When Is your Case Ready for Enforcement Action?

Mr. Akin will discuss some of the important issues an agency should consider before taking enforcement action in the form of license denial or revocation. Some of the subjects to be covered include familiarization with the legal and regulatory framework governing enforcement actions; assessment of case facts in conjunction with the valid bases for enforcement; matching case facts to the selected grounds for enforcement; consideration of regulatory history in revocation cases; factors to consider in the decision to suspend or revoke; special considerations in denial cases such as consistency, agency discretion, and reliance on registry databases; consultation with and preparation of agency legal counsel; in-depth case preparation, including enforcement team meetings, preparation of witnesses, consideration of the application (or non-application) of legal rules of evidence such as the "hearsay" rule and the "business records exception" to the rule, preparation of exhibits, and the possible need for "rebuttal" witnesses; whether a case calls for the testimony of an "expert", and the preparation of the expert; special considerations when the agency is not represented by counsel but the applicant/licensee does have legal representation; procedural pitfalls in preparing for hearings; advance knowledge about the hearing officer in the case; physical preparation of an effective hearing room.