If one of your patients has filed a complaint to the College of Optometrists of Ontario (“COO”), then you need the assistance of a knowledgeable and skilled professional discipline lawyer at your side. Posner Craig Stein (“PCS”) defends optometrists in proceedings at the COO. Being the target of a patient complaint and facing allegations of professional misconduct can be anxiety-provoking, frustrating, and time-consuming. Entrusting PCS with your COO case means that you will have an experienced and trusted advocate at your side throughout the complaints and discipline process. We understand the potential impact that patient complaints and professional misconduct allegations can have on your reputation and financial situation. We know that your livelihood can depend on ensuring that the complaint is found to be without merit and that allegations of professional misconduct are dismissed. Our lawyers work tirelessly, creatively – and in a relentless manner. We also have a network of expert witnesses who work with us in a collaborative manner to help navigate you through the COO process.
PCS optometrist defence lawyers have extensive expertise in assisting optometrist in guiding them through the investigatory stage of a COO complaint and assisting them with COO audits. The earlier an optometrist retains quality defence counsel, the better the opportunity we have to ensure you walk away with your reputation, license, and livelihood intact. In an audit, we will work in concert with you to ensure you are well prepared. In an investigation, we will ensure that all of the relevant information that demonstrates your competence and integrity is placed before the investigator, so that the College has the tools it needs to dismiss any complaints against you.
PCS assists optometrists in making submissions to the ICRC. The ICRC screens complaints, and can refer a optometrist to the discipline committee for a hearing for professional misconduct or incapacity. The ICRC can also, instead of referring the complaint to the discipline committee, order the optometrist to attend for a caution in-person, order the optometrist to complete a specialized continuing remediation and education program (“SCERP”), or take any other it deems appropriate.
It is essential to consult with a lawyer for optometrist at this stage of the complaint process. Even if the ICRC does not refer the complaint to the discipline committee, cautions and SCERPS result in mandatory publication of the ICRC’s decision on the COO’s on-line register. This can result in reputational and financial damage. An optometrist has the opportunity to make written submissions to the ICRC. PCS optometrist defence lawyers have skill and expertise in crafting elegant, cogent and persuasive submissions to convince the panel at the ICRC to dismiss the complaint. Your time, reputation, and finances can be saved by working early on to have the complaint dismissed.
Hearings before the Discipline Committee involve hearing from witnesses, cross-examination, calling evidence, and making submissions before the panel. Our team of optometrist defence lawyers have extensive expertise in these areas, developed over decades in tribunals and courtrooms across Ontario.
Carefully calibrated and effective cross-examination of witnesses called by the prosecution in your discipline proceeding can result in a dismissal of professional misconduct charges. The key to success is extensive preparation, skillful and targeted questioning, and the experience to adapt to the witness’s answers as they come. PCS optometrist defence lawyers will bring these skills and attributes to your defence.
If the ICRC has reached an unfair or unreasonable decision, you have legal recourse. Optometrists can appeal ICRC dispositions to the HPARB. These appeals involve the examination of the record of the proceedings before the ICRC, the drafting of written legal arguments, and can involve oral arguments before a panel.
Our optometrist defence lawyers bring their experience and skill to bear on your case. We will subject the record of your proceeding to microscopic scrutiny to properly develop the arguments that have the greatest chance of winning on appeal. Our trial and appellate experience gives us the necessary perspective to properly examine a record, and find the errors that will provide you with powerful arguments on appeal.
Critical to success on appeals is written advocacy – and PCS’s written work is polished and persuasive. PCS’s experience in written advocacy has been honed over years of preparing written submissions in many different Ontario tribunals, and courts including the Divisional Court, the Court of Appeal for Ontario and the Supreme Court of Canada. When it comes time to argue an appeal, we will be fully prepared to present your case in a forceful and persuasive manner.
If the HPARB declines to set aside a decision of the ICRC, an optometrist can seek to have the HPARB’s decision reviewed judicially at the Divisional Court of Ontario. Decisions of the Discipline Committee are also reviewed by the Divisional Court. Much like hearings before the HPARB, judicial reviews involve an examination of the record of the proceedings below, the drafting of legal arguments, and making oral arguments before a panel of Ontario Superior Court judges. PCS optometrist defence lawyers are experienced in arguing cases before the Divisional Court and we will pursue every avenue to help protect your reputation, your license, and your financial well being.
Posner Craig Stein is the right optometrist defence firm to handle complaints made against you because:
• We achieve the best possible results for our clients;
• Our advocacy skills, both written and oral, are highly respected;
• Our fees are highly competitive.
If you are an optometrist and have been the subject of a complaint, it is to your benefit to retain an experienced optometrist defence lawyer immediately. Posner Craig Stein may be able to help you avoid serious consequences, such as reputational and financial damage.
Come meet with us, in confidence, at out office, by phone, or a virtually to discuss your options today. Put your trust in the Posner Craig Stein team of highly skilled optometrist defence lawyers with proven experience.
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