In response to a patient complaint, a report of a large malpractice settlement, or a report of a loss of privileges, among other reasons, the Medical Board of California may choose to investigate patient care.  Often, to an unsuspecting California physician, the first sign of trouble is receipt of a request for patient records from something called the “Division of Investigation.”  The request for patient records usually comes in the mail, but may be served by an investigator.  The letter is addressed “Dear Custodian of Records.”   With the letter, there should be a certification form for the custodian of records to fill out to certify what, if any, records are being provided, an authorization of release of records form signed by the patient, and a page with a printout of the applicable law.

There can be some confusion because these documents say they come from “Division of Investigation” at the “Health Quality Investigation Unit.”  In fact, there is no mention at all of the Medical Board of California in these documents.  However, rest assured, it is a Medical Board investigation.  This request for records often will eventually lead to further investigation, and, at a later date, questioning of the treating physician by a Medical Board investigator, an expert medical reviewer (physician), and a Deputy Attorney General.

A physician (or other healthcare professional) served with one of these requests has 15 days to produce the records requested.  If the records are not produced (or a certification that says the person receiving the request has no records), a civil penalty of $1,000.00 for each day that passes beyond the deadline can be assessed.  The rules are contained in Business and Professions Code sections 2225(d) and 2225.5.

A request for patient records is a valuable early warning that a physician disciplinary case may be on the horizon.  Months or years later, resulting events can lead to license probation, suspension or revocation, suspension of board certification, loss of Medicare or MediCal privileges, and other consequences.  A professional license defense attorney can use this opportunity to prepare the physician to defend their license and privileges in the coming investigation.

After a license hearing, the administrative law judge (ALJ) will issue a proposed decision.  Under Government Code section 11517(c)(1), the ALJ has 30 days to issue the proposed decision.  (However, there is no penalty if this deadline is not met.)  Thirty days after the ALJ issues the proposed decision, each side in the case has the right to get a copy of the decision.  Under 11517(c)(2), starting with the date the agency receives the proposed decision, the licensing board or agency has 100 days to decide whether to adopt the proposed decision, reject it, make changes to it that don’t require rejection.

The proposed decision is a unique feature of administrative law.  Most of the time, the proposed decision is an accurate sneak peak of the final outcome of the case.  If the proposed decision is favorable, the licensee or license applicant can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that a good outcome may be just around the corner.  If the proposed decision is unfavorable, the licensee or license applicant can review their options for reconsideration or appeal and consider the career impact of the likely final decision.

However, sometimes a licensing agency will reject a proposed decision.  This most often happens because, 1) the proposed decision imposes a result that is too lenient or generous, or 2) the proposed decision has a technical flaw that is so serious it must be rewritten or decided again.  This rejection is called “non-adoption”.  ALJs try to write proposed decisions that square with the practices and expectations of licensing agencies, and ALJs also try to avoid mistakes, because “non-adoption” is a big headache for everyone – the government attorney, the defense attorney, and the clients on each side.  A non-adoption means extra work, added expense for the client, and months of uncertainty.

If a proposed decision is rejected, under law, it becomes a nullity.  The case can be re-litigated to a completely different decision by the licensing board or agency.  However, as a practical matter, the proposed decision still looms large as an influence on the process.  If a board or agency makes a different decision after non-adoption, it usually will copy large parts of the proposed decision into its final decision.

If you have a proposed decision you are not happy with, or your good proposed decision has been non-adopted, call us for legal advice.  Don’t wait until your non-adoption or adverse proposed decision becomes a final, bad result.

The story is a familiar one in our office.  A health care professional comes into the office, furious at their former employer.  The employer called the professional into the hospital personnel office, confronted them with an allegation, and then asks for their resignation.  To give the professional – a registered nurse, physician, respiratory therapist, or other – an extra incentive, the assurance is made: “If you just resign, we won’t report you to the board.”

Months pass.  Perhaps a year or two passes.  Then a letter comes from the board.  Your employer has reported you after all, and an investigation is open.  That assurance amounted to nothing.  Those dirty, rotten …. they lied to me.  Surely the board doesn’t believe them.  They just wanted to get rid of me.

You Can’t Force Your Former Employer to be Silent

Your former employer has a right to report perceived misconduct to the licensing board.  California law provides immunity to persons and entities that make complaints to California licensing boards.  The Civil Code extends legal immunity, and anti-SLAPP provisions in the law may shut down a lawsuit intended to silence a business or individual filing a complaint.  Although the law does not provide unlimited protection, in most scenarios it is extremely unlikely a former employer can be held responsible for a complaint under the libel and slander laws.  Otherwise, no one would ever make a complaint to a licensing board.

The Boards and Even Courts Usually Don’t Care Why a Complaint Was Made

A complaint to a licensing board can be made by a jealous co-worker, a boss who wanted to get rid of you, or even an enemy with an ax to grind.  The board doesn’t care.  If the complaint checks out, it becomes the board’s case, and motivation for making the complaint can become irrelevant.  Dwelling on the bad intent that motivated the original complaint is not a winning defense strategy.

Move Past Bad Blood to be Smart about the Problem 

Anger over the original malicious intent behind a Board complaint makes for a bad case in court.  If behind the complaint there is a serious error, unprofessional conduct or some other actionable cause, the professional license defense attorney must focus on either disproving the allegations or addressing board concerns to avoid or reduce board sanctions.  The bottom line is that complaining about your deceitful employer won’t help in a board discipline hearing.

Ray & Bishop, PLC, can provide effective strategies for dealing with an investigation or disciplinary case by a California healthcare licensing board.  Call us for assistance with your legal problem.

The flashing of squad car lights behind you as you drive home after having a few drinks.  The knock at the door announcing the police.  A hand on your shoulder as you leave the store.  And then, that sinking feeling.  Will I lose my nursing license?  Here are some tips for California nurses for saving your license after an arrest on suspicion of a crime:

  1. Focus on Fighting the Charge with a Great Lawyer

It is possible that weeks or months after your arrest, you might get a letter of inquiry from your licensing agency.  At that point, you will want to reach out to a professional license lawyer for help.  But right after an arrest, hire a top-rated criminal defense attorney who regularly appears in the court where your case will be heard.  A highly-rated lawyer whose office is in the same area as the courthouse is often a good choice.  You can ask your lawyer to call Ray & Bishop, PLC, for advice, we don’t mind.  We give advice to criminal defense attorneys all the time.  If your lawyer says they handle criminal, licensing, and other legal matters, don’t hire them!  No one lawyer can do many areas of law well.  If you need a referral to a good criminal defense attorney, we can help with that too.

  1. Don’t Call Your Licensing Agency, Call Us

Sometimes terrible worry and guilt will drive a nurse to call the Board of Registered Nursing or the Licensed Vocational Nursing Board to ask about the effect of a criminal case on their nursing license.  Don’t do it! First, the staff members at the boards who pick up the phone often don’t know the answer and, in our experience, may give out incorrect information.  Also, don’t be put in the position of telling your licensing agency about your problem – they’re not on your side.  Call Ray & Bishop, PLC, for advice, not the board.

  1. If You Get a Letter, Respond

The Department of Justice sometimes lets the nursing board know that one of its nurses has been arrested or has a criminal case.  When that happens, the board sends out a form letter asking for more information.  The right response depends on whether your case is pending or has wrapped up and what the case is about.  However, it is important to respond – don’t ignore the letter.  A calm, cooperative and cautious approach to the agency sets the best tone for getting the best resolution out of your case.  A professional licensing attorney can help you determine the best message for the situation.

  1. After a Conviction, Disclose

Board rules require that nurses let their licensing board know about any criminal conviction within 30 days.  A conviction includes a plea of guilty (before sentencing), so even if someone pleads guilty only to be sentenced later, a report must be made within 30 days of the guilty plea.  Also, renewal forms ask about convictions, so there is a “yes” box to be checked.  Failure to disclose a conviction can be unprofessional conduct, which is grounds for discipline.

  1. Don’t Lie to the Board

When a nurse is asked about a conviction, her answer must be truthful, and any written explanation or disclosure must be consistent with the facts of the conviction.  Lying about a criminal conviction can be worse than the conviction itself.  A good professional licensing attorney can make sure that an accurate picture is painted that also includes all of the positive mitigating and rehabilitative facts.  Lying to a board can destroy the trust between the nurse and the board, and make license discipline, if it comes, much more severe.

The Medical Board of California investigates complaints against physicians using its team of investigators who work from its headquarters in Sacramento and from its field offices.  Complaints may come from CURES reports reviews, 805 reports, lawsuits, or patient complaints.  For many complaints, an assigned investigator will contact the physician and ask the physician to come into a Medical Board field office to be interviewed.  The Medical Board has field offices, known as District Offices, in Cerritos, Fresno, San Bernardino, Glendale, San Diego, San Dimas, San Jose, Pleasant Hill, Rancho Cucamonga, Tustin and Valencia, in addition to Sacramento.   We routinely represent physicians in these interviews.  The physician interview is often the last step or one of the last steps before the investigator submits their investigation report to Medical Board Enforcement for it to decide if formal disciplinary action should be taken against the physician.

In these interviews, we have over the last several years increasingly seen the Medical Board have a physician expert in the investigation to join in questioning.  A Medical Board investigation interview may be conducted by the investigator, possibly a supervisor (if the investigator is relatively new or in training), a Deputy Attorney General, and a medical expert, who may be either an expert reviewer or the District Medical Consultant.  District Medical Consultants, or DMCs, working in the field offices, supervise medical expert review of cases or themselves may review cases.  The DMCs provide medical expertise, help decide when and whether to involve an expert reviewer physician, coordinate the involvement of expert reviewers at interviews or may themselves serve as the expert reviewer at the interview, and weigh into the decision whether to recommend discipline against a physician.

An investigator is charged with obtaining medical records from the physician or facility, gathering any other needed information or evidence, then usually submitting that information to the DMC for an evaluation.  The DMC usually makes the call whether to involve an expert reviewer (which will more often happen if the medical practice area involved is outside the expertise of the DMC).   The investigator coordinates with the physician and/or the physician’s attorney, a Deputy Attorney General and the DMC to set up an interview of the physician.  At any interview involving patient care and treatment issues, in addition to an investigator or investigators and usually the Deputy Attorney General, either the DMC or a medical expert reviewer physician will attend to all ask questions of the physician.

The job of the expert reviewer is primarily to assist the investigator in obtaining high quality information for Board Enforcement to prepare the case for disciplinary action.  The expert reviewer or DMC can be sizing up the disciplinary case at the interview and seek evidence to use to discipline the physician later.  The information disparity between physician and Board is highly asymmetric with the Board having a great deal more information than the physician, so the interview is an opportunity for this panel of questioners to seek key admissions and get unfiltered information.  The leverage the Board has over the physician at this stage can make the interview quite perilous for the physician being investigated.

It goes without saying that it is absolutely critical that the physician have legal counsel in one of these interviews.  An attorney can provide a physician with protection in a number of critical ways.  First, understanding the process alone, which this article just partially addresses,  provides valuable insights.  Second, as the license lawyer for the physician we may use a variety of techniques to assemble as complete of a picture as possible of what is happening in the Board investigation.  Third, the lawyer can exercise a degree of control over the process and determine the level of participation in the interview, which can range from asserting the physician’s right to remain silent or even rejecting an interview request, up to providing additional or unsolicited information to the Board through the interview process to help explain and contextualize the subject of the investigation.

As California’s premier license law firm, we defend California physicians on a daily basis.  See our website, www.calicenselaw.com, for more information or to get in touch with us.

Owning an operating a family child care home is one of the most selfless, difficult licensed professions in California.  Not only do child care providers assume the responsibility for children every day, but they do so under the supervision of a regulatory scheme that rivals the Department of Motor Vehicles in its complexity and bureaucracy.  The agency that regulates family child care homes in California is the Department of Social Services (DSS), and when they seek to discipline a child care home, they draw on an enormous body of codes, rules, and regulations that govern each person who works in a California-licensed day care.  Here are the four most common causes for discipline in our state—we often see all of these causes for discipline in the same accusation.

  1. Conduct Inimical

Conduct inimical is shorthand for “conduct that is inimical to the health, morals, welfare, or safety of an individual in or receiving services from the facility.”  This catch-all definition is not further defined in the law, nor do any cases define it more clearly, but the dictionary definition of “inimical” is “tending to obstruct or harm,” and the Department considers “conduct inimical” to be tantamount to child abuse.  If a licensee is accused of “conduct inimical,” it is practically impossible to save the license if the judge agrees with the Department, so it is vitally important to develop an effective defense to allegations like these.  A licensee is prohibited from striking a child for any reason, including corporal punishment (which is also, see below, a Personal Rights violation), and if the Department can prove abuse, the license is in jeopardy.

However, the Department will also allege that acts that do not constitute child abuse, such as temporary understaffing or overcapacity allegations, constitute “conduct inimical.”  It is important for a child care provider to have effective counsel that can explain and contrast abusive or harmful conduct—conduct that is truly “inimical”—with conduct that merely violates a different regulation.

  1. Personal Rights

Unlike “Conduct Inimical,” which has a short, specific definition and unavoidable consequences, “Personal Rights” violations refer to a long list of rights that each child in the care of a licensed provider has, at all times, in California.  Under the applicable Code of Regulations section, each child shall be:

  • Accorded dignity in his/her personal relationships with staff.
  • Accorded safe, healthful and comfortable accommodations to meet his/her needs.
  • Free from corporal or unusual punishment, infliction of pain, humiliation, ridicule, coercion, threat, or other actions of a punitive nature.
  • Informed of how to contact the Department.
  • Free to attend religious services of his/her choice.
  • Not locked in any room, building or premises.
  • Not placed in any restraining device except a supportive restraint.

These seven subsections cover a broad range of potential misconduct, and they allow Licensing Program Analysts (also called LPAs, the employees of the Department who conduct regulatory visits) to discipline for perceived shortcomings all over the facility.  The regulations obviously prohibit many potentially dangerous conditions within facilities, such as exposed wiring or dangerous chemicals in the presence of children.  They also regulate licensee behavior, making it a violation to treat a child with disrespect or to ridicule or harass children.  But, along with these understandably serious prohibitions, the regulations can also allow the Department to seek discipline for an ungated stairway, or an uncomfortable old chair, or keeping a child in a playpen even when he wants to leave.

Not every Personal Rights violation is equally serious in the judgment of an Administrative Law Judge, and not every Personal Rights violation warrants outright revocation of a license.  If a licensee is accused of a multitude of personal rights violations, knowing what to concede and what to challenge is how he/she can keep the license in the face of discipline by the agency.

  1. Staffing Ratio and Capacity

Staffing ratio (number of providers per child) and Capacity (total number of allowed children) problems can plague a licensee for years before they have any idea that the Department is upset.  In our experience, the most common staffing ratio problems occur when a parent or guardian is late to pick a child up, or when an assistant (perhaps an older school-age child or a part-time employee) has to leave before parents arrive.  For facilities who have regular afternoon clients, schedule overlap can sometimes involve three or four extra children in the facility for a few minutes.  If the LPA shows up that day and observes the overcapacity problem, it will be written up and it will become a part of the licensee’s disciplinary history.

Usually, a staffing problem or a capacity problem on its own will not trigger license discipline.  The Department may appear to “overlook” as many as two or three violations.  However, if a more serious violation is alleged and the Department moves ahead with an Accusation, suddenly every single over-capacity or understaffing allegation is resurrected and finds its way into a long disciplinary pleading, suddenly used as “evidence” that the licensee’s facility is dangerous or non-compliant.

  1. Criminal Convictions and Lack of a Clearance or Exemption

Aside from the conditions of the facility and the ratios discussed above, the Department also requires that every person who is present in the facility, at any time, be properly cleared by the Department.  That means that all relatives who live inside a child care home need to be disclosed to the Department, and it can mean immediate consequences for relatives who are convicted of a crime if they live in the home.  If a worker or relative has a criminal conviction, DSS must grant them a criminal record exemption.  The following situation is very common: a wife and mother of three runs a very successful day care facility inside of her home, where she lives with her husband and one 19-year-old child.  If either the husband or the adult son is convicted of a crime—drug possession, DUI, shoplifting, etc.—the Department of Social Services may insist that the offending person immediately move out of the residence.  Imagine the disruption to a long-term marriage if a husband either has to move out of the residence or the family business has to shut down!  Addressing any contact with the criminal justice system by a licensee or any family member in the home is critical to prevent this kind of disruption.

Ray & Bishop, PLC defends child care centers, centers that provide care for the elderly (RCFE), adult homes, and those who own, work in, and may live with the owners.  If you receive an accusation against your license, we can help.

It takes years of sacrifice and hard work to become a registered nurse.  In California, the Board of Registered Nursing is in charge of regulating the nursing profession, and that means scrutinizing every RN application, looking for “causes for denial.”  As professional licensing attorneys, we’ve talked to thousands of nurses and helped hundreds of applicants get licensed even with these issues and more.  Here are the most common reasons prospective nurses get their applications denied:

  1. Committing a Crime

The Board of Registered Nursing is allowed to deny a license if the applicant has been convicted of a crime—that’s in the California Business and Professions Code, at section 480(a).  The crime must be considered “substantially related to the qualifications, functions, and duties” of a registered nurse.  In practicality this means that a crime signifies to the Board that the applicant has demonstrated bad judgment, or struggles with impairment, while a nurse is required to have good judgment and be free of impairment.  The most important factors for applicants with a criminal record to consider are “how long has it been since the crime?” “what have I done to rehabilitate?” and “were drugs or alcohol involved in the crime?”  The Board takes a hard line on convictions involving alcohol and drugs, and for even a single conviction the Board can deny an RN license.  An experienced licensing defense firm can help almost anybody demonstrate rehabilitation, so it is crucial to get an attorney involved if you have a criminal record.

  1. Lying on the Application

Business and Professions Code 480(d) allows the Board to deny a license if an applicant “knowingly makes a false statement of fact” on a license application.  Applicants need to be particularly careful to accurately disclose their criminal record—because they are so worried about possibly being denied for a criminal conviction, some applicants take a hopeful view of expungments or dismissals, hoping that their crime is “no longer on their record.”  A good rule of thumb is that in California, crimes are on your record forever.  Even if they have been dismissed, the application makes very clear that they still need to be disclosed.  There are some exceptions, such as juvenile matters.  An experienced attorney can help determine whether or not adverse events from the criminal justice system have to be disclosed on the application.

  1. Out-of-state Discipline

Not all applicants to the California BRN are first-time nurses. Some very experienced nurses from all over America want to be licensed in California, and they face their own challenges with the Board.  For example, what if a nurse was previously given license probation by the Texas Board of Nursing?  Not only must that discipline be disclosed to California (see problem 2, above), but that discipline could also become grounds for an outright denial in California.

  1. Suspension/Revocation of a Different License

The Board’s power to deny licenses isn’t limited to just acts involving the practice of nursing.  LVNs, Respiratory Care Technicians, and even CNAs who are looking to become RNs all have their own licenses and their own state agency to contend with before they apply to the California BRN.  For example, if the Board of Vocational Nursing disciplines or suspends a licensee, that regulatory action can be a separate ground for the Board of Registered Nursing to use to deny a license to an applicant.

  1. Irregular Behavior During the NCLEX

The California Board of Registered Nursing takes honesty seriously, and is allowed to deny a license for an act “involving dishonesty” no matter whether or not it was criminal in nature.  This provision is used against nurses who have some kind of irregularity during the NCLEX process, even if the alleged “irregularity” is innocent, like a violation of examination rules.  Not only will the RN Board likely consider the event to be dishonest, but the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) will often use the irregularity to prevent a nursing student from taking the examination again.  Since one of the requirements to be a nurse is to pass the examination, a nurse can find themselves with two strikes against their application for just one broken rule during the examination.

If you’re trying to become a Registered Nurse in California but you’ve got one of these problems, contact an experienced licensing defense attorney for help.  The above reasons come entirely from our experience defending licensees and applicants before the Board, and we can use that experience to help you.

Since late 2015, the Medical Board of California and the California Board of Pharmacy have begun to increase enforcement actions and penalties for perceived overprescribing of prescription drugs, particularly opioid drugs such as hydrocodone and oxycodone (Vicodin and OxyContin/Percocet).  High-profile celebrity deaths due to opioid overdose, coupled with rising addiction rates nationwide, have created political pressure on California agencies to do something about prescription drug abuse.  Physicians in California must be particularly careful, because state agencies are carefully reviewing the prescribing practices of physicians, including those in general practice, if there is a suspicion of over-prescribing.  Pharmacists, under the corresponding responsibility rules, face pressure from the Board of Pharmacy to report suspected prescription drug abuse, which may include notifying the Board of the source of prescriptions for suspected drug abusers.  Traditionally, our physician clients think of overprescribing as strictly a question of quantity—if the number of pills is within traditional limits, they reason, then they can’t be accused of prescribing too much.  In addition, responsible physicians often see their patients regularly, and so as long as they don’t prescribe pain medications “in bulk,” so to speak, they assume that they’re not overprescribing.

However, the Medical Board has taken a different view.  For every opioid prescription, Medical Board investigators will be looking specifically for an injury, a diagnosis, or a cause—a specific, charted reason why an opioid medication was necessary.  The Medical Board will also want to know what the long-term plan was to address the diagnosis, injury, or cause.  The longer a patient has been receiving opioids, the more suspicious the treatment will look to a reviewing physician or to an investigator.  The Board will reason that the more frequently a patient visits the facility, the more suspicion the patient should arouse in the physician.  Finally, the Medical Board will want to see referrals—to pain management if the issue is pain only, but also to neurologists, orthopedists, or other specialties depending on the problem.  Without referrals, the Medical Board may assume that the physician is not diligently reviewing the patient’s need for pain medication and will consider that overprescribing.

In late 2016, California Health & Safety Code section 11165.4 came into effect, which requires health care practitioners to “consult the CURES database to review a patient’s controlled substance history before prescribing a Schedule II, Schedule III, or Schedule IV controlled substance” on the first time and a four month intervals thereafter.   Failure to consult with CURES within the parameters of the law can result in referral to the professional’s state licensing board for “appropriate” administrative sanctions.

The enhanced expectations of the Medical Board combined with new rules for checking the CURES report place a heavy burden on physicians to carefully monitor and regulate prescribing practices.  A Medical Board investigator request for patient records which contain schedule II, III or IV controlled substance prescriptions can be a red flag that overprescribing is the target of the investigation.  For help with a California Medical Board overprescribing investigation or disciplinary action, please contact our firm for a consultation.

Our newest associate, Mr. Matthew Truong, recently assisted a client with disclosure of a felony conviction to the Board of Vocational Nursing and Psychiatric Technicians.  The client plead guilty to felony vandalism and misdemeanor battery in late 2016.  Two months later, Mr. Truong helped the client gather mitigation and rehabilitation evidence to present to the Board as part of the client’s responsibility to disclose the criminal convictions to the Board.

Although the client served jail time and was required to report to a probation officer, the LVN Board elected not to pursue disciplinary action against the client.  Mr. Truong’s counsel and presentation to the Board was instrumental in keeping the client free from any professional consequences, and the client remains employed.

Nobody likes to go to court.  For some of our clients, their unpleasant memories of a criminal conviction include multiple court appearances, pleading guilty in front of a judge, endless meetings with a District Attorney and their criminal attorney, thousands of dollars in fines, and sometimes even custody and jail.  For other clients, they have bad memories of civil or family court, with the attendant trial fees and the uncertainty and stress of prolonged litigation.  And, even for those clients with no court history at all, the prospect of “trial” conjures up memories of TV procedurals like Law & Order, where one wrong word could end in tragedy.

The reality of administrative court is very different.  The hearings are conducted in small, private courtrooms that are “open to the public” only in theory—the hearings are not publicly advertised and the rooms themselves are very difficult to access.  The trials are conducted formally, but the rules of evidence are relaxed, and the judge him- or herself usually converses openly with the attorneys on the record.  Witnesses are often treated respectfully, and usually every effort is made to respect the convenience and schedule of those who agree to testify.

Nonetheless, clients usually want to avoid hearing at any cost.  For this reason, some administrative attorneys pride themselves on their ability to settle cases and avoid hearing.  Our firm believes in getting the best possible results for our clients, even if that means taking cases all the way to trial.  Why is this experience important?  If your case could settle, why would you want to go to hearing?

First, because only by going to hearing and knowing how a judge is likely to rule do we know whether or not our clients are getting a good deal.  Sometimes agency counsel insist that they are offering a good deal, when in fact our clients go to court and achieve a better result from a judge.  Sometimes our clients are frustrated by the deals they are offered, when in fact the deal is likely to be better than what would happen in court.  Only an attorney who has significant trial experience can tell the good deals from the bad.

Second, the differences between administrative court and civil/criminal court are profound. The arguments, evidence, and case presentation that would work in front of a jury or in a civil matter are in some cases wholly inapplicable to administrative court.  In the worst of cases, we read decisions from ALJs where entire strategies devised by inexperienced attorneys to help their clients end up backfiring and ruining the client’s chance of success.  Knowing what judges want to hear matters, because we can then counsel our client to discuss their matter in the context that will help them convince a judge of what they deserve.

Finally, hearing experience matters because we know how to succeed.  Our attorneys are regularly recognized at the Offices of Administrative Hearings statewide.  Judges ask us about each other, and our reputation for professionalism and success precedes us into every hearing.  We know how to organize our arguments, our evidence, and our witnesses to achieve results, and judges who see our firm name know that we will conduct ourselves with professionalism and courtesy.  That positive impression extends to every aspect of the courtroom, including our clients.

When your license is on the line, you want the attorney with you who knows his audience.  We know what works, and we use that experience to achieve results.