Professional License Defense
If you are faced with a challenge to your professional license from one of the various license boards, you need to respond promptly and effectively. San Francisco Bay Area professional license defense lawyer Michael S. Biggs has represented many Northern California clients facing professional license discipline before the State of California Office of Administrative Hearings.
Many of his clients have been Registered Nurses facing accusations against their nursing license from the California Board of Registered Nursing.
While many cases are settled with the board that governs your license, it is important to remember that administrative proceedings are adversarial, like criminal proceedings. An administrative hearing is a trial and your adversary is a prosecuting deputy attorney general from the California Department of Justice. This means that you should enlist an attorney who not only has extensive trial experience, but a comprehensive and precise knowledge of the law and also the strategic and tactical acumen that you need to present a strong defense. Biggs Law Office A.P.C. maintains offices in Walnut Creek, representing clients in the California Office of Adminstaritive Hearings and the California Superior Courts located in Sonoma, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Napa and Alameda CountiesProtecting Your Professional License Against Accusation by A License Board
Health care professionals, including medical doctors, nurses and financial services providers, CPA’s and engineers and many others including those regulated by the California Department of Consumer Affairs are all subject to professional license discipline if accused of misconduct that is substantially related to their license.
If a settlement with the appropriate board cannot be reached, a hearing will be held. Issues involving accusations against a professional’s license, are handled in an administrative court (Office of Administrative Hearings) with an administrative law judge presiding and a deputy attorney general representing the license board.
This may arise in a wide variety of situations, including revocations, suspensions, administrative investigations, and criminal conduct that compromises the licensee’s standing.
An administrative law judge (ALJ) presides over the hearing, and a specific set of rules provided in the Administrative Procedures Act (APA) applies to the proceeding. Knowing how to interpret and navigate the APA can be critical to your d defense. For example, when a board or administrative body accuses a licensee of misconduct, the state entity must prove its allegations according to the “clear and convincing evidence” standard. This is slightly lower than the high standard of proof that applies in criminal proceedings (beyond a reasonable doubt), but it is higher than the preponderance of evidence standard used in civil cases. When a board or agency launches an investigation into alleged misconduct, therefore, it is important to make sure that it meets its burden.
To overcome the allegations against you, you must gather evidence and collect testimony from witnesses to combat the state’s or board’s allegations. Expert witnesses can also serve as an excellent source of evidence regarding the requirements and standards of conduct to which a professional must adhere. In a case involving a state board’s allegations that a health care professional’s license should be revoked, for example, it can be helpful to consult a doctor or nurse who can testify during the hearing about the appropriate standard of care and why the licensee’s conduct satisfied it.Contact a Professional License Defense Lawyer in the San Francisco Bay Area
At Biggs Law Office A.P.C., we understand how complicated and stressful a licensing action can be. When your ability to engage in your livelihood is on the line, the stakes are high, and you need an attorney who can help you bring your best case forward and ensure that your rights are asserted along the way. Dedicated to representing professionals throughout Sonoma, San Francisco, Contra Costa, Napa and Alameda Counties, San Francisco Bay Area professional license defense attorney Michael S. Biggs can help you with a strategy that is suited to your specific situation and goals. Call us at 925.933.1300 or contact us online to schedule a consultation. Mr. Biggs also can help people in Northern California who are seeking a personal injury attorney or representation in a wide range of other matters, such as business law, and trusts and estate law.