by: Nicole Valentine
It would be an understatement to say that 2017 was one of the most rewarding years in my practice as a criminal, labor, and licensing attorney. Below are some of the most notable results I achieved for my clients in each of these areas:
One of the most important highlights of this year was when I won a client a full dismissal of all counts of an Accusation after hearing. The RN was facing allegations of incompetence and gross negligence with respect to her care of a patient. The Attorney General had offered her probation, but we declined this offer and proceeded with hearing where we convinced the judge to dismiss the Accusation in its entirety. The judge agreed with our arguments, and the Board adopted the dismissal of the Accusation.
Other significant cases worthy of mention involved a client who retained me to assist him in obtaining his nursing license. The client had multiple alcohol related criminal convictions, and the Board had the discretion to deny him a license which would then trigger a lengthy appeal process. With my advice, the client was able to secure a license without restriction. I also assisted a client with a very high BAC in disclosing his DUI conviction to the nursing board, and he received a Citation and Fine which is non-disciplinary and non-reportable to employers. In high BAC cases, this is a rarity.
In the criminal defense arena, other extraordinary results include three separate nurses I represented in different counties who were facing criminal charges for obtaining and possessing controlled substances. In each case, I convinced the District Attorney to dismiss the charges in exchange for my clients completing treatment, thus avoiding a criminal record for my clients, and subsequent disclosure to the Board of Nursing.
In my labor defense practice, I won reinstatement of employment for a deputy sheriff and a probation officer who were terminated from employment and facing allegations of dishonesty. I also won a client reinstatement and backpay in a separate PERB matter which has yet to be finalized.
Overall 2017 was a productive year and I look forward to achieving more memorable results in 2018.
Nicole Valentine is a Partner with Goyette and Associates. She can be reached at (916) 851-1900 for a free consultation.