The month of June has been off the rack busy (street lingo for really busy) for me between my law practice, my consulting projects with the Center for American Nurses, yard work, and the upcoming wedding.
First in State Nursing Board matters, like any other matter involving a federal, state, or local government, court, or agency, you can represent yourself. Self-representation is a right in our justice system and lots of individuals represent themselves and study up on the law and procedures and do just fine proceeding pro se.
The majority of nurses in State Nursing Board matters do not have attorney representation; I think its because of attorney fees, not seeing value in attorney representation, and a failure to appreciate the adversarial nature of these matters. Its not just about attorney fees because nurses make good wages.
Some nurses hire attorneys when involved in a State Nursing Board matter whether its a license defense attorney, criminal law attorney, general practice attorney, ect.
Attorney-client relationships are professional and for whatever reason don't always work out and the attorney and/or the client can terminate the professional attorney-client relationship. I have fired many clients and I have had two clients fire me in my 8 years of solo law practice. It is not that uncommon.
However I always see red flags when I am approached by a nurse who was/is represented by another attorney in a pending license defense case, has bad and/or very negative things to say about that attorney, and is seeking my assistance. Why? I don't want to become the next "shitty attorney" on the client's laundry list of legal practitioners. http://www.thefreedictionary.com/shitty
I value my reputation.
Its mixed and messy when you parachute into a pending case and pick up a file that another attorney has worked. When I first started practicing as a solo in 2001 and for the first few years, I would roll up my sleeves, place the Ibuprofen 800mg next to my can of Pepsi, and take these types of cases without blinking twice.
But at age 37 and with 12 years of law practice and 8 of those in my own firm now and practicing primarily in nursing license defense and nursing matters, I pause, review the file, meet with the client, and charge a hell of a lot more money than I usually would because I know its going to be mixed and messy, baby.
In my firm, mixed and messy means more money.