Professional License Defense
Almost every profession requires licensure through the state or federal government. Licenses aretypically regulated by the administrative agency that issues the license. The agencies that have the power to license an individual usually have the ability to revoke that license, even for minor violations (for example, failing to comply with continuing education requirements, failure to pay fees on time, etc.). License revocation is almost always the most severe penalty that an administrative agency can impose. Some administrative agencies only use this penalty when it is appropriate. Others use the threat of license revocation or suspension when it is not appropriate in an attempt to force a licensee to agree to a different penalty that they otherwise would not agree to.
The Agency’s Investigation
Unfortunately, most administrative agencies do not tell a licensee, at the outset of an investigation, that the agencies’ ultimate goal is license revocation. Instead, while the agency is investigating a complaint, it will attempt to gain the licensee’s cooperation. Some investigators will show up unannounced at a place of work in the hopes of obtaining an inculpatory statement. Other times, an investigation may begin with what seems to be a benign letter. Regardless of the tactic used by an individual investigator, the ultimate goal is the same: to obtain statements from a licensee that can be used against them. If an administrative agency is investigating you, it is essential to obtain competent legal representation in order to protect your license and your ability to earn an income. While there are many attorneys who provide competent representation in this area of law, few possess the breadth and depth of experience necessary to fully protect a licensee. That is because professional license defense requires expertise in three distinct areas of the law: (1) administrative; (2) appellate, and (3) criminal. In addition, the attorney should also understand how to mitigate the potential risks associated with parallel investigations.
The attorneys at O’Connor Weber have years of experience in administrative, appellate, and criminal law. Jason Weber worked as a regulator for the Oregon Division of Finance and Corporate Securities. Now he uses that experience to advise licensee’s throughout the administrative process. Ryan O’Connor has years of experience appealing administrative agency decisions and even challenging their rule making. Together, Jason and Ryan have used their collective experience to successfully defend individuals when their career is on the line. Their primary goal is to resolve the investigation without any public disclosure by using their collective experience to reach a negotiated settlement favorable to their client. However, when that is not possible they are fully prepared to litigate every aspect of a license defense case from the initial investigation through the final appeal. Because they have litigated some of the most complex and serious legal matters like securities fraud, racketeering, and death penalty cases), they have the skill and experience necessary to defend a person’s license.