Medical Board Defense Attorney
One of the most common settlement agreements reached at ISC is the agreed order. An agreed order is an advantageous settlement tool for the license holder to use in avoiding a hearing at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (“SOAH”). Unlike at SOAH where the licensee subjects his or her rights and privileges to the discretion and authority of an administrative law judge, the licensee can directly negotiate and influence the contents of an agreed order. Furthermore, new information or a change of circumstances may even allow the license holder to re-negotiate a previously accepted order. Before discussing the negotiation process, it is important to understand how the initial order comes into being.
Any matter within the board’s jurisdiction may be resolved informally by an agreed order. The first opportunity for a licensee to resolve alleged violations of board rules, the Medical Practice Act (“the Act”), or a previous board order is in the Informal Show Compliance (“ISC”). The recommendation for an agreed order must be in writing, prepared by board staff and presented to the licensee and his or her attorney. The license holder may accept the proposed settlement by signing and returning the order within the time period prescribed. Then, the order must be submitted to the board for approval. However, if the licensee rejects or fails to timely accept the proposed agreement, board staff will file a formal complaint at SOAH.
After a proposed agreed order is accepted, additional negotiations may be held between board staff and the licensee or the licensee’s attorney. This may be accomplished in consultation with one or both of the board representatives who were present at the ISC. If neither of the representatives is available, a board member may participate in the negotiations. All negotiations may be performed in person or over the telephone. The original ISC recommendations of the board representatives may be only modified if new information comes to light, there is a change of circumstances, or there is a need to expedite the resolution of the allegations in the interest of protecting the public. At least one of the ISC panelist’s must be consulted and concur with any subsequent substantive modifications. Just like the initial order, a modified order must be submitted to the board for approval. Lastly, the board may then adopt, modify, or reject the modified recommendations.