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Navigating Administrative and Board Hearings

Administrative and board hearings are alternatives to a typical court case but in many ways can be more damaging and economically disruptive. Rather than adjudicating state or Federal law, which typical court cases do, these hearings deal with the internal rules and regulations set by that particular agency or board. Many times these agencies or boards are tasked with licensing, which means that you could appear before the board in order to get a license or permit or to defend against revocation of that license or permit. Common bodies that use administrative or board hearings within our area include city and county health and liquor boards, school boards and many variations of employment claims.

These types of hearings and bodies of law are unique and extremely difficult to navigate on your own or without an attorney who is well versed and experienced before these boards and can adequately protect your claim, your license, or your permit.

The difficulty in navigating these hearings without an attorney is that they are completely different from an average court case. Many times there is no attorney acting on behalf of the administration or board, the board simply asks questions and allows you to respond. Also, the internal rules governing the hearing are often confusing, causing many people to either not say enough in their own defense or give the board too much information which can have a detrimental effect on you or your license.

Should you get an unfavorable result before a board there is usually an option to appeal to a state trial court that will review the board’s decision. An attorney with experience and knowledge of practicing before these bodies is essential and can assist in keeping or getting your license before appellate review by a state court is necessary.

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Patrick Meighan is an attorney at The Law Office of Miguel Palmeiro

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