It seems that every few days I run across someone new who claims to be a “professional license lawyer”, “occupational license lawyer” or “license defense lawyer”. Looking at flashy websites and claims of experience and thorough knowledge, it is difficult to tell who is a qualified, experienced professional license lawyer and who isn’t. However, there are some simple steps to make certain to get the real McCoy, and not some cheap imitation.
Google Search the Attorney
The first step in identifying the true nature of an attorney’s practice is to Google search the attorney’s name. Only then will you see all of the attorney’s websites and other reports that reveal their true primary practice area. For most attorneys who profess to be license law attorneys, their practice is almost exclusively criminal defense, while dabbling in professional license law. By looking at their primary website, you can determine the true emphasis of their practice. A busy criminal defense attorney is going typically have insufficient experience in professional license law to anticipate crucial issues, to skillfully negotiate, and if necessary, to effectively litigate at trial.
Search for the Lawyer on Avvo.com
Avvo.com requires that the attorney give a breakdown of the percentages of their practice. Also, clients give reviews that typically describe the client’s legal matter. Although Avvo.com is not always 100% accurate, this overview typically gives a fairly good picture of the attorney’s practice.
Look for Years of Case Results and Meaningful Web Content
An experienced license law attorney, such as myself, has handled at least hundreds of cases and has many case results on their website stretching back several years. Also, their website will contain meaningful and insightful content. Further, a skilled license law attorney will not just defend licenses, but also deals with related issues such as regulatory compliance, federal licensing, certification appeals, insurer and government exclusion actions in health care, FINRA and NMLS issues for insurance brokers and real estate brokers, an so forth. Only through years of practice and experience can an attorney achieve a high level of understanding and issue recognition for all the pitfalls that confront a California licensee or license applicant.
How Often Does the Lawyer Try Cases at OAH? Do They Do Writs and Appeals?
Our law firm defends clients in trial at the Office of Administrative Hearings every month, sometimes every week, sometimes more than once a week. An experienced license law firm should have completed at least 100 trials (called hearings) at OAH and have done numerous petitions for writs of administrative mandamus appealing adverse decisions. A license law attorney with little or no administrative courtroom experience may fear the hearing process, can fumble through hearings, and might do more harm than good.
Modern Lawyering and the Niche Practice
The practice of law has become complicated in the last several decades. Clients have come to expect a great deal of experience and expertise. Smart clients now look for lawyers in niche areas with a thorough knowledge of their legal issue. In simpler times the attorney who dabbled in several areas of law could competently master the relatively simple and straightforward legal landscape. Such lawyers may now fall short of expectations.
If you have a professional license matter, we hope that you will contact us at (949) 557-4888. If you have a legal matter in another area of law, we will do our best to recommend a qualified colleague or refer you to your local bar association.