Some laws are black and white. When you do something to violate the law, you know your actions were wrong. But other actions fall into a gray area—not exactly illegal, but not exactly right, either.
These areas can be harder to navigate, yet choosing the wrong course can lead to your professional license being suspended or revoked. Our Texas professional license defense attorneys can help.
Examples of Gray Areas
You’re a realtor, debating how to answer a prospective buyer's question about a possible asbestos problem. On one hand, you don’t know for certain that the home has asbestos issues, but—on the other—the seller did mention that it might.
Or you’re a physician who just learned that an HIV-positive patient has not disclosed that information to his partner. Which interests are you obliged to protect? Your patient’s privacy or his partner’s health?
Perhaps a Certified Public Accountancy firm is conducting an audit of a bank’s financial statements at the same time that your firm’s consulting group is selling the bank’s debt consolidation services. Is this a conflict of interest?
Trusting an Experienced Legal Firm
It’s important to remember that you don't really have to make a “wrong” decision in these cases in order to be under investigation by your respective licensing board. Failing to live up to the profession's ethical standard is enough. For example, in Texas, accountants can potentially lose their license for any act that is “discreditable to the profession.”
Therefore, the real mistake would be to dismiss an ethical quandary as a “no big deal” or simply “go with your gut.” There's no reason to do that. Realtors have a code of ethics as do medical officials and CPAs. And in each case, there is a body of laws and rules to guide you, if only you'd ask. So do. Ask for help. Turn to an ethics expert when you have a question. Preventing a mistake is always easier and faster than trying to clean one up.
And don't forget: Those gray areas can also easily become causes of action in a lawsuit. In fact, the most common reason realtors wind up in court is because of a breach of their (ethical and/or fiduciary) duty to their clients.
BERTOLINO, LLP has been defending Texas professionals for years. We use a creative, results-driven approach to help you get the best possible outcome in your case. We'll speak for you. Our results speak for themselves.
If you are facing allegations of professional misconduct or disciplinary action, contact us today or call (800) 210-0126 and schedule a case evaluation.
BERTOLINO LLP proudly represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston and San Antonio.