It is never too late to make positive changes. This statement applies well to professional disciplinary matters.
In cases involving violations of professional ethical codes, there are two basic approaches that I have observed. The first approach involves denying the obvious violation (which can often be established with irrefutable documentary evidence), ignoring the licensing board’s requests for information, challenging its authority, and generally demonstrating petulance and ignorance about the entire process. The second approach involves acknowledging the obvious, correcting your mistakes, and making forward looking improvements to your professional practice.
The first approach is a recipe for disaster. Yet when I read opinions imposing discipline on licensed professionals, a common theme emerges – the professional’s failure to cooperate in an investigation, failure to acknowledge clearly established requirements and/or to commit to correcting deficiencies in the future.
In most cases, the second approach will achieve the better result. Thus, promptly respond to requests from the Board or its counsel, acknowledge obvious deficiencies, correct then moving forward, and demonstrate your continued fitness to practice as a licensed professional. This approach is far more likely to result in no discipline, or a less severe imposition of discipline.
Finally, do not go it alone. Having counsel to guide you through the process is important. Being represented counsel is not a sign of guilt, but rather, an indication of how important your license is to you. You will not be penalized for having legal counsel.