My licensure defense practice includes representing attorneys facing disciplinary process in Pennsylvania. Attorneys licensed by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court - whether practicing in Pennsylvania or not - are subject to discipline the same as other Pennsylvania licensees. Criminal conduct and egregious unethical conduct expose attorneys to prosecution for violating the Rules of Professional Conduct. Attorney discipline in Pennsylvania's attorney regulatory system is more complex that other licensees. The Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania is the court in the Supreme Court in which disciplinary actions are filed. The Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct govern the practice of law in the Commonwealth. These Rules set forth the minimum ethical standards for the practice of law and constitute a set of Rules that all attorneys must follow. These Rules were originally promulgated by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on April 1, 1988.
How do you get out of Pennsylvania's Professional Health Monitoring Program ("PHMP"). The PHMP administers both the Voluntary Recovery Program "VRP" and the Disciplinary Monitoring Program ("DMU"). As a licensed professional voluntarily enrolled in the PHMP - VRP - or forced into the DMU, you agreed to PHMP terms to keep working. You have been compliant for over three years. Now you think the program time is up!
For many doctors, pharmacists, and nursing, medicine is a major aspect of their personality and identity. Compassion in care giving is a significant character trait of medical professionals. During this holiday season, working, attending work related holiday events, and gift giving are enjoyable aspects of medical professionals' lives.
I recently wrote a blog about the enforcement environment for Pennsylvania medical professionals. Pennsylvania's Disciplinary Environment -- PNAP Investigations Pennsylvania's medical related licensing boards are receiving a record number of reports accusing licensees of drug related diversion, DUI arrests for alcohol or drug intoxications (medical marijuanna), and other impairments that affect professionals' ability to practice safely. In almost every circumstance, licensees' alcohol and drug related conduct now generates Petitions for Mental and Physical Evaluations. I have written numerous blogs about the importance of preparing for these evaluations and promptly attending.
Last Week I published an article about Medical Marijuana. Just Say NO. https://www.phila-criminal-lawyer.com/Attorneys/Richard-Q-Hark.shtml
What is a drug recognition expert. A drug recognition expert typically is a police officer with one week of additional training in the physical manifestations certain drugs have on the human body. The International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) coordinates the International Drug Evaluation and Classification (DEC) Program with support from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the U.S. Department of Transportation. In addition to officers, who are certified as DREs, the DEC Program educates prosecutors and toxicologists on the DRE process and the drug categories.
Medical marijuana has the potential to create huge licensing issues for physicians and all other health care practitioners. On May 17, 2018 what was a temporary regulation became a final annual regulation that targets medical doctors for discipline. Identified at 28 PA. Code § 1181.25, any physician identified in the Medical Marijuana Practitioner Registry will now be subject Department of Health annual reviews. Mandatory Arrest Reporting Responsibility The review will seek to determine if the physician's license is inactive, expired, suspended, revoked, limited or otherwise restricted by the applicable medical board, or if the physician has been subject to professional disciplinary action. This insures that every medical marijuanna "Medical Practitioner" must report to the Medical Board and the Department of Health both upon arrest and annually, any arrests and/or pending disciplinary action.
In April 2018 a Pennsylvaniappellate court issued a decision in Abruzzese v BPOA, --- A.3d --- (2018). This case is one of three Spring 2018 cases reversing a Pennsylvania licensing board arbitrary disciplinary decision. I've written about the other two cases, .
I routinely write about the overbearing criminal conduct and disciplinary environment that currently exists for Pennsylvania licensees. On May 10, 2018 Commonwealth Court decided Levengood v. BPOA. This cases involves a car salesperson's license and the excessive discipline this Board handed down. In this case, along with several other recent Commonwealth Court decision, the court rejects as excessive and manafestly unreasonable discipline that goes too far - such as revoking licenses and imposing civil penalties - when the facts do not warrant it.