License Defense 2017-02-15T02:52:50+00:00

Professional License Defense

Houston and Austin lawyers defending your livelihood and reputation

A lawsuit can cost you money. But allegations of professional misconduct can cost you your livelihood and, consequently, can be stressful to even the most unflappable professional. Attorney Jeff Wagnon understands the strain that defending professional license in Houston and statewide can place on a person and works to provide compassion, support and a zealous defense to his clients as they fight for their careers and reputations. Through his firm, Wagnon Law Group, he has been providing professional license defense in Texas to lawyers, judges and medical professionals.

 

A professional’s attorney

Because we make professional license defense in Texas the focus of our practice, we understand the unique needs of professionals facing discipline, denial or other legal or medical licensing issues. While other firms may dabble in this type of law or even include it as one of several components of their practices, we at Wagnon Law Group devote the bulk of our practice to defending professionals before various regulatory bodies including the Texas Medical Board and the Board of Law Examiners.

  • Board of Law Examiners: Law students and out-of-state practitioners who have been denied an attorney license in Texas due to character and fitness issues may still have the opportunity to defend themselves at a hearing before the Board of Law Examiners. One of our experienced attorneys can help you present a clear and compelling case and give you a greater chance of overcoming challenges to your licensure.
  • Texas Medical Board: The Texas Medical Board is the body responsible for regulating, disciplining and licensing physicians throughout Texas. Related boards also exist for physician assistants and other medical practitioners. The attorneys of Wagnon Law Group frequently represent medical professionals before these boards for disciplinary and medical licensing issues.
  • Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel: The Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel is responsible for disciplining lawyers currently licensed in Texas as well as processing and investigating grievances filed against attorneys. The grievance process gives lawyers an opportunity to defend themselves against allegations of negligence or misconduct. An experienced professional license defense attorney at Wagnon Law Group can help you make the most of this opportunity.
  • Other Licensing Agencies

The Houston, TX lawyers of Wagnon Law Group understand the stress and uncertainty that can accompany allegations of professional misconduct. We have represented hundreds of professionals across numerous professions in a variety of licensure issues.  We want to help you with your licensing issue and below are just some of the licensing agencies we can assist you with.  We offer free initial consultations, flexible hours and a convenient office location in the historic district of Downtown Houston with ready access to parking and public transportation. Contact our office at 979-450-0004 or online to schedule an appointment to discuss your licensure issue with a compassionate and trustworthy attorney

  • Texas Board of Nursing (formerly Texas Board of Nurse Examiners)
  • Texas State Board of Pharmacy (TSBP)
  • Texas Medical Board (formerly Texas State Board of Medical Examiners)
  • Texas State Board of Dental Examiners (TSBDE)
  • Texas State Board of Acupuncture Examiners (TSBAE)
  • Texas Optometry Board (TOB)
  • Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (Licensed Professional Counselors)
  • Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation (TDLR)
  • Texas State Board of Examiners of Marriage & Family Therapists (TSBEMFT)
  • Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE)
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
  • State Office of Administrative Hearings – Texas (SOAH)
  • Texas State Board of Examiners of Dieticians (TSBED)
  • Texas State Board of Social Worker Examiners (TSBSWE)
  • Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE)
  • The Executive Council of Physical Therapy & Occupational Therapy Examiners (ECPTOTE)
  • Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS)
  • Texas Department of Insurance (TDI)
  • Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP)
  • Texas State Board of Public Accountancy (TSBPA)
  • Texas State Board of Plumbing Examiners (TSBPE)
  • Texas State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (TSBVME)
  • Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board (TALCB)
  • Texas Board of Law Examiners (BLE)
  • Texas Department of Family & Protective Services (DFPS)
  • Texas Education Agency (TEA)
  • Texas State Board of Professional Engineers (TSBPE)
  • Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC)

Defending the reputations and facilities privileges of professionals

Medical professionals face inquiry from a number of sources. But some of the most intense scrutiny can come from their own peers. Boards of hospitals and other health care organizations frequently hold peer review or privilege hearings in Texas to examine the conduct of their colleagues and take appropriate remedial action. As these are not legal or official proceedings, it may be easy for professionals to underestimate their importance. But make no mistake — if you are facing peer review, your professional reputation and ability to practice are in danger. Wagnon Law Group has been representing medical professionals in peer review proceedings for over ten years. We have the experience necessary to navigate these highly technical inquiries and help you construct a compelling defense.

The medical peer review process

While the exact process varies from organization to organization, peer review and privilege hearings in Texas are essentially an inquiry that a health care organization conducts into the actions of a medical professional practicing at that facility. A board of medical professionals at that facility examines the conduct of a medical professional to determine if he or she violated standards of practice or engaged in other inappropriate conduct.

These proceedings can result in the revocation of a professional’s privilege to practice at the facility in question, can devastate his or her professional reputation and can ultimately lead medical licensing action by the Texas Medical Board. Nevertheless, it is common for hospitals to wrongfully use “sham peer review” proceedings with little regard for the consequences as a means of expelling unpopular or otherwise inconvenient doctors.

If you are facing peer review, defending yourself requires not only knowledge of the applicable professional standards but also advocacy skill. A lawyer from Wagnon Law Group with experience in peer review proceedings can help you cut through the emotions you are no doubt feeling and translate your professional knowledge into a cogent and compelling defense.

Actions under the Texas law codes

Allegations of professional misconduct or negligence can — and frequently do — have consequences outside of peer review and Texas Medical Board procedures. They can also bring about civil actions for malpractice and in some cases even criminal charges under the Texas law codes. As part of our commitment to defending the professionals of Texas, the attorneys of Wagnon Law Group also provide representation and defense in civil malpractice actions as well as criminal charges stemming from professional misconduct.

Contact a Houston lawyer with knowledge of the medical industry

The attorneys of Wagnon Law Group provide professional license defense to all types of medical and legal practitioners in Texas. We offer free initial consultations, flexible hours and a convenient office location in the historic district of Downtown Houston with ready access to parking and public transportation. Contact our office at 979-450-0004 or online to schedule an appointment to discuss your licensure issue with a compassionate and trustworthy attorney.

Defending doctors facing disciplinary and licensing issues

Medical professionals know that the practice of medicine is a lifetime commitment. Both students and practitioners are subject to strict regulation from the government, the Texas Medical Board, their peers and the public. Even the most conscientious individuals can find themselves at risk for losing their livelihoods based on allegations from peers and clients. The attorneys of Wagnon Law Group have represented medical professionals facing these issues for over a decade. We provide support and compassion as well as zealous and effective advocacy to clients facing discipline or who have been denied for a medical license.

Understanding the Texas Medical Board

The Texas Medical Board is composed of 12 physicians and seven laypersons appointed by the governor for six-year terms. This body is responsible for regulating various aspects of the medical industry. The Board not only regulates and disciplines current practitioners but also presides over Texas medical licensing issues and new applications.

Among the numerous requirements for licensure, Texas medical licensing applicants must meet strict requirements of professional character and must not have engaged in unprofessional or dishonorable conduct. Failing to meet these requirements can and does frequently result in a denial of a medical license. While these requirements are strict, like all character and fitness tests, they are subjective. Therefore, denials based on character and fitness grounds may be reversible with the help of a vigorous defense from an experienced professional licensure attorney.

Disciplinary issues for doctors and medical professionals

In addition to privilege hearings — where doctors, nurses and other medical professionals face review by a committee of their peers — medical professionals may also face discipline under the Texas Medical Board’s grievance procedure. The Board receives nearly 7,000 such grievances each year filed by patients and their family members as well as colleagues within the medical community. The Board thoroughly investigates these allegations and can issue discipline up to and including suspension or revocation of professional licensure.

If you are facing these serious allegations, an experienced attorney from Wagnon Law Group may be able to help. We not only provide a zealous defense during Quality Assurance hearings and other dealings with the Board but also work to negotiate a favorable remedial plan should the allegations ultimately be sustained.

Contact a law firm handling medical discipline and license denial cases

The attorneys of Wagnon Law Group represent medical professionals and students before various regulatory bodies, including the Texas Medical Board and the Physician Assistant Board. We offer free initial consultations, flexible hours and a convenient office location in the historic district of Downtown Houston with ready access to parking and public transportation. Contact our office at 979-450-0004 or online to schedule an appointment to discuss your licensure issue with a compassionate and trustworthy attorney.

Helping med students and out-of-state doctors gain licensure

In addition to the years of study, multiple examinations and other qualifications, applicants for a medical license in Texas must also meet a number of character and fitness criteria defined in the Texas Medical Practice Act. Whether you are a recent medical graduate or an out-of-state doctor moving to Texas, failure to meet these criteria can result in a denial of your application. But many of these requirements are subjective and beholden to the discretion of Texas state board medical examiners. For these reasons, an experienced attorney from Wagnon Law Group may be able to help you fight for your license.

Character and fitness denials in Texas

The Texas Medical Board may deny a license application for a number of character and fitness reasons, including:

  • Criminal conviction
  • Intemperate use of drugs or alcohol
  • Submission of a false or misleading application
  • Unprofessional or dishonorable conduct

In cases where the Board’s discretion comes into play, an attorney from Wagnon Law Group may be able to help you argue for licensure and prove your good professional character to the Texas state board medical examiners.

Doctor and physician assistant license verification

Physicians and other medical professionals already licensed in another jurisdiction but seeking admission in Texas must meet many of the same requirements as recent medical graduates seeking admission. Moreover, they must verify their current eligibility to practice in another jurisdiction. But doctor or physician assistant license verification can uncover prior professional issues that can lead the Board to deny licensure, such as:

  • Removal, suspension or discipline in another jurisdiction
  • Repeated meritorious malpractice suits
  • False or fraudulent advertising
  • Failure to practice in an acceptable professional manner
  • Negligent issuance or prescriptions

These are some examples of conduct considered “unprofessional and dishonorable” under Texas law. But much of the language is not clear, and the Board’s discretion is often a major factor. As attorneys with experience defending professionals, we understand the issues that doctors and other medical practitioners face. If you have been denied licensure in Texas, we can argue on your behalf for a favorable interpretation of the existing law, present evidence of your good character and help you put forth a compelling case for licensure.

Contact a Houston lawyer with knowledge of the medical industry

Jeff Wagnon defends a variety of current professionals in disciplinary matters as well as professionals and students seeking admission to practice in Texas. If the Texas Medical Board or Board of Law Examiners has denied your application for admission, we may be able to help. We offer free initial consultations, flexible hours and a convenient office location in the historic district of Downtown Houston with ready access to parking and public transportation. Contact our office at 979-450-0004 or online to schedule an appointment to discuss your licensure issue with a compassionate and trustworthy attorney.

Experienced attorneys defending medical professionals in Texas

From top to bottom, the medical industry is one of the most highly regulated fields in existence. Nurses, doctors, physician assistants and other medical professionals as well as hospitals, health care organizations and health care administrators all face strict ethical and legal regulations. The attorneys of Wagnon Law Group understand the special issues that exist in the medical field and make medical industry representation a cornerstone of our practice. Whether you are an individual medical professional or a health care organization in need of a medical corporation lawyer, you can count on Jeff Wagnon and his associates for the highest caliber of counsel and advocacy.

A zealous advocate for professionals

Medical professionals in Texas are under constant scrutiny from the public, their peers and the Texas Medical Board. And when professionals face allegations of misconduct, their entire livelihood may be at stake. Wagnon Law Group provides professional license defense and representation to these professionals in both Board disciplinary proceedings as well as peer review investigations:

  • Medical licensing: Even after completing years of schooling and examinations, candidates for medical licensing must still meet criteria of character and fitness in order to qualify. We pride ourselves on helping aspiring doctors and other medical professionals who have been denied licensure under these highly subjective criteria.
  • Privilege hearings:  Peer review and privilege hearings are distinct from hearings before the Texas Medical Board. But they can be just as damaging. We routinely represent medical professionals during these important hearings and are especially adept are exposing sham peer review proceedings initiated by hospitals for improper reasons.

Representing law students and out-of-state attorneys

After successfully completing law school and passing the Texas bar examination, being denied admission to the legal profession on character and fitness grounds can be a devastating blow. But all too frequently, conscientious students who would be future lawyers find themselves denied admission based on an old arrest, misdemeanor conviction or other youthful indiscretion. Fortunately, there is hope and those denied admission have an opportunity to present their cases. But to make the most of this opportunity, it is crucial to have representation for the Board of Law Examiners hearing process. Wagnon Law Group has been providing this service to law students and out-of-state attorneys for over a decade. We understand the law and the process and use that knowledge to get results for our clients.

Get representation for the Board of Law Examiners hearing process

The hearing process begins when you receive a preliminary determination with notification of your denial of bar admission. You then have 30 days from receipt to request a hearing in writing. Once you request a hearing, the Board staff sets a hearing date and assigns the case to a staff attorney. This attorney appears at your hearing and presents the case against you. At least eight days prior to your hearing, you or your attorney should receive a copy of the documentary evidence the staff attorney intends to present to the Board of Law Examiners. You may object to that evidence in writing at least four days prior to your hearing.

The hearing itself proceeds in much the same way as a court trial, with three members of the Board of Law Examiners presiding. Each side may give a brief opening statement, present documentary evidence, question witnesses and present a closing statement. Unlike a trial, however, the panel may directly question both sides following their presentations.

While there are many reasons having attorneys for the Board of Law Examiners hearing process can help, the personal nature of the hearing is something you should keep in mind. Aside from the technical complexity and nuances of the rules governing character and fitness determinations, running a hearing where your personal and professional character is at issue can be emotionally difficult. Having an experienced attorney from Wagnon Law Group at your side can help you practically approach the issues in your case in spite of your emotions. We understand that you want to contribute to your defense, and we work closely with our clients to allow them to do so. But we also provide the knowledge, experience, perspective and support that can make all the difference in this difficult situation.

Contact a Houston law firm providing BOLE representation

Jeff Wagnon concentrates his practice on providing disciplinary and professional license defense to attorneys, doctors and other medical practitioners in Texas. We offer free initial consultations, flexible hours and a convenient office location in the historic district of Downtown Houston with ready access to parking and public transportation. Contact our office at 979.450.0004 or online to schedule an appointment to discuss

Representing attorneys in disciplinary proceeding

Attorneys in Texas face a myriad of ethical requirements. These rules are always complex, often subjective and frequently open to interpretation. Moreover, conscientious attorneys all too frequently face allegations from perturbed or dissatisfied clients who file grievances with the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel as a means of retaliation. And unique features of Texas law, such as barratry, can subject attorneys in Houston to criminal sanctions for marketing or pursuing clients too aggressively. With so many challenges, now more than ever, legal professionals in Texas need an ally. At Wagnon Law Group, we sympathize with the ethical pitfalls attorneys face and work aggressively to defend our clients before the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel, Texas courts or any other forum where their reputations and livelihoods come under fire.

Defending grievances for Texas attorneys

While the Board of Law Examiners has primary responsibility for investigating and approving new applicants to the bar, the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel is responsible for policing existing members. To accomplish this goal, the Office employs a disciplinary procedure designed to solicit and investigate allegations of unethical conduct by lawyers. While this procedure endeavors to root out frivolous claims at an early stage, claims with merit are deemed to be true unless proven otherwise, effectively shifting the burden of proof to the accused attorney.

For this reason and others, putting forth a strong defense with the help of an experienced professional license defense attorney is crucial. Attorney Jeff Wagnon focuses his practice on defending professionals — including doctors and lawyers — from grievances brought by clients, colleagues and others. He routinely represents clients before the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel as well as the Texas Medical Board.

Fighting Texas barratry charges

Barratry is the overly aggressive recruitment of clients or fomenting litigation for financial gain. While abolished in most other states, here in Texas, barratry is still a serious crime and a violation of the ethical rules. As such, it carries not only civil and criminal penalties but also the potential for professional discipline. Jeff Wagnon has been on the cutting edge of barratry defense and has been involved in many of the recent high profile barratry cases. He understands the subjective nature of this unique criminal statute and works to defend clients from barratry charges in both Texas courts and disciplinary hearings.

Contact a Houston law firm that defends legal professionals

Attorney Jeff Wagnon and his associates understand the special issues that legal professionals face while under the scrutiny of disciplinary proceedings. With nearly 20 years of experience in legal practice, we bring our knowledge and skills to bear defending professionals against allegations of unethical behavior that threaten their livelihoods and reputations. We offer free initial consultations, flexible hours and a convenient office location in the historic district of Downtown Houston with ready access to parking and public transportation. Contact our office at 979-450-0004 or online to schedule an appointment to discuss your licensure issue with a compassionate and trustworthy attorney.

Helping students overcome moral character and fitness issues

It is a long and tough road to becoming an attorney in Texas. And the moral character and general fitness requisite is an often overlooked final hurdle. But it is far from a mere formality. Every year, students on the cusp of a new and exciting career see their licenses denied for moral character and general fitness reasons. But there is hope for students in this situation. Wagnon Law Group is one of the few firms in Texas that routinely represent law students in hearings before the Texas Board of Law Examiners. We help students cut through the stress, fear and disappointment to present a compelling case for their good character.

What is the State Board of Law Examiners?

The Texas Board of Law Examiners is an agency of the Texas judiciary composed of nine Supreme Court appointed members and accompanying support staff. The Board administers the Texas Supreme Court’s qualifications for admission to practice law and is involved in many aspects of the licensure process. But one of the Board’s major duties is conducting an investigation of each applicant for a law license in Texas to determine if they meet character and fitness standards. If the Board determines that an applicant does not, his or her application may be denied for general fitness and moral character grounds. In these cases, an adjudicatory hearing may be necessary for the applicant to prove his or her fitness to practice law.

One of the most common reasons for denial on character and fitness grounds is criminal history. Disclosing a criminal conviction, arrest, ticket or citation to the Board may not, however, be fatal to your application. What is more frequently an issue is the failure to disclose such information to the Board, which in addition to the questions raised by the offense itself also raises doubts as to the applicant’s truthfulness. In cases such as this, you have every reason to have an attorney represent you before the Board. There are many reasons that a law student may neglect to report relevant information and having Board of Law Examiners representation from an experienced attorney can help you plan your arguments and compile compelling evidence of your good character.

Attorneys dedicated to professional license issues can help

Wagnon Law Group provides compassionate and principled representation to professionals and students facing disciplinary and licensure issues. We represent lawyers and law students before the Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel and Texas Board of Law Examiners as well as medical professionals in privilege hearings and proceedings before the Texas Medical Board. We offer free initial consultations, flexible hours and a convenient office location in the historic district of Downtown Houston with ready access to parking and public transportation. Contact our office at 979-450-0004 or online to schedule an appointment to discuss your licensure issue with a compassionate and trustworthy attorney.