Saving Your Health Care License
Health care professionals whose lives and licenses are in legal jeopardy find a fierce advocate in Richard Q. Hark of Hark & Hark.
by Staff

Richard Q. Hark grew up in a family of health care professionals. In 1962, his father Jerry opened a dental practice in Clifton Heights, Delaware County, after training in the U.S. Air Force. At the same time, his mother Diane graduated from nursing school. One of four children, Richard remembers his parents always consulting family members and friends for family medical care. 

Richard’s early exposure to helping and healing people in the community led him to law school and indirectly to becoming a trial lawyer. Similar to medicine, Richard’s goal for practicing law was to have a meaningful and direct impact on a person’s life. Richard always knew his legal practice would focus on individual clients, their families, and their lives.

Richard earned his undergraduate degree with honors from Boston University in 1990. His Economics and English majors perfectly suited him for law school, graduating from the Widener University School of Law in 1993. Scholastic internships for judges in Philadelphia Federal District Court and Pennsylvania Superior Court helped him secure a full-time judicial clerkship with the Honorable Albert W. Sheppard. These experiences honed his legal research, writing, and trial skills.

Richard established his boutique law firm in 1996. From the outset, he represented individuals charged in complex federal and state criminal matters. In the years since, he has tried to verdict hundreds of federal and state criminal jury and non-jury trials.  

Richard now devotes his practice almost exclusively to defending health care professionals confronting criminal investigations or charges stemming from professional or personal conduct and the resulting licensing discipline. Illegal conduct includes public or private health insurance fraud, Drug Act violations, DUIs, and theft. In addition, he counsels doctors responding to hospital credentialing, DEA prescribing concerns, and insurance provider participation issues germinating from the criminal charges.

Currently, Pennsylvania’s licensing board disciplinary environment is best described as “strict enforcement” of all board regulations. Boards are confronting legal and medical marijuana usage, the opioid crisis, and the heightened stress on health care professionals living and working in a pandemic. Now, emergency license suspension petitions are the norm, not the isolated case. The same environment applies to Richard’s clients seeking or who already possess national certifications—EMTs, radiologic technologist, respiratory therapists, etc.—and are confronting disciplinary action.

Richard counsels aspiring Pennsylvania and New Jersey physicians, pharmacists, and nurses in securing their professional license. Youthful indiscretions are placed under a microscope in the licensing application process. Richard provides the proper explanation of historical events to assist individuals who have turned a corner in their lives. Likewise, Richard defends graduate school trainees addressing residency, clinical rotation, or academic delays due to interactions with criminal courts during graduate school.   

Drug addiction, alcoholism, and mental health issues occur in health care practitioners in the same percentage as in society. Richard defends health care professionals confronting workplace and board-based drug diversion investigations and impairment evaluations. Richard counsels these clients to make sure they thoroughly understand licensing consequences of enrollment in board-related voluntary monitoring programs (PHMP, VRP, SARPH, PNAP, PHP, RAMP) to avoid unintended results.  

Lawyers possess a license similar to health care practitioners. Richard handles every criminal prosecution, license application, or disciplinary case as if his freedom or license were on the line. His personal approach allows him to compassionately understand each client’s family background, medical history, unique educational history, and the events preceding a criminal or licensing board investigation. Richard helps each client manage the stress of the criminal and licensing board prosecution. He makes himself available via text, email, and telephone to be responsive and present during the representation. 

Richard understands maintaining and protecting a health care license is akin to protecting one’s identity, lifestyle, and family future. Hundreds of clients have benefited from this approach; a quick Google search reflects a five-star rating and hundreds of client reviews. Since 2016, Richard has been a recipient of Avvo’s “Clients’ Choice” award for best Pennsylvania Administrative Law licensing lawyer. He has earned a reputation for successfully handling the most challenging cases, for not backing down in the courtroom, and for his excellent brief writing advocacy. Richard stalwartly stands by his clients, representing them through diligent preparation, constant communication and collaboration, with an infectious legal tenacity. He clearly loves what he does.

His clients are repeatedly amazed at the breadth of his experience, knowledge, and confidence in his strategy, plan of action, and success. His comprehension of the complex legal issues in each prosecution allows Richard to develop each client’s own story, explanation, and theory of the case. Whether a client faces potential jail time and/or professional license suspension or revocation, he fights every case with the same vigorous defense.  

As with his license, Richard understands and respects the responsibility associated with choosing him as your lawyer. Losing or maintaining a professional license always affects more than the licensee. He brings his extensive trial and appellate experience to every case, every hearing, every legal filing, and every appellate argument. A true competitor, he understands the impact his representation will have on both his client and their family. 

Law is a different language from medicine, and Richard speaks the language. He is a true “Philadelphia lawyer,” as newspaper publisher John Peter Zenger described Andrew Hamilton in 1788, meaning he is particularly clever and adept in his work. He is ready to represent you and protect your liberty and your professional license. 

Kasi K., a former client, said this: “Richard is an amazing lawyer, especially for professionals. A Pennsylvania health-related board was threatening to sanction my license. I had to fight. Getting an experienced professional licensing lawyer is extremely important. From my first call, Richard took the time to get to know me as a person and professional. Richard is smart, kind, and very honest. He was fully knowledgeable, prepared for every telephone call, meeting, and hearing. He truly fought for me and my license.”

For more information on Richard Q. Hark, call (215) 665-0766 or visit

Photography by Jeff Anderson

Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Life magazine, December 2020