Representation by an attorney is not required by the Arizona Board of Nursing; however, having an attorney represent you before the Board will likely assist you in receiving a better outcome than if you were on your own.
Will hiring an Attorney make me look guilty to the Board?
Absolutely not. The Board understands that an attorney can assist with due process and that an attorney familiar with administrative procedures can help represent the interests of the nurse. The hiring of legal counsel is not viewed as an admission of guilt.
If the Board is my advocate why would I need an attorney?
Licensing boards are administrative agencies. Thus, Boards must balance the integrity of its licensees, including membership rules and regulations against the safety and trust of the general public. The Arizona Board of Nursing is not organized to be your advocate. While the Board attempts to operate with a sense of fairness and equity towards the nurses they license, adverse or misguided judgments could effect your ability to continue your current livelihood. Without question, a nurse should have an attorney familiar with the Arizona Board of Nursing advocate on behalf of them in order to protect their license and career.
Wouldn’t it be less expensive to represent myself?
Would you represent yourself if you were named a defendant in a medical malpractice case? The answer is no you would not. However, many individuals are willing to go without legal counsel before the Arizona Board of Nursing when a disciplinary action could potentially eliminate their ability to practice! While there is an assumption that you are highly skilled in your medical discipline, your discipline is not the practice of or interpretation of relevant law. The possibility of losing your nursing license is a very serious matter. Having an attorney familiar with cases similar to yours is absolutely necessary for the best possible outcome from the Board.
Can’t my criminal defense attorney, estate planning attorney or family attorney represent me before the Board?
For many years, unfortunately, the practice of medicine and law has become so complicated, highly skilled professionals have found it more efficient to practice in a narrowly tailored part of the law. Professional license defense needs the full attention of an attorney with experience in health law. My law school concentration and career have been grounded in health care law. With your career at risk, you need the legal counsel of an attorney that focuses on defending professionals with serious legal matters.