As a licensed professional, your license represents your livelihood, future and status within your field of practice. When a licensing board signals a potential suspension or even termination of that license, it is not a matter to be taken lightly. By taking a few steps (and avoiding others), you can strengthen your position in this potentially life-changing legal proceeding.
Carefully prepare your response
Do not respond to a notice of a licensing and disciplinary action without first carefully preparing your response. You may feel you have nothing to hide and therefore have no hesitation in providing as much information as you can, but this can be a mistake. Even well-intentioned information can actually hurt your legal prospects. Before writing a letter or talking with investigators, consult with an attorney who has experience handling this complex area of law.
Tell your attorney everything
Once you have enlisted the services of a professional licensing defense attorney, do not hesitate to share everything your attorney needs to know to protect your rights. Attorney-client privilege protects the communications you have with your lawyer, allowing you to share potentially embarrassing or even incriminating information. The last thing you want is your lawyer to be surprised by information he or she should have known at the very outset of your legal defense.
Keep diligent records
Licensing boards will consider documented evidence when deciding on the ultimate outcome of this matter. Make sure you do not dispose of any documents pertaining to the related incident. You may need this information to launch a successful defense. Destroying documents (even in accordance with your routine schedule) could result in additional accusations that would only worsen your situation.
Prepare for the worst
Hope for the best, yes, but don’t let a rosy outlook curtail careful planning. Even if you know you did nothing wrong, you may have to provide evidence clearing your name and do so within the framework of a board investigation. Boards operate under a strict set of protocols and timelines, so simply knowing you have never violated professional ethics is not enough to go on.
By thoroughly preparing and avoiding costly mistakes, you can give yourself the best possible chance of keeping your license and putting this matter behind you.