Professional Licensing and Regulation
Professional and occupational licenses are valuable assets that need to be protected. With increasing consumer advocacy, New Jersey’s professional and occupational licensing boards have become more proactive in investigating licensees and pursuing disciplinary claims. In defending against such claims, having an attorney who knows the law and is familiar with the administrative process is important. Hill Wallack LLP’s Professional Licensing and Regulation Practice provides legal assistance to those who have investigative or disciplinary matters before New Jersey’s licensing and regulatory boards.
Partner Michael S. Karpoff is a former New Jersey deputy attorney general who represented and counseled several professional and occupational boards. In private practice, he has been representing licensees and license applicants before such boards for over 20 years. In addition to his experience in administrative matters, Mr. Karpoff is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a civil trial attorney and also handles appeals of administrative and judicial proceedings before appellate courts.
Mr. Karpoff has represented a wide range of professionals licensed by or seeking licenses from New Jersey’s professional and occupational boards, such as physicians, veterinarians, nurses, engineers, accountants, social workers and funeral directors.
What We Do
We combine our knowledge of the law and experience with frequent consultation to meet the needs of our clients in difficult times. Among the services provided are:
- Counseling licensees who are subjects of board investigations and responding to charges on their behalf
- Appearing with licensees at state investigative inquiries to provide legal advice and comments
- Assisting license applicants with administrative issues that arise during the application process
- Negotiating resolutions and settlements acceptable to licensees
- Aggressively defending licensees in disciplinary matters that cannot be resolved through other means
Although we litigate cases when necessary, we attempt to resolve each case to the satisfaction of our client before it becomes a formal administrative action. Examples include the following:
- We have successfully assisted physicians and other professionals accused of wrongdoing by dissatisfied patients or clients in answering the charges, demonstrating that there was no violation and getting the claims dismissed before formal complaints were filed.
- When the Board of Social Work Examiners accused a licensee of failing to observe appropriate boundaries with clients, based on the information provided and the testimony of the licensee, we were able to negotiate a settlement requiring additional ethics courses, without a penalty.
- After a client accused a veterinarian of malpractice and the use of mislabeled drugs, we were able to negotiate a reasonable monetary penalty without further proceedings.
- In response to a claim of professional misconduct against our client, we convinced the Physician Assistant Advisory Committee that a confidential letter of admonishment was sufficient to conclude the matter.
- Where a veterinarian’s assistant mistakenly treated a cat without the authorization of the veterinarian and the veterinarian took corrective action as soon as he discovered the matter, we convinced the Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners that under the law, the veterinarian was not responsible, and the claim was dismissed.
We provide dedicated service to our clients to attempt to obtain resolutions that are acceptable to them and prevent further disruption to their livelihood.