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Betty Smith – Attorney

Betty Smith joined the Leichter Law Firm PC in February of 2017. Born and raised in Austin, she spent the previous ten years in New Orleans where she graduated with dual Bachelor’s in Legal Studies and Marketing from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business in 2008. Thereafter she attended Loyola University New Orleans College of Law and graduated with a J.D. in 2012.

Ms. Smith’s practice focuses on administrative and health care law with a primary emphasis on professional license defense. She has represented numerous clients before various state agencies including the Texas Board of Nursing, Texas State Board of Dental Examiners, and the Texas Real Estate Commission. This includes guiding clients through the licensure processes of their respective Boards (both initial licensure and license renewal), nursing peer review, and litigation of professional license complaints at the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH).

Education

Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, 2012

  • Doctor of Jurisprudence

Tulane University, A.B. Freeman School of Business, 2008

  • Bachelor of Science in Management – Legal Studies in Business
  • Bachelor of Science in Management – Consumer Behavior

Professional Licenses

Attorney at Law, Texas – 2016
Attorney at Law, Louisiana – 2014

Professional Affiliations

  • State Bar of Texas
  • Administrative and Public Law Section
  • Louisiana State Bar Association
  • Texas Young Lawyers Association
  • Austin Bar Association
  • Austin Young Lawyers Association
  • Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Health Law Section

Representative Cases

NL v. BON – Client was the primary nurse for a medically complex patient who coded while under his care and subsequently expired several days later. After responding to the nursing Board’s allegations that the client failed to properly assess and intervene, the Board proposed a two-year Agreed Order of probated suspension. After careful preparation and extensive review of the
relevant materials (which included witness affidavits, communication logs, medical records, and cardiac rhythm strips, among other things), Ms. Smith prepared for and attended an Informal Settlement Conference (ISC) with the client where they presented a solid case that the client had appropriately assessed and intervened on behalf of this particular patient, and that her eventual unfortunate demise was the result of factors beyond the client’s control. The BON panel decided to close their investigation without any disciplinary action.

SN v. Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital – Plano – Client was called before a Nursing Peer Review Committee (NPRC) for allegations that she failed to timely notify the attending physician
of a Category III fetal heart rate tracing and failed to go up the chain of command. Client retained the Firm after NPRC proceedings had concluded, and the committee determined that Client’s
actions warranted reporting to the BON. After submitting a rebuttal statement to the NPRC on Client’s behalf identifying numerous due process violations, the hospital decided to conduct NPRC
proceedings de novo (anew). After comprehensive review of the records and hours of one-on-one preparation with the client, the hospital cancelled its NPRC review of the client prior to the committee meeting and reversed its decision to report her to the BON.

Jane Doe v. BON – Client was arrested for assault-family violence and interfering with an emergency call after drunkenly assaulting her husband and throwing his cell phone against a wall when he tried to call 911. She retained the Firm for assistance with her RN renewal in disclosing the arrest and deferred adjudication to the nursing Board. Ms. Smith was able to obtain an early expunction of the arrest and court records, severely limiting the required disclosures to the BON and precluding any potential referral of the nurse to the Texas Peer Assistance Program for Nurses (TPAPN).

KM v. BON – Client was terminated from her job for diverting narcotics for personal use and reported to the BON. Ms. Smith counseled the client through the process of entering and completing a rehabilitation intensive outpatient program (IOP) and secured a confidential TPAPN referral for the client without any lapse in her clearance to work or restrictions on her license (TPAPN typically prohibits nurses from working until they receive a “return to work” authorization from their mental health provider, which can sometimes take up to 90 days).