A great number of license complaints are subject to Administrative Hearings before the Texas State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOHA)— often referred to as SOHA hearings. These are forums for the presentation of the cases and evidence on the part of both the licensee and the licensing board before an Administrative Law Judge. At these hearings, both sides may also question witnesses before the Judge, who makes findings of fact and conclusions of law. But the idea of going into a SOHA hearing can be stressful, and sometimes a licensee subject to complaint will express that they prefer to avoid it. In this case, they may wish to try settling their case without a SOHA hearing.
This is entirely possible to do. A good number of complaints before Texas licensing boards do not reach the SOHA hearing stage, having been resolved through informal processes or via negotiations.
It takes a skilled professional license defense attorney, like BERTOLINO LLP, to pull off a negotiation between a licensee at risk and the representatives of an agency board. There is also the option of mediation. Mediation takes place before an Administrative Law Judge who is not assigned to the specific case, and who is charged with acting as an impartial party. This sort of dispute resolution is far less prosecutorial in a manner than the more formal SOHA hearing. Moreover, it is a confidential way to resolve the dispute, rather than going on the record the way a SOAH hearing does. SOAH offers mediation as a means by which both sides may reach a resolution to the dispute in a manner with which each agrees—and, indeed, it is the parties themselves, rather than the judge, who determines by the end of mediation whether the dispute has been resolved.
The mediation process requires that a licensee retain a skilled professional license defense attorney to give them the best possible chance of reaching a favorable conclusion without the dispute proceeding to a SOAH hearing. But sometimes this is not possible, and the dispute will go to a more formal hearing despite the licensee’s best attempts to resolve it without one. A skilled professional license defense attorney is just as necessary at this stage.
Our law firm helps professionals, like you, keep their licenses when those licenses are under attack by a state agency or board.
BERTOLINO LLP proudly represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. If you are facing disciplinary action from a professional licensing board or state agency, contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.
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