Our California professional license defense law firm is built around the principal of helping professionals protect the licenses that they have worked so hard to earn. Attorney Lucy S. McAllister has 30+ years of legal experience representing the interests of clients and helping them defend their professional licenses.
Our team understands how critically important a professional license is to an individual and will work diligently to get you through the disciplinary process with as little impact on your livelihood as possible. We are able to offer legal services to professionals experiencing licensing issues throughout California.
We understand the years of education and training that go into obtaining a professional license in California.
After years of study and learning the smallest details of your chosen profession, you have to take one or more qualifying exams for the right to practice. Then you need to meet the ongoing regulatory hurdles to maintain your license and your business. However, there are many threats to keeping that license, including those that are not obvious to most people.
If you have made a mistake that jeopardizes your license, you need the help of our firm as soon as you learn about the possibility of a disciplinary hearing. Complaints about unprofessional conduct or criminal convictions can lead to disaster if not managed properly. Our firm understands how to minimize the impact that disciplinary actions have on your livelihood.
Getting Involved in a Licensing Law Case as Early as Possible is Critical to the Best Resolution
California professional licenses are regulated by various licensing boards. These agencies oversee licensing requirements, administer qualifying examinations, and investigate allegations of unprofessional conduct. When a complaint is made by a client of the licensed professional or any third-party, the responsible board launches an investigation. If the licensee is notified about the pending discipline action at this time, it may be possible to negotiate directly with a representative of the board before any further legal action is taken. This is a crucial part of the process. It is possible to resolve the matter with a private citation that remains “in-house” unless written information is requested. Attorney Lucy S. McAllister can act swiftly at this time to minimize the impact of legal action.
If you are contacted by an investigator before you have received notification of a formal Accusation, it is critical that you do not speak with the investigator directly. Anything that you say to investigators is used in the determination of the investigation proceeding and which penalties will be imposed. The investigators are on the side of the board, not you. By retaining a professional license defense attorney early in the investigation, it’s possible to stop the proceedings before they escalate. Our experienced legal team also can take the strain of the investigation from you.
Possible solutions exist to end an investigation with minimum repercussions for the professional, whether through the closing of the file or a private citation. Even if the censure is public and published, it is far better than the matter being referred to the Office of Attorney General for an administrative hearing. If the preliminary investigation reveals enough evidence to support the allegations, the board will issue a formal Accusation. At this point, the licensee can file a response and request a hearing.
Issues Which Trigger Impact to a California Professional License
Different acts can trigger a disciplinary action. Licensing boards want to ensure that professionals in California are practicing ethically, exhibiting skill and competence.
Allegations that may lead to the opening of a file and pursuit of a matter by a licensing authority include:
- Ethics Violations
- Criminal charges or convictions, including driving under the influence (DUI)
- Sexual misconduct
- Fraud, forgery, misrepresentation, or other activities evidencing receipt
If you have made one of these mistakes, you need to take the necessary actions to correct it. This list includes examples of unprofessional conduct that may lead to a formal license investigation and hearing. Each professional licensing board has some discretion over what matters receive greater focus.
The Complexities of the Legal and Administrative Process
Attorney Lucy S. McAllister navigates the nuances of an administrative hearing and presents a case that is strategically aligned with her client’s goals. Although an administrative hearing shares some similarities, different rules of evidence and procedure must be followed. Leading up to the hearing, there is an opportunity to engage in the discovery process. A licensee may obtain documents and information from the regulatory board, but this exchange is not as extensive as a civil or criminal case. A party will need to subpoena records and get orders for depositions of witnesses and parties to the proceeding. The hearing itself takes place before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) and although the judge’s recommendation at the conclusion of the hearing is not binding on the board, it does carry a lot of weight. Therefore, it is important to present an effective case, which we know how to do.
The complaint that leads to a disciplinary action by the licensing board also may lead to criminal charges. A licensee is best served by having an attorney who is experienced in criminal law in order to manage every aspect of the allegations. Lucy S. McAllister and our firm have spent years fighting criminal charges to great success. Having the assistance of counsel managing multiple fronts of the battle ensures that issues are not overlooked.
On Probation and Revoked or Suspended Licenses: It Is Never Over Until We Say It Is
If you went through the administrative process and still face a period of probation, or your license has been suspended or revoked, options remain available to you. We will work to file a petition for modification or reinstatement. It is important to review any comments of attachments that the board included with the disciplinary order. Although we have to wait until the minimum probationary period is over, this time is used to build your case for a suspension time reduction. Remember, the process is not meant to be punitive. Learn from the mistake and move forward. The various boards focus on ethical and competent practice by licensed professionals. We will compile all the evidence necessary to show that whatever past mistakes you made will not be repeated.
If you’re a California Professional in need of license defense, we’re here to help. We understand the time and dedication it took to obtain your professional license. However, you have done something that violates the terms of your license and need to act quickly. The threat to your license by a disciplinary action is something that requires immediate action. We are committed to finding a solution with you and the professional licensing board so a quick return to work is possible. Let us defend your career and reputation.
Please call the Law Offices of Lucy McAllister toll free at (877) 280-9944 to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your specific case.