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What are the limits on social media use by doctors?

Social media has largely reinvented both how people socialize to how they do business -- and the line between people's personal lives and professional lives often get blurred.

That's a fact that doctors would do well to remember if they want to avoid becoming the target of an administrative investigation and hearing over the misuse of social media.

Are you facing disciplinary action over a trust account mistake?

How long did your law school cover trust accounts? More than likely, it wasn't very long. This could make new attorneys vulnerable to making an error that leads to trouble. The truth is that even seasoned attorneys here in California, or anywhere else in the country for that matter, can make mistakes regarding their trust accounts. If it happens to you, disciplinary action could follow.

The best course of action would be to avoid making a potentially costly mistake in the first place. The problem lies in knowing what actions could cause issues with your trust account.

Can a bankruptcy cost you your professional license?

Professional people run into financial problems just like anybody else -- but unlike the average worker, some professional people have to worry about how a bankruptcy can affect their ability to ply their trade.

If you have a professional license of any kind -- or hope to get one -- here is what you should know about the effects of bankruptcy.

California moves to disbar Arizona attorney

If there's one thing everyone working under a professional license should know these days is that you can't hide out from your troubles in another state.

That's just one of the lessons being learned by an attorney now living in Arizona. The California Bar has recommended that he be disbarred for numerous issues, including failing to have a license to actually practice law in Arizona despite being open for business.

Don't let your lack of tech skills cause you to lose your license

These days, technology has found its way into every aspect of daily life, including the doctor's office.

And doctors don't really have a choice about the matter. While many older doctors may resent having to record all their patient's prescriptions and conditions in the omnipresent office computer, online drug monitoring has become a legal necessity.

Are you in danger of losing your nursing license?

Most nurses figure they'll eventually lose the right to practice nursing because they'll retire and let their license lapse. They don't expect to have the nursing board take their license (and their ability to make a living) from them.

Yet, good nurses make mistakes all the time that could end up creating just that scenario. If you don't want to end up as one of the many nurses who lose their licenses to practice each year, keep the following in mind:

Keep your advertisements from becoming an ethics violation

As an attorney here in California, you have a lot of competition for business. In order to drive business to your firm or office, you may decide to take out online or print advertisements or engage in other acts of solicitation for business. Before doing so, you may want to gain an understanding of the rules of conduct governing attorney solicitation and advertising.

Due to ethical considerations, you may only advertise and solicit legal business in certain ways, and if someone believes that your solicitations violate the rules of conduct, you could end up facing disciplinary board proceedings.

Can a single visit make a patient vulnerable to exploitation?

If a doctor sees a patient while he's covering for her absent primary care physician just to issue a refill on some sleeping tablets, does that constitute a physician-patient relationship that's strong enough to take advantage of the patient's vulnerabilities?

What if nothing untoward happens at that exam, but they meet up again some weeks later in a social setting and the patient asks the doctor out? Should he refuse despite the patient's objection that there's no real doctor-patient relationship?Absolutely. Furthermore, if he doesn't refuse and the patient later feels taken advantage of emotionally, the doctor is the one who is likely to be held accountable.

Attorneys and ethical violations: What to expect

In today's world, ethics are extremely important. When an attorney does participate in some form of misconduct, he or she cannot expect the State Bar to look the other way.

However, there are different penalties for different types of violations -- because not all violations are the same.

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