As an optometrist, you studied hard to gain the knowledge and skill to diagnose and treat the most fundamental of senses for human beings. You care about what you do, and Texans are the better for it. So, it can be a real blow when someone files a formal complaint against your license. But though you know you did not do anything warranting such a complaint, you need to take the complaint seriously if you are to fight to save your license.
When a formal complaint is filed with the Texas Optometry Board, the board will first examine it to determine whether the behavior or conditions described in the complaint fall under its jurisdiction—whether it breaks either state laws or rules established by the Board, including professional standards of care. If it decides the complaint passes muster, the Board will notify you that an investigation is going to be initiated. You will be asked to respond to this notice of complaint. It is very important that you not ignore this letter; but it is equally important that you not respond to this letter on your own.
It is far too common that an optometrist responds to such a letter without help and in the process ends up not only injuring their defense against the complaint but increasing the number of violations the board decides to pursue. The rules and procedures that the Board both follows and enforces are complex and subtle, and, put simply, someone being accused of malpractice is far too close to the situation to be able to put forth a strong and unassailable defense to the accusations.
Moreover, the investigators hired by the Board are skilled interviewers, who are adept at both rattling the subjects of their investigation and getting the information they want out of them. Never engage with the investigator on your own—even if they show up for a “surprise” visit at your office. Just ask them for their information, pass nothing on to them, and let them know you’ll be in touch.
Then call your lawyer. It is always best to bring in an experienced professional defense attorney as early in the process as possible—immediately after receiving the notice of complaint.
At BERTOLINO LLP, we have a great deal of experience with favorable outcomes before the Texas Board of Optometry and other administrative boards. We hope the above has displayed why it is imperative to defend oneself—with an experienced public license defense attorney at your side—from the beginning of the complaint process. It is much easier to stage an effective legal defense while the direction of the initial suit, its scope and frame, may still be influenced.
If you are a professional in Texas who finds yourself subject to complaint or review by a licensing agency, contact us. Our law firm helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack. Our experienced professional license defense attorneys have successfully helped clients resolve a wide range of complicated legal matters involving professional license defense. We know how to navigate the complaint process, gather evidence, question witnesses, and prepare powerful defenses against allegations of misconduct.
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your professional license and reputation.