It's human nature to feel a need to share bad news with other people as a way of generating support. Professionals, for all the efforts they have gone through to obtain their licenses and to create successful careers for themselves, are people, after all, and share this need. But when a professional receives a formal complaint from their licensing Board, agency, or commission, they should do their very best to not succumb to the temptation to seek this support from their colleagues. They should not speak about the issue with anyone other than their attorney (with the possible exception of a spouse or close family member).
Why? First of all, a complaint against a professional's license is a very real threat to their reputation, their career, and their livelihood. This puts it in a class of its own as a form of information that could be considered "highly sensitive." And putting this sort of information in a colleague's hands may have any number of repercussions—even ones the professional in question may never find out about.
Furthermore, a colleague may be called before the licensing Board—along with, say, a boss, peers, or even staff members—to act as a witness in the proceedings concerning the formal complaint, for reasons that the professional whose license is under fire may not be able to predict. And even during the investigation process, a representative of the Board or an investigator might choose to speak with one of these individuals. Anything you say to one of them might get repeated—or even misrepresented, even if unintentionally. Other licensed professionals even often have a duty to report violations of duties of care or violations of board rules, and fear of discipline against their own license might cause them to over-represent any statements you made to them, just in case.
The one person a professional may feel safe sharing information with is their attorney (and their staff, if they indicate it is appropriate to do so). The attorney-client privilege protects client statements as confidential.
This is why a professional who learns they are the subject of a complaint against their license should contact us immediately, before speaking to anyone else. Our law firm helps professionals 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.