I have from 5 to 40 legal consultations in a month usually by phone with nurses throughout Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana.
The benefits of a legal consultation for a nurse are:
1. You have an objective attorney reviewing your case;
2. You are able to ask questions and receive solid advice and counseling about your situation; and
3. The cost is $150-$250.00 in my law firm. Some license defense attorneys charge $500-$1,000.00 for legal consultations. For example, there is an attorney who charges $750.00 for a 2 1/2 hour consultation and this is the minimum and includes all his preparation time reviewing your materials and performing research on the issues therein.
What I am a finding however is that I have a lot of nurses who become quite hostile and argumentative with me during legal consulations because I am not telling them what they want to hear, I am not agreeing with them, or I am being "too direct and too blunt."
I think this is why we lawyers get a bad rep because it is our role to "tell it how it is." If you are paying a professional and the professional is telling you exactly what you want to hear about yourself and your situation, then you are wasting your money.
Objective advise and counseling: this is what an attorney does. However, most nurses involved in a State Nursing Board case are proceeding pro se, most nurses being monitored by the State Board are pro se, and most nurses who are in a Board Alternative to Discipline program are pro se.
Pro se meaning you are representing, counseling, and advising yourself in the matter. It is difficult to be objective and critically review and analyze your own situation from a legal, clinical, and professional practice standpoint. When you are representing yourself it becomes a epic battle for mankind and the fate of the world rests in your hands.
I had a nurse tell me the following in reference to a State Nursing Board investigation and an employment termination, "I now know how Jesus Christ felt when he was prosecuted." No comment.
It emotionally becomes One Little Nurse vs. the Big Bad State Nursing Board (not the Big & Bad, just Big Bad) which is huffing and puffing to blow down everything you accomplished: your licensure, your career, your family, and your life.
It is portrayed to colleagues, family, friends, and "anyone who will listen" as serious as the epic battle for Middle Earth and the "Rings of Power" akin to good vs. evil, the Jedi vs. the Sith, and Ketchup vs. Mustard.
If you are representing yourself before the State Nursing Board consider a legal consultation with a nurse license defense attorney in your state; it may be the reality check you need to place the case in the proper prospective.