Protect your architectural examiner’s license
Architects fuse art with science. You use your talent and knowledge to transform a skyline or bring a neighborhood back to life with color and style. You also do so in a way that is structurally sound and does not pose any risks to the public.
With these important factors at stake, having a solid reputation is essential to attracting and keeping clients. If you are facing a licensing or board complaint from a client that threatens to harm the career you spent years building, don’t face the process alone. Contact an Texas professional license defense lawyer at Bertolino LLP. We may be able to help.
Common Types of Complaints Made Against Architectural Examiners Licenses
There are many different types of complaints that could be made against architects, and others who may hold architectural examiners’ licenses. Some of the more common allegations of violations and complaints that may be made against you could include:
- Misrepresenting risk
- Improper drafting of contracts
- Claims against your professional designs
- Code of conduct violations
- Practicing with the lapsed licensed
- Improper or illegal advertising
- Use of titles by a non-licensed individual
- Plan stamping
- Offering landscape architecture or architectural services without a certificate of authorization
- Practicing landscape architecture or architecture without a license
- Aiding and abetting
- Non-compliance with continuing education requirements
These are just a few of the more common types of complaints and allegations of violations that could be made against you when you hold an architectural examiner’s license.
It is important to note that the Texas Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors and the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners does not typically get themselves involved in contractual disputes, financial disputes, or design disputes, as these may be considered civil matters and will need to be pursued in civil court.
How Complaints Against Your Architectural Examiner’s License Are Handled
Complaints against architectural examiners’ licenses and architect professionals are handled by the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) and the Texas Board of Professional Engineers (TBPE). These entities provide oversight to interior designers, architects, landscape architects, and professional engineers.
Once the TBAE & TBPE have received a complaint, they will begin an initial evaluation to determine whether to move forward with an investigation within 30 days. Here is more about what you can expect from each of these board investigations.
Texas Board of Architectural Examiners Complaints
If a complaint is filed with the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners, the TBAE will begin investigating to determine whether complaints fall under TBAE jurisdiction. This would include complaints specific to landscape architects, registered interior designers, and architects.
Once jurisdiction has been established, the Board may move forward with a contested case proceeding. Contested cases may be resolved at any point if the licensee agrees to a settlement in writing. such an agreement will need to include facts and conclusions of the law, a consent order, or a letter of reprimand.
Settlement agreements must be presented to the Board for review. The Board has the authority to approve or reject the settlement agreement at their discretion. The licensee will also have the opportunity to agree to an alternative settlement should other terms be suggested or approved by the Board.
What If You don’t Agree to a Settlement?
If you do not agree to a settlement, you likely will be required to submit any documentation you filed regarding the incident in question and may have to testify at an Architectural Board hearing.
You are entitled to legal representation through every step of the process. Having the right attorney by your side will help make sure you present the strongest case possible to those who may determine your professional future.
Texas Board of Professional Engineers Complaints
The Texas Board of Professional Engineers overseas allegations of violations of the Texas Engineering Practice Act. Here, when a complaint is made, the Board will conduct an investigation if they review the complaint and determine a potential violation exists.
The Board can then request information from all involved parties, perform site visits, investigate the complaint in question, hire expert witnesses and consultants throughout their investigation, request subpoenas for information, and request the assistance of law enforcement authorities as needed as part of their investigation proceedings.
Dismissing a Complaint
Should the TBPE find no sufficient evidence to move forward with disciplinary action, they may recommend dismissal of the complaint and report such a dismissal to the Board. If there is sufficient evidence to support the complaint in question, the TBPE may take action to resolve your case. You may have several options presented to you by the Executive Director, including:
- Agreeing to an informal Consent Order or Agreed Board Order
- Entering into a voluntary compliance agreement
- Referring criminal actions to law-enforcement authorities
- Agreeing to participate in mediation
- Referral to the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH)
With help from your architectural examiner’s license defense attorney, you can attempt to resolve the allegations against you in several ways. You may be able to obtain a consent order, request an informal conference to present evidence to support your case, and request that your case be heard by the state office of administrative hearings if your complaint is contested.
When the penalties of allegations are deemed valid or severe, it is critical that you take action to protect your architectural examiner license and your career. With help from an architectural examiner license defense attorney at Bertolino LLP, you can secure your future and clear up the allegations made against you.
Potential Consequences of Complaints Against Your Architectural Examiner License
The TBPE and TBAE are meant to address complaints made against architectural professionals through continuing education responsibilities. Generally, the disciplinary action taken aims to correct mistakes and improve architectural performance. However, depending on the details of your case, there are several penalties you could face, such as:
- Administrative penalties
- Suspension or revocation of your architectural examiner license
- Continuing education
- Criminal charges and penalties
How Bertolino LLP Can Help Protect Your Architectural Examiner License
As your lawyer, we will work with you and help you decide the best course of action. If the board complaint affects the strength of your private business or involves a criminal component, we have business attorneys and criminal defense attorneys ready to counsel you as well.
As the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners begins to investigate complaints made against you, it has never been more important to have the right attorney by your side. Our firm is here to help architects, registered interior designers, and landscapers protect their architectural examiner licenses in the following ways:
- Helping you respond to investigations initiated by the TBAE
- Describing the details in question in favor of the licensee
- Building a powerful defense against complaints and allegations of violating local, state, or federal laws
- Submitting necessary documentation to the appropriate parties
- Representing you in your architectural board hearing or a hearing with the State Office of Administrative Hearings
Your career could be in jeopardy due to a complaint filed by someone. Do not underestimate the seriousness of such matters. Make sure you have an experienced, aggressive professional license defense attorney who thoroughly understands the law and knows how to build a strong, successful case.
Contact an Architectural Examiners License Defense Attorney for Help Today
When your architectural examiner’s license is on the line, give your legal case the best possible defense. Contact our architectural examiner’s license defense attorneys at Bertolino LLP.
Whether it is reviewing blueprints or carefully combing through official records, the attorneys at Bertolino LLP are willing to do whatever it takes to find the facts. Take steps to protect your rights. Contact us today and schedule a case evaluation. Call and schedule an appointment at our Austin office.