When Your Professional License in Tennessee is Under Threat

Professional licenses in Tennessee tend not to cost more than a few hundred dollars, but given the time, energy, and money you've put into meeting its qualifications, losing it can be quite expensive and have long-lasting consequences on other areas of your life. Accusations of professional misconduct that threaten your license, no matter your profession, should be taken seriously. Contact Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Professional License Defense Team at Lento Law Firm as soon as you learn of the issue to ensure your career is protected.

The Lento Law Firm: Professional License Defense in Tennessee

All professional licenses in Tennessee are issued by specific boards. Which board issued your license will depend on the kind of license you have. For example, if you are a contractor, your license will have been issued by the Board for Licensing Contractors, but if you have a Debt Management Provider License, it will have been issued by the Department of Commerce & Insurance. Whatever professional license you have, when you received it, you probably agreed to abide by certain policies. These policies are intended to regulate the behavior of the licensees. If a policy is violated, you run the risk of losing your license.

There are several things that can threaten your professional license, including accusations of sexual misconduct, patient confidentiality violations, substance abuse, driving under the influence, and filing fraudulent worker's comp claims. Additionally, criminal charges can also affect your professional license – even if the supposed incident happened off the clock. For instance, if you are an attorney whose been accused of assaulting someone at a baseball game, the Tennessee Bar may initiate proceedings to suspend your bar license. If that happens, you will not be able to practice law for however long the suspension is and might have to retake the bar exam to gain admission back to the bar. This can be quite costly and stressful, especially if you have a full client list and a family to take care of.

Once you learn of the accusations against you, it is important to reach out to a Professional License Defense Attorney. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his Professional License Defense Team know how hard you have worked to get where you are in life and will work tirelessly to protect your professional license.

The Disciplinary Process for Licensed Professionals in Tennessee

When you are accused of violating the standards of your professional license, the board that issued the license will oversee the matter. While every board has specific procedures, they generally follow the same structure outlined below.


Like all disciplinary proceedings, there first must be a complaint. A complaint will be filed with the relevant agency in charge of your professional license. So, if you are a doctor, the complaint will be made with the Board of Medical Examiners in Tennessee, but if you are a licensed private investigator, the complaint will be made to the Department of Commerce and Insurance, Private Investigation, and Polygraph Commission.

Anyone can file a complaint against you, which could threaten your license. Common complainants tend to involve:

  • Co-workers.
  • Patients, clients, or customers.
  • Other practitioners, agencies, or consultants in your field.
  • Insurance agencies.
  • Court clerks when they must report a crime you may have been involved in.


Once the licensing agency gets a complaint against you, it will initiate an investigation into the matter. Part of the investigation will include notifying you of your right to respond to the complaint and be interviewed by the investigator. In some cases, the investigator may decide to show up at your workplace without notifying you. Usually, though, notice is required, and investigators should only be making unannounced visits when things like drugs or alcohol impairment are being claimed.

After this initial investigation, the investigator will file their report with the agency overseeing your license. If the investigator finds no evidence to support the complaint, there is a good chance that the complaint will be closed. However, if they find any evidence that could support the complaint, they will investigate further. Working with a professional license defense attorney will ensure you are prepared for anything the investigator might pursue. For example, when a complaint is made against a contractor, there will be different investigatory steps than if the individual was a contractor pre-license exam course provider.


If the investigator believes a case should be opened against you, they will notify your board for review. Sometimes the board will review the matter blind – meaning they will not know exactly who the case is against, which is meant to alleviate any risk of bias or conflict of interest. In other cases, it will be mandatory that they are present during the hearing. Of course, the specific requirements for your hearing will depend on the board reviewing it.

In matters where your presence is required, you will also have the option to present evidence and witness testimony to support your argument. At the end of the hearing, the board will review the investigator's findings as well as your argument and determine whether you're responsible for the violation. If they determine that you are responsible, they will impose anything from warning letters and civil penalties to license suspension or revocation. There are some instances where the reviewing board will initiate a consent order as punishment.

Consent orders are initiated by the legal section of the board in charge of your license. These agreements are sort of like plea bargains and can be proposed in lieu of a formal hearing or at the end of a formal hearing. Basically, these orders are a signed agreement between the board and the licensed professional. They are not considered an admission of guilt, but the stipulations contained within are entered into the record as a board order.

Why You Need the Lento Law Firm to Help Protect Your License

Whether you are facing allegations of license violations, a consent order, or a full disciplinary hearing, your professional life is at risk. For example, in Tennessee, the Securities Division of the Department of Commerce & Insurance oversees the Investment Broker license. Individuals have six years to bring a complaint against an Investment Broker before the statute of limitations runs out, and even when it does, they can still pursue arbitration, which could negatively affect the broker's license.

It can be very tempting to represent yourself during these types of disciplinary actions. However, you should reach out to an attorney who understands the nuances you will face during the proceedings. Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team have years of experience helping other professionals navigate everything from the investigation to the hearing. They will not only ensure you are fully prepared, but they will also:

  • Review the complaint and figure out the best course of action for your case.
  • Interview witnesses and gather relevant evidence that will support your defense.
  • Negotiate with the board and any other regulatory agency on your behalf as your official legal representation.
  • Write a strong response to the complaint on your behalf.

Areas the Lento Law Firm Serves in Tennessee

Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team have helped individuals in several different areas, including dentists, doctors, nurses, contractors, therapists, investment brokers, and real estate agents – and many, many more. Most of their clients live in thickly populated areas around Tennessee, though most live in the areas listed below.


Located in the dead center of Tennessee is the state capital, Nashville. Nashville has nearly 700,000 residents and more than 500 healthcare companies. It is also home to one of the best medical schools in the country, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. In fact, Nashville is considered the “health care industry capital” in Tennessee as it contributes nearly $67 billion dollars to the local economy.


To the far west of Nashville is another major city, Memphis, which lies close to both the Arkansas and Mississippi state lines. Home to just over 625,000 residents and several large hospitals, including Baptist Memorial Hospital, Methodist Hospitals of Memphis, and Le Bonheur Children's Hospital, Memphis is also the location of a stellar medical school – the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.


Nestled in the middle of the state is the third-largest city in Tennessee: Knoxville. Knoxville literally sits on top of the Tennessee River and is home to just under 200,000 residents, the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Knoxville campus, several medical centers, and the East Tennessee Children's Hospital, which had 430,000 patient encounters in the past year alone.


Sitting in southeastern Tennessee, at the foot of the Appalachian Mountains, is Chattanooga, which is home to just over 180,000 residents and about 4,000 primary care providers. Despite being a smaller community, CHI Memorial Hospital, one of the leaders in heart, cancer, and orthopedic care for the region, is located there.

Offenses or Allegations that Might Jeopardize Your Professional License

All professional licensing boards in Tennessee stress that it is the responsibility of the licensee to respect the trust society has put in them. If they suspect you violated that trust, they will investigate you. For example, if the Board of Medical Examiners discovers that a licensee has violated the sexual harassment and sexual misconduct policy, it can inflict disciplinary actions. These disciplinary actions can include anything the board deems necessary to protect the public, such as probation, license restrictions, suspensions, or revocations.

Other allegations that could prompt disciplinary action include:

  • Overbilling patients or insurance providers.
  • Getting kickbacks for referrals.
  • Falsifying patient information to increase insurance reimbursements.
  • Offering services without the correct license.
  • Physically or emotionally abusing a patient, co-worker, or employee.
  • Failing to maintain patient confidentiality.
  • Making medical or prescription errors.
  • Making unwanted sexual advances toward patients.
  • Having a sexual relationship with a patient or client.
  • Prescribing or dispensing medications outside the scope of their license – for instance, a dermatologist dispensing Adderall without the appropriate prescribing license.
  • Dispensing medication for personal use.
  • Stealing medication from the workplace.
  • Failing to maintain patient records appropriately or having incomplete or false information in a patient record.
  • Using, possessing, manufacturing, selling, or dispensing controlled substances.
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Violating local, state, or federal law.

Though this list is not exhaustive, it helps to show how many different scenarios could affect your professional license. Licensed plumbers need to protect their professional license just as much as a physician or nurse practitioners. Whatever charge is levied on you can have a serious impact on your current career and future prospects.

The Lento Law Firm: Professional License Defense for Licensed Professionals in Tennessee

Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team have a considerable amount of experience representing licensed professionals all around the country. They understand the blood, sweat, and tears that go into pursuing a professional license, the money you've spent, and the time you've missed with your family. As such, work diligently to ensure you do not arbitrarily lose your license.

If you are licensed to practice in any of these roles listed below, the Lento Law Firm Professional License Defense Team and Attorney Lento help:

  • Physician
  • Physician Assistant
  • Nurse
  • Dentist
  • Pharmacist
  • Therapist or Counselor
  • Social Worker
  • Anesthesiologist
  • Chiropractor
  • Physical Therapist
  • Speech Therapist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Insurance Agent
  • Real Estate Agent
  • K-12 Teacher
  • Cosmetologist
  • Esthetician
  • Investment Broker
  • Certified Public Accountant
  • Contractor

Professional misconduct accusations can become bigger issues quickly. Don't let a complaint against you threaten your livelihood. Call 888-535-3686 today for help, or schedule a consultation online.


Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm are committed to answering your questions about Physician License Defense, Nursing License Defense, Pharmacist License Defense, Psychologist and Psychiatrist License Defense, Dental License Defense, Chiropractic License Defense, Real Estate License Defense, Professional Counseling License Defense, and Other Professional Licenses law issues nationwide.
The Lento Law Firm will gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.

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