthanized. T.H. successfully euthanized one of the horses without incident; however, the other horse was unruly and running wild. T.H. then obtained authorization to immobilize the horse with darts containing succinylcholine, but neither worked. T.H. then determined that the second horse would also need to be euthanized, so T.H. discussed the same with the law enforcement officials on the scene. When initial efforts failed and the law enforcement officials could not procure the items needed to subdue the horse, they were forced to fire at the horse to bring it down. After an investigation by the Texas Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (TBVME), an informal conference (IC) was scheduled. We attended T.H. at the IC and presented evidence that he, at all times, was in strict compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations.
Texas State Board of Pharmacy v. E.B.
Under substantial stress and pressure from work, our client, E.B., illegally issued prescriptions to themselves. E.B. responded to their conscience and self-reported to the Board. The Board notified the police, and criminal prosecution began. E.B enrolled in the Peer Recovery Network and went to drug treatment for ninety days. After completing treatment, E.B. secured a very favorable plea deal in their criminal case.
After defending E.B. at an informal conference, the Board proposed that E.B. be placed under probated suspension, to settle the matter. E.B. faced revocation at the outset of the case, so they were elated to resolve the case with a settlement that permits them to continue working.
Texas Medical Board v. F.G.
The Texas Medical Board (“TMB”) assumed jurisdiction over Medical Radiologic Technologists (“MRTs”) on September 1, 2017. Previously, MRTs were under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of State Health Services (“DSHS”). As part of that transfer of jurisdiction, the TMB ran a dragnet background search on all licensed MRTs and set informal settlement conferences (“ISCs”) for those who had criminal history, even if the same was disclosed to DSHS.
Decades ago, F.G. entered into a plea agreement in an out-of-state criminal matter. Years later, F.G. retained an attorney to pursue expunction, but the attorney's malpractice led to a denial of the expunction.
TMB alleged the plea agreement indicated that F.G. should not be trusted with an MRT license. We wrote to TMB on behalf of F.G. to explain the facts and circumstances underlying their case and attended the ISC with F.G. to present additional information and evidence. At the ISC, TMB dismissed the case. F.G. could not be happier.
Texas Medical Board v. P.A.
Our client, P.A., was called before the TMB for an ISC due to two misdemeanor offenses on their record, which had been properly disclosed to DSHS. P.A. endured a tough time in their marriage, which resulted in charges related to domestic disputes. TMB alleged that the criminal offenses might indicate that he should not be trusted with a license.
We submitted a written rebuttal to the allegations, explaining the story in full detail, and describing P.A.’s rehabilitation since those incidents. P.A. has ceased drinking, repaired his marriage (his spouse attended the ISC on their behalf), become intensely engaged with their local church, and done extremely valuable work as an MRT. P.A. did very well under questioning from TMB, and we conveyed to the panel members the significance of the changes P.A. has made in his life since the incidents. TMB dismissed the case.
Texas State Board of Dental Examiners v. A.G.
Our Client, A.G., was alleged to have violated their duty of fair dealing with respect to a geriatric patient with dementia (“Patient”). A.G. was sent to the nursing home where the Patient lived and conducted a full mouth assessment and x-rays, free of charge. A.G. observed severe periodontal disease, two irreparably broken teeth, and a pronounced cross bite which was causing wear on many teeth, among other issues.
A.G. developed a treatment plan and proposed procedures to resolve all the issues A.G. observed, as was their legal duty. The treatment plan was intended, per company policy, to be presented to the Patient’s responsible party, so the Patient’s responsible party could make informed decisions about which procedures to authorize and which to reject. The Patient’s responsible party did not bother to have that conversation and sought a second opinion from the Patient’s long-time family dentist. The family dentist was asked by the Board to submit a statement of his opinion of A.G.’s treatment plan.
The family dentist claimed, in a sworn statement to the Board, that none of the procedures proposed by A.G. were warranted. Although A.G. had never met the Patient’s family dentist before, A.G.’s treatment plan was essentially an indictment of the substandard care the family dentist had provided to the Patient for thirty years. The family dentist’s statement that A.G.’s treatment plan was predatory was the only argument they could make to defend against the indictment of their own work made by the treatment plan.
By written submission and zealous defense at an ISC, the firm secured a dismissal for A.G. has returned to work with the stress of this matter lifted off their shoulders, and we are very happy for them.
Texas Real Estate Commission v. M.R.
Our client, M.R., a real estate broker and corporate officer for a corporate brokerage, faced prosecution by the Texas Real Estate Commission due to their failure to secure a license for the brokerage. M.R. had conducted real estate transactions through the corporate brokerage for more than four years – a total of nearly 200 transactions. As TREC rules authorize TREC to impose a $5,000 penalty for each transaction, M.R. could have been required to pay nearly $1,000,000 in penalties. However, because they were fully cooperative with TREC, and we relayed evidence that the violation was a good faith mistake, TREC imposed only a $2,500 penalty and permitted M.R. to obtain a license for the corporate brokerage. M.R. was not even made to appear for a hearing before their matter was resolved.
Our client, A.S., M.D., was terminated from their fellowship because they left an intern to watch a patient, so A.S. could attend to a personal matter. A.S. was available by phone and responded to a question posed by the intern via text message. However, under the circumstances, A.S.'s Fellowship Director considered leaving the premises improper. Consequently, A.S. lost their VISA status because of their termination from the fellowship and thus had to move out of state. A.S's spouse was duty bound to stay in Texas for work, so the two had to live very far from one another for more than a year.
The Fellowship Director submitted documentation to TMB, claiming that A.S. had competency and integrity issues. By providing TMB a written explanation of exactly what happened and A.S.’s rehabilitation from the incident, we convinced TMB that A.S. had the requisite character and fitness to be trusted with a license. TMB granted their application days after we submitted the written explanation. A.S. has since begun their fellowship and is well on their way to full medical licensure.
State Bar of Texas v. C.A.
Our Client, C.A., faced a complaint filed by a former client, which alleged that they had failed to promptly respond to the client’s requests for information. C.A. faced the possibility of severe discipline, as failure to promptly respond to client requests for information is the number one basis for attorney discipline by the Texas Bar.
In June 2016, we submitted a written rebuttal, conveying to the Bar that any failure by C.A. to promptly respond to their client’s requests for information was rare and stressed that C.A. secured an exceptionally favorable settlement for their client for a very reasonable fee. In August, the Bar provided notice that no "just cause" was found to prosecute C.A.’s case further or impose discipline on C.A.’s license. The case is set to be dismissed.
Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists v. D.C.
Our client, D.C., a former psychologist licensed outside Texas, encountered a challenge in their application for a license to practice psychology in Texas. Years ago, D.C. surrendered their license based on allegations they had on an improper relationship with a former client.
After surrendering their license, D.C. had to close down their practice, settled related civil litigation, drained their retirement accounts, moved to Texas, and wound up in homeless.
The Board requested D .C. provide a written explanation and attend a meeting before all Board members to explain why D.C. should be granted a license despite the surrender of D.C.'s out-of-state license.
We provided evidence to the Board that D.C. had genuine remorse for their conduct (not just its consequences) and had rehabilitated. One of our attorneys attended the Board meeting with D.C. Shortly thereafter, the Board granted D.C. a license, contingent upon them submitting to continued psychotherapy for 2 years and other minor probationary terms .
Our Client, K.K., M.D., fell victim to bad politics while working for a hospital outside Texas. Those politics resulted in K.K.’s application for a full medical license in Texas being held up. K.K. tried, but was unable to work past those issues by himself. Through diligent and persistent efforts, we resolved these issues, and K.K. was granted a full license. They are set to begin practicing medicine in Texas very soon.
Texas Medical Board v. D.S.
Our Client, D.S., was in the midst of a contentious and toxic custody battle with their ex-spouse, who had also filed a complaint against our client with the Texas Medical Board, alleging that our client was addicted to drugs, had violated HIPAA, and improperly prescribed controlled substances and dangerous drugs to non-patients.
We submitted a written response, revealing the truth: that D.S. had committed only one minor violation, while the rest of the allegations were lies the ex-spouse concocted out of spite. We attended an ISC before a panel of the Board, where the complainant, D.S.’s ex-spouse, showed up to repeat their false claims.
Subsequently, the Board proposed a non-disciplinary remedial plan. After minor negotiations with the Board over the language in the plan, D.S. happily signed it.
Texas Medical Board v. D.T., M.D.
Our Client, D.T., M.D., faced a complaint filed by a former client which alleged that she had delayed notifying a patient that a biopsy had revealed skin cancer and delayed scheduling surgery. Another doctor had completed a biopsy, but failed to notify D.T. and never followed up to ascertain the results. D.T. found out about the biopsy when the patient called months later to inquire about results. The person responsible for scheduling surgeries made an error in the computer system and indicated that an appointment had been set when it had not.
We submitted a written rebuttal, conveying to the Board that D.T. was not even aware that a biopsy had been done on the patient, let alone that cancer had been discovered. The Board dismissed the complaint and took no disciplinary action against D.T.’s license.
Texas Board of Public Accountancy v. T.D.H.
Our Client, T.D.H., CPA, was working as an accountant for a friend’s business. That friend paid business reimbursements to TDH based on verbal agreements, but no written record was ever kept of those agreements. When a business dispute resulted in T.D.H. resigning from his friend’s business, that friend filed a complaint against T.D.H., alleging T.D.H. had been obtaining reimbursements pursuant to fraud.
We filed a written response, explaining that the complaint was false and filed for revenge based on T.D.H. resigning, and secured a dismissal.
Texas Real Estate Commission v. H.A.
Our Client, H.A., a real estate broker, faced four complaints ("Complaints") filed by an aggressive attorney in H.A.'s community with political ambitions, on behalf of four sets of clients of H.A. The Complaints collectively alleged that H.A. engaged in predatory practices against these clients in his capacity as broker, by failing to disclose certain information he was purportedly required to disclose.
The Texas Real Estate Commission ("TREC") prosecuted H.A. for each of the Complaints but dismissed all in May. Not only did we help preserve H.A.'s license; we also helped preserve his finances, by securing the dismissals through a single written submission for each of the Complaints. Despite the severity of the allegations against H.A., we alleviated the need for a hearing, and did not even need to negotiate. We provided satisfactory proof that many of the purportedly required disclosures did not apply, because of H.A.'s legal status in those transactions.
Texas State Board of Dental Examiners v. K.S., DDS
Our Client, K.S., DDS, faced a complaint ("Complaint") filed by a client who claimed to have been harmed by bridgework which K.S. was involved in. The Texas State Board of Dental Examiners ("Board") prosecuted the Complaint, alleging that K.S. breached the standard of care in bridgework and that she failed to maintain adequate records for the treatment provided to the complainant.
We secured a dismissal of the Complaint at an informal conference before a panel of the Board, following a single written submission, wherein we proved that K.S. indeed maintained perfectly adequate treatment records and was not at fault for the issues which transpired the bridge. In fact, the complainant's conduct contributed heavily to the issues, and the remaining blame belonged to the laboratory responsible for producing the bridge.
Texas Medical Board v. B.H., MD
Our Client, B.H., MD, faced a complaint ("Complaint") brought by the Texas Medical Board ("Board"), which alleged that B.H. failed to properly utilize the Texas Electronic Death Registry for a patient who passed away at the hospital where B.H. was the attending physician. B.H. did not receive notice of the death certificate from the funeral home until far later than required by law, which was the crux of our argument in his defense.
We secured a dismissal of the Complaint at an informal conference before a panel of the Board, by providing satisfactory evidence that the funeral home was at fault for the late Death Registry entry, not B.H.
A Record Month of Dismissals
IMO Texas Medical License Application of A.C., M.D.
After more than five (5) months of zealous representation, we helped our Client, A.C., M.D., secure a full Texas Medical License. There were several snags along the way, but we were able to overcome same and help A.C. get to work. He is now happily serving Medicare and Medicaid patients.
Texas Board of Nursing v. C.O.
The Texas Board of Nursing ("Board") prosecuted a complaint ("Complaint") against our Client, C.O., LVN, which alleged she was responsible for a patient death which was caused by discontinued seizure medication.
While C.O. inadvertently discontinued the seizure medication, she was not responsible for the patient's death. C.O. was a PRN nurse who only visited the pertinent facility twice a month. The facility had a number of policies and procedures in place designed to catch medication errors before they caused serious patient harm. At least ten full-time employees at the facility were charged with carrying out these policies, but all ignored same. The patient did not begin to experience seizures until thirteen days after the medication was discontinued - which means that the medication error policies were ignored for the same span. The error was not caught until sixteen days after the discontinuation - the next shift C.O. worked at the facility. By then, the patient had to be transferred to a larger facility, and soon expired.
By providing the Board with a thorough explanation of the willful violations of the facility's medication error policies and expounding the details of C.O.'s stellar ten-year career as a nurse, we secured a remedial, non-disciplinary settlement for our Client.
Texas Medical Board v. G.V., M.D.
The Texas Medical Board ("Board") began prosecuting our Client, G.V., M.D., after he self-reported an arrest which occurred on Christmas of 2015. The arrest was purportedly based on driving while intoxicated, but there were a number of acts committed by the charging police department, which called the integrity of their claims into question.
After receiving the self-report, the Board ran a drag-net, searching for further bases to prosecute our Client. The Board found records, suggesting that our Client had been improperly prescribing medications to his wife. While G.V.'s criminal attorney worked to secure a dismissal, based on an utter lack of evidence (chain of custody was non-existent for blood sample, which took a month to arrive at the lab, and dash video of the field sobriety test, which would have exculpated our Client, was conspicuously missing), we explained the Board that our Client was engaged in a successful regimen of collaborative medicine; he did not write the original prescriptions, but, rather, issued refills, with the full knowledge and consent of the original prescribers.
After G.V.'s attorney secured a dismissal of the criminal charges, we convinced the Board to take non-disciplinary action. Instead of the severe discipline originally proposed by the Board, G.V. need only to enroll in continuing education courses related to proper prescribing practices and pay a fine.
Texas State Board of Pharmacy v. O.A.A.
Complaint Shut Down With Help From Handwriting Expert
Our Client, O.A.A., Pharm.D., R.Ph., faced a complaint ("Complaint"), based on a signature, purportedly authored by O.A.A., on fraudulent documents sent to the Virginia Board of Pharmacy. The Texas State Board of Pharmacy ("Board") prosecuted our Client and set an Informal Conference to discuss same. And tremendous value hung in the balance: our Client has R.Ph. licenses in eleven other states, each and all of which would have been implicated by an adverse result for the Texas Complaint.
We retained an eminent hand-writing analyst and incorporated her expert analysis into a written rebuttal more than fifteen days before the Informal Conference. Our written rebuttal convinced the Board to dismiss the Complaint and take no disciplinary action against our Client. Afterward, we prepared administrative Complaints for our Client, who then filed same with the Virginia and Texas Boards of Pharmacy. At the earliest available opportunity, we shut down the Complaint and put our Client from the defensive onto the offensive.
Texas State Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners v. R.B.
Complaint Dismissed & Back Pay Recovered
Our Client, R.B., a COTA/L and Director of Rehabilitation, faced a complaint ("Complaint"), filed by his former employer, which alleged fraudulent billing practices.
We compelled R.B.'s former employer to enter a pre-litigation settlement to the tune of $10,000 for overtime backpay. We also ascertained that R.B. did not commit fraud at all, but rather, selected the wrong client on a fickle drop-down menu in the digital billing system used by R.B.'s employer. In February, after participating in an Informal Conference, we convinced the Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners to dismiss the Complaint, and take no disciplinary action against R.B.
Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors v. D.C.
Complaints Dismissed After Written Rebuttal
Our Client, D.C., faced two Complaints ("Complaints"), alleging ethical violations. We prepared and submitted written rebuttals to both Complaints and attended a Disciplinary Committee meeting held by the Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors ("Board"). Through our written rebuttal, and the outcome of the Committee meeting, we convinced the Board to take no disciplinary action against our Client's license.
Texas Education Agency v. L.E.
Complaint Dismissed Following Informal Hearing
Our Client, L.E., faced a Complaint ("Complaint") filed by the School District she formerly worked for as a special educator. The Complaint alleged serious ethical violations after a third-grade student ("Student") had a crisis, which nearly resulted in severe harm befalling several students. The School District terminated L.E. and she was left with no option other than working for a retail store to cover her bills and living expenses.
The Complaint conspicuously omitted crucial facts and circumstances, which we relayed to the Texas Education Agency ("Agency") in a written rebuttal. Namely, L.E. had pleaded, from the end of the prior school year until the day of the crisis, with School District Leadership to develop a crisis plan for the Student; these pleadings were rejected, yet District Leadership had the audacity to play the crisis off as L.E.'s fault. We attended an informal hearing with L.E., before the Agency, and discussed the substance of the rebuttal. Days later, the Agency notified us that the Complaint had been dismissed, with no disciplinary action being taken against our Client's educator Certificate. Our Client has been fully exonerated and is now interviewing for special educator positions.
Texas State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners v. J.R.
Complaint Dismissed With No Disciplinary Action
Our Client, J.R., faced a Complaint ("Complaint"), filed by his former employer, after a patient ("Patient") with a history of cardiac complications expired. J.R. visited the Patient, in his home, to provide physical therapy.
Prior to visiting, J.R. thoroughly reviewed the Patient's treatment records, prepared by other healthcare professionals. The records did not contain any indication of the Patient's history of cardiac complications, except a low-dose, common medication which can be used to mitigate cardiac complications. Upon J.R.'s arrival, the Patient was already anxious and eager to exhibit his ability to walk. J.R. advised the Patient to slow down, as there was a serious risk of a fall. The Patient ignored J.R.'s instructions and proceeded to ambulate well beyond safe limits. To make matters worse, shortly thereafter, the Patient consumed a pill, without notifying J.R. The Patient became belligerent when J.R. attempted to slow him down, to keep him safe, causing the Patient's heart rate and pulse to skyrocket.
J.R. notified the Patient that he intended to call EMS, based on the Patient's cardiac condition. The Patient was recalcitrant, threatening to file a complaint against J.R. with the Board if EMS was called. In tandem with his rising anger, the Patient's heart rate and pulse rose. J.R. called the Patient's doctor but could not get through. Realizing that neither contacting EMS nor the Patient's doctor were viable options, and needing to soothe the Patient, to drop his heartrate and pulse into a safe range, J.R. shifted the conversation to small talk. This strategy worked, and the Patient's pulse dropped to a safe range.
When the Patient fully stabilized, J.R. informed the Patient of signs to watch for, which would indicate risk of a cardiac event, and provided phone numbers to call in case of same. As J.R. left the Patient's house, the Patient thanked J.R. for the treatment, and indicated that he looked forward to the next session. Unfortunately, that session did not come to pass, as the Patient expired some time in the evening or morning after J.R.'s departure.
J.R. was terminated for the Patient's death and his former employer filed the Complaint. J.R. was forced into bankruptcy by the controversy and had very limited defense funds. The Board alleged gross negligence and threatened severe disciplinary action. By capturing the truth of matters in a written rebuttal, and subsequent addendum to same, we convinced the Board to dismiss the Complaint, and take no disciplinary action against J.R.'s license. And we did so within a tight budget.
Texas Board of Nursing v. W.S.
Complaint Dismissed Outright After Written Argument
Our Client, W.S., a L.V.N., faced a complaint ("Complaint"), filed by his former employer, with the Texas Board of Nursing ("Board"), which alleged W.S. (i) exceeded his scope of practice, (ii) obtained medications improperly, (iii) violated the professional boundaries of the nurse/client relationship, (iv) and inappropriately manipulated the patient schedule, delaying further appointments for imminent medical issues. By discovering the bad-blood politics beneath the surface, and preparing a robust written argument, we convinced the Board that the allegations were false, and secured an outright dismissal of the Complaint, with no disciplinary action taken against our Client's license.
Texas Real Estate Commission v. J.R.
Board Decision Reversed on District Court Appeal
Our Client, J.R., a licensed real estate sales agent and former Federal Firearms Instructor, plead guilty to conversion of ammunition belonging to the federal government in 2014. J.R.'s conversion case contained substantial mitigation, but J.R. plead out pursuant to legal advice from his criminal attorney. The Texas Real Estate Commission ("TREC") sought to revoke J.R.'s sales agent license. After successfully pleading J.R.'s case to an impartial Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") in the State Office of Administrative Hearings ("SOAH"), and saving J.R.'s license from revocation, TREC grossly violated the bounds of their judicial discretion and improperly manipulated the ALJ's decision in order to revoke J.R.'s license. We appealed the case to a District Court and convinced the Judge that TREC's abuse of discretion and unauthorized conduct was not only improper, but so improper as to pass the threshold for a reversal of TREC's decision, pursuant to stringent standards of review.
Texas Education Agency v. M.A.
Outright Dismissal Secured After Inappropriate Conduct Allegations
In 2014, while our Client, M.A., worked as a physics teacher at a public high school, a group of female students from the 11th grade would study in M.A.'s office during downtime. The door to M.A.'s office was always left wide upon, and the students would come and go as they pleased. M.A. had a purely platonic, professional relationship with the students, and she would often assist them with their assignments while they were in her office.
After the students graduated and reached majority age, M.A. and one of the students ("Student") began texting one another. Eventually, the texting took on a romantic nature. After sending a flirtatious message, which she regretted, M.A. immediately deleted the Student's contact information and did not reach out again. Shortly thereafter, M.A. received a series of calls in the dead of night - around 2:00 a.m. When she picked up the phone, M.A. was threatened by a female voice that if she did not resign due to her relationship with the Student, the caller would destroy her family and her career.
M.A. dutifully contacted leadership in her school district, described what happened and confessed her relationship with the Student. Shortly thereafter, M.A. was terminated and reported to the Texas Education Agency ("Agency"). After successful briefing and oral argument at an informal hearing, we secured an outright dismissal and cleared our Client's name at the earliest available juncture of the case.
Texas State Board of Dental Examiners v. T.J., D.D.S.
Suspension Lifted, Favorable Result Secured
In April of this year, our Client, a pediatric dentist, self-reported an incident which resulted in a patient seizing after being sedated; the cause of the seizure remains unknown. In June, the Board responded by suspending our Client's Anesthesia Permits without notice and dragged him across the state to appear at a Probable Cause Hearing and answer for the incident. The suspension created tremendous havoc and stress for our Client's office, its many employees, and their families.
After an aggressive campaign on behalf of our Client, which entailed pre- and post-hearing briefings and oral arguments before an Administrative Law Judge ("ALJ") in the State Office of Administrative Hearings ("SOAH"), we convinced the Board to lift the suspension – before the ALJ even had an opportunity to issue a ruling. With the suspension lifted, our Client's ability to practice and meet the needs of his patients was fully restored.
Days later, the Board dismissed the case from SOAH and began to negotiate a settlement. After extensive negotiations, we obtained a non-disciplinary remedial settlement order for our Client this month, which seemed near-impossible at the outset of the case. Our zealous advocacy of our Client's interests brought the Board to the negotiating table and secured an excellent result.
Real Estate Sales Agent License Secured Despite Extensive Criminal History
Our Client ("T.J.") filed an application for a real estate sales agent license with the Texas Real Estate Commission ("TREC") before retaining the Firm for assistance. T.J.'s criminal history started at age sixteen (16), and entails several charges which TREC alleged to cast doubt on T.J.'s moral character and fitness to serve as a fiduciary. T.J. has rehabilitated, both by personal choice and legal compulsion, and has not committed an offense in more than five (5) years. We satisfactorily convinced TREC of as much by zealously asserting that position and embarking an aggressive campaign to comply with TREC's myriad demands for documents and explanation. We have facilitated T.J.'s rehabilitation by assisting in securing gainful employment which T.J. now intends to build a life around.
Texas Board of Physical Therapy v. J.C.
A Dismissal Secured in the Face of Fraud Allegations
Our Client, a Physical Therapist ("J.C."), was investigated by the Texas Board of Physical Therapy ("Board"), for allegedly committing Medicare fraud by charging for services not rendered. Through various pre-litigation maneuvers, we obtained documentation and prepared a response, which quickly stifled the complaint and secured a dismissal. At the earliest possible juncture, our tactful representation freed J.C. up to practice, without a complaint hanging overhead.
Texas Education Agency v. A.S.
A Dismissal Secured in the Face of Inappropriate Conduct Allegation
Our Client, a Teacher ("A.S."), was investigated by the Texas Education Agency ("Agency"), after he was terminated for alleged "inappropriate conduct with students". Through successful performance at a hearing before the Agency, we secured a dismissal.
Texas Medical Board v. J.J.
Our Client, a Medical Radiologist ("J.J.") was investigated by the Texas Medical Board ("Board"), for two criminal charges on his record, pursuant to the transfer of jurisdiction over Medical Radiologists from the Texas Department of Health and Human Services ("DHHS"). J.J. had previously disclosed both offenses to DHHS upon becoming licensed for the first time, and, yet, the Board still proposed public discipline, which may have interfered with J.J.'s employment prospects and professional reputation.
E.G., as Executor of Estate of R.G., Decedent v. R.V.
By virtue of our substantial knowledge of the legal authority governing the manifold professional licenses recognized in Texas, we successfully mediated a commercial services contract dispute. Just before mediation, we devised a legal theory, which revealed said contract to have been illegal and void, due to Defendant ("R.V.") lacking the statutorily-required licensure to perform the commercial services contracted for. Because Decedent ("R.G.") was not aware that Defendant was not properly licensed, E.G. reserved a viable claim to recover under the void contract.
Texas State Board of Dental Examiners v. T.J.
Our Client, a pediatric dentist ("T.J.") with a clean record and excellent practice history, dutifully self-reported an incident where a patient ("Patient") experienced a seizure after sedation, for reasons which have not yet been ascertained. The Board responded by suspending his sedation certifications, without notice, and dragging him to a Probable Cause Hearing, to explain himself.
With his sedation certifications suspended, T.J. was essentially unable to practice, and the logistical nightmare that ensued placed serious strain on the practice. Never before had our client had any such issues occur from sedation, despite administering the same regimen over 5,000 times.
Through submission of a pre-hearing and post-hearing brief, we were able to convince the Board to abandon its suspension, and dismiss the case from the State Office of Administrative Hearings. Our briefing and performance at the Probable Cause Hearing restored our Client's sedation certifications, and brought his practice back into ordinary working order.
Texas State Board of Physical Therapy Examiners v. K.F.
Our Client, a Physical Therapist ("K.F.") with an impeccable and extensive practice history, was alleged to have made racist remarks to a Hispanic patient ("Patient"). K.F. has cherished Hispanic siblings, and was horrified by the baseless allegations lodged against her. Treading in charged territory, we managed to expose and relay to the Board certain subtle matters, which revealed the Patient's representations were unfounded. Through submission of an expository Response Packet (our proprietary case-opening instrument), we were able to secure a dismissal at the earliest available juncture.
Texas Real Estate Commission v. C.L.
Our Client, a real estate broker ("C.L."), fell victim to a scathing, frivolous complaint filed by a former client, for whom C.L. served as a listing agent. That complaint falsely alleged our Client failed to disclose a high purchase offer, and lied about other matters, to secure an undue payout. Through a Motion for Summary Disposition, we convinced a SOAH judge of the lies, by exposing that the complainant had improper ulterior motives. Accordingly, all allegations apart from a minor technicality were disposed of, and C.L. settled under terms dramatically more favorable than those initially proposed by TREC.
Texas Board of Nursing v. S.L.
Our Client, a traveling RN, was alleged to have diverted controlled substances from a medical facility. By submitting a thorough Response Packet, which explained what actually transpired, we secured an outright dismissal for our Client, at minimal cost.
Texas Medical Board v. R.N.
Our Client was alleged to have viewed inappropriate materials while on duty in a Medical Residency Program. R.N. was severely disciplined by his employer, and faced serious discipline from the Board. At an Informal Settlement Conference before a panel of the Board, we focused on R.N.'s exceptional technical proficiency and history of charitable acts, and secured full dismissal of the allegations.
...Another Month of Dismissals
Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners v. S.G.
The Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners (TBOTE) investigated serious allegations from the father of a six-year old patient ("Patient"), that S.G. purportedly shook the child by the neck in a room full of patients and their families. Our investigation found substantial evidence that the Patient's father exhibited a pattern of volatile behavior, and that S.G. had been explicitly requested to be the only therapist working with the Patient. We further articulated to the Board that S.G.'s twenty-year practice history and professional reputation are wholly at odds with the allegations in the complaint. Apparently, the Board was satisfied with the explanation provided, as the Complaint was dismissed without further proceedings.
Take-away: We shut down a frivolous complaint at the earliest available opportunity, sparing our client unnecessary emotional toll and legal expenses, and protecting her license.
Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners v. V.G.
The Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners (TBOTE) investigated an allegation from V.G.'s former employer that he fraudulently billed for services which he purportedly did not render. This was not the case, and we convinced the Board of as much, solely through submission of a written rebuttal, which marshalled evidence that the complaint lacked integrity, and contained selective stipulations and omissions. The Board dismissed the complaint without taking any further action.
Take-away: The Firm secured a dismissal with a single move.
...Another Month of Impressive Results
Texas Real Estate Commission v. J.R.
The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) sought to revoke our Client's real estate sales agent license, for a single non-violent felony, with substantial mitigating circumstances and evidence. Through compelling presentation of arguments at a final SOAH Hearing, the Firm persuaded an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) to issue a proposal for decision (PFD), which contemplated permitting our Client to retain his license subject to probation for ten years. TREC improperly altered the PFD, so that it revoked instead of probating our Client's license. We presented a robust accounting of why what TREC did was a violation, and convinced a District Judge to restore our Client's license pursuant to a Temporary Injunction.
Take-away: We won our Client's license back through pendency of appeal to District Court, and thereby enabled him to earn a living and be with his children.
Texas Board of Examiners of Psychologists v. J.G.
Our Client, a recent Ph.D. Psychology graduate, applied for a provisional license to practice as a Psychologist. Due to a misunderstanding of disclosure obligations, our Client inadvertently completed the application improperly. The Board responded by demanding an explanation. We provided a wealth of evidence demonstrating that the failure to disclose was a good faith error, not a pre-meditated ploy, and that our Client possesses exceptional fitness and moral character. The Board dismissed the allegations completely, and permitted our Client to continue to the next phase of the application, without taking any adverse action.
Take-away: The Firm secured a dismissal with a single move.
...and the Dismissals Keep Coming
Texas Board of Dental Examiners v. C.B.
Our Client, an Orthodontist ("DMD C.B."), was alleged to have breached the standard of care. The Firm shut down this allegation immediately, securing an outright dismissal after submitting its proprietary case-opener – the notorious Response Packet. The Firm warded off a complaint and thereby protected DMD C.B.'s license at minimal cost.
Take-away: The Firm secured a dismissal with a single move.
Texas Board of Social Worker Examiners v. T.H.
Our Client, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW T.H.), was alleged to have had a sexual relationship with a former patient. The Firm shut down the Board’s allegation immediately, securing an outright dismissal after submitting a Response Packet. The Firm protected LCSW T.H.'s license at minimal cost.
Take-away: The Firm secured a dismissal with a single move.
A Month of Dimsissals: The Firm Secures Maximum Results at Minimal Cost
Texas Board of Nursing v. D.F.
Our Client, a Licensed Vocational Nurse, was alleged to have fallen asleep on duty. LVN DF initially responded to the Board's allegations without legal representation. The Board replied by proposing an Agreed Order which would have required LVN DF to abandon working in home health, abandoning her beloved patients and plans to establish a home health practice this year. Shortly after being engaged by LVN DF, the Firm submitted its proprietary Response Packet, and secured an outright dismissal of the allegation. The Firm protected LVN DF's license at minimal cost.
Take-away: The Firm secured a dismissal with a single move.
Texas Board of Nursing v. C.R.
Our Client, a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice, was alleged to have improperly counseled an elderly patient with severe co-morbidities on the risks of general anesthesia. The Board went so far as to allege that the patient's subsequent traumatic incidents were related to CRNA CR's conduct. The Firm shut down the Board's allegations immediately, securing an outright dismissal upon submission of a Response Packet. The Firm protected CRNA CR's license at minimal cost.
Take-away: The Firm secured a dismissal with a single move.
Strong Results Which Alleviate Need for Hearings
Our Client, Willie Lee Griffin, Jr. and Griffin Mortuary, is finally vindicated by the Texas Funeral Service Commission and a Lubbock County Civil Court.
A lawsuit brought against Willie Lee Griffin, Jr., owner and founder of Griffin Mortuary in Lubbock, was tossed out of civil court on Friday morning with no finding of fault. Our Firm secured the win after a week-long jury trial. Mr. Griffin and our legal team worked very hard on this case and it is so rewarding to finally vindicate his name. But the story of vindicating the revered funeral home and its charismatic owner spans far longer.
In late 2013, Charlette Tanner-Starr and Marcie Hall filed a complaint with the Texas Funeral Service Commission, alleging that Mr. Griffin mishandled the funeral of their father, the late Pastor Charles Tanner. The Commission - the authority on funerary practice standards - tossed the complaint with no finding of fault. Apparently unsatisfied, Ms. Tanner-Starr and Ms. Hall, the plaintiffs, filed a civil lawsuit against Mr. Griffin in early 2015, seeking $2,000,000 for alleged mental anguish. Just days later, the plaintiffs and their attorneys made a series of press releases against Mr. Griffin on KMAC and everythinglubbock.com.
Although several Lubbock residents were prepared to testify in Mr. Griffin's defense, the case was tossed before the opportunity even arose. After the verdict was reached, interviews with the jurors revealed that Mr. Griffin's testimony about his passion for serving the Lubbock community hit home. After nearly two years of litigation and hours of witness testimony, the record has been set straight. The plaintiffs received a take-nothing verdict, and are liable for court costs.
Texas Board of Nursing v. T.N.
Our Client, a Registered Nurse, was alleged to have breached professional boundaries. To settle the matter, the Board proposed an Agreed Order which entailed language susceptible to damaging insinuations and inferences, as well as crippling restrictions on our Client's ability to practice for a full year. Through multiple rounds of negotiation, the Firm obtained significant, favorable modifications to the proposed Order. The Firm not only substantially reduced the restrictions, but also secured language amendments that dispelled the adverse insinuations and inferences.
Take-away: Through efficient negotiation, the Firm prevented potentially irreparable damage to our Client's public reputation, and diminished restrictions on our Client's capacity to earn a living.
Texas Real Estate Commission v. B.P.
Our Client, who has a non-violent felony and some misdemeanors on his record, attempted to obtain a real estate sales license without legal representation. The Commission rejected the application, and provided our Client with an opportunity to request a hearing on the rejection. The Firm was retained at this juncture. Almost immediately after submitting a request for a hearing, a Commission staff attorney contacted the Firm to negotiate an alternative. The Firm pursued this alternative, and secured a license for our Client on a probationary basis through submission of a single instrument. Our Client now has a livelihood that is more rewarding and lucrative.
Take-away: The Firm secured a license – and by extension, a new livelihood – for our Client at absolute bare minimum expense.
Texas Real Estate Commission v. J.R.
Our Client, a proficient real estate agent, plead out of a non-violent felony charge entirely unrelated to the practice of real estate. The Commission sought to revoke our Client’s license, and refused to make any settlement offer. After the final hearing on the merits, both parties submitted closing briefs for the consideration of the presiding Administrative Law Judge (ALJ).
On November 9, 2016, the ALJ propounded a Proposal for Decision (PFD) that contemplates allowing our Client to retain his license. This favorable PFD demonstrates that the ALJ found the Firm’s defense more persuasive than the Commission’s claim.
Upon receipt of the PFD, the Firm wasted no time in drafting and filing Exceptions to the PFD, within which the Firm presented legal authority and analysis to the ALJ warranting further reduction of the sanction. The Commission neither responded to the Exceptions, nor filed their own. The Commission’s silence signals their assent to the Firm’s successful efforts to ward off the unreasonable revocation attempt.
Take-away: Through our tactful, aggressive litigation and trial strategy, the Firm persuaded the ALJ, against the odds, to allow our Client to retain his livelihood.
Texas Board of Nursing v. N.J.
Our Client, a Registered Nurse, conceded to the Board’s allegations prior to retaining the Firm. The Board proposed a settlement offer, called an Agreed Board Order (ABO), that was extremely adverse, and would have severely limited the scope of prospective employers. This ABO contained a skewed and misleading presentation of the facts at issue, which would have been attached to our Client’s public nursing profile. Our Client retained the Firm to negotiate this settlement offer.
And the Firm did just that: through extensive correspondence with the Board, the Firm negotiated a far more favorable settlement offer. Specifically, the Firm submitted two waves of Exceptions to the ABO, both of which yielded success. The amended ABO reflecting these Exceptions broadens the scope of indirect supervisors and entails a dramatically more favorable presentation of the facts at issue.
Take-away: The Firm’s successful negotiation broadened our Client’s employment options and minimized the impact on our Client’s livelihood.
E.R.G. v. R.V.
Following an aggressive deposition campaign conducted by the Firm, the parties have begun initial discussions that may lead to settlement of the case. The Firm intends to take the lead in brokering this arrangement. If successful, this proposed settlement could save our client substantial resources at an early juncture in the case.
C.S. & M.H. v. W.G.
Our Client, a funeral service director, was alleged to have breached the standard of care. Following dismissal of the complaint by the Funeral Service Commission, the complainants have pursued a civil claim against our Client. In the latest of a series of victories, the Firm has filed a MOTION TO EXCLUDE EXPERT against the Plaintiffs. Due largely to successful depositions, the grounds for this motion have been pled to an evidentiary standard far greater than required. If successful, this Motion will eviscerate Plaintiffs’ case and tilt the odds further in our Client’s favor.
Texas Board of Nursing v. S.H., CRNA
The Firm’s aggressive discovery campaign has paid off for our client, with handsome dividends.
The Board alleged that our Client fell asleep during a laparoscopic procedure. The Firm realized a material fact unbeknownst to the Board, which fundamentally altered the landscape of the case. The Firm began building a new defense theory upon this material fact. Through written discovery, the Firm also surmised that the complaints that initiated the Board’s investigation were factually dubious. The Firm followed up on this hunch by deposing the complainants this month.
The Firm’s pointed questioning ultimately elicited testimony that substantiated the Firm’s suspicion; it was revealed that each complainant had indeed made material misrepresentations to the Board. Following this revelation, the Firm zeroed in for the kill, holding another round of depositions to test its new defense theory. The testimony elicited at these depositions unequivocally endorsed the new defense theory. Two business days later, the Board filed a Motion to Dismiss the case.
Texas Board of Physical Therapy Examiners v. C.C., PT, DPT
The Board alleged that our client abandoned a patient, and the Firm secured outright dismissal of all allegations. Specifically, submission of a rebuttal packet and presentation of oral arguments at an Informal Settlement Conference (ISC) compelled the Board to grant dismissal. ISCs are conducted at a very early juncture in the course of cases before the State Office of Administration. Thus, the Firm completely prevented adverse action by the Board in short order and at minimal cost to our client.
Texas Board of Nursing v. K.W., RN
The Board alleged that our client breached the standard of patient care. Solely through submission of a robust rebuttal packet, the Firm secured outright dismissal of all allegations against our client. Once again, the Firm completely prevented adverse action by the Board at minimal cost to our client, this time at the earliest possible juncture.
Your future could be at stake. Contact us. We defend professionals statewide.
Knowing how to take the best approach when you’re faced with a complaint that threatens your license can be difficult. One misstep could ruin your career. That’s why it’s critical you have someone you trust on your side, looking out for your best interests. This may be your only opportunity for justice. Make the most of it. Contact us today and schedule a case evaluation.
Difficult cases demand an experienced lawyer. Put your trust in us. Call 512-717-5432 and schedule an appointment at our Austin office. Discover what an aggressive attorney at Bertolino LLP can do for you.