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Defending Professional Licenses- a Special Kind of Trial Practice


Doctors, lawyers, chiropractors, appraisers, realtors, brokers- all have professional licenses. And, all have licensing, and license maintenance requirements.

Challenges to professional credentials, charges of unprofessional conduct, and the need to protect one’s privilege to practice a profession, pose special legal problems.

Often, professional licensure proceedings are conducted before specialized boards or commissions, or in specialized proceedings.

Physicians face administrative hearings before an administrative law judge who conducts a trial, makes recommendations in the form of a report, and influences, but ultimately does not decide, the outcome. A board receives the hearing officer’s report and rules. Then, the case goes to Court for judicial review in a specialized administrative proceeding.

Lawyers face a different process. Licensed by the state Supreme Court, grievances or complaints against lawyers are filed with an agency responsible to the Court. A Court appointed hearing officer oversees the proceedings. Trial occurs before that officer. A report with recommendations is filed. Arguments in Court based on the record are made, and the Court itself issues a ruling. In many states, this is a function of the state Supreme Court itself.

Real estate appraisers and brokers face yet different proceedings before different boards, using administrative law procedures.

Domina Law Group pc llo has been privileged to provide legal representation to doctors and physicians, lawyers, real estate appraisers, realtors and brokers, in professional licensure proceedings. During the past year, services to physicians facing loss or denial of licensure, lawyers facing disbarment, real estate appraisers facing license revocation, and brokers facing disbarment from trading, have called upon Domina Law Group pc llo for services. Bankers facing debarment from banking, and contractors facing debarment from government contracting, have asked for the firm’s assistance in the past, too.

“We understand the process of effective presentation, thoughtful effort to assure the marshaling of evidence to meet elements of proof, and the need for an aggressive and scholarly investigation of the law,” Brian Jorde commented. “In the past year our success for clients has allowed a physician to continue to practice despite a criminal conviction and another to gain licensure despite concerns about a life altering neurological diagnosis. We overturned a decision to revoke an appraiser’s license and protected the license on retrial, and helped several others, avoid or minimize their problems.”

Domina Law Group pc llo’s professional licensure practice is a component of its trial work. As in other areas of practice “we know that talk does not get it done. It takes understanding the trial process.”

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