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professional licensees attorney counsel

Professional Licensees

PROFESSIONAL LICENSEES

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Headed by a former hearings examiner and administrative law judge, FosterLaw is well-versed in the Administrative Procedures Act, which governs most legal issues related to professional licenses. Professional licensees often require years of education and training, as well as monetary costs. While licensure requirements are designed to protect consumers, wrongful accusations against licensees can actually hurt consumers by limiting competitive ...READ MORE ► choices. Defending against alleged violations can also disrupt the lives and careers of the affected professional. Issues with administrative boards should not keep you from reaching your professional goals. FosterLaw in Austin, Texas provides knowledgeable, responsive and diligent representation to professionals in front of agencies, such as the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) and the Department of State Health Services, who face enforcement actions, such as revocation, suspension or denial of a professional license by an administrative agency.

REPRESENTATIVE CASES

Applicant v. Texas Department of Public Safety

Applicant was denied an alarm salesperson license based upon convictions for driving while intoxicated and criminal mischief, as well as making a material misstatement on his application. At the administrative hearing, FosterLaw attorneys argued that the convictions were not representative of Applicant, who had dedicated his life to providing for his wife and child. The administrative law judge agreed and recommended that Applicant receive an unencumbered alarm salesperson license.

Applicant v. Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending

Applicant was denied a residential mortgage loan originator license based upon convictions for attempted child sexual abuse activity. At the administrative hearing, FosterLaw attorneys argued that Applicant had successfully rehabilitated and had sufficient financial responsibility, character, and general fitness to practice as a residential mortgage loan originator. The administrative law judge agreed and recommended that Applicant receive an unencumbered residential mortgage loan originator license.

Psychologist v. Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists

At issue were reports made by Psychologist in a child custody suit in Collin County. An administrative law judge had found that a psychologist’s report of suspected sexual abuse of two minor children was not a forensic opinion about child custody and parenting access, but was instead the fulfillment of her legal and ethical obligation to express her concern for the safety of the children. The Psychologists’ Board deleted that finding in its final order. The Board added a conclusion holding that since the psychologist had not made a full forensic evaluation of the parents, her recommendation for continuation of a restraining order until the county court could hear the matter was a violation of the Board’s forensic services rule.

Mark Foster explained that the case has significance for both the Texas psychological and family law communities: “Texas law provides that if a professional suspects child abuse, that professional shall make a report. If the Board’s action had been sustained, health professionals would likely think twice about making their suspicions known. Certainly that is not what Texans want. The Legislature last year enacted House Bill 1449 to provide that a professional who has only heard one side of a contested custody suit shall continue to refrain from making a full conservatorship recommendation but may state whether any information about a child’s placement with a party indicates concern for a child. Unfortunately that clarifying law was not in effect at the time [of this case]. The court’s ruling together with House Bill 1449 should send a strong message that children’s safety is the most important consideration.”

Alarm Installer v. Department of Public Safety (DPS) – Private Security Program

Licensee’s renewal application was denied because of alleged unpaid debts to Texas Guaranteed Student Loan Corporation. FosterLaw attorneys navigated the bureaucracy of the two agencies to prove all student loans had been paid and to ensure the client kept his alarm installer license with no lapse in currency.

Private Security Company Officer/Shareholder v. Department of Public Safety (DPS)
– Private Security Program

Client’s Owner/Partner/Shareholder/Officer license was revoked following a second conviction for Driving While Intoxicated. FosterLaw attorneys represented client at an administrative hearing before the State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH). FosterLaw attorneys presented an organized and comprehensive defense, which provided evidence that client had successfully maintained sobriety and built up a support group that would assure no relapse into the concerning behavior. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) agreed with the licensee and approved the renewal of his license.

 

Alarm Installer v. Department of Public Safety (DPS) – Private Security Program

After many years of work as an alarm installer, client’s private security – alarm salesperson license was summarily revoked following a criminal conviction. FosterLaw attorneys appeared before an ALJ at SOAH on client’s behalf and presented testimony by the licensee and a supporting witness, as well as documentation showing client’s trustworthiness, integrity, and honesty. The ALJ recommended reinstatement of client’s license, and the Department confirmed the recommendation. Client continues his alarm salesperson profession.

Mortgage Banker Residential Loan Originator v. Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending (TDSML)

Client’s application for a Texas Residential Mortgage Loan Originator (RMLO) was denied based on previous bankruptcy and credit rating, despite having spent years serving as a RMLO in another state. Mark Foster represented client in appealing the denial, and presented client’s case before an Administrative Law Judge at a formal hearing. Mr. Foster successfully presented proof of client’s consistent financial responsibility and good character, and explained that the bankruptcy was an anomaly caused by market forces. Client’s license was ultimately granted without conditions.

Mortgage Banker Residential Loan Originator v. Texas Department of
Savings and Mortgage Lending (TDSML) 

Client’s application for a residential mortgage loan originator license was denied due to criminal background history. Through clear communications and cooperative interactions with TDSML counsel, FosterLaw attorneys were able to explain the criminal history was neither recent nor relevant and should have no effect on client’s application for licensure. Client’s application was approved and license issued in a timely and proficient manner.

Psychologist v. Texas State Board of Examiners of Psychologists (TSBEP)

Application for Texas license denied based on disciplinary actions against applicant’s previously-held out-of-state license. FosterLaw served as consultant prior to application submission, assisting with presentation of qualifications and merit, in addition to defense of past actions. Mark Foster represented applicant before the Board in an informal settlement conference, and continued to engage in settlement negotiations with the TSBEP thereafter. Ultimately, the client was granted a provisional license, conditioned on reasonable precedent conditions.

Professional Counselor v. Texas State Board of Examiners of Professional Counselors (TSBEPC)

Advocated for counselor before Applications Committee’s open meetings to accept supervised internship hours that had been completed several years before applicant actually completed required examination. Case involved rule interpretation which was resolved in applicant’s favor with most hours accepted so that a workable path to licensure was obtained.

CLIENT TESTIMONIALS

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From Mortgage Banker Residential Loan Originator: “Mark Foster handled my case exceptionally professional. He attempted to settle out of court but was unsuccessful due to Commissioner’s vacation. Mr. Foster was well prepared for trial. He presented my case really organized in a labeled binder to our opposition & the judge. This assisted me to organize my thoughts while at trial, which can be intimidating. His follow up after trial was consistent. We received favorable results!! I highly recommend Mark Foster & his team for loan originators up against TX SML & also for other legal matters.”

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From Psychologist: “Mark and his staff expertly handled, and continue to assist me with, a complex legal matter. He is unfailingly gracious and generous with his time. What’s more, his efforts bring results. Perhaps the most astonishing thing is that he did not pressure me for payment at any time. He worked with me to establish a payment arrangement that permitted me to attend to other financial obligations as well as the one I had to him. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have chosen him for the work he’s done.”

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From Mortgage Banker Residential Loan Originator: “Mark wasn’t the first attorney I had contacted, as a matter of fact I was about to give up on hiring an attorney because all I seem to get was an attitude that my case wasn’t important enough for them to get involved any deeper than writing a letter. The cost for a letter and some fake empathy, $1000.00. Mark on the other hand listened to everything I had to say, gave me the facts of the case as they related to me, sent me a copy of the agreement, answered questions about the agreement and I hired him. He always took my calls, or returned my calls quickly, he responded to all of my emails quickly, he listened to me complain and vent and calmed me down and he was successful in getting my case resolve in my favor. Someone up above was looking out for me when they put Mark Foster in my path and I am very grateful.”

NEWS

New Senate Bill Requires TDLR to Provide Proper Notice to Licensees of Alleged Violations
Last session’s Senate Bill 1267 amended the Administrative Procedure Act, which governs the procedures associated with administrative hearings, such as those in front of Texas licensing boards. One of the new rules requires that a notice of hearing against a licensee must now include a statement of alleged facts. In the past, some of our clients would face a list of rules they had allegedly violated, but without any explanation as to how these rules were violated, and FosterLaw would have to fight to receive proper notice for our clients. This amendment will increase fairness in agency hearings by prevent licensing boards from withholding this crucial information.

Pending Bills At The Texas Legislature Affect Occupations Code

FosterLaw closely follows proposed legislation that will affect professional licensees. Of particular note is HB 3981 which would allow the license holder to elect to have an administrative law judge from State Office of Administrative Hearings (SOAH) be the final decision maker rather than board members; SB 1082 which would create an informal hearing process that a licensee could elect before a license suspension or revocation; and HCR 97 which would create a joint interim committee to study licensing and issues for reform.

New Rules Proposed By The Texas Board Of Orthotics And Prosthetics

On June 30, the Texas Board of Orthotics and Prosthetics (TBOP) proposed amendments to licensing rules for prosthetists and orthotists.Specifically, the TBOP proposes changes to the rules governing initial licensure of orthotist assistants and prosthetist assistants. Under the proposed rules, assistants may work under a licensed physician, in addition to being allowed to work under licensed orthotists and prosthetists.

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