If you are being investigated by a California licensing board or authority for your profession, you will receive a letter indicating that you are under investigation (investigative inquiry).
Once an investigation is completed, you will receive a “Statement to Respondent” notifying you that you can contact the attorney (deputy attorney general) for the Board or the Agency to negotiate a settlement offer. Often, this letter will suggest that obtaining legal counsel is optional and not necessary.
Be warned. The Board’s lawyer is not on your side. The opposing attorney may schedule a settlement conference with you and offer you what is known as a “Stipulated Settlement”, an agreement made between two opposing parties during the course of legal proceedings which admits wrongdoing and lays out the administrative sanctions and remedies required which can include fines, reimbursement of costs, the term (time frame) of probation and conditions (requirements) of probation. In the case of a Stipulated Settlement, both parties can stipulate to certain conditions or facts for various reasons such as, for example, to shortcut the proceedings and to waste valuable time proving facts that are not in dispute. Your licensing authority may encourage offers of stipulated settlements by their attorneys as these settlements expedite license investigation proceedings.
If you do not accept the stipulated settlement offered by the opposing attorney, your case will likely proceed to an Administrative Hearing. If you do accept the settlement offer, the licensing board or authority then votes on whether or not to accept this settlement agreement.
If you are under investigation by your licensing board or authority, it is imperative that you seek the advice and counsel of an experienced licensing lawyer trained in Administrative Law. You should choose an attorney with sufficient level of licensing-specific caseload experience so that they can appropriately advise you about how to negotiate the best possible terms for your case and whether you should accept a stipulated settlement offer. A skilled licensing lawyer can also collect evidence of rehabilitation and mitigation which can increase your leverage in negotiating any settlement before you finalize any agreements with the opposing attorney.
If you are under investigation by your California licensing board or authority and have received a “Statement to Respondent”, contact our law offices today at (877) 280-9944 to learn more about our legal defense services for licensees before you take any action on your own behalf. We can immediately help you create a strong legal strategy to leverage you in negotiations with Board counsel and help you protect your career and livelihood.