Archive for the ‘Professional Licenses’ Category
Formal disciplinary actions against a California Emergency Medical Technician will now be available as a public record, thanks to AB 2917, signed by the governor today.
AB 2917 will provide the public with with certification and licensure information and create an EMT registry, specified by Section 1797.117 of the Health and Safety Code.
The legislation details the personal information that will be a public record, which is similar to that which is available on other California professional licensees.
The information made available to the public through the centralized registry system shall include all of the following data elements: the full name of every individual who has been issued an EMT-I or EMT-II certificate or EMT-P license, the name of the entity that issued the certificate or license, the certificate or license number, the date of issuance of the license or certificate, and the license or certificate status.
Attorney disciplinary records are organized on the state level and, if online, are usually found at the state bar or state court. The court division that is responsible for investigating attorney misconduct may be called “Office of Disciplinary Counsel”, “Disciplinary Board” or “Disciplinary Commission”. And that’s just one of the many reasons why you should subscribe to a public records directory. CourtPort is one that’s tailored for the legal community.
A directory of lawyer disciplinary agencies can be found at the American Bar Association site. Some of these links go to the bar association’s home page, because that state doesn’t have lawyer discipline records online. Or, in the case of the Alaska Bar Association, the search page is buried and the disciplinary actions are mixed with the general member directory.
The Arizona Bar separates discipline reports by year. If I knew whether the lawyer was disciplined and the year this site would be sufficient. With that annoyance in mind, I developed a Google custom search engine of disciplined attorneys. This enables you to search, for example, the Arizona Bar Association records for all years. Also, search across multiple states at once — helpful if you don’t know the state in which the disciplinary action may have occurred. I include several sites that index appellate and Supreme Court records, which may make the results too cluttered, but will catch some cases related to attorney misconduct claims that aren’t at the state sites.
Not all states are included. Many don’t have directories that could be configured to work with another search engine. Let me know if you find a way to search the excluded sites.
Is the Disciplined Attorneys search engine helpful?
Review the professional and disciplinary background of 44,000 physicians and surgeons licensed to practice in Illinois. Search the database by doctor’s partial first name, partial last name, city, specialty keyword or hospital affiliation. Select a physician’s name to see specialty certifications, legal and disciplinary actions for the past 5 years, and resume details. Disciplinary listings may point to licenses issued in other states, malpractice judgments and claim settlement amounts.
The announcement of the database was issued by Gov. Blagojevich:
Over 85 percent of all licensed physicians and surgeons have provided the information necessary to create their profile in categories that include: the location and scope of practice, the type of insurance the physician accepts, specialties and certifications, legal and disciplinary actions taken against the physician, his or her educational background and any professional activities or honors the physician would like to add. Physicians’ licenses are subject to renewal in July 2008. Before a license is renewed, physicians must provide the information for their profiles.
While some people may endeavor to scrub their online reputation, most people aren’t concerned about personal information on the Internet. Investigators make use of formally and unintentional, detrimental and laudatory personal information that’s posted online to check the background of witnesses, jurors, plaintiffs, defendants, insurance claimants, potential business associates or employees and anyone whose reputation and activities must be known. That’s a deep pool, and the Internet can offer a lot that isn’t otherwise easily accessible.
Government agencies that regulate professional licenses are increasingly putting violations by licensees on their Web sites. But don’t overlook private associations of professionals that discipline their members, because they may have descriptions of alleged wrongdoing that go beyond that on the government Web site. Take a look at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) disciplinary action for a David J. Burton (use your “find” tool). Now look at the State of Illinois, Division of Professional Regulation entry. He was charged with a violation of the code of ethics of AICPA, but the government site doesn’t have a record of this.
Generally, you find citations and enforcement actions at the Web site of the agency that regulates the specific profession. Select the profession in the drop-down menu at the Colorado State site for a list of license violations. This is a badly designed site, without a search by name mechanism. I have the same complaint about the North Carolina Real Estate Commission disciplinary actions, but those can be uncovered with a search engine query.
Here are some other government sites listing professional license disciplinary actions:
California Chiropractic Examiners (Search names in all disciplinary reports with a search engine query.)
California Court Reporters
California Physical Therapy Board, Citations and Disciplinary Actions
Ohio State Board of Emergency Medical Services, Disciplinary Actions (Search at Google example: kavanaugh intitle:”disciplinary actions” site:ems.ohio.gov/)
Maryland State Board of Public Accountancy
Ohio Accountancy Board Disciplinary Hearings
Pennsylvania Department of Education, Professional Standards and Practices Commission
Vermont Department of Education
Do you have a favorite site of professional license disciplinary actions?
Verify a current notary registration by partial last name at the Colorado Secretary of State site. Returns full name, city, zip code and, start and end dates of the notary commission. It does not include expired registrations.
Find other statewide databases of notary commissions at this SearchSystems link.
Computer Forensic professionals are quickly finding out that several states are now requiring them to be licensed as private investigators.
A recent article in Baseline Magazine details how legislators in South Carolina have introduced pending legislation where “digital forensic evidence gathered for use in a court in this state must be collected by a person with a PI license or through a PI licensed agency.”
The Texas Private Security Board recently made a ruling regarding the licensing regulations which effect computer security consultants and computer forensic examiners. They felt that it is important that these computer related practitioners, as well as the entities hiring their services, are familiar with the licensing regulations, as violations carry steep financial and legal penalties.
There is no doubt that these regulations will cause computer forensic experts to create strategic business alliances with private investigators to insure that evidence they collect is not thrown out of court over licensing issues.
What do you think about this? Should computer forensic experts be required to have a PI license? Do private investigators have the necessary training and expertise to conduct computer forensic examinations?