April 5, 2016

Dear Stephen,

MBREA recently hosted a one-hour webinar titled "From Complaint to Discipline". Attended by many, the webinar proved to be a hit with the audience.

One member wrote, "Thanks very much for putting this presentation together - it was very enlightening - a good investment of an hour," while another said, "Thank you for offering today's webinar.  Fortunately, I have no complaint against me, but I thought the presentation was informative, interesting and the time frame was well done.  I don't think I'd want to be one of those with a complaint against them, and they are just now hearing this presentation.  I hope they have representation. "

Attorneys Vincent Dunn and Thomas Toby Bright did a fantastic job explaining what happens in the disciplinary process and offered several suggestions for anyone receiving a complaint notification. Here's some of the takeaways:

1. Regardless of how frivolous the complaint may seem, always take it seriously.

2. Notify your E&O insurer immediately.

3. Consider hiring an attorney experienced with licensing issues. While this may cost more than you like think about what you have invested in your career and what the loss of your license would mean.

4. Your every communication with the Board becomes part of the record so choose what you say and write carefully.

5. Remember, the Board is a consumer protection agency -- not an appraiser protection agency.

When a complaint is being investigated everything in the workfile is open for criticism. Not only that but failure to comply with regulations can come to light. For example, if you moved and failed to promptly notify the Board leaves you exposed to discipline. Unprofessional conduct may exacerbate a complaint. This is not only conduct when performing an assignment, but also how you act during the investigation.

Final note, it's natural to become defensive or outraged when someone formally complains about your work. Make certain your emotions do not overrule how you respond. You may believe a complaint is frivolous and insulting, but the Board takes each complaint seriously.




If you have a question about a professional licensure issue, upcoming presentations, or need legal advice, please feel free to contact our office at (617) 482-0007 or admin@hmdrslaw.com to be directed to Vincent Dunn or one of our many attorneys trained in administrative law.

MBREA Online is a publication of the MBREA|The Association for Valuation Professionals. The contents of this newsletter do not reflect the official position of the MBREA unless specifically stated.

Original material Copyright Massachusetts Board of Real Estate Appraisers 2015

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