Do I Need An Attorney For a Professional Discipline Case?

Things happen in life. Sometimes we make mistakes that carry the potential for serious consequences. Sometimes we are accused of doing things we haven’t actually done. Sometimes we are misjudged by people who only know a small detail or two about us. For many people, these issues can be resolved in an amicable way that does not threaten to disrupt or derail their personal and professional lives. For individuals that must possess a renewable license in order to perform their jobs legally, however, the stakes are much higher and the challenges much more difficult to navigate.

When an event occurs that can be perceived by government entities such as the Office for the Professions (OP) or the Office for Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC) as potentially indicative of a flaw in the “moral character” of a licensed individual or license applicant, an involved process of investigations and hearings sets into motion.

Simply being accused of professional misconduct, negligence, or a crime unrelated to your work can possibly render your license void and your employment terminated. As such, even if you are confident in your innocence, the decision made by the Board of Regents may reflect a perception other than that.

Having an experienced attorney there from the beginning to guide you through the entire process can help you be more prepared to face the Board, as well as more confident in the outcome of your case. When your livelihood and reputation are on the line, the only justifiable action is to obtain the best legal advocate for your case that you can.

Professional Discipline Attorney in New York City

There are few prospects more terrifying than having the career you’ve built for yourself taken away by a decision completely out of your control. At Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner, we want to tell you that while the decision itself must be made by the Board of Regents, you are not without options to advocate for yourself and your career.

When you seek out qualified legal assistance, the efficacy of your appeal to the Board can become much more effective. Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner has the skills, knowledge, and experience to provide for you the kind of service your case requires. We understand just how much is at stake, and we understand how important it is to maintain control over your future. At Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner, we will do whatever it takes in order to fight aggressively for you.

If you are facing a Professional Discipline Case in any of the New York Boroughs or Long Island, do not hesitate to reach out to us today at [phone] for a free consultation.


Professional Discipline Information Center


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What Is A Professional Discipline Case?

There are a number of different ways by which a licensed individual can arrive at a Professional Discipline case. For any of the 50 licensable professions in the State of New York, complaints can be filed to the licensing board by clients or patients. The nature of these complaints varies greatly depending on the nature of the profession, but can extend from fraud and the unauthorized release of confidential information, to physical or sexual violence and working beyond the scope of the license granted.

After filing, the complaints are then reviewed and investigated by the Board of Regents (or the Board of Professional Medical Conduct) to determine what, if anything, violates the ethical standards or minimum practice requirements for the profession in question.

If you practice medicine, the entire process is overseen by the OPMC and their Board. Although a different entity than the OP, they serve a similar purpose regarding the investigation of and ruling on Professional Discipline cases. When a complaint is filed to either office, they are under obligation to inspect the claims made and determine their validity.

Investigation

The investigation is conducted by the director of the Office of Professional Discipline or someone appointed by them. The investigator will inspect all of the relevant claims and submitted materials in order to determine if there is a need to further determine the moral character of the person investigated.

If during the process of the investigation evidence is uncovered that shines doubt on the moral character of the license holder or applicant, the material will be submitted to the state board for review. Also submitted with the evidence will be any character witnesses or references that the individual in question wishes the board to see.

Upon review of the presented material, the board can decide one of two things: that the individual in question is not of questionable moral character, or that they are of questionable moral character. If the board decides they are not possessing a questionable moral character, then the process will end with their submitted decision. If, however, the board feels that the licensee or applicant possesses one or more concerning aspects regarding their moral character, they will issue a decision declaring just that.

Hearing

Once this information has been delivered to the licensee or applicant, they have 30 days to request a hearing with the board. After the request has been received, a date for the hearing will be scheduled. The licensee or applicant will be notified 15 days in advance of when and where the hearing will take place. From that point until the date of the hearing, the individual in question has the right to prepare an extensive defense that includes documentation, witnesses, and presentation of said material and witnesses by a legal advocate.

The hearing will essentially be about the licensee or applicant disputing the decision made by the board. Based off of their ruling, presentation of evidence in the form of documents, witnesses, references, and the cross-examination of witnesses, will make up the bulk of the hearing. Once the individual in question has finished their presentation, a panel made up of three or more members of the relevant State Board will make a vote.

Depending on the outcome, either the licensee/applicant or the Director of the State Board can appeal the decision of the panel. If no appeal is made, then the panel’s decision is final. If an appeal is made by either party, all of the relevant documents will be submitted to the Committee on the Professions and they will make the final determination.


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What Can An Attorney Do For Me?

The entire process of a Professional Discipline case can take months to complete, and it involves a number of complex legal maneuvers in order to provide a solid, viable defense. The obtainment of references and character witnesses, as well as the agreement of witnesses to take the stand if it comes to a hearing, can be an impossible task to complete without the assistance of qualified legal professionals. When you contact an experienced Professional License defense attorney, the burden of the process can be lifted from you and placed onto the shoulders of a legal team that knows what to do, how to do it, and who to cooperate with for your defense. Being placed in a position to potentially lose your license and professional reputation is stressful enough, even with quality legal assistance. Without it, the feat of successfully overcoming the odds are Herculean at best, and downright impossible at worst.


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Additional Resources

Office Of The Professions Case Info – This link provides a thorough breakdown of the entire process from start to finish. Any questions regarding how a Professional Discipline case will proceed can look at this link to immediately understand.

OPMC Main page – This is the main page of the OPMC and provides links to many different topics that pertain to the issue of Professional Discipline cases. By surveying the website it is possible to come across a list of frequently answered questions, documents providing detailed information about what constitutes medical misconduct, as well as procedures regarding those investigations.


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New York City Professional Discipline Case Attorney

There is no doubt you have worked incredibly hard to obtain the education and experience that you have. The career you have built is a direct result of the dedicated, diligent labor you put into it. Even though your hard work is a testament to you, the edifice of professional reputation can be torn down by even the most unassuming roadblock. At Law Office of Rochelle S. Berliner, it is our mission to provide aggressive and comprehensive defenses to our clients.

We understand the significance that each and every case means to our clients’ lives, and we empathize with you as you deal with the anxiety and stress that comes with the prospect of losing your license. When the time comes to face the State Board, when the time comes to fight for your right to continue doing what you’ve worked so hard for, when the time comes to fight for and defend your future, we want to be there by your side.

If you are facing a Professional Discipline Case in the Greater New York City area, contact us at 718-261-5600 to begin preparing your defense!


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Rochelle Berliner
Rochelle Berliner

Rochelle Berliner grew up in Queens, NY. She started New York Law School in January 1989 and graduated in June 1991. Immediately after law school, she started working at the New York County District Attorney’s Office, where she stayed for approximately 14 years...

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