Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Discusses Considerations Regarding Disciplinary Action: How to Know When to Fight the Charges or Negotiate a Favorable Disposition

Developing effective strategies for defending against allegations of professional licensing misconduct begins with a thorough analysis of the facts and circumstances. Without a comprehensive understanding of the claims and the factual underpinnings for them, then there is no practical method of devising a winning defense strategy.

Understanding all of the facts after conducting a complete investigation will uncover the strengths and weaknesses of the government’s case, i.e., the licensing authority, as well as the viability of defending against the case at a full hearing on the merits. Sometimes a thorough investigation reveals that the best option is to negotiate a favorable disposition of the action. In other instances, the better option is to fight until the bitter end.

An experienced professional licensing attorney has numerous considerations to analyze before advising a client on the possible outcome of the disciplinary action. Any attorney representing a client has the duty imposed upon him or her by the ethics of the legal profession to advise his or her client about all of the possible avenues the litigation could take and the potential outcomes of each avenue. The attorney must further advise his or her client about the benefits and pitfalls of each choice.

An inexperienced attorney might stop there and allow the client to consider the pros and cons of each decision and remove himself or herself from the analysis. Dumping the decision all on the client is not advocating; it is scapegoating. The client must make the ultimate decision in the end. However, the effective advocate will talk through each scenario and the permutations to flush out the best potential outcome.

The seasoned professional licensing attorney will evaluate his or her client’s tolerance for risk before advising the client on a particular defense stratagem.  Some clients might want to “roll the dice” and see what happens after a full hearing. Other people are more cautious and need to reduce their exposure to harm. The more risk-averse clients might feel that negotiating a favorable disposition is more advantageous than risking it all after a hearing.

The “gambling” types do not always benefit from litigating the complaint on its merits. Similarly, the risk-averse might not achieve the best result from negotiating a resolution. The question that necessarily follows is: how do you know what to do?

Naturally, the answer is never an absolute certainty. The professional licensing lawyer must advise her or his client entirely and answer all of the questions that the client might have at the time. No one is necessarily bound to a course of action once a decision is made on a defense strategy. Sometimes a hybrid approach is the best option.

An experienced professional licensing attorney might seek your permission to negotiate the best disposition possible. Your licensing attorney could negotiate with the prosecuting attorney and arrive at an agreement that is in your best interest. If there is no agreement to be had, because, for example, the prosecuting authority wants you to admit to wrongdoing to achieve a favorable outcome and you do not believe you did anything wrong, then you would need to evaluate the situation. In that instance, defending the case until the end might be the best option. For others, they might consider licensing discipline to be a business decision and accept the best option that allows them to continue working in their chosen profession without significant penalties.

Discuss All of Your Options with A Trusted Professional Licensing Advocate

Kansas and Missouri Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger has a well-earned reputation as a trusted advocate for professional licensees. You could rely on her experience and expertise to guide you through a difficult and challenging juncture in your career. Call Attorney Sanger today at 785-979-4353 to find out more.