Texas licensing boards investigate complaints filed against the individuals and entities they license. When a complaint moves forward to investigation and is not resolved informally, or when the licensee requests a hearing, then the case will be forwarded to the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearing (SOAH) for formal hearing.
SOAH hears all types of cases against license holders regarding complaints of violations of board rules and/or other alleged malfeasance. A SOAH hearing serves as the final state in formal resolution of a board complaint.
Prior to a SOAH hearing, the board and licensee have the opportunity to resolve the dispute through alternative dispute resolution.
Alternative Dispute Resolution
Alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is the use of methods, such as mediation, to resolve a dispute instead of litigation. At SOAH it is the use of alternative methods to come to a settlement agreement or otherwise resolve the complaint before the formal SOAH hearing.
SOAH has used ADR in contested cases hearing since 1995. The ADR methods used include mediation, and other variations of assisted negotiation, such as mini-trials, early case evaluation by a neutral third-party, or fact-finding by an expert. Mediation is the primary ADR process used by SOAH. Binding arbitration is an ADR method specifically excluded as an option for state agencies.
Mediation affords both parties the opportunity negotiate an agreement and to resolve a dispute on their own. There are a number of benefits to mediation, including the opportunity for the parties to have flexibility in crafting creative solutions to resolution, avoiding the risk of having the case decided by a SOAH Administrative Law Judge, and avoiding the additional time and costs of a SOAH hearing.
While alternative dispute resolution is the best option in some cases, not all disputes should be resolved through mediation or other ADR methods. If you are facing a license dispute with a Texas licensing board or other state agency, it is best to have a professional license defense attorney represent you during the entire enforcement process. He or she can craft an effective legal defense strategy, evaluate the benefits and drawbacks of any settlement offer, and help guide you toward achieving the best possible outcome in your case.
Our law firm helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board.
The professional license defense lawyers at Bertolino Law Firm have consistently won significant cases for doctors, nurses, lawyers, architects, pharmacists and other professionals dealing with issues that could jeopardize their ability to work. We know how to build a strong case to protect your license - and your livelihood. Our results speak for themselves.
If you have received a licensing complaint, BERTOLINO LLP can help. We represent licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. Our honest, experienced attorneys will fight aggressively on behalf of your license and reputation. Contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.