One of our most common case types is the Board investigation into criminal convictions suffered by licensees. We are very proud of our track record resulting in the almost all of these cases being closed without any adverse action by the Board. Only attorneys who regularly handle Board investigations can anticipate the Board’s concerns and proactively prepare in a manner to increase the likelihood that no adverse action will result.
Recent successfully closed Board investigations we have handled have included incidents of severe intoxication, domestic violence and drunk driving. We approached each situation in a positive fashion, being open and forthright with the Board. However, our clients were protected from aggressive investigative strategies used by the Board. We employ firm but respectful intervention strategies, cutting off direct agency access to the licensee as enabled by legal representation, carefully regulating the flow of information, preparing the licensee to be a confident and poised witness if an interview is appropriate to resolve the issue, and preventing missteps that can lead to disastrous consequences.
The Medical Board of California is under increased pressure in 2013, after receiving scrutiny in the press, to be more aggressive and expedient in its investigations. Past benevolence that sometimes resulted in the physician getting the benefit of the doubt seems to no longer be present. Deputy Attorneys General are now more than ever paired with investigators to help build a prosecution case from the earliest stages of investigation. In this hostile environment, seasoned healthcare license defense counsel is critical for the most positive outcome.