Defending Your License: Frequently Asked Questions
If you are navigating an investigation or facing a disciplinary hearing by a North Carolina licensing board, I can understand that you probably have a lot of questions. Previously, I served as the former chair of the Disciplinary Hearing Commission of North Carolina. At Lane Williamson Law PLLC, in Waxhaw, I regularly represent clients who are facing disciplinary actions before their respective licensing boards. Here, I compiled several of the commonly asked questions. For answers to your specific questions, I offer an initial consultation appointment.
Do I have to report a complaint to my malpractice insurance company?
Yes. Sometimes, professional licensing insurance provides coverage during the complaint process. In addition, a failure to report a complaint could lead to the denial of your malpractice coverage down the road should it become necessary. At the very least, double-check your policy.
If a complaint to my licensing board was filed against me, will I be notified?
Yes. Notice is provided when a licensing board decides to investigate a complaint. For example, if a complaint or grievance has been filed against an attorney with the North Carolina State Bar Association, the bar will only investigate a grievance if the grievance contains allegations of a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct. If the bar decides to initiate an investigation, the respondent will receive a notice and a deadline to respond.
Can I continue to work if I am under investigation by my licensing board?
Yes. You still have your license, even though you are under investigation. Under most circumstances, you can continue to work during an ongoing investigation.
How long does a licensing board investigation take?
Every scenario is different. The length of an investigation will depend on the facts and circumstances of your particular case. Investigations can be resolved within a few weeks or more complicated cases can take several months.
Will the investigation be a public record?
No. An investigation into a professional licensing complaint is usually private. For example, an investigation conducted by the North Carolina Nursing Board, is private, but any disciplinary action taken by the Board will become part of the public record. Likewise, any grievance filed against an attorney will remain confidential during the investigation. However, once the Grievance Committee determines that a complaint is warranted with the Disciplinary Hearing Commission, it becomes part of the public record.