Practicing law in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana before the Nursing Boards allows me to see how each Nursing Board functions related to disciplinary investigations and hearings. The Indiana State Nursing Board Meetings are devoted primarily to hearings which is different than Kentucky Nursing Board and the Ohio Nursing Board. I personally like how nurses are required to appear before the Indiana State Nursing Board related to suitability for licensure and that the full board conducts hearings.
I do however find that the majority of nurses appearing before the Indiana Nursing Board do so without legal representation, which is of course fine. There are pros and cons to representing yourself. Yes, you do save money and saving money is always good. But there are also cons. You are stabbing in the dark trying to figure out what to do, what should you say or not say, guessing how to do this and keep your license, etc.
There is a right to "rep" yourself in this country and I can understand the needs for cost-savings and not wanting to pay attorney fees and costs. So by all means continue to "rep" yourself.
I grew up in a predominately black neighborhood where you could and still can "rep" your hood, "rep" your block, or your "rep" your city. So why can't you "rep" your nursing license?
I must add however that we have had two nurses who went before the Indiana Nursing Board this summer without legal representation contact our office a few days before the date to file an appeal inquiring about an appeal and what could they do to keep their license at this point. You have got to be kidding me?
If you are going to represent yourself throughout the disciplinary investigation, counsel and advise yourself throughout the disciplinary investigation, and represent, counsel, and advise yourself in the hearing, why not continue to do the same on appeal? Preparation for the filing of appeal should start prior to the hearing, not one or two days before the expiration of your appellate rights.
Do you know how much money it could cost to ready a file dropped in your lap two days prior to the deadline in a Nursing Board case? Most license defense attorneys are small firm or solo practice attorneys and this would require the attorney to drop "everything" and work on your appeal.
One nurse was quoted a fee of $20,000 by a Indianapolis small firm attorney to file an appeal on such short notice. The nurse wanted to know if I could take the case for $5,000.00. I declined.
It ain't gone happen in my firm because you are opening yourself up to mistakes because "time is of the essence" and you are behind the eight ball from the start. I don't practice law this way.
A large law firm could easily handle it and would probably charge you an initial retainer of $45,000.00 at least and then bill by hour deducting from the retainer to throw several attorneys and paralegal at your case to file your appeal on time. I referred her to an attorney who practices in Indianapolis in a large law firm who practices before the Indiana State Board.
What am I saying? If you think you need attorney representation in a licensure matter, don't wait until the last minute like a few days before a hearing or a day or two before your appeal runs dry and make an informed decision before you "rep" your nursing license before the State Nursing Board.