Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
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Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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Last Updated on: 1st August 2023, 01:29 am
To safeguard the public from professional misconduct, the New York State has an Office of Professional Discipline (OPD) in the Department of Education. The role of the OPD is to investigate and prosecute individuals who go against their professional mandates.
Professional misconduct is where a professional act or performs duties in contrary to the stipulated rules governing his or her profession. The main aim of the Office of Professional Discipline is to protect the public from professional negligence.
Any member of the public has a right to launch a complaint against any professional deemed to have acted contrary to their terms of service. It is the responsibility of the OPD to receive such claims and launch investigations to prove if indeed the claims are factual.
The following are common profession misconduct charges:
• Practicing beyond one’s scope of operation
• Performing duties that constitute gross incompetence or negligence
• Operating without a license or allowing another person to practice without the necessary operating license
• Fraudulent practice such as insurance fraud
• Refusing to attend to a patient because of their race, ethnicity or political affiliation
• Practicing while under the influence of drugs or alcohol
• Criminal record
• Failure to maintain proper records
The Office of Professional Discipline is spread across the states. The office has many employees because of the huge number of complaints that it receives every year.
Despite the fact that there is professional negligence in other professions, most of the complaints come from the medical profession. That’s why it’s important to have a good and experienced ODP defense lawyer to handle your case in case of a complaint if made against you.
How cases of professional misconduct are handled
After receiving complaints from the public, the Office of Professional Discipline (OPD) tasks its officers to conduct investigations with the aim of establishing the truth. The officers are supposed to conduct an impartial investigation to avoid prosecuting individuals without concrete evidence.
The OPD office will also inform the person being investigated through an official letter or email about the investigation. In case you receive such a letter or email, it is advisable to contact an OPD defense lawyer to determine your next move. You don’t have an option but to cooperate with the ODP – because it is a legal requirement.
What happens if you are found guilty?
If the investigating officer doesn’t find adequate evidence to support the professional negligence claims, then the case will be closed.
However, if the investigator finds compelling evidence with regards to the complaints, then the case will proceed to prosecution.
There are a number of ways through which the defendant can be punished. Cases of professional misconduct that are less serious can lead to a written warning to the accused person or an advisory letter. However, serious cases may attract up to $10,000 for every violation.
The prosecuting officer might also decide to suspend the license of the offender or send them to probation. Some people often chose to surrender their operating licenses if found guilty of professional misconduct.
It is important to closely cooperate with the investigating officer throughout the investigation by providing all documents and information requested. Failing to do so might end up hurting you more. Ensure that you also have a lawyer throughout the process to advise you on every move.
How to choose the right OPD lawyer
Dealing with a professional negligence case might be tricky – especially if you don’t have the right lawyer. You need a lawyer that understands how the Office of Professional Discipline works. Do not just go after any lawyer if you want to increase your chances of winning the case.
One of the first things you should consider is experience. New York is full of lawyers who have extensive experience when it comes to dealing with professional negligence cases.
Try to find out how many clients they have represented and how many were successful. The other thing you might want to consider is someone flexible. Choose an OPD lawyer whom you can easily work with.
In general, professional negligence is something difficult to avoid. Sometimes you might find yourself in a situation that you didn’t intend to be in. The best thing is to ensure that you always have access to an OPD lawyer in New York whom you can contact any time in case a complaint is raised against you.
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