My Name is Ken Kagan. I'm an attorney in Washington State. My office is in Seattle, and I represent professionals in disciplinary and licensing actions throughout Washington State.
I help licensed professionals in Washington who face the life and career-changing prospect of disciplinary action. Whether the allegations or actions that led you to seek out this website stem from a spurious allegation, an honest mistake, substance abuse, health issues, professional negligence or a momentary lapse in judgement, I have seen it all and can help guide you through the potentially daunting maze.
Over the years I have found that engaging competent counsel early in the process often makes a profound impact on the outcome of the action. If you are facing an active or potential action against your license, one of the best things that I believe you can do is to pick up the phone and call me, or fill out the form on this website.
In my 33 years of practice, I have seen seen most things at least once, and most of the more common issues numerous times. When we talk, it is highly likely that I will already be familiar with not only the licensing body and disciplinary process for your profession, but also have worked with the standards of care, protocols, accepted practices and other factors that are important to your license and your career.
The single biggest mistake that I see professionals make is failing to take an allegation of misconduct, negligence or wrong-doing seriously. Regardless of how frivolous a claim may seem, it is important to understand that the people investigating or prosecuting the claim may not have, or understand, all of the facts. They may not share your point of view. You can not assume that a charge that lacks merit also lacks the potential to damage your reputation and derail your career.
It is possible to exacerbate a minor infraction or harmless misunderstanding by charging in and representing yourself. I understand the compulsion to try to make the allegation go away as quickly as possible. In many cases representing yourself at any stage of the process can have the opposite effect.
In many cases, professional license actions accompany, or arise from, allegation of criminal behavior. Having practiced criminal defense since I started my career in 1982, I understand the crossover between criminal defense and the preservation of a professional's license. If you are facing a concurrent criminal allegation, it may make sense for us to discuss representation in both matters.
If you are a professional who is already represented in a criminal matter, it is imperative that your criminal defense lawyer understand the professional license implications of every aspect of your criminal case. This is true even if there is currently no pending disciplinary action, as outcomes including conviction via trial or by plea bargain may trigger or support action against your professional license. I am happy to work with criminal defense counsel in an advisory or supplementary role to make sure that getting a deal in a criminal case doesn't result in getting dealt a bad hand later on with your licensing body.
While there are many points of crossover between criminal allegations and professional licenses, the following are common and require careful consideration of the collateral consequences to your career:
You've worked too hard to leave anything to chance when you face an allegation that could impact you professionally.
Part of what I do with and for my clients is to help them assess the consequences of decisions that need to be made throughout the process. Don't assume that any action you may take is harmless. And don't assume that anything that you say during the investigation is “off the record” or not usable in an ancillary proceeding.
I can help you with questions such as:
Even if you don't believe that you've done anything wrong, it's best to err on the side of caution. I regularly help professionals in the following areas:
Every case is unique, and an in-depth analysis of the facts surrounding your case is the only way to give you a full and fair evaluation. Additionally, knowing exactly what to expect can go a long way to putting your worst fears to rest. During your consultation, we will analyze every option and all your questions and concerns will be addressed.
Many professionals try to defend themselves before a disciplinary proceeding, hoping to clear up the situation, only to find they have done themselves more harm than good. Consulting a lawyer as soon as you learn of a possible investigation will give you the best chance at an early resolution and ensure that all options remain available.