Successfully Defending Licensed Professionals

Our lawyers have represented countless professionals in licensing matters for more than 20 years. Below are several of our representative cases, which show how we can assist you.

Physicians

  • A physician who completed another state’s application for licensure in haste entered an erroneous response regarding the completion of her Continuing Medical Education (CME), prompting that state to impose a public non-disciplinary order. The physician held active licenses in several states. Although the physician corrected the unintentional error, with other states poised totake action, Frances Cullen, PC contacted and negotiated with the Georgia Medical Board and several other State Medical Boards to prevent reciprocal licensing action based upon her erroneous application response.
  • With a strong knowledge of crimes that could prompt exclusionary status by the Office of Inspector General (OIG Exclusion), Frances Cullen, PC has provided sound advice to numerous physicians and other healthcare providers, including physician assistants and nurses, who face criminal charges to thereby avoid the exclusion. In two cases, a letter from Frances Cullen, PC to the Court explaining the potential impact of an OIG Exclusion helped the providers obtain a more favorable criminal plea.
  • When a state university terminated our client, a resident physician, from its residency training program based upon an allegation that he failed a pre-employment drug screen, we appealed the termination and our client was reinstated. At a hearing, we successfully challenged the collection process of the drug screen specimen at issue, and presented overwhelming evidence that our client was not impaired. In a related case, we successfully defended our client in an investigation launched by the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP). Likewise, we represented the client before the medical board, which closed its investigation.
  • In a case filed by the Georgia Composite Medical Board against a psychiatrist for improper prescribing practices, Frances Cullen, PC prevailed at the Initial Hearing, with the Administrative Law Judge finding no fault with the physician’s practice. The Board, on its own motion, reviewed the case and entered a contrary order seeking to discipline the doctor. Frances Cullen, PC appealed to the Superior Court of Fulton County and prevailed, thereby preventing the imposition of any sanctions.

Dentists

  • Frances Cullen, PC has defended several dentists who have found themselves before the Georgia Board of Dentistry because of false or misleading patient complaints.
  • Frances Cullen, PC has assisted several dentists who have undergone treatment for alcohol and/or drug addiction and thereby gained sobriety. In cases of drug diversion, Frances Cullen has negotiated a workable solution for the dentist to retain their dental license and DEA registration.
  • For the little-known law that prevents a dentist from working as an employee of a non-dentist, Frances Cullen, PC has provided sound legal advice to dental offices.

Pharmacists

  • An out of state pharmacist who moved to Georgia had entered a "nolo contendre" ("no contest") plea to criminal charges in his prior home state and claimed he was innocent of the alleged crime; Frances Cullen, PC assisted him in obtaining an unrestricted license in the State of Georgia.
  • For a pharmacist who entered a criminal plea to Medicaid fraud, Frances Cullen ensured the retention of his pharmacy license.

Nurses

  • In numerous cases when employers have fired nurses and reported them to the Georgia Board of Nursing for drug diversion, Frances Cullen, PC has helped guide nurses to the appropriate drug treatment program, assisted them with the Georgia Board of Nursing’s investigation process, helped them locate an appropriate nurse advocate to advocate on their behalf before the Georgia Board of Nursing, and was able to negotiate a more favorable outcome to monitor aftercare following completion of treatment. We have worked with many nurses to help them return to work as a Registered Nurse.
  • For a nurse applicant who had been under a Consent Order in another state, Frances Cullen, PC advised her on closing out the other state’s Consent Order, and obtained the paperwork necessary for her to obtain her license from the Georgia Board of Nursing.
  • In a case where a nurse was criminally charged with Violation of the Controlled Substances Act (VGCSA) for writing fraudulent prescriptions, Frances Cullen, PC represented the nurse in entering the most favorable plea for the crime charged, and then advised her about entering into a Consent Order with the Georgia Board of Nursing to enable her to return to the practice of nursing.
  • For a nurse arrested and criminally charged with diverting controlled substances from her employer, Frances Cullen, PC negotiated pre-trial drug court diversion of the case, which resulted in a disposition without court adjudication of guilt or a record of conviction.

Psychologists, Licensed Professional Counselors, and Social Workers

  • Frances Cullen, PC has represented numerous psychologists, licensed professional counselors, and social workers to defend their license against claims of improper practice, often leading to a dismissal of a board complaint or a more favorable negotiated settlement.
  • In an action brought by the Georgia Board of Examiners of Psychologists (The Psychology Board) against a Psychologist alleging insufficient oversight of testing conducted by a supervisee, Frances Cullen, PC negotiated favorable disciplinary far less than that proposed by the Board.
  • Frances Cullen, PC helped negotiate favorable plea terms with no jail time for a Psychologist accused by the State Health Care Fraud Control Unit (SHCFCU) of serious Medicaid Fraud violations involving the improper billing of children who were never seen by a Psychologist.
  • In a case wherein the Georgia Board of Examiners of Psychologists (The Georgia Psychology Board) would not terminate a Psychologist’s Consent Order when she had met the terms of the Order, Frances Cullen, PC filed a Mandamus action in Superior Court, at which time the Georgia Board of Examiners of Psychologists (The Georgia Psychology Board) acted properly to terminate the Order.

Physicians National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB)

  • In a case where a hospital summarily suspended a physician’s clinical privileges, Frances Cullen worked with the hospital to address what they perceived as alleged deficiencies and helped the physician obtain a "void" to remove the negative National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) report that would have had a significantly negative impact on his career.

Health Care Professionals

  • When a state Board would not comply with the terms of its own settlement agreement we brought legal action against the Board to require its compliance. Specifically, the settlement agreement required the Board to terminate the agreement upon completion of certain required tasks. After our intervention, the Board entered an order terminating the licensed professional’s settlement agreement and probation, with the dismissal of the court case.
  • In a contested administrative hearing brought by a state medical board, we successfully defended an innocent physician assistant charged with the inappropriate touching of a patient.

Applicants for Licensure

  • Applicants seeking to become licensed in the State of Georgia may face a difficult challenge, especially if they completed their education and obtained their credentials many years ago. This is especially true for license applicants who were educated in foreign countries.
  • Frances Cullen, PC has represented numerous physicians and other healthcare professionals in obtaining a rule waiver or variance to enable them to become licensed by proving to the professional’s state licensing board that their prior education and experience demonstrates their competence to practice their profession.

Failure to Renew a License, Lapse of a License, and Reinstatement of a License

  • Each year, a significant number of Licensees fail to timely renew their license to practice, thereby permitting their license to lapse. Depending on the length of time that has transpired between the failure to renew your license or the lapse, you may have difficulty obtaining reinstatement of your license. We have assisted numerous professionals to address this issue.

Criminal Defense

  • Upon a showing of rehabilitation, Frances Cullen, PC has secured the reinstatement of medical licenses for several physicians who have been convicted of felony crimes and, in some cases, those still under probation.
  • In a Federal criminal case, we represented an impaired physician who distributed a significant number of illegal prescriptions. The U.S. Attorney’s office initially sought to charge him with numerous violations of Federal controlled substances laws, including prescribing and conspiracy offenses. We were able to negotiate a plea agreement to a reduced charge applicable to a limited drug amount, thereby bringing the Federal Sentencing Guidelines offense level down and, at sentencing, pled for a further reduction, which was granted.

Violation of the Georgia Controlled Substances Act – VGCSA

Drug Related Crimes & Addiction

  • In representing a substantial number of professionals who have faced criminal charges related to substance abuse and/or addiction, Frances Cullen, PC has provided legal representation for the complete range of drug diversion crimes and charges related to the ordering and writing of improper prescriptions including, but not limited to, forgery, VGCSA and identity fraud.
  • Representation provided before Federal and State Courts, before the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), before Georgia Drugs & Narcotics (GDNA), and with subsequent meetings and actions taken by professional licensing boards and professional credentialing bodies.

Drug Enforcement Agency

  • Frances Cullen, PC has successfully negotiated with the Drug Enforcement Agency with regard to the imposition of more favorable terms when a physician is compelled to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) in order to keep their DEA prescribing privileges.
  • In numerous cases, Frances Cullen, PC has smoothed the process to enable applicants for a DEA permit to more easily obtain their ability to prescribe controlled substances.

Contact Us For Experienced and Thorough Representation

We have the experienced attorneys to defend you in matters regarding your professional license. If you need an attorney in Atlanta or surrounding areas in Fulton County and Georgia, contact us by calling 404-806-6771 or filling out our online form.