The potential loss of your security clearance likely means the impending loss of your job. With such a drastic consequence looming in front of you, you want to make sure you take swift, aggressive action. That is where our team of federal employment lawyers comes in.The Security Clearance Appeals Process
At The Bell Law Group, we have extensive experience representing government employees, employees of government contractors and military personnel in security clearance appeals before administrative law judges (ALJs) and the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA). Due to our experience, we understand the importance of acting and providing thorough representation to our clients. Turn to us for the dedicated legal advocacy you require at all stages of the security clearance appeals process:
- Statement of reasons letter: The best time to reach out to a lawyer is right after you learn of your suspension or revocation. We can request that you receive a statement of reasons letter (SOR) or a letter of intent (LOI) that explains why the government made its decision. At this stage, we have numerous avenues available to us to appeal the revocation or suspension. This also gives us as much time as possible to prepare for your potential hearing.
- Hearing/personal appearance (PA): Your hearing may be a simple chance to personally appear and provide your reasons for why you believe the federal government should not revoke your clearance. It could also require a more involved process and additional information. We know what is required at each hearing before a variety of agencies. We can help you properly prepare so you have the best chance at success.
- Appeal: Appealing an adverse decision from a hearing is not an easy process. Additionally, your chances of success are slim. Your chances do improve, however, if you work closely with an experienced lawyer who has handled similar cases as yours. You’ll find such a lawyer at our Washington, D.C. law firm.
If your agency has revoked or suspended your security clearance, or if you believe you are about to lose your clearance, take action:
- Call a knowledgeable federal security appeals lawyer immediately.
- Explain to your lawyer in as much detail as possible why you think this is happening.
- Continue to work, ensuring that you maintain a strong performance record.
- Provide your lawyer with any and all related documentation surrounding your clearance.
- Trust that your lawyer is taking every step possible to reinstate your clearance and protect your employment.
- We know this is a scary, confusing time. We will do what we can to clear up any confusion and make sure that you know what you are facing.
We know this is a scary, confusing time. We will do what we can to clear up any confusion and make sure that you know what you are facing.We Also Assist Clients Seeking Security Clearance
There are more than 10 factors that add up to your security clearance approval or rejection. It is imperative that you thoroughly and honestly lay out your responses to all categories in a clear and concise manner. This includes providing any adverse background information. We can help you write responses that paint your character and your history in the best light possible.DECISIONS DON’T LIE. WE ARE THE BEST. PERIOD.
We want you to be the next “Successful Result” on our website!!!
Check out a sampling of our MANY successful cases:
This is a RECENT DECISION - 4/21/22. We won when our client was in jeopardy of losing his security clearance due to Foreign Influence. The Judge found that the Foreign Influence security concerns were mitigated based upon the testimony we elicited at the Hearing.
Drug Involvement – Guideline H – Our client retained the Law Firm after he was served with an SOR. The SOR stated that our client voluntarily ingested brownies laced with marijuana with varying frequency throughout a 3 year period. Our client, for the most part, did not deny using marijuana for a period of time. With vigorous preparation of the client and submitting appropriate documentation, the DOHA Judge ruled that the concern was mitigated and our client’s eligibility for a security clearance was granted. After the Hearing, the Judge complemented Mr. Bell in the manner on his performance in front of his client.
Foreign Influence – Guideline B – Our client was issued an SOR alleging security concerns under Guideline B (Foreign Influence). The concerns in the SOR were that our client’s mother, brothers and sister were residents of Tunisia and that his sister was employed by the foreign government. Furthermore, that our client sent money to his family in Tunisia. To mitigate the concern, we prepared our client for direct examination and cross-examination. We obtained numerous character statements from individuals our client previously worked with that directly related to his work ethic as well as loyalty to the United States. Although he admitted to the vast majority of information in the SOR, based upon our preparation and testimony elicited at the Hearing, the Judge ruled that the concerns were adequately mitigated and granted him access to classified information.
Financial – Guideline F – Our client was issued a SOR alleging concerns that he failed to live within his means, satisfy debts and meet financial obligations. It referenced money in an amount that exceeds $20k that was “charged off” and remained delinquent as well as other significant debt. Despite these very serious concerns, based upon our preparation of the case, our advice to the client in what immediate actions he should take prior to the hearing, our preparation of the file and the applicant prior the hearing and our presentation of the case to the Judge, the Judge concluded that the Applicant mitigated the security concerns and granted him access to classified information.
Foreign Influence and Personal Conduct – Guideline B and E – Our client was issue an SOR referencing that he has four brothers and three sisters who are citizens of Bangladesh and that all reside there except one brother. Furthermore, one of his brothers was an employee of a bank owned by the Government and a sister who is a Police Officer in Bangladesh. With respect to Guideline E, the concern was he allegedly falsified material facts on the e-QIP. We prepared this client for many hours before his testimony, understanding that his credibility and the way he testified was key. We did not stop practicing questions and answers until we were 100% confident in his answers. We also requested the Judge take “Administrative Notice” of certain facts that were favorable to our client, which the Judge allowed. We focused, among other things, on time constraints in filling out the application and the little to no contact he has with his family. After credibly testifying, the Judge mitigated the concerns and granted him access to classified information.
Financial Considerations – Guideline F – Our client was issued a SOR on the basis of Guideline F as a result of a Chapter 7 Bankruptcy she filed with liabilities totaling over $130k, and a Federal Tax Lien of approximately $60k. We focused our defense on certain actions she took (based upon our recommendations) prior to the Hearing that would be considered mitigation. We argued that the debt, in part, was due to circumstances that were unexpected and somewhat beyond her control. We had numerous preparation sessions, going over testimony, practicing questions and answers. We were able to obtain a number of documents that also showed mitigation and had them timely submitted. Ultimately, the eligibility for access to sensitive information was granted.
Financial Considerations – Guideline F – Our client received an SOR based upon the fact that he had certain amounts “charged off”, a judgment against him, and an account placed in collections. All in all, he owed over $27k. We gave him critical advice explaining to him what he must do before the Hearing to mitigate the concerns. He listened. As usual, we extensively prepared him for his testimony and, especially prepared him for a vigorous cross examination. The client listened to our direction and as a result, the Judge mitigated the concern and granted the clearance.
Financial Considerations – Guideline F – Our client received an SOR based upon the fact that his mortgage and other accounts were passed due. All in all, he owed over $13k. We gave him critical advice explaining to him what he must do before the Hearing to mitigate the concerns. He listened. We extensively prepared him for his testimony. The client listened to our direction and as a result, the Judge mitigated the concern and granted the clearance.
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – On behalf of our client, we appealed a decision of the TSA to revoke his access to classified information. After a review of our written appeal by the Security Appeals Board, we received a decision that stated “The Board concluded that you do meet the standard for access as it pertains to judgment, reliability or stability that is required to indicate affirmatively that you could be entrusted with and properly safeguard classified information. Based on the review, the Security Appeals Board has overturned the decision made by the Transportation Security Administration.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement – Our client received a Notice of Determination revoking his eligibility for access to classified information for failure to meet the Personnel Security Standards for Access to Classified Information. The Guidelines for which the decision was based were Adjudicative Guideline D – Sexual Behavior, E – Personal Conduct and K Handling Protected Information. The client hired us to appeal the decision, which consisted of a written and oral reply. After outlining a strategy for the client and assisting him in implementing the strategy, we prepared a legal brief, prepared the client for testimony and argued the case. Ultimately, we were successful and the Agency allowed our client access to classified information.
These are just a sampling of cases we have won. Each case varies depending upon the facts and circumstances and, although we cannot guarantee a result, we work tirelessly to ensure you are in the best possible position for a successful outcome.
Our Fees: We offer a Free Strategy Session. After the free strategy session, if we believe we can help you, we charge a flat fee of $9,750 dollars at the outset of the case. If we are not successful, we return the full $9,750. The only additional costs that must be paid are the expenses, which are non-refundable.
We know that losing your clearance will result in losing your job and income and we understand the stress that comes with now paying a fee for a lawyer. In understanding this, we strive to provide you with the best representation possible. We offer honest case evaluations and do not stop until every angle is uncovered in coming up with a strategy to win the case. Once you are a client, you will see that our goal is to exceed your expectations, which we do over and over again.
Recent Quote from a client on a Security Clearance Matter:
"Thanks to you and your associates, especially Ms.Elissa Krell for all your legal services throughout my challenges with DOHA. Your legal approach was strong, well prepared and most professional during the hearing that made the difference to the Administrative Judge, and led to a favorable decision. This is the first time in my life that I was in need of legal representation, and my first time was a great experience. I will be sure to recommend you to anyone I know needing legal services. I have been very impressed with Mr. Bell and this law firm- every step of the way…thank you all for your constant professionalism and for everyone’s help and understanding at this firm.
You are probably reading this because you were served with a Statement of Reasons (SOR), Letter of Intent (LOI) and/or have an upcoming hearing on your Security Clearance. We are glad you found us and we are confident you can help. We handle all kind of government concerns, including, but not limited to any combination of the following:
- Guideline A: Allegiance to the United States:
- Guideline B: Foreign Influence:
- Guideline C: Foreign Preference:
- Guideline D: Sexual Behavior:
- Guideline E: Personal Conduct:
- Guideline F: Financial Considerations:
- Guideline G: Alcohol Consumption:
- Guideline H: Drug Involvement:
- Guideline I: Psychological Conditions:
- Guideline J: Criminal Conduct:
- Guideline K: Handling Protected Information:
- Guideline L: Outside Activities:
- Guideline M: Use of Information Technology Systems:
You need a Law Firm that knows how to mitigate each and every one of these concerns. We have strategies that are trial tested. In addition to successful strategies we have used in the past, we are never afraid to try new strategies on a case by case basis where we see fit. We work as a team with our client to provide the information necessary to place you in the best chance for success.
The Bell Law Group is the firm you need for all your Security Clearance matters. The firm represents private sector employees (employees of government contractors), federal employees and military personnel who are in jeopardy of losing their Security Clearance. In addition, we can assist you in the application process (completing the SF-86, EPSQ and SF-85P) to ensure you have the best possible chance of obtaining clearance. Whether you are applying for or fighting to retain any level of clearance (confidential, secret, or top secret clearance; Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI); or Special Access Programs (SAP)), The Bell Law Group is the firm you need.
Our Lawyers clearly understand that a loss of Security Clearance most frequently results in discharge from your employment. Therefore, we do not take these matters lightly. We are zealous litigators who always believe that our client’s interests come first.
The Lawyers in our Firm are well versed in the statutory laws governing Security Clearance Law, including Directive 5220.6 “Defense Industrial Personnel Security Clearance Review Program” and Regulation 5200.2-R “Personnel Security Program,” which guide many of DOHA's decisions. The Firm can represent you in any forum, including in front of an Administrative Judge at the DOHA and, if necessary, a subsequent appeal.
The procedures that govern Private Sector Employees (Employees of Government Contractors) and Federal Employees differ. Therefore, you need experienced counsel that fully knows and understands the different procedures to secure the best possible outcome.
The Bell Law Group knows how to best represent you during any stage of your case, whether it is after you receive the Statement of Reasons (SOR), at the Hearing or Personal Appearance (PA) or on Appeal.
The Bell Law Group will give you the greatest opportunity to obtain your security clearance. Our attorneys study recent cases and court decisions involving clearance issues. We possess the requisite skill and ability to fight these cases by citing to previous case law involving similar circumstances where clearances were granted.
Whether you are a Federal Employee or a contractor, the statistics are clear that hiring an experienced attorney to litigate for your clearance will give you a much greater chance of success. If you have been served with a “Letter of Intent” (LOI) or “Statement of Reasons” (SOR), we urge you to contact us immediately in that we have successfully disputed the allegations contained therein.
With respect to the cost of representation, we charge a Flat Fee. We guarantee the best possible representation. Given that the likelihood of success dramatically increases with a qualified attorney, you don’t want to be “pennywise pound-foolish” when it comes to your career. What makes us different from other Law Firms is our preparation of these cases as well as us potentially calling character witnesses to increase your chances of success. In addition, we are very responsive to your calls and emails, knowing that you are concerned about your case in that your livelihood is on the line. Give us a call now!
Our qualified attorneys are trial tested and excel at Hearings in front of Administrative Law Judges. We regularly surpass expectations and often “think outside of the box” in preparing your defense. At the same time, we realize the importance of client input and would include you in the process.
It is critical to hire a qualified attorney prior to the DOHA hearing. It is a well known fact that your chances greatly increase with a Hearing. Furthermore, you want to put your best efforts at this crucial stage, as Appealing an adverse decision very rarely results in a reversal.
It is also important to know that your adversary on the case is an attorney who specializes in defending these matters for the Government. If you want to equal the playing field, you will contact us now! We know how to successfully mitigate and dispute evidence presented by the Attorneys for the Government. Being trial attorneys, we are very familiar with the Federal Rules of Evidence, which may be an important difference in the outcome of your case in that the Judge may not consider evidence submitted in inadmissible form.
The Bell Law Group is one of the few firms that a very experienced in security clearance matters. We handle matters involving security clearances all 50 states. Call now for a free strategy session.