What do you do when a legal proceeding threatens your professional license? Professional licensure is a privilege afforded to those in the medical, accounting, engineering, and other fields - but it is vulnerable to legal attack from those clients or other entities that perceive themselves as being wronged. Taking some preventive action today can help you avoid the massive professional and financial impact that can come along with facing legal attacks to your license.
So, what should I do to prepare for disciplinary action defense? First, you need to make sure that you are properly insured against malpractice. This type of insurance is commonly associated with physicians, but it can also be available for other professionals in technical fields. Your carrier should include coverage for investigation by professional boards. Further, be sure that you are taking excellent notes and documenting everything that happens in your practice. Record-keeping is particularly important for those ethically tricky situations.
What if I'm investigated by a board? Never underestimate the power of a board investigation. Taking this process too lightly can jeopardize your ability to continue to work in your chosen field. Make sure that you are seeking legal counsel throughout the process - and certainly do not respond to any letters or sign any documents until you have consulted with your administrative law professionals.
Why do I need an attorney for a board investigation? Your legal team can protect your rights throughout the investigation process, allowing you to approach the proceedings with a professional perspective. Attorneys make sure that your interests are properly represented and that you do not take a misstep that makes your intentions seem unethical - such as a statement that may seem like you are trying to intimidate a complainant. Using a professional team can help you understand your legal rights and responsibilities, maximizing your outcome in court.
Source: Zur Institute, "When The Board Comes Knocking: How To Respond To A Licensing Board Investigation And Protect Your License, Professional Career, And Livelihood," Ofer Zur, accessed March 15, 2017