Professional License Defense
Manning & Kass is a leading firm in cases of professional license defense. The firm has many years of experience representing licensed professionals including: dentists; contractors; CPAs; insurance brokers; physicians; psychologists; physical therapists; real estate appraisers, salespersons and brokers; licensed vocational and registered nurses; social workers; and more. Our Professional License Defense Team offers representation in cases involving:
• accusations (actions against an active license or license rights);
• BRE audits;
• broker office surveys;
• CFPB examinations;
• civil citations;
• compliance opinions;
• HUD inquiries;
• local board actions;
• modification of disciplinary orders;
• new applications;
• regulatory investigations;
• statements of issues (denial of application); and
• petitions for reinstatement.
In California, the disciplinary process pertaining to professional and occupational licenses is governed by the Administrative Procedure Act (“APA”). When a matter cannot be resolved by settlement before a licensing agency, it is adjudicated before the Office of Administrative Hearings, under the rules set forth by the APA. Our team has handled hundreds of administrative hearings before the Office of Administrative Hearings.
We are skilled at preparing and presenting our clients in the administrative hearing process. The hearing process is often misunderstood by licensees facing an administrative action. The hearing is a bench trial—not a mediation—and the attorney who appears on behalf of the regulating agency is a prosecutor who often has had many years of experience with administrative trials. The State’s prosecutor does not advocate, or ask for leniency, on behalf of the licensee at an administrative trial.
In order to face the challenges that license discipline can bring, there must be a well-considered plan. We use a holistic approach in our work, because license discipline can represent myriad challenges for the licensee. Clients should be advised from day one of a regulatory investigation or other triggering event (such as criminal charges against the licensee) of the variety of consequences that can flow from an action against a professional or occupational license. Such consequences can include increased rates or inability to secure professional liability insurance, ineligibility to act as a healthcare provider under certain insurance plans or government programs, loss of memberships with key professional organizations, and the posting of damaging information on regulatory and industry websites. Advance planning can help to ease or avoid some of the negative consequences of a disciplinary action against a licensee.
The Professional License Defense Team works in close concert with several other in-house attorney teams which provide synergistic knowledge and expertise, including Health Care Liability, Insurance Defense, Real Estate, and Professional Liability Teams.