Informal Settlement Conference
The opportunity to take part in an informal settlement conference (Informal Conference) with Staff of the Texas Board of Nursing (BON) is not afforded in all cases. Usually, Informal Conference’s are reserved for nursing practice cases, advanced practice issues, or cases where the main concern is one of credibility. However, if it appears that it would help your case, it can often be a matter of being persistent with the BON Staff until they schedule one. As Leichter Law Firm attorneys have handled over 1000 Texas Nursing License Defense cases we are knowledgeable as to what instances / cases would be appropriate for an informal conference and how to go about requesting one. As State Board Staff is aware that denying our request may likely result in expensive and uncertain SOAH / contested case litigation they generally grant it if a reasonable request is made which articulates a good cause for the informal.
The informal conference is attended and run by the Executive Director, or her designee, the Enforcement Director, the General Counsel, and the investigator. The licensee is allowed to be represented by counsel at the meeting, though the Board staff will have questions expressly for the licensee regarding the allegations (see Board Rules § 213.20).
It can be vital to have an experienced administrative law attorney represent you both in preparation for the Informal Conference, and at the conference. There can be a great deal of preparation that goes into readying a nurse licensee for an informal conference. It is easy for a licensee to become flustered under the scrutiny of the BON Staff. The confidence and preparedness that comes from working with an experienced professional licensing attorney can help the conference go much smoother. Further, the presence of an attorney at the informal conference can also allow some of the heat to be taken off the licensee. An experienced Texas Nursing Board Attorney can throw his client a lifeline and help frame the issues in the licensee’s best possible light.
After the licensee has been given an opportunity to speak, and the Board staff is satisfied that they have asked all of their questions, the licensee and their counsel are dismissed while Board staff deliberates. When the licensee returns, the Board staff reveals their decision. The case will either be dismissed at this stage, in which case they will reveal that they are closing their investigation.
Alternatively, they can decide to stay with the discipline they have already proposed in the form of an Agreed Order, or they can offer a new Agreed Order with whatever modifications they deem justified (see Board Rules §213.20(g)).
If you are at a crossroads with your active Board of Nursing investigation into your RN, LVN or APN practice then please call the nursing license defense attorneys from Leichter Law Firm today for a free consultation. Having the experience and benefit of representing over 1000 nurses in disciplinary cases before the Board we can properly asses your situation and explain the options available. If resolution through an informal conference is a viable route for your file we will know. Please call us at 512-495-9995 and visit our Texas Board of Nursing representative cases / results pages to better understand your situation.