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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 117369
Experience:  JA Mentor -Attorney Labor/employment, corporate, sports law, admiralty/maritime and civil rights law
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I was licensed in Mass as a mental health counselor and

Customer Question

I was licensed in Mass as a mental health counselor and recently surrendered my license because my lawyer advised me to do so. I realize now that I hired the wrong lawyer due to being so anxious about the allegation that I did not hire the right professional. The board was going to suspend my license for 2 years but then saw that I signed a termination letter that stated I said I had billed for sessions that did not occur. I had no legal representation at the time and thought I had to sign the termination letter. At the bottom of the letter it stated that by signing the letter, it did not mean that I agreed with the contents of the letter. The board then said they would not suspend my license, but rather prosecute if I did not give up my license. My lawyer said to not spend my monney on the board issue because there may be further legal issues as the Atty Gen of Mass was also investigating. Now the I have to respond to the RI Board. I don't know what to say. I can't afford another lawyer and have no one to consult.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Law Educator, Esq. replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking for educational purposes only.

Since there was no finding against you in MA and you voluntarily surrendered your license in MA, you can still fight the case in RI. The issue is whatever evidence they have against you. IF you can prove you did not improperly bill for services, which is what you said the allegation was in MA, then you need to file your reply where you detail your evidence in your favor and you need to include in that reply that while you resigned and the letter alleged improper billing, the resignation also stated you did not agree to nor did you admit to those allegations. You would have to include your proof to RI that there was no improper billing of any time in MA or in RI (you have to answer on both states, because improper billing in either state can result in prosecution or suspension/revocation of your license).

So you have to still prove your case and if the evidence would show there was improper billing, then the advice your first lawyer gave you was not necessarily wrong or bad advice to voluntarily surrender your license, which would mean the case would be closed and the OIG would simply put you on the black list and you would have to reapply and you would need to at the time of reapplication you would still have to prove you did not commit the violations as alleged.

I would suggest Roberts, Carroll, Feldstein and Pierce in RI or Barton Gilman in RI, they both have extensive experience with licensing disciplinary matters and would suggest using an attorney to represent you on the response. If you engage them to represent you, they will generally get another extension to evaluate your evidence and the board evidence file your reply.