Tag Archive for: Kansas professional licensing lawyer

Frequently Asked Questions about Nursing Board Hearings in Kansas and Missouri

The nursing profession is committed to assisting in the care and to easing the suffering of patients stricken with physical and emotional illnesses and injuries.  The road to service in this noble health care role involves a commitment to education, practical training, and experience that often entails significant individual and family sacrifices.  Given the obstacles and challenges that must be overcome on the road to obtaining a nursing license in Kansas or Missouri, nurses facing allegations that jeopardize their professional license and livelihood should never have to confront such charges alone.

Lawrence Kansas Nursing License Attorney Danielle Sanger draws upon her extensive experience in the Kansas Attorney General’s Office as an Assistant Attorney General. She handled many professional licensing and disciplinary issues on behalf of the Kansas State Board of Nursing.  Our Kansas and Missouri Professional License Defense Law Firm has provided answers to frequently asked questions (FAQs) from nurses facing investigations and proceedings related to professional discipline and licensing:

How do unfounded charges become leveled against nurses?

The Kansas State Board of Nursing and the Missouri Board of Nursing is focused on its primary objective of protecting the public.  Unfortunately, overzealousness in pursuing this function can result in the rights of individual nurses being trampled.  Consequently, you need an attorney with experience handling nursing board cases defending your license and rights in front of the nursing board.  Because Ms. Sanger has extensive experience prosecuting these case, she has the experience and expertise to diagnose and defend against unjustified charges and to prevent disproportionate penalties.

What penalties can be imposed for nursing board violations?

A nursing board has fairly wide discretion when imposing penalties, but punishments most typically imposed include:

  • Public reprimands
  • Monitoring
  • License revocation
  • Monitoring
  • Restrictions on nursing activities
  • Probation of a license suspension
  • Administrative fines

What are the most common grounds for discipline imposed by the nursing board?

Broadly, the Nursing Board investigates two types of cases: (1) behavioral cases; and (2) practice-related cases.  While there are a wide range of facts and circumstances that might result in disciplinary charges, some of the more common examples include:

  • Drug and alcohol dependency
  • Falsification or lying
  • Standard of care violations
  • Engaging in a criminal offense
  • Theft
  • Other Acts intended to or likely to defraud the public
  • Mental health or psychiatric disorders

How do investigations by the Kansas State Board of Nursing (KSBN) get initiated?

The majority of disciplinary complaints against nurses are initiated by employers pursuant to the Risk Management Act.  Hospitals and other employers are required to report nursing conduct that deviates from the appropriate standard of care.  The reported conduct must have a reasonable probability of resulting in harm to a patient.  Employers also are obligated to report any conduct that might constitute a basis for discipline.  However, there are many other sources that can spur complaints including news media reports, law enforcement, court proceedings, family members of patients, individual health care providers, other agencies, and neighbors.  However, these reports can be used as a means of pursuing a personal vendetta since the agency does not identify the sources of reports.

Who conducts the investigations?

Complaints investigated by the KSBN are actually investigated by licensed nurses.  Each case is assigned to one of several investigators.

How long does the disciplinary process take?

The general rule is that the process will be wrapped up within approximately 6-9 months, but the process can drag on longer depending on the specific facts and circumstances.  Factors that can slow the resolution process include uncooperative witnesses, slow responses to requests or subpoenas for records and documents, challenges in locating witnesses, and similar issues.

Kansas Professional Licensing Lawyer Danielle Sanger is prepared to investigate the allegations against you and aggressively pursue available defenses to protect your nursing license.  If you are facing allegations of misconduct or substandard care by the nursing board, Attorney Danielle Sanger represents attorneys facing disciplinary proceedings in Missouri or Kansas.  We invite you to call us today for a free consultation at 785-979-4353.

Lessons Legal Malpractice Trends Provide Regarding Future Professional Discipline Allegations

State bar complaints in Missouri or Kansas can be based on conduct that violates ethical rules even if the acts or omissions do not rise to the level of a criminal offense or a legal malpractice claim.  However, legal malpractice or a criminal offense that constitutes an offense moral turpitude comprises common paths to becoming embroiled in state bar disciplinary proceedings.  Because a high volume of bar complaints arise out of allegations of legal malpractice, a recent report discussing legal malpractice claim trends provides guidance on future patterns in disciplinary charges.

The recent report published in the Insurance Journal acknowledges that law firms are confronted by more extensive liability risks as they adapt to the realities of the present business environment.  The recent study by a major legal malpractice carrier reports a steady flow of legal malpractice claims, including claims in excess of $50 million.  The notion that professional discipline tends to involve solo practitioners and small law firms is refuted by this report.  The study focused on claims handled by ten of the largest legal malpractice insurers, representing three-fourths of AM Law 100 law firms.  Some of the findings that can guide attorneys looking to avoid malpractice complaints and professional discipline include:

Areas of Practice Most Frequently Subject to Malpractice Claims: When it comes to conduct that constitutes ethical violations or malpractice, all areas of law are not created equal.  Two in three malpractice insurers reported that probate and estate planning matters constituted the most common legal matters involved in claims.  This represents a change because real estate law has fallen to fourth after amounting to the leading cause of malpractice lawsuits during the prior four years.  Corporate and securities law constitutes the second highest practice area subject to malpractice claims while business transactions is the third leading cause of claims.  The drop in real estate claims is assumed to reflect the changed market and the resolution of many allegations made against law firms in the wake of the real estate market meltdown.

Volume of Claims Remained Reasonably Stable: The report notes that claims rose to an all-time high during 2011 and 2012 when law firms grew rapidly and merged in attempts to respond to an environment of intense competition.  The authors of the report indicate that law firms need to focus on the expanding and evolving risks associated with growth and expansion.  As the concentration of law firms had slowed, so have malpractice claims.  Half of the insurance carriers reported that claims against law firms in 2014 remained consistent with the volume from the previous year.  Two of the remaining firms saw greater claims activity while two others saw less claims activity.  The overall conclusion was that malpractice claims remained essentially constant from 2013 to 2014.

Legal Issues/Matters Causing Highest Number of Claims: Conflict of interests are consistently the leading cause of claims, especially as law firms seek to expand through mergers and acquisitions or lateral hires from other firms.  The conflicts created by such combinations are often not identified early enough, or they are disregarded.  While cyber exposures have not been as prevalent, three malpractice insurers identified cyber or network security events as the basis of malpractice claims.  Given the rising issue of cyber security and professional obligations regarding attorney-client privilege and confidentiality, this an area expected to see significant future growth in terms of malpractice claims.

Kansas Professional Licensing Lawyer Danielle Sanger is prepared to investigate the allegations against you and aggressively pursue available defenses to protect your law license.  If you are facing a state bar complaint, Attorney Danielle Sanger represents attorneys facing disciplinary proceedings in Missouri or Kansas, so call us today for a free consultation at 785-979-4353.

Kansas Cosmetology Professionals – How Your License Can Be Revoked

Whether you are a hair stylist, makeup artist, or a hair removal specialist, among other cosmetology professions, you understand that you must follow certain rules and procedures as a condition for having a Kansas cosmetology license.  While you are taught in school what the limits of your cosmetology license are, and what conduct may be grounds for revocation of your license, there are always things you may not be aware of that could lead to the loss of your cosmetology license.  If you gain a full understanding of what your license allows you to do, and what conduct is prohibited, you will be able to avoid the potential loss of your cosmetology license.

Kansas Board of Cosmetology – Grounds for Revocation of Your Cosmetology License

The Kansas Board of Cosmetology follows state rules and regulations to govern the conduct of all Kansas cosmetology professionals.  These rules and regulations are intended to protect the public welfare and ensure Kansas cosmetologists are operating in a sanitary, professional and safe environment.

Conduct that may lead to the loss of your cosmetology license under KSA § 65-1908 includes, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • Failure to comply with sanitation standards, such as having an unclean workspace or not properly sterilizing cosmetology equipment and/or devices;
  • Becoming a danger to the public because of alcohol or drug abuse;
  • Being convicted of a felony (unless the licensee demonstrates to the Board of Cosmetology that he or she is capable of working as a professional cosmetologist, that he or she has been rehabilitated, and that he or she is not a danger to the public);
  • Obtaining or attempting to obtain a cosmetology license by fraud or bribery;
  • Advertising in a false or deceptive way;
  • Gross negligence or unprofessional conduct, which can be very broad; or
  • Having a license revoked, suspended or limited, or having any other disciplinary action taken against you in another state or United States territory.

Most people are aware that many of the things listed above would certainly put your license at risk.  However, some of the above-listed issues may be questionable, and you may be accused of something you did not do.  In such cases, you should consult with a Kansas professional license defense attorney who can investigate your situation and fight for your ability to keep your cosmetology license. 

In particular, gross negligence, unprofessional conduct, and allegedly advertising yourself in a false or deceptive way are things that are subjective.  These are issues that must be fully investigated as it is not adequate to accuse a licensee without sufficient evidence.  If you have been accused of such conduct, you will need to prove to the Board of Cosmetology that you deserve to keep your Kansas cosmetology license, and this can be done with the help of a devoted and skilled professional license defense attorney.

Contact Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

If your Kansas cosmetology license is at risk, you should speak with a Kansas professional license defense attorney as soon as possible.  The rules and regulations governed by the Kansas Board of Cosmetology can be very confusing, but with the help of a qualified attorney, you will have a better understanding of what authority your cosmetology license gives you.  Professional Licensing Attorney Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office advocates for her clients to the fullest extent possible, helping them retain their Kansas professional licenses.  Danielle Sanger is a former Assistant Attorney General of Kansas, with the skill and knowledge to help you reach the best resolution possible.  To schedule a free consultation to discuss your matter, contact the Sanger Law Office today by calling (785) 979-4353.


Seven Ways Kansas Technical Professionals Can Endanger their Licenses

The Kansas State Board of Technical Professions is the governing agency for engineering, architecture, landscape architecture, geology and surveying professionals.  Specifically, the Board has the power to suspend or revoke a technical professional’s license, or take other disciplinary actions.  However, some licensees are not aware of the mistakes that could place their licenses, and their jobs, in jeopardy. The following are seven of the most common errors that can land a technical professional in hot water with the Board:

  1. Non-Authorized Use of Signature or Seal: A licensee cannot affix his or her signature or seal to any documents, reports, records or other papers that were not personally prepared by the licensee or under the licensee’s direct control and supervision. A licensee who sells a signature or seal not only risks losing his or her license, but risks criminal charges as well.
  1. Felony conviction:  Many licensees are not aware that a felony conviction is considered unprofessional conduct and can lead to a loss of license. Regardless of whether the act that lead to the conviction was related to the licensee’s professional duties. Be aware that in Kansas, a third DUI conviction is a felony if the second conviction was in the 10 years prior to the third conviction.
  1. Incompetence: If the investigation of a project failure concludes that the cause of the failure was due to a licensee’s gross incompetence, the licensee could lose his or her license. In some instances, the Board may require that a licensee whose competence is at issue, pass an appropriate examination.
  1. Improper Advertising: A licensee cannot advertise services in a technical professional field unless he or she is qualified by education and experience and licensed in that particular field.
  1. Performing Services Without a License: Technical professionals are often licensed in more than one state. A licensee can jeopardize his or license if he or she performs services in a state in which he or she is not licensed. In some instances, the licensee is not only subject to discipline and possible criminal charges in that state but also in the state(s) in which he or she is licensed.
  1. Fraud in Obtaining a License: An applicant for a license must be truthful and forthright in his or her efforts to obtain a license. Misrepresentation or deceit in the application can lead to serious problems.
  1. Failure to Meet Licensing Renewal Requirements: One of the easiest ways for a licensee to remain in good standing with the Kansas State Board is to meet all licensing requirements, including timely payment of fees and completion of the requisite number of continuing education classes.

If you received notice from the Kansas State Board of Technical Professions that a complaint has been filed against you, do not delay in seeking legal help.  Contact the Sanger Law Office today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation. The Sanger Law Office has the experience handling professional license defense matters that you need to protect your livelihood and reputation. Trust the Sanger Law Office to provide you with exceptional legal services.

Kansas Legal Professionals: The Rules of Advertising

There often comes a time when an attorney or a law firm wants to attract a larger client base. Maybe an attorney wants to start his or her own firm and needs to let the community know about the services the new office will provides. Or maybe a firm is looking to expand its practice into new areas of law. Whatever the reason, attracting new clients is usually not an easy task. Most attorneys, especially more senior partners, believe that the only way to obtain quality clients is through old-fashioned word of mouth and referrals from other attorneys who have different practice areas. Although both methods are tried and true, it can often take years to build up a solid client base.

Attorneys that are looking to attract new clients quicker and faster are often looking for new methods not traditionally used in legal circles. One such method is through advertising. Although thought to be taboo by some attorneys, advertising, whether in print ads, internet or television is a valid and often very successful way to draw new clients. However, before you put an advertisement in the local paper or on television, you need to be aware of the applicable rules regarding attorney advertising. In Kansas, attorneys should become familiar with the advertising rules which are set forth in the Rules of Professional Conduct. Violating these rules is sure way to encounter a problem with the Office of Disciplinary Administration. Here are a few key areas where attorneys who are not familiar with the rules related to advertising can encounter problems:

  • Advertisements cannot contain false or misleading statements: Attorney advertisements cannot contain false or misleading statements about the lawyer’s services. This includes statements that are considered likely to create expectations about the results an attorney can achieve. For example, statements regarding the amount of damages the attorney won for a particular client or a result that the attorney was able to achieve in a particular type of case. An attorney may also not compare his or her services to that of another attorney’s services, unless that comparison can be factually substantiated.
  • Advertisements that refer to the attorney as a specialist: An attorney can advertise that he or she does or does not practice in certain areas of law. However, an attorney cannot advertise that he or she specializes or is a certified specialist in an area of law, unless the organization that has given the certification to the attorney has been authorized to do so by the state and the advertisement contains the name of that organization. An exception to this rule is that attorneys that have been admitted to patent practice may designate themselves as a “Patent Attorney”.
  • Failure to name an attorney: In Kansas, attorneys may advertise their legal services through recorded, written or electronic communication, including public media. However, each advertisement must contain the name of at least one attorney who is responsible for its content.

If you received notice from the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator of a pending investigation, contact the Sanger Law Office today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation. Do not delay. Before you communicate with anyone, you need to speak with an experience professional license defense attorney. Trust the Sanger Law Office to provide you with quality legal services.

Legal Professionals: What to Do If You Receive Notice of a Complaint from the Kansas Board of Discipline of Attorneys

One day you are at the office just about to return a client’s phone call when your office assistant drops the mail on your desk. Neatly placed on top of other attorney correspondences you see a letter from Kansas Board for Discipline of Attorneys, informing you that a complaint has been filed against you. You are not alone. At some point in your career, either a former client or a non-client may become upset with you or your client and file a complaint against you. This does not mean that you should disregard the complaint or not take the complaint seriously. In fact, all complaints whether meritorious or not should be taken very seriously. If you receive notice of a complaint from the Board, here are some basic steps you should follow:

1)      Inform your firm: Whether you are an associate attorney or a partner, you will dread telling people that you received a complaint. However, the firm’s management needs to be made aware of the action as soon as possible so that the firm can take appropriate action. For example, a partner will need to inform the firm’s malpractice insurance carrier and develop a plan in case the complaining party contacts the office.

2)      Do not send a hastily drafted response: Upon receipt of a complaint, you may be overcome with emotions. On the one hand, you may be angry and want to draft a response denying any wrongdoing and pointing out the errors of the complaining party’s unskillfully drafted grievance. Or, on the other hand, you may find yourself admitting wrongdoing and asking for understanding. Neither choice is a good one. A response needs to be carefully drafted so that it does not inadvertently admit any wrongdoing or create cause for a different violation. For example, an attorney’s response needs to be mindful of the attorney-client privilege.

3)      Hire an experienced attorney: Do not consider representing yourself. As the familiar saying goes, an attorney who represents himself has an idiot for a client. Do not trust your law license to an attorney who does not have experience before the Board and cannot provide you with an objective perspective and strategy for the case, in other words “YOU”.

4)      Do not communicate with the complaining party: Although it may be tempting to contact the complaining party, especially if it is a former client, resist the temptation. The conversation may be construed by the complaining party as an attempt to dissuade the party from bringing a complaint or as attempt to buy the complaining party’s silence.

If you have received notice of disciplinary action by the Kansas Board of Discipline of Attorneys, contact the Sanger Law Office at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free and completely confidential consultation. You can trust the team of seasoned professionals at the Sanger Law Office to thoroughly investigate the pending allegations being brought against you and to prepare an effective strategy that meets your individual and professional needs.

Kansas Certified Nurse Aides: Five Ways to Jeopardize Your Certification

Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs) play an important role in hospitals, nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and in other health care delivery facilities. From administering vitals to updating patient records to helping a patient eat, a nurse aide is involved with multiple aspects of patient care. But no matter how busy a nurse aide may be, he or she should never take the certification for granted. Each year nurse aides are disciplined and/or have certifications revoked due to careless mistakes and or negligence. Here are five errors that can jeopardize a nurse aide’s certification:

1)      Certification Problems: In order to obtain your CNA certification in Kansas you must complete a 90-hour nurse aide training course and pass the state test. The quickest way to jeopardize your certification is by lying on any portion of the application. Each year applicants “fib” about their criminal history and credentials thinking that no one will find out. This is one gamble that is sure to result in a loss of certification.

2)      Conviction of a Crime: In most states the conviction of a felony or other crime can be grounds for automatic revocation of a nurse aide’s certification. If you are charged with a crime, make sure that you consult with professional license defense attorney in addition to a criminal attorney. In some cases, pleading guilty to a crime may lead to your certification being revoked.

3)      Patient Mistreatment: The majority of a nurse aide’s duties are with direct patient care. Mistreatment or abuse of a patient will not be tolerated and in most cases will result in a loss of certification. Sometimes due to a patient or resident’s mental infirmities, he or she may become aggressive or even violent. If you are having difficulties managing a patient, obtain assistance from the nurse on duty or another supervisor.

4)      Misappropriation of Property: As a nurse aide you are typically responsible for helping patients with every day duties, from getting dressed and undressed to bathing and toileting. Some patients may be so grateful for your services that they will present you with a gift. Most facilities, whether it be a hospital or a nursing home, typically prohibit staff, including nurse aides, from accepting gifts. Elderly patients with memory problems may also forget giving you a watch or other item of personal property and later report the item stolen. It goes without saying that stealing from a patient is not only a crime, but will also result in the loss of your certification.

5)      HIPAA Violations: Nurse aides, like other medical employees, must know and understand – their obligations under HIPAA”). Sharing a patient’s medical information with people not authorized to know that information can result in the revocation of your certification.

If you are a certified nurse aid who is being investigated due to a complaint, contact the Sanger Law Office today at 785-979-4353 to schedule a free consultation. You can trust our team of experienced professionals to provide you with the superior legal service you need to protect your career.

Defending Your Kansas Professional License: Frequently Asked Questions

A professional license shares a lot of important characteristics with a marriage. Both require substantial effort and are expected to last forever. Learning that a complaint has been filed against your professional license however, can be just as unwelcome as an interloper’s presence in your marriage. Receiving notice from a licensing board that a licensee is being investigated for misconduct can feel like a devastating blow. Much like a spouse receiving divorce papers, most licensees do not have a plan in place to react to these issues and thus, are not prepared to handle an investigation. If you have received notice that you are being investigated, you are bound to have many questions. The most common questions licensees ask regarding the investigation process are as follows:

  • Do I need to hire an attorney?  The simple answer to this question is “no”– an attorney is not required. But then again, do you “need” your license? An experienced professional license defense attorney will not only provide you with valuable insight and assistance throughout the process, he or she will also bring to the table an unbiased opinion. An investigation can be a nerve-wracking experience for a licensee. A review board is not looking out for you and your best interests. This is where an attorney can add the most value. Specifically, the experience of an attorney in handling similar cases will not only give you peace of mind but also help you obtain the best possible outcome. An attorney will also ensure that you are making the best decision for you and your professional future and not based on current emotions.
  • What can I expect to happen? The investigation is usually the first step that a board takes when determining whether the licensee committed any wrongdoing. Depending on the board, this process can be quite lengthy and typically a licensee is not privy to any discovery that is conducted in his or her case. After the initial investigation, a board can decide that there is not enough information to proceed and close the case. A board can also choose to bring more formal charges, sometimes referred to as a “petition”. In other instances, the board may issue a fine or reprimand or even require the licensee to take rehabilitative type classes before they can resume their practice.
  • Do I need participate in the investigation? Oftentimes, licensees find themselves in a position where he or she wants to “help” the investigation. Most licensees do not realize that they do not have to participate in the process, and that many times it is in the best interests of a licensee not to participate. The investigation will proceed whether or not the licensee participates or not. Whether the licensee participates is a decision best made after a thorough discussion of the facts with the licensee’s attorney. 
  • Can I continue to practice? In many cases, a licensee can continue to practice their profession while the investigation is pending. This is usually welcome news since an investigation can take several months, or even years, to complete.

If you are being investigated by a licensing board, you have the right to be represented by counsel. Before speaking with an investigator, call the Sanger Law Office at 785-979-4353 for a free and completely confidential consultation. You can rely on the team of experienced professionals at Sanger Law Office to defend your license and protect your livelihood.


Kansas Medical Professionals: A DUI Could Threaten Your Career

Alcohol abuse is a serious problem that can affect anyone, including medical professionals (including doctors, nurses, chiropractors, massage therapist, etc.). However, unlike members of the general community, medical professionals have even more at stake: they risk losing their license. It only takes one incidence for the Kansas Board of Healing Arts to open an investigation. The risks associated with driving under the influence need to be of particular concern and you need to be aware of how a DUI could impact your professional license.

A DUI is a costly mistake. A DUI can costs thousands of dollars in attorney’s fees to defend. Professionally, a DUI comes with severe penalties than can interfere with a medical licensee’s ability to practice. In Kansas, the penalties for DUI are as follows:

1st DUI Conviction—Class B Misdemeanor

  • Jail time: 48 hours to 6 months
  • Fines: $750 to $1,000
  • Mandatory Alcohol Evaluation and Counseling
  • Driver’s license suspension: 30 day to 1 year followed by ignition interlock

2nd DUI Conviction—Class A Misdemeanor

  • Jail time: 90 days to 1 year
  • Fines: $1,250 to $1,750
  • Mandatory Alcohol Evaluation and Counseling
  • Driver’s license suspension: 1 year followed by ignition interlock

Some medical professionals are not aware that in Kansas, a second DUI is considered a Class A misdemeanor. Pursuant to the rules and regulations of the Kansas Board of Healing Arts, conviction of a crime of this severity is grounds for discipline and possibly the revocation of a medical license. The Board’s authority also allows it to impose fines on its own, in addition to those fines ordered by the court.  Even a first DUI can be deemed “unprofessional conduct” by some licensing boards, depending upon the surrounding circumstances. Conduct that is considered unprofessional can lead to disciplinary action, including suspension or loss of license.

If you are charged with a DUI, you need to seek the counsel of a professional license defense attorney right away.  Even a seasoned criminal defense attorney may recommend a course of action that can unknowingly jeopardize a medical professional’s license.

Remember a DUI is completely avoidable. If you have been drinking, always air on the side of caution and take a cab or public transportation. Or if you are planning on socializing with alcohol, consider having a designated driver who can ensure you make it home safely. If you are struggling with alcohol addiction, you need to get help. Addiction is a serious ailment that if not treated, can lead to other problems at the workplace and may ultimately interfere with patient care.

If you are a medical professional who has been charged with driving under the influence or is struggling with alcohol and/or drug addiction, don’t put your career at risk.  Contact the Sanger Law Offices at 785-979-4353 for a free and completely confidential consultation. The Sanger Law Office has experience defending medical professionals from the investigation to the hearing before the Kansas Board of Healing Arts. Do not risk your license further by failing to seek knowledgeable counsel. Trust the Sanger Law Office to aggressively defend you and fight for your medical license.

Kansas Attorneys: Seven Deadly Sins

Whether you are a solo practitioner or a partner at a large firm, the practice of law is highly demanding. In fact, it can be easy to let little things go by the wayside sometimes, especially when you are forced to be a multi-tasking maven.  Despite your hectic schedule, you want to be sure to avoid the following “seven deadly sins” at all costs.  These bad habits can lead to unhappy clients and worse, a possible inquiry by the Kansas Bar Association:


     1.  Not Returning Calls Promptly:  At the end of a busy day it can be tempting to leave the office with the light of your voicemail still blinking. However, fight the urge and return all calls the same day if possible. Most client complaints regarding their attorneys is over failing to return their phone calls. Even if you know the matter is not urgent, the client will feel better knowing that you addressed his or her concerns promptly.

     2.  Not Managing Electronic Communication: Attorneys are not the only ones living in a technically advanced world– clients live in it too! It is not uncommon for an attorney to open his or her inbox only to find hundreds of client emails. Explain to clients the priority you place on emails and that you may not necessarily respond to each email as you receive them.

     3.  Not Keeping the Client in the Loop: One reason for an unhappy client occurs when he or she does not feel like they know what is going on with their case. Keep a client in the loop by providing him or her with a written roadmap. In correspondence, set forth an overview of your legal strategy. Include what you are working on now and what they can expect to happen next.

     4.  Not Managing Client Expectations: Make sure the client understands the risks of litigation in addition to the possible rewards. All too often, attorneys find themselves in trouble when they do not deliver on lofty promises despite the attorney’s excellent work product. Remember that it is okay to tell a client that you cannot predict all outcomes. Rather, explain to clients the possible outcomes so that they can be prepared either way.

     5.  Not Being Clear about Retainer/Billing Practices: Nothing makes a client more upset than receiving a statement for services that the client does not believe is correct. Make sure that retainer clearly states how the client will be billed. Also, be sure to send regular billing statements so that the client is able to see how the retainer is being spent and how much remains in his or her account. If you are working on a flat-fee or a contingency fee basis, make sure that the client understands and signs a written retainer agreement.

     6.  Not Being Organized: It is easy with a busy calendar to miss recording a court date or a deadline. Make sure that you have a system in place so that all important dates are recorded. It is also best to have both a paper and an electronic version just in case your network experiences problems.

     7.  Biting off More than You Can Chew:  A good attorney wants to attract clients. However, this does not mean an attorney should take every case that comes through the door. Before taking a case, assess the finer points, including the subject matter of the case, the goals of the client and your experience level. Do not be afraid to pass on a case if you have any doubt that you are not up to the task or have a bad feeling about the potential client. If you would be the client’s third attorney and the client is talking about suing his previous attorneys, you may want to steer clear of that person.

If you are facing disciplinary proceedings before the Kansas Bar Association, you need an experienced and aggressive advocate to defend your professional license. The team of professionals at Sanger Law Office will make sure that your side of the story is told. I invite you to contact the Sanger Law Office today at 785-979-4353 for a free and completely confidential consultation.