As a licensed professional fiduciary you are one of a small set of professionals, around seven hundred in 2013, authorized by the state of California to simultaneously manage multiple trusts and conservatorships. Professional fiduciaries are licensed and regulated by the Professional Fiduciaries Bureau, a division of the Department of Consumer Affairs. The Bureau was first created in 2006 and only began enforcement proceedings against professional fiduciaries in 2011. Since the Bureau began enforcement, twenty professional fiduciaries have been the target of formal accusations, citations, or other disciplinary action. Enforcement Actions.
If you are contacted by an investigator or representative from the Bureau or are facing criminal prosecution, it is important you seek legal representation to ensure protection of your license and livelihood. The anxiety and expense of defending a formal accusation before the Bureau can be extraordinary. If a formal accusation is filed, a copy of that charging document will be posted on the Bureau’s website, which can adversely affect an office or employee’s reputation even where the allegations are later proven to be without merit. What an attorney can do for you now. Contacting an attorney early in the process may be able to prevent the filling of a formal accusation or professional discipline.
Filling a complaint against a professional fiduciary is relatively easy; however the process of defending against such a complaint in front of such a new agency requires experience with the administrative process and an effective, knowledgeable advocate. The attorneys at Rothschild Wishek & Sands, LLP can assist you in responding to the Bureau before an accusation is filed, and can defend you before the Bureau in an administrative proceeding. In many of our professional licensing cases our clients have engaged in no misconduct but instead are the target of an unjust complaint or an unfortunate misunderstanding. In other cases, including matters where a client is chemically dependent or has made an uncharacteristic mistake, we will work with clients to establish mitigating circumstances which may result in no discipline, probation with a stayed license penalty, or a shorter license suspension. In most cases where we are engaged during an investigation we will submit a detailed analysis of the allegations to the investigator along with evidence to support our client's position that no misconduct occurred or that license discipline is unwarranted.
The Bureau’s most recent strategic plan has made enforcement a priority and the number of disciplinary actions by the Bureau have steadily increased over the last 3 years. Bureau's Strategic Plan. Given the extremely short time frame available to contest citations and other administrative actions, professional fiduciaries should be prepared to quickly and effectively respond to threatened disciplinary action by the Bureau. Seeking knowledgeable counsel is a crucial step in such a response.
The attorneys at Rothschild Wishek & Sands LLP have experience representing professionals before a variety California boards and agencies including Boards and Bureaus under the supervision of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. Contact Rothschild Wishek & Sands LLP for knowledgeable and effective representation.
Laws and Regulations, published and maintained by the Professional Fiduciaries Bureau