For many professional license holders, the thought of having your license revoked or facing disciplinary action can be highly stressful. A professional license defense lawyer can help you protect your license, career, and reputation when the need arises.
Professional license attorneys act as an advocate for a California licensed individual when he or she is facing disciplinary action by the board or bureau which regulates his/her license. These actions, which can be formal efforts to revoke a license, also known as an “Accusation,” or more informal investigations, can be very stressful and intimidating. Board investigators may work for the specific licensing agency or the California Department of Consumer Affairs (“DCA”). A defense lawyer can aggressively step in and insulate a licensee from having to speak and possibly make admissions which may be very harmful to the license at stake. Our sole focus is to prevent, or minimize, any harm which may come to your license. The primary way we accomplish this is by refusing to allow our clients to speak directly to the Board, its attorneys or its investigators. This “insulation,” as we call it, may alone save your license from revocation.
Professional license attorneys are specifically trained in the areas of law that deal with the applicable laws, regulations and procedures of the many government agencies within California and our practice is statewide.
California has over 200 different types of jobs that require professional licenses. Most commonly these include contractors, healthcare professionals, financial services, real estate, and all the sub categories that fall within each sector. Because these jobs are regulated by the state, if these licensees get investigated by a licensing board or agency, they must usually deal directly with the state board that issued the license, instead of an HR department or employer like a normal employee would. The various boards and bureaus typically enlist the services of the California Attorney General as their attorneys, further stacking the odds against an unrepresented licensee (or “Respondent,” which is the legal description of a licensee facing formal discipline).
Responsibilities & Tasks
One of the main roles of an administrative lawyer is to act as a buffer between you and the licensing agency. Quite often, the state agency via its pushy and unsympathetic investigators will contact you directly and try to convince you that you have no options but to fully cooperate and have a long, detailed discussion with them, very likely harming your license and career. Often times, this first “interview” can spell disaster down the line for the licensee. We simply do not allow our clients to give “free depositions,” as our managing partner fondly calls them. There is almost never any benefit to the licensee in doing this and our attorneys know this extremely well.
To help you deal with what are often unreasonable and confusing demands, a license defense lawyer will research and analyze all of the details regarding your case, including the allegations against you, any evidence that may exist, favorable or not, and, most importantly, your side of the story in a meeting with you personally. It’s important that your defense lawyer have all of the details so he can move forward with an effective strategy to help you retain your license. Do NOT hide facts from, or mislead, your attorney in any way when he interviews you—this is extremely important. We have seen almost everything under the sun, so there is never any benefit to the client in hiding “bad facts” and overemphasizing only the good ones.
During the process, your lawyer will explain what the laws mean, and what your various defensive options may be. The goal is to get you back to work as quickly as possible, so it is beneficial to have a lawyer who is proficient and aggressive, with a track record to back it up.
When it comes time for arraignments, hearings, and eventually trial, your license lawyer will represent you with a single purpose—protecting you and your license at all costs.
Your lawyer is your voice, so it is vitally important that you only speak with him regarding your case, and not seek usually inaccurate “advice” from friends, colleagues or even family.
In many cases, a professional license defense lawyer is needed for tasks related to simply applying for a new license or a renewal problem. If there are any issues of criminal background history, regardless of when it happened or what the circumstances were, you may be denied the right to apply for a license, which can be frustrating. A license lawyer can help you with applications, appeals of a denial (aka a “Statement of Issues”) and any other licensing problem you may encounter.
Defending Your License
The agencies that govern and regulate state licenses take complaints and resulting investigations very seriously. Even if you haven’t done anything wrong, you may find yourself on the wrong end of an unhappy patient or customer and suddenly facing the propsect of losing your license, income and way of life completely. The stakes in such a case could not be higher—our attorneys completely understand that and work very aggressively to protect you from the limitless resources the state has at its disposal.
Licensing boards can impose many different types of discipline actions upon licensees, and they can range anywhere from no action taken to a “Citation and Fine” to a Public Reproval, Letter of Reprimand or even complete license revocation. Many times it may not even be clear what the next step should be, as the board will try to make it seem like you have no option but to do what they say. Luckily, you have options, and the first and most important one is that you don’t have to talk to anyone or admit to anything without talking to a licensing lawyer first. You have the right not to incriminate yourself, and you have a similar right to select counsel of your choice to speak for you in these intense situations and investigations—do not hesitate to assert these rights.
It’s important to know that each board that regulates the licenses within California has its own set of rules and procedures when it comes to approving or rejecting license applications, investigating complaints and even imposing discipline. An experienced license defense lawyer like the ones at Brown & Brown will know exactly what strategy to impletement to best protect you and your license in any case which may arise against you.
Professional License Defense at The Law Offices of Brown & Brown
We help the individuals and professionals who find themselves at odds with the regulating board or agency who may be at risk of losing their license or having their application for licensure rejected. Such rejections may be appealed and our attorneys have vast experience successfully doing so.
In many instances our experienced defense attorneys have successfully helped clients regain their license or business when they were told by other attorneys that it wasn’t possible. We recommend that you have the excellent attorneys at Brown & Brown represent you and your license and almost never try to take on the state board by yourself, because you will almost certainly always lose, and in fact make it more difficult to appeal the situation later on. We have countless stories of clients coming to us after representing themselves initially and gravely regretting doing so. There is simply too much to know and navigate in the professional license defense field to do so on your own.
The Law Offices of Brown & Brown services the entire state of California, and we truly enjoy defending our clients against the many state boards and bureaus statewide. If you find yourself facing disciplinary action or an investigation from your licensing board, do not hesitate to hire the highly experienced and proven attorneys at Brown & Brown to successfully protect everything you have worked so hard for. We love what we do.
This blog is meant to provide information on current news and general information. It is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor is any attorney-client relationship established by its posting on this website. If you are facing a situation that involves your professional license, consult with a licensed attorney.