Civil Rights and Discrimination
A licensee who is subjected to professional discipline often experiences harsh and stigmatizing consequences as a result: humiliation; disgrace; loss of reputation, livelihood, and client base. Unfortunately, this, at times, happens on the basis of an unsubstantiated complaint. Procedural due process protections apply to professional license revocation actions to help prevent such error, but states vary widely in the combination and strength of the procedural safeguards they require in such hearings. It is far more likely that an undeserving professional will be unfairly and permanently harmed in a state with minimal procedural safeguards. This Note focuses on procedural due process issues in state administrative professional license revocation hearings—specifically, whether, and under which circumstances, the preponderance of the evidence standard provides sufficient due process for licensed professionals in administrative disciplinary hearings. This Note argues that “preponderance alone” is not sufficient when a state has no other safeguards in place. However, preponderance of the evidence may be appropriate in states that do have additional procedural safeguards in place—a standard termed “preponderance, plus.”
Murphy, Allaina M., "Preponderance, Plus: The Procedure Due to Professional Licensees in State Revocation Hearings" (2020). Connecticut Law Review. 473.