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Mounting a Defense When Your Professional License is Under Threat

The prospect of losing one’s professional license can be an extremely stressful experience. When one is faced with disbarment or license revocation, one’s entire source of income becomes threatened.  There is also an element of public shaming, and of course the possibility of fines and other sanctions.  With so much at stake, it is imperative that individuals facing license revocation or disbarment obtain representation from a skilled and dedicated professional license defense attorney.  The future depends upon it.

License Revocation in the Field of Medicine

In the field of medicine, upon proof of good cause, the state has the power to revoke a license to practice medicine.   Good cause, on the general level, is based on conduct contrary to public health, safety, and morals.  From this policy, one can infer that license revocation in the medical context is as much about protecting the public as it is about punishing the physician.   Both incompetence and the unauthorized practice of medicine are common grounds for license revocation.  Importantly, though, irrespective of the basis, physicians faced with license revocation are entitled to due process and the equal protection of the laws.  Accordingly, license revocation must be preceded by adequate notice and a hearing.  If you suspect you were denied these basic rights, contact an experienced professional license defense attorney immediately.

Besides incompetence and the unauthorized practice of medicine, other examples of good cause include:

– Bad character;

– Immorality;

– Professional misconduct;

– Dishonorable conduct;

– Criminal conviction;

– Gross negligence;

– Guilty finding of drug or alcohol abuse; and

– Mental disability.

Disbarment in the Legal Profession

In levying sanctions, including disbarment, various factors may be considered, including:

– The duties violated;

– The attorney’s mental state;

– The injury, whether potential or actual, caused by the attorney’s misconduct; and

– The presence of aggravating or mitigating circumstances.

Grounds for disbarment are many, and include failure to avoid conflicts of interest, lack of diligence, lack of competence, and failure to maintain personal integrity, among many others.

Disbarment is a very severe punishment because it actually terminates an individual’s status as an attorney.  In the worst-case scenario, disbarment is permanent.  Elsewhere, after several years from the effective date of disbarment, reinstatement may be possible through a showing by clear and convincing evidence of rehabilitation and fitness to practice law and successful completion of the bar examination.

What To Do If You Have Been Threatened With Disbarment or License Revocation

Before your professional license can be revoked, you must be given reasonable notice of the revocation proceeding and an opportunity to appear and make a defense.  Furthermore, the notice must specify the exact charges being made against you.  As soon as you receive notice, it is imperative that you retain the services of a skilled professional license defense attorney.  The same is true if you are seeking restoration of a professional license.  Too much is at stake.