When a Texas licensing board, commission, or agency takes up an investigation of a complaint against your license, it can be a rattling experience. This is often by design. The less sure of your footing you are, the more you’re likely to let slip. But even knowing this can be a double-edged sword. Because it’s common for the boards to request confidential information. Particularly where professionals are bound to particular duties of confidentiality in their day-to-day activities (such as in the case of attorneys, health care workers, mental health practitioners, and so forth), this can pose a conundrum. What if they ask for medical records of your patients, or files from a client’s legal dispute? What is the higher duty in this case? What to do? Are they trying to trick you into something?
The short answer, in this situation, is: no, they aren’t trying to trick you. Here, the higher duty is, most likely, to respond to the board with this information. In most cases they are requesting information about the very clients who have made a complaint—meaning that, in effect, the client has waived the privilege of confidentiality, which, after all, was always their privilege to waive.
Compliance with requests from your licensing board is always required, if you are to keep your license.
That said, there are nuances to consider. These nuances are not always clear to a licensee. But to an experienced professional license defense attorney, these nuances are the meat of the trade.
So where the board requests confidential information, the first step is to seek the advice of your attorney. Don’t ignore the request. But don’t risk over-sharing either. You need to be certain a waiver of confidentiality has actually been enacted for each file or record you turn over, in order to protect the interests of your clients. Doing so also protects your own interests insofar as it can reduce the chance of further action being taken against your license.
If you have been notified of a complaint filed against you with an agency, commission, or licensing board in Texas, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We are experienced professional license defense attorneys and we know how to navigate the complaint process. We are prepared to represent you at any legal hearing or proceeding regarding your professional license.
Our Firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced professional license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves. BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board or state agency, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.