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Recovering from a licensing board complaint

When you learned that the California Board of Registered Nursing received a complaint against you, you may have been stunned. Perhaps you felt angry or began second-guessing your choice of careers. After spending so much money and time getting your license, to have it put on the line so easily seems almost unreal.

Shocking as it may seem, it often doesn't take much for a nurse to face the scrutiny of a disciplinary board. Professional licensing boards are essential for maintaining high quality care for patients. Nevertheless, you may feel especially vulnerable if you are unsure why someone filed a complaint against you.

What happens if my moral character application is denied?

Part of the process of applying for admission into bar is a review of your moral character application. During this procedure, the review board checks your background, delves into why you left a job, what kind of credit you have, and any criminal offenses that might exist in your record. Even if you've passed all the other tests with flying colors, the moral character application is the one that has the least amount of black and white in the decision process. 

New law could make it harder for doctors to continue to practice

Doctors practicing in California now have another reason to be on their best behavior. A new piece of legislation supported by the California Medical Association would prevent physicians from seeking probation through the state's administrative disciplinary process if their actions have harmed patients. Instead, they would have to face a judge.

What To Do if You Are a Physician Under Board Investigation

Everyone knows that physicians have worked hard to earn their medical licenses. They have endured four years of college, four grueling years of medical school, and then completed residency to pass their board exams. They may have even completed fellowship training to specialize in a specific area of care.

But however much hard work and expertise physicians bring to their jobs, many doctors will wind up facing lawsuits and/or board investigations before their careers come to a close. If you are a medical professional who is being investigated by the board, there are several actions that you should consider taking that will likely help to maximize your chances of a successful outcome. 

Can debt prevent admission to the State Bar?

When applying for entrance into the State Bar of California, you will undergo a thorough background check that will include scrutiny of your financial records. Many applicants often worry about what having debt will do to their chances of gaining acceptance. After all, just about everybody leaves school with student loans, credit card balances and perhaps other loans. Do your books need to be completely clear?

Lawyer not charged after submitting racially charged drawings

Lawyers are typically held to the highest standards when it comes to behavior in a public court of law. Nonetheless, Encino-based immigration law attorney Wayne Spindler submitted a public speaking card filled with incendiary drawings, including a burning cross and a man hung from a tree, during a city counsel meeting on May 11, 2016. The counsel is headed City Counsel President Herb Wesson, who is African-American.

According to the Los Angeles Times, Spindler was arrested soon after it occurred on suspicion of making threats against Wesson. A judge also issued a restraining order against Spindler, keeping him at least 100 feet away from Wesson except in council meetings -- Spindler regularly appears at the meetings and speaks in manner akin to the card he submitted, often tying it to his theories about corruption in local government. Spindler has also openly and repeatedly worn a Ku Klux Klan hood with a swastika to council meetings.

An alternative to standard discipline

Lawyers, like you, are familiar with the State Bar Court of California and what it represents. Under investigation or discipline, you may feel frustrated or overwhelmed regardless of whether or not you agree with the allegations. However, depending on circumstances, you may not need to be subject to standard disciplinary methods.

The State Bar Court of California initially organized the Lawyers Assistance Program (LAP) to assist attorneys with substance abuse or mental health concerns. Lawyers can seek assistance from LAP even without first receiving disciplinary action. Participating attorneys receive confidential support and structure for recovery.

California bar considering banning sex between attorneys and clients

The California Bar Association's ethics rules are getting their first major revisions in three decades, the Associated Press reported recently. One hot-button issue: Can attorneys have sex with their clients?

If the ban is adopted, California will join 17 other states with a general ban on sex between attorneys and clients. The current rule in California already forbids sex between clients and attorneys in these cases:

  • It is coercive.
  • It is in exchange for legal favors.
  • It prevents the attorney from competently providing legal services.

Study finds occupational licensing hurdles for certain groups

An independent California state oversight agency released a comprehensive study in October that assessed barriers to obtaining occupational and professional licenses in the state. The Little Hoover Commission found in its report that four groups of people face barriers to obtaining licenses to work in certain professions in the state: criminal-record holders, military spouses, veterans and foreign-trained workers.

The report provides comprehensive information about California occupational licensing, which is heavily regulated and administered by several state agencies, most predominantly the Department of Consumer Affairs. The purposes of requiring occupational and professional licenses for certain professions include consumer protection and a desire to professionalize certain jobs, but in the state's efforts to meet these goals through a rigorous licensing process, the four groups mentioned above can face unique barriers to becoming licensed.

What gets reported to the Bar?

When applying for entrance to the California State Bar, you will likely be required to complete a Moral Character and Fitness application. It is best to understand what kind of information the bar will receive once this extensive background check is completed. You will have a better opportunity to defend your past actions in a positive light if you understand in what context they are being reported.

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Torrance, CA 90503

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