Indiana Professional License Defense Attorneys
Your professional license represents years of hard work and dedication and is the foundation for your livelihood. You work hard to perfect your skills and performance to provide exemplary service to your clients in fields requiring advanced training and ability. A claim filed against you cuts to the quick, questioning your integrity and impacting your reputation, job, and even your career. When that happens, you need experienced Indiana professional license defense attorneys to clear your name and safeguard your future.
At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, our experience in professional license defense in particular, and litigation defense, in general, gives us the skill to ably handle professional licensing matters and an understanding of the process not found in most general practitioners. Combine these qualities with our deep experience as litigation lawyers in defense matters, and you’ll find attorneys who can craft a robust strategy in an action that threatens your life’s work and opportunities. With so much at stake, you can’t afford to settle for less.
How Our Indiana Professional License Defense Attorneys Protect Your Interests
The Indiana Professional Licensing Agency (PLA) facilitates the boards, commissions, and committees of certain professions in licensing individuals to work in Indiana in a given profession and in investigating complaints against licensees. Your professional license is indispensable to your career opportunities. The process for clearing up licensure problems and complaints is complicated, potentially involving your profession’s Indiana governing body, the PLA, and the Office of the Indiana Attorney General (AG). Protecting your professional well-being—and preventing the impact of a claim on your ability to serve your community and to support yourself, your family, and your employees—requires help from experienced Indiana professional license defense attorneys.
The ability to engage in your life’s work depends on safeguarding your license. When you work with an Indianapolis professional license lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP, you know you’re in capable hands. With significant experience in general legal defense work and particular insight into navigation of the administrative processes impacting Indiana’s licensed professionals, we can help you fight for career.
What Is the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
Indiana law regulates certain professions, providing a framework for gauging ethical and practical impropriety. The PLA provides a uniform system for professional licensure and disciplinary matters in the state and oversight of certain regulated professions to maintain quality and safety for Indiana consumers. Individual professions also have their own governing boards, commissions, or committees, all of which work in coordination with the PLA and the Indiana AG’s office. Depending on the profession, the PLA may operate in any of the following capacities:
- Facilitate professional licensure and/or certification
- Supervise the reporting of a professional’s continuing education (coursework necessary to maintain licensure and/or certification)
- Review and determine the outcome of consumer complaints referred to the relevant professional board, commission, or committee subject to the PLA
While professionals regularly interact with the PLA or their professional boards to apply for an initial license, process license renewal, or report continuing education, the stakes are much higher when you are defending conduct, skills, and judgment against consumer or board complaints. Not only should you not go it alone, but not just any type of assistance will suffice—you need representation by legal minds who’ve been down this road. You need the license defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer.
Complaints and Other Threats to Your Professional License
The threat to your license can come from a variety of sources: a consumer complaint; a complaint filed by a colleague or someone else in your professional sphere; or a complaint from the board, commission, or committee that oversees the licensure of your particular profession (a single board member or the entire board). The types of complaints professionals face vary depending on the facts of the case, but they are also similar across professions:
- Doubts about or attacks on your professional qualifications, including your qualification for initial licensure, renewal, or completion of adequate continuing education
- Allegations that you violated state law or regulations relevant to your profession
- Allegations that your treatment of a client or your performance violated identifiable professional ethical obligations
- Failure to pay Indiana property taxes
- Failure to pay child support
Any one of these allegations can create serious problems for your business reputation and, worse yet, could impact your license, jeopardizing your ability to carry on business at all.
If you’re facing a complaint that threatens your license, you cannot risk your livelihood—and the security of your family, business, and employees—by facing this matter alone. Your business is, by definition, a full-time job, one you may have studied and trained for years to pursue. The Indiana professional license defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP have done the same—studying and training for years in legal defense—so they can give you the benefit of their valuable experience in professional liability defense and help protect your livelihood.
The Composition of the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency
The PLA is a state agency that serves as the overarching body to coordinate the licensure work of multiple professional licensing boards in Indiana. This includes initial licensure and license renewals. The agency also reviews complaints against licensed individuals and businesses in the professions it oversees and provides a common framework for processing such claims, although discipline of licensees is left to the relevant board, commission, or committee.
In addition to dealing with licensure and complaint matters involving the covered professions, the PLA also serves professionals by providing a means for tracking licensure matters, accessing licensing records, and reporting completion of continuing education courses. Finally, the general public can also search the PLA’s database to verify the existence or status of an individual’s or business’s license. Following are examples of the professions included:
- Architects and Landscape Architects
- Dentists and Dental Hygienists
- Funeral Directors and Cemetery Owners
- Home Inspectors
- Massage Therapists
- Occupational Therapists
- Physical Therapists
- Real Estate Agents
- Real Estate Appraisers
- Salon Owners
Below is a short summary of each profession and its governing body.
Accounting professionals are licensed through the Indiana Board of Accountancy. Working in conjunction with the PLA, the Indiana Board of Accountancy coordinates examination for licensure of Indiana certified public accounts (CPAs) and public accountants (PAs). Accountants seeking to overcome reports involving alleged professional, criminal, or ethical misconduct are well-served when aided by an Indiana professional liability defense attorney who is effective in representing accountant licensure and complaint matters.
Architects and landscape architects devote years to their crafts and must pass demanding examinations to be licensed to work in those professions in Indiana. A complaint about an architect’s or landscape architect’s professional performance or ethics could bar you from practicing a career that took years to attain. A professional license attorney is essential to the efficient and satisfactory resolution of claims against you before the State Board of Registration for Architects and Landscape Architects.
The Indiana Board of Chiropractic Examiners governs the admission of chiropractors to practice in Indiana through examinations administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Applicants for an Indiana chiropractic license and chiropractors defending against alleged misconduct face an uphill battle if they attempt to represent their interests before the board on their own. The Indiana professional license defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer understand the licensure requirements and defenses necessary to protect your chiropractic license and what is required to do so successfully.
Professional cosmetologists and barbers must be licensed to work in Indiana. This includes cosmetology instructors, electrologists, estheticians, manicurists, salons, beauty and cosmetology schools, and tanning salons. Individuals or businesses operating in these professions who are facing allegations of professional misconduct benefit from working with experienced professional defense counsel to argue their case before the Indiana State Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners.
Dentists and dental hygienists must complete a rigorous course of study and examination before being licensed by the Indiana State Board of Dentistry to practice in the state. A complaint against a dental professional can derail years of work and a rewarding living. A professional license defense lawyer in Indianapolis who is well-versed in this area is ideally suited and located to protect you.
The years of study required to be licensed as a medical doctor or physician make that license a precious possession. Disciplinary actions and patient claims that jeopardize that license demand experience and skill in the quasi-judicial proceedings where such cases are litigated. If your license is at risk because of a professional claim or allegation, you need representation from a license defense attorney with experience before the Medical Licensing Board of Indiana.
The death care industry is regulated in Indiana through licensing by the State Board of Funeral and Cemetery Service. This board licenses funeral directors, cemeteries, crematories, and related services. Licensed individuals and businesses in this industry may be subject to complaints or disciplinary action for violating relevant statutes regarding transactions, failing to meet continuing education standards, and more. Protecting your license and your business requires specific skills found only in Indiana professional license defense attorneys.
Home buyers and sellers sometimes blame home inspectors for sales that fall through or purchases of property later found to have serious problems. Home inspectors must mount a defense against such claims before the Home Inspectors Licensing Board to protect their licenses against claims of missed home defects, false reports, or other unethical behavior. Working with Indiana professional license defense attorneys affords much greater protection of your livelihood than trying to navigate the process yourself.
The services provided by massage therapists often have a significant positive impact on their clients’ comfort and lives. Claims of professional or ethical impropriety threaten a therapist’s career and ability to continue providing services to others. An Indianapolis professional license lawyer can help by explaining the process and representing your interests, helping to protect your license throughout the process of settling or litigating the complaint before the State Board of Massage Therapy.
Nurses provide critical services in our healthcare system. Nurses facing patient complaints or disciplinary action must defend themselves before the Indiana State Board of Nursing. Just as proper healthcare is best when received from a licensed professional, protecting your nursing license is best accomplished by working with a lawyer experienced in professional licensing agency defense in Indiana.
Complaints against occupational therapists impact a career earned through years of study and practical training. A complaint, whether from a client or from a member of the Occupational Therapy Committee, could take away your ability to use that training and earn a living through your passion to help others. Indiana professional license defense attorneys are vital for defending your license with the least possible impact on your career and in the most efficient manner.
Members of the Physical Therapy Board decide whether you keep your license to practice as a physical therapist in Indiana after someone has lodged a professional complaint against you. A professional liability defense attorney helps protect your license through an exhaustive understanding of the administrative complaint process and by identifying strategies best suited for a successful resolution of your case.
Licensed psychologists in Indiana must have an advanced degree, either a Doctor of Philosophy in psychology or a Doctor of Psychology, as well as pass a rigorous exam. A professional complaint could put your license at risk. To protect your opportunity to practice in the field you’ve devoted so much time to, your professional license defense before the Indiana State Psychology Board requires assistance from experienced license defense counsel.
Licensure by the Indiana Optometry Board requires a Doctor of Optometry degree as well as successful completion of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry exam. When your license is threatened by a complaint about your professional or ethical conduct, relying on self-representation in the resulting administrative proceedings puts your license—and your entire practice—at risk. You need counsel and representation from an experienced professional license defense lawyer.
Real estate agents licensed by the Indiana Real Estate Commission can face a wide variety of professional liability claims, jeopardizing their ability to work in their chosen profession. Successfully defending against claims of breach of contract, breach of duty, fraud, or other conduct is critical to keeping your job. Don’t take a chance going it alone—contact a professional license defense firm to help you through the process.
Whether you’re a self-employed licensed appraiser assisting residential buyers and sellers or a certified real estate appraiser working on complex cases for developers and lenders, accusations of incorrect valuation, negligence, or fraud can cripple your business. If you’re facing the Indiana Real Estate Appraiser Licensure and Certification Board, working with a professional license defense attorney can help protect your license and get you back to focusing on your work again faster.
Salon owners serve the public in a very personal way. Allegations of state health and safety violations, fraud, false advertising, or unlicensed activity can wreak havoc on your reputation and, worse, endanger your license. To protect your business and employees, work with attorneys with an established practice covering Professional Licensing Agency defense in Indiana.
As a veterinarian, you devote your professional—and often private—life to the care of pets and/or livestock. A complaint about veterinary malfeasance, negligence, or even poor recordkeeping could do more than subject you to review by the Indiana Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners; it could cost you your license and career. To protect your license, the means of making a living, you need help from counsel experienced in professional license defense.
Complaint Process and Administrative Proceedings
The exact process for reviewing a complaint against a licensed professional in Indiana depends on the source of the complaint. Claims against professionals can come from a consumer or a professional licensing board, commission, or committee. A consumer or other member of the public may file a complaint directly with the PLA or by completing an online consumer complaint form, a printable form, or a fillable online form on the Attorney General’s consumer complaint page. After receiving notice of a complaint, a licensed professional has an opportunity to file a written response.
Regardless of which option the consumer chooses, the first step is the AG’s review of the complaint to determine whether it has merit. This review considers both the complaint and the response, and it can sometimes require weeks or months, depending on the profession.
If, after review, the Attorney General’s office determines the complaint has merit, the next step is prosecution before the relevant professional board—unless you reach a settlement agreement with the Attorney General’s office. Experienced Indiana professional license defense attorneys can sometimes negotiate a settlement before the matter ever reaches your profession’s governing body. In such cases, your matter can be resolved without ever going before your professional licensing organization.
If you do not reach a settlement, the AG’s office refers the case to your profession’s board, commission, or committee, which schedules a public evidentiary hearing. Unless you reach a settlement agreement with your profession’s governing body, the matter proceeds with either the entire board, commission, or committee or an administrative law judge serving as the fact finder (decision maker) in the case. If the fact finder determines after the conclusion of the evidentiary hearing that you violated practical or ethical standards of your profession, it must issue written findings of fact and conclusions of law and then determine and mete out disciplinary consequences.
Not all complaints against a professional come from consumers or clients. A professional board, commission, or committee member—or the entire panel—may also file a complaint against a licensed professional individual or business. In the case in which an individual files a complaint, the matter proceeds through the same process as described above for processing consumer complaints. However, if the board, commission, or committee members unanimously vote to pursue a claim, review of the complaint by the AG’s office is unnecessary, and the matter proceeds directly to the profession’s board, commission, or committee for an evidentiary hearing.
This public process can last weeks or months, subjecting the named individual or business to severe embarrassment and prolonged stress. The Indiana professional license defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are, at heart, litigation attorneys with significant relevant experience to shoulder this burden and help you navigate the process as swiftly and painlessly as possible.
Potential Discipline in Professional Licensing Matters
If a professional governing body ultimately determines that an individual or business has violated professional practical or ethical standards, the next step is determining the appropriate consequences or discipline to be imposed. Potential disciplinary action could include any of the following:
- Revocation of your professional license
- Suspension of your professional license
- Probation regarding your status as a licensed professional
- Fines up to $1,000 for each violation of law
Your license, the very foundation of your livelihood, is at stake. Protecting your ability to pursue the occupation you trained for, maintain your business, and provide for your family require early intervention by knowledgeable, skilled litigation attorneys.
How Indiana Professional License Defense Attorneys Can Help
Claims filed with the Professional Licensing Agency; the Attorney General; or your profession’s governing board, commission, or committee pose a serious hazard to your occupation, your business, and your professional and personal interests. The process for clearing your name and reputation is very likely foreign to you, and the time necessary to complete the process can put your mental health at risk as well. With so much at stake and the pressure to move forward as efficiently as possible, you need professional license defense attorneys who can swiftly and knowledgeably represent you throughout the process.
An Indiana professional license defense lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP will explain the process and capably represent you each step of the way, including:
- Reviewing the complaint
- Investigating the allegations
- Drafting and filing an appropriate response to the complaint
- Reviewing all documentation from the AG’s office; the PLA; and your profession’s governing board, commission, or committee
- Appear and argue before the board or governing body
- Drafting and filing an appropriate appeal from a decision of your profession’s governing board, commission, or committee on the complaint
Throughout your case, we will keep you informed and involved while crafting and executing the optimum strategy for prevailing against the allegations. In the event the fact finder believes the evidence supports the complainant’s claims, we will seek review of that decision and represent you at the appeal, again fighting to protect your license, reputation, business, and career.
Keffer Hirschauer LLP Is Your Professional License Defense Lawyer in Indianapolis
Your service to the community is important, and your hard work and dedication to excel in your chosen profession deserves representation by Indiana professional license defense attorneys with valuable experience in professional license cases. For a free consultation to learn more about our experience and how we can help you, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP at (317) 857-1060 or complete our online contact form.