Professional Licensing

Lawyers Protecting Your Professional License

Those who depend on professional licenses for their livelihoods face issues throughout their careers that nonlicensed employees and business owners do not. The law surrounding professional licensure and certification is complex, and can vary from one profession to another. The best way for a professional to establish and protect his or her license is to seek advice from lawyers who understand this area of law.

Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., is home to attorneys who practice extensively in this area. Many members of the firm have been doing this for decades. Our office is located in Harrisburg, about three miles from the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA). We have developed relationships with lawyers who prosecute cases for the various licensing boards, and we know many members of the boards. Our respect for them, and their respect for us, allows us to move issues through the system efficiently and effectively.

Serving Licensed Professionals Throughout The Commonwealth Of Pennsylvania

We handle sensitive and detailed licensing issues from initial licensure to dissolution of professional practice. We can assist with initial license applications, rejections and the receipt of waivers of application requirements where applicable. We defend the licenses of those charged with violating license law and practice standards. Based in Harrisburg, we represent professionals from Hershey and all reaches of the state. Our clients include:

  • Occupational therapists
  • Psychologists and psychiatrists
  • Optometrists
  • Podiatrists
  • Osteopaths
  • Social workers
  • Family therapists
  • Nursing home administrators
  • Cosmetologists and hair stylists

The Scope Of Our Professional Licensing Practice

Though the defense of professional licenses is the most common reason clients reach out to us, our firm provides a full suite of services. Our preference is to be involved at the first hint that an investigation under licensed practice law is being conducted.

Our attorneys are equipped to guide you through these and any other issue related to professional licensure in Pennsylvania.

Contact Our Attorneys Today

Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., represents licensed professionals in Harrisburg, Hershey, Reading and all of Pennsylvania. Call our lawyers at 717-232-7661 or contact us online to arrange a consultation. Our office is conveniently located just off I-81 in Harrisburg.

Accountants

Attorneys Protecting The Licenses Of Accountants

The Pennsylvania State Board of Accountancy is serious about enforcing the rules and regulations related to professional licensure. Some accountants run into roadblocks in procuring a license. Others have a license but find themselves in a situation where the board is threatening to suspend or revoke it. In these types of scenarios, an accountant can benefit greatly from working with attorneys who understand professional licensing issues.

Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., is a Harrisburg law firm with extensive experience in advising and representing accountants on matters related to their professional licenses. Additionally, the firm has in the past represented the Pennsylvania Association of Certified Public Accountants. Our level of experience and understanding in this area of law is of great value to our clients.

When To Call A Lawyer

The State Board of Accountancy and the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) conduct investigations into accountants whose professional capabilities or practices have been called into question. Often, the issue is related to chemical dependency, criminal activity or mental impairment.

In such situations, a complaint may be lodged against the accountant and the Professional Health Monitoring Program (PHMP) is notified. The PHMP is likely to send you an application asking you to participate in the program.

Call our Harrisburg CPA license attorneys before responding. The application and any related forms may, in fact, limit some of your rights. It is important to speak with a lawyer experienced in professional license defense before you move forward with any paperwork.

Why Caldwell & Kearns, P.C.?

Our attorneys have over the years built relationships with the lawyers and board members who will be involved in your case. We respect them and they respect us. These relationships help us move cases through the system efficiently and effectively.

Moreover, our firm does more for our accountant clients than simply appearing at administrative hearings and examining evidence. We examine the underlying issues that led to the investigation in the first place. Then, we do our best to help our clients take voluntary, proactive steps to get needed counseling or other assistance, and to avoid the suspension of revocation of the professional license.

Contact A CPA License Defense Attorney

If you have concerns related to your accounting professional license and would like to speak with a lawyer about a pending administrative hearing or any other aspect of professional licensing, call Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., at 717-232-7661 or contact us online. Our office is conveniently located just off I-81 in Harrisburg.

Architects, Engineers & Surveyors

Licensing Issues For Architects, Engineers And Surveyors

The work performed by engineers, architects, surveyors and other construction industry professionals affects communities for generations. Their contributions to city planning and building construction drive communities forward. As such, these professionals are held to high standards with respect to both their work and personal lives. Pennsylvania’s licensing boards are therefore strict in making sure people meet the requirements to obtain a license, and in enforcing the rules that govern these professions.

If you are having trouble procuring a license or if your license is threatened by an investigation into your behavior, reach out to a lawyer at Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., in Harrisburg, for advice. One of our attorneys, Peter M. Good has more than 20 years of experience in all phases of licensing for architects, engineers and surveyors. Not only is he experienced in handling license-related administrative procedures, but he also possesses a deep understanding of these professions and the nuances of each.

Defending Your License And Reputation

Much like medical employees and accountant/CPAs, construction professionals rely on their licenses in many ways. Licenses hold the key to making a living, but they also represent credibility. Your professional standing is in jeopardy if you are under investigation by the State Architects Licensure Board or the State Registration Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors and Geologists.

Whether these boards are refusing to issue you a license or are threatening to take away your existing license, our Harrisburg attorneys can help. If you have an issue in your past, we can make necessary explanations to the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) and the applicable board. If a current issue, such as chemical dependency, threatens your license, we will help you properly utilize the Professional Health Monitoring Program (PHMP), the Voluntary Recovery Program (VRP) and any other program that may be required.

Contact Our Lawyers For Professional Construction License Issues

If you are an architect, engineer or surveyor and you are concerned about your Pennsylvania professional license, call Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., at 717-232-7661 or contact us online. Our office is conveniently located just off I-81 in Harrisburg.

Medical Professionals (doctors, dentists, nurses)

Lawyers Providing Careful Handling Of Medical Licensing Issues

Medical professionals are under tremendous pressure every day. Dealing with matters of life and death, and the quality of life concerns of your patients places great strain on you. If the expectations have led you to make a mistake, whether a DUI, drug use or disruptive behavior, you are not the only one. But now, with your license, credibility and career on the line, you must make wise decisions, starting with choosing a lawyer who understands what you are facing.

At Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., we work with medical professionals in Harrisburg, Hershey, Lancaster and throughout the region who have come under scrutiny for acts that threaten their professional licensure. Our goals are threefold: to get you help for the underlying issue, to defend your medical license and to restabilize your career. Our attorneys have extensive experience in administrative law and criminal law, allowing us the ability to provide you the legal support you need when you are being investigated and questioned.

Serving A Wide Range Of Health Professionals

Our Harrisburg lawyers have experience representing a variety of medical professionals in administrative hearings and disciplinary proceedings before the Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA). We understand how to work with the State Board of Medicine, the State Board of Pharmacy and all other bodies that oversee professionals in our state. Our clients include:

  • Physicians
  • Pharmacists
  • Nurses
  • Chiropractors
  • Osteopaths
  • Occupational therapists
  • Dentists

Many of our clients face addiction-related issues. They have received forms from the Physicians Health Monitoring Program (PHMP) or similar entities. We are deeply familiar with the PHMP, the Physicians Health Program (PHP), the Voluntary Recovery Program (VRP), SARPH for pharmacists, the Disciplinary Monitoring Unit (DMU), and other programs and bodies that deal with medical professionals with addiction. We encourage you to get in touch with our lawyers before getting involved in these programs, as they may limit your rights. We can help make sure the program benefits you the way it should.

Licensing And Medical License Defense Issues For Professionals Outside Pennsylvania

In addition to license defense work for in-state clients, we also help health care professionals from other states. Some of our clients have run into roadblocks in acquiring a license to practice in Pennsylvania, perhaps because they were disciplined in another state. Other clients worked here in the past but have since relocated and are now facing disciplinary action by a Pennsylvania board. We will provide you with the advice and advocacy you may need if you find yourself in a situation such as this.

Contact A Physician License Defense Attorney

If you are a medical professional and would like to speak with a lawyer about a pending administrative hearing or any other aspect of professional licensing, call Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., at 717-232-7661 or contact us online. Our office is conveniently located just off I-81 in Harrisburg.

Cosmetologists-And-Barbers

Protecting Pharmacists And Nurses Regarding Professional Licensing Concerns

Most pharmacists and nurses have spent years perfecting their craft. Yet the state of Pennsylvania highly regulates these occupations. Misunderstandings concerning requirements can lead to losing one’s professional license. It is therefore important when any investigation or hearing arises that you have skilled lawyers on your side to present your side of the story.

From our Harrisburg office, the attorneys at Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., have been representing professionals regarding licensing matters for decades. We understand every aspect of licensing law, and will do everything in our power to provide you the best possible advocacy. Our attorneys help prospective pharmacists and nurses obtain licenses, and we can help you obtain your license and defend you in the event an investigation or challenge to the license arises.

The Importance Of Keeping Your License In Place

Quite simply, a professional license allows for you to work as a pharmacist or nurse. Losing your license, on the other hand, can deprive you and your family from any chance of making substantial income.

Our attorneys provide representation in the event of:

  • Allegations that rules or regulations have been violated
  • Questions arising regarding supervision of an employee or agent
  • Violations resulting due to inspections
  • Questions occurring concerning documentation in support of a license
  • Accusations being made concerning illegal or improper conduct
  • Concerns regarding arrests or alcohol and drug issues arise that may impact your license
  • Other regulatory concerns

It is important to take such matters seriously. Besides license suspension or revocation, you can also face fines or other sanctions while your matter is under investigation. Delay in responding to inquiries can only make matters worse.

At Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., we will take immediate action. We will thoroughly investigate your matter, and undertake a legal strategy that is consistent with your needs and concerns. Also, we will provide you guidance concerning the entire process, and provide you a frank assessment regarding any possible outcome regarding your matter.

Putting Experience On Your Side In Protection Of Your License

If you are a pharmacist or nurse with licensing concerns, please contact Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., by calling 717-743-1682. You can also contact us online.

Real Estate Professionals

Protecting The Professional Licenses Of Realtors

If your professional license or certification is in jeopardy because of alleged misconduct, you need the services of an attorney who practices extensively in this area. Few law firms in Pennsylvania have the experience in real estate broker and agent law and license defense of Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., in Harrisburg.

Our attorneys routinely represent realtors, brokers, agents and appraisers in disciplinary and administrative proceedings before Pennsylvania Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA):

  • The Real Estate Commission
  • The State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers

We have extensive knowledge of the BPOA’s unique rules, procedures and practices used in these proceedings. When not actively representing licensees in matters before the Commission or the Board, our Harrisburg lawyers have also been called upon to provide expert testimony.

Avoiding Adverse Sanctions

Certain conduct while acting as a real estate agent, as well as “off-duty” conduct reflecting poorly on the profession, can subject real estate licensees to sanctions, including license revocation or suspension, fines and remedial education. Certain actions can also lead to civil lawsuits against the brokerage or the individual licensee. (See Errors and Omissions Defense page.)

We have represented realtors and other licensed brokers and sales agents and appraisers accused of misrepresentation and fraud, practicing without a valid license, failure to disclose seller affiliations or conflicts of interest, misappropriation of escrow funds and crimes of moral turpitude.

Nondefense Representation

In addition to defending professional licenses, we also represent real estate professionals whose initial application for a license or for reinstatement has been denied in appealing those decisions. We also assist real estate brokers who wish to set up a licensed entity in order to work in Pennsylvania.

Knowledgeable And Compassionate Representation

We understand that your license is your livelihood, and your professional reputation and personal integrity are on the line. We evaluate the complaint and preliminary findings of the investigation and sit down with you to explain the possible ramifications, your rights and the process. If we cannot convince the Commission or the Board to dismiss the complaint, we are prepared to mount a vigorous defense to keep your license or lessen the sanctions.

Contact A Pennsylvania Attorney Representing Real Estate Brokers

Matters before the Real Estate Commission or the Board can be stressful, but we take time to counsel and prepare you to put your mind at ease through every step of the process. You will be hard-pressed to find more experienced advocates in Pennsylvania for real estate license defense and reinstatement hearings. Contact our Harrisburg office to discuss your situation in a confidential consultation. Call 717-232-7661. Representing brokers, agents and appraisers in Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania.

The Professional License Defense Process

The Process Of Defending Professional Licenses

Who Prosecutes?

Many complaints against Pennsylvania licensed professionals are filed by clients or patients of the professional. Investigations are conducted by the Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation (BEI), which is a distinct entity charged with investigating licensees and registrants in a wide variety of professions and practices. Their findings are in turn reviewed by attorneys employed by the Pennsylvania Department of State, and Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA) who determine whether a formal complaint will be filed.

If a complaint is filed, a hearing will be conducted before the licensed board or commission. Some boards conduct their own hearings while other boards or commissions have cases heard before an administrative law judge. As entities of the Commonwealth, BEI, BPOA and the many boards and commissions are housed in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, which is where most hearings occur.

Who Defends You?

You have the right to be represented by legal counsel, and you should exercise that right. Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., is a Harrisburg-based law firm with decades of experience representing medical and business licensees charged with license law violations. Because of our experience and location in Harrisburg, many of our professional clients are referred by other lawyers in the state.

Our attorneys have a long history of handling matters before the BPOA and virtually all of the licensing boards in Pennsylvania. Our office is located a mere three miles from the BPOA in Harrisburg, and over the years we have developed relationships with many of the attorneys and board members who work there. We know the steps to take to preserve your good name and your ability to make a living.

More About The Investigation

Investigations into the conduct of a licensed professional are conducted by the BEI. The investigator visits homes and offices and asks a variety of questions, in addition to reviewing records and files. The investigators are professional, kindly and quite capable of putting a licensed professional at ease. Most investigations are conducted without the professional having engaged an experienced attorney.

Consult an attorney before you meet with the investigator! The investigator will cooperate if you ask to have your counsel present. Then, contact Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., immediately. The sooner we get involved, the better the likely outcome.

Mental And Physical Examinations In Professional License Proceedings

Upon a showing of probable cause, the State Board of Medicine and various other professional licensing boards are authorized by Pennsylvania law to compel a licensed professional to submit to an examination by a board-approved psychologist or physician. A licensee who refuses to submit to the examination is treated as having admitted to the allegations in the complaint. The licensing board is then authorized to suspend the professional’s license immediately, without a hearing.

Probable cause may be based entirely on unsupported allegations. A conviction for DUI/drunk driving or a drug offense can also serve as probable cause.

Typically, the professional is notified of the physical or psychological exam via an order, mailed by the licensing board. Upon receiving this order, contact us before you get in touch with anyone else. Our Harrisburg professional license defense attorneys will sit down and review the order with you, and explain your rights to take any steps needed to prepare you for the exam.

Negotiations

If the investigation and exam results lead to further attention by the board, you may have the chance to meet with someone at the BPOA to negotiate a sanction. The positive part of this step is that by showing up for a negotiation you can explain your situation and your desire to get treatment, which tends to be viewed favorably by the board. However, these negotiations often lead to admissions by the professional. Our attorneys can advise you on when speaking would be a benefit and when you would be better off remaining silent.

Order To Show Cause

In the event that charges are filed against you, you will receive an order to show cause. This is much like a complaint in a civil case, in that it lays out the allegations you face. A hearing examiner will then be assigned to rule on any motions and to conduct an administrative hearing.

Preparing For An Administrative Hearing

Showing the prosecutor that you are prepared to fight the allegations is key. It often encourages the Bureau to engage in settlement discussions.

In the hearing preparation stage, our team works to gather witness statements and other evidence that shine a positive light on our client. Professional references, character witnesses and a review of your records all play a part in this. If the allegations against you are related to substance abuse, make sure to be open and honest with your lawyer. That is the only way we can prepare an adequate defense that explains your conduct. We will also be able to refer you to an addiction specialist or other professional who can treat your underlying condition and possibly testify at the hearing.

These professional licensing hearings are typically held at the BPOA in Harrisburg, but may occasionally be transferred in order to accommodate important witnesses.

Consent Decree And Order

The hearing officer will decide the matter after the hearing. One way to limit the potential harshness of the outcome is to sign a consent decree, which is much like a civil settlement. Typically, the professional admits some culpability and the board hands down a reasonable form of discipline.

Our lawyers have been successful in negotiating consent decrees for medical professionals, accountants, occupational therapists, social workers, real estate agents, architects, surveyors and other professionals. In some cases, we have negotiated sanctions that result in no license suspension.

Contact An Experienced License Defense Attorney

Caldwell & Kearns, P.C., defends a wide range of professionals, helping them keep their licenses and professional standing in the community. Call our lawyers at 717-232-7661 or contact us online to arrange a consultation. Our office is conveniently located just off I-81 in Harrisburg.