Responding to Professional Complaints: Prevention, Preparation, & Response

If you are a licensed professional, one of the last pieces of mail you want to receive is a complaint about your work. However, it is not unusual for many professionals to have to respond to a complaint at least once during his or her career. With a desire to defend one’s professional aptitude, many professionals often tend to go the route of responding to the complaint on their own. However, this often gets professionals into trouble. If you are facing a complaint, or if you just want to avoid having to face one, there are steps you can take to make the process as easy and painless as possible.

Prevention and Preparation: Prior to Receiving a Complaint

First and foremost, as a professional you should try to prevent receiving complaints but, at the same time, prepare for the possibility of receiving one. To do this, it is important to maintain practices that meet both of these goals. Some examples of useful tactics to follow while working towards meeting these goals include: documenting everything you do in writing, returning phone calls in a timely manner, being respectful when speaking to clients, and saying no to some clients. Documenting everything in writing can also be useful after receiving a complaint to support any contentions the professional makes in his or her response. 

The Response: After Receiving a Complaint

For a professional who has received a complaint, the most important thing to remember is: do not respond to the complaint without seeking the advice of an attorney. One of the biggest mistakes that professionals who receive complaints make is that they are angry about receiving a complaint and hastily submit a response. However, this can end up lengthening the process by requiring more questions to be answered and more details to be explained. This ultimately leads to more anxiety and time consumption than desired.

The best way to avoid this issue is to, when drafting a response, seek the help of counsel who is experienced in disciplinary matters. This will create a more concise, objective, and professional response that still contests the complaint without producing an undesirable response.

Ultimately, seeking the advice of an experienced attorney on drafting a response to a complaint will avoid harm to one’s professional reputation and future. With over 40 years of experience, The Law Office of Jack R. Sturgill has the knowledge and expertise necessary to successfully conclude your case.

Written by Law Office of Jack R. Sturgill

Jack R. Sturgill, the Owner and CEO of Jack’s Law, has practiced civil litigation for over 40 years. As an experienced litigator and real estate, estate planning, and estate administration law attorney in Maryland, he focuses his practice on legal matters pertaining to real estate, land use, eminent domain and condemnation, business and corporate law, estate planning, estate administration, personal injury, and administrative law.