Our National Security Clearance Attorneys Will Help Clients Appeal Their Revoked Clearance

Incident Reports

An individual’s security clearance can be suspended or revoked at any time. The suspension or revocation can be the result of an incident report or due to information that was discovered during the course of an updated background investigation. Your military or government security clearance lawyer will submit an incident report to the agency in question and is designed to notify the agency of any circumstance that could potentially hinder your ability to hold a security clearance. If you are charged with criminal defense, for example, you are required to notify the agency’s security officer. That officer is then required to notify the military or government agency that granted you a security clearance. If at that time the agency determines that your conduct is sufficient to propose a suspension or revocation of your clearance, the agency will send a notification to your company.

Justification for Revoking Security Clearance

If you work for a federal agency, you can have your security clearance suspended or revoked by affiliating with or sympathizing with terrorists, associating with foreign citizens of businesses that could lead to a case of coercion, and holding dual citizenship and/or service in a foreign military. Other reasons for suspension or revocation, not just at the federal level, include engaging in outside activities that involve dissecting or disseminating materials relating to protected technology or other closely guarded secrets. Criminal conduct is a universal reason for losing security clearance, as are security violations, misuse of information technology, sexual assault, alcohol or drug consumption, and psychological conditions. Personal conduct, including associating with known criminals and engaging in unsavory behavior are other reasons you might be denied security clearance.

Protect Your Rights

As you can see, you don’t necessarily have to engage in criminal or even on-the-job related activity. As long as the agency or organization deems that your integrity has been compromised, your access to classified information can be taken away. If you have experienced any of the above and you no longer have the level of security clearance you once did, there is help. By contacting a lawyer either before or during the review process, you can increase your chances of receiving a positive outcome in the face of the denial process.

Department of Defense

If you are a contractor with the Department of Defense, you will receive a Statement of Reasons or SOR from the Department of Defense Central Adjudication Facility (DoD CAF). The SOR will provide you with the reasons the DoD CAF is proposing to suspend or revoke your clearance. The document will also provide instructions for responding to the proposal. Depending on your level of security, your SOR response will either be decided upon by a DoD CAF adjudicator. Or, your response will be adjudicated by an administrative judge at the DOHA or Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals.

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EXPERIENCED LAWYER AT YOUR SIDE

Whether you need assistance understanding the SF-86 (e-QIP), responding to SOR or LOI (a Government Statement or Reasons or Letters of Internet) or require representation at a Personal Appearance or other Administrative Hearing, the experienced attorneys at Security Clearance Law Group have the expertise to ensure you are making the right decisions when it comes to obtaining or keeping your clearance. If you have been denied military or government security clearance, or you require a lawyer for a private sector agency or organization, we will help you fight for your rights to have your clearance reinstated.

DON’T TAKE ON THE GOVERNMENT WITHOUT A CLEARANCE LAWYER

The worst mistake you can make when faced with a revocation or denial is to underestimate the value of experienced representation in this area. One of the greatest values lies in understanding the expectations imposed on a security clearance holder. When you work with a professional security clearance attorney, you will get thorough help with all aspects of a hearing, including appealing the DOHA decision, defending against a denial, responding to interrogatories, letters of intent, statement of reasons, LOI, and SOR as well as SF 86 assistance, and more.

Transparent & Affordable Fees

Unlike some other firms, we will not advise you to pay for representation that is not worth your hard-earned money. We will give you an open and honest evaluation of your case each and every time and a quote for a fair and reasonable flat fee for the work being done. You can expect no surprises, hidden fees, or costs. We have the process down to a science and we don’t feel it’s right to overcharge for our legal fees. No matter why you have had your security clearance, we will remain transparent throughout the process, with our fees, the status of your case, and any other details related to your hearing.

Our Results Speak For Themselves

We are proud of the fact that we have helped thousands of service members, government civilian employees, and government contractors to save their careers. These individuals hold security clearance with the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and many other government agencies. We have won many cases even with our clients facing serious concerns, such as dishonorable discharge, alcohol or drug problems, failure to file taxes, and more.

Protect and Advance YOUR CAREER
Meet Our Attorneys
John Griffith - Lawyer
John Griffith
  • United States Army Veteran
  • U.S Army Achievement Medal
  • U.S. Army Commendation Medal

John Griffith is an Attorney and Veteran of the United States Army. He regularly travels across the county to represent fellow service members and government contractors with matters related to National Security Clearance.

John was born in Texas but moved to San Diego, California, after completing his military service to pursue a career in law.

John began his career as managing partner of a renowned National Law Firm. Not long after, he decided to branch out on his own.

Together with his partners Catie Young and Amy Lass, John co-founded Security Clearance Law Group. The trio is driven by a mission to offer superior representation at affordable rates. Mr. Griffith has represented countless members of virtually every government agency, as well as employees of most major government contracting firms in a variety of legal matters.

Catie Young - Lawyer
Catie Young

Catie Young is an Attorney who received her B.S. in Political Science from the University of California Santa Barbara, and her law degree from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California.

Soon after graduating from law school, Catie became a member of the California State Bar.

 

Catie learned the nuances of National Security Clearance Law while working for one of the West Coast’s most prominent law firms.

Catie is well-versed in all security risk guidelines and is considered an expert in adjudicative mitigation.

Amy Lass - Lawyer
Amy Lass

Amy Lass has always wanted to open her own law practice.

As co-founder of Security Clearance Law Group, Amy once studied comparative constitutional law under Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg during a summer semester abroad in Nice, France.

 

Amy received her Economics degree from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, and her law degree cum laude from Thomas Jefferson School of Law. Ms. Lass is originally from New York, but her family raised her in San Diego, California.

I would fully recommend these services to anyone who has problems getting a government security clearance. They understand the inter-workings of the clearance process and can get you a favorable decision. They guided me every step of the way and now I have my security clearance! Frank Z. Chicago, IL

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Revoked Security Clearance Guidelines & Solutions
In Blog by Catie Young / September 17, 2019

A security clearance revocation can hit hard, both personally and professionally. Whether you are in the military or with a federal agency, you rely on your clearance to fulfill your job and support your family. With all that you endured obtaining your clearance, such as filling out the SF-86 and having your history sifted through […]

Security Clearance Text Messages
Security Clearance Text Messages and Online Activity
In Blog by Catie Young / September 6, 2019

Security clearance applicants often want to know if their texting and online surfing habits might get them into trouble while undergoing the clearance investigation process. While it is true that security clearance investigators can dig deeply into all the financial, personal, and social aspects of your life, your text messages, and private online accounts are […]

Security Clearance & Mental Health SF-86 Question 21
In Blog by Catie Young / August 23, 2019

Standard Form 86 (SF-86) Question 21 wants to know if you have any health issues to report when applying for a security clearance. Sounds straightforward, but many applicants get hung up on this question for obvious reasons. SF-86 Question 21 specifically asks if you have received any treatment for mental health conditions in the previous […]

Frequently asked questions

What is a security clearance?

A security clearance is the determination made by the federal government that a person is eligible for access to classified information and suitability for employment. A security clearance is granted only after a personnel security background investigation has been conducted into the applicant’s personal and professional history.

The purpose of the background investigation is to determine whether the applicant has the ability and ability to protect and safeguard classified material. If the federal government is not confident in the applicant’s character and fitness, it has the exclusive right to deny the applicant a security clearance.

What is the process in obtaining a security clearance?

The security clearance process is initiated by the agency or government contractor after the applicant accepts a conditional offer of employment from that agency. Typically the applicant will be directed to complete a Standard Form 86 (SF 86), or the electronic web-based version, e-QIP (Electronic Questionaire for Investigative Processing).

There are various levels of a security clearance an applicant can acquire. The level depends on the sensitivity of the information being accessed by the applicant. For all the levels, the applicant must display loyalty, reliability, trustworthiness and an overall good character.

Each agency has established its own unique adjudication process. However, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) conducts the vast majority of all personnel background investigations for the Federal Government. Agencies periodically conduct reinvestigations of individuals’ suitability every 5 years.

What is an interim clearance?

An interim clearance is granted on a temporary basis after minimum investigative requirements have been met by the applicant. Most applicants find that they are granted an interim clearance relatively quick. However, an interim clearance can be revoked or denied at any time pending the completion of the full background investigation. Generally, interim clearances are denied in instances where the government has discovered unfavorable information either on the SF 86 Form or at any time throughout the investigation.

Caveat: An applicant is not afforded the same due process rights as an interim clearance holder. This means the government does not have to provide you a reason for the denial of the interim clearance or allow you an opportunity to defend the unfavorable information. This is why it is so important to seek advice if you have any questions with respect to filling out your SF-86.

What guidelines are used to determine eligibility for a security clearance?

It is not uncommon for your security clearance to be delayed, denied, revoked, or suspended when unfavorable information is listed on the applicant’s SF 86 Form or discovered during the investigation process. In fact, most agencies, not all, use similar guidelines, which can be found in the DOD Directive. Those factors include:

  • 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:

What are interrogatories?

An agency may issue an applicant a set of interrogatories, requesting the applicant to respond and explain further discrepant or unfavorable information.

It is absolutely imperative that the applicant take this seriously and it is highly recommended that you seek an attorney to assist you in your responses because the applicant can provide mitigating information directed at addressing and potential government concern. This may keep you from being issued a Statement of Reasons.

Can I request my investigative background file?

Yes, the applicant is entitled to his or her investigative file pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). Upon written request, the government must disclose all relevant records, unless they can be lawfully withheld (i.e. confidential information of third parties, etc.). The burden is placed on the government to substantiate why it cannot release certain documents.

What action can I take if my security clearance is denied, suspended or revoked?

When your background investigation is complete and the government has determined you not suitable for a security clearance, you will be notified of the reason for the denial. Typically the applicant will receive either a Statement of Reasons (SOR) or a Letter of Intent (LOI).

Each agency has its own appeal process, however, generally, the SOR or LOI will contain specific instructions regarding the appeal process and applicable deadlines. For instance, some agencies give you an opportunity to request a hearing in front of an administrative judge while others request only a response to the SOR/LOI and supporting and/or mitigating documentation from the applicant.

If a hearing is requested, the government will set a hearing date for the applicant and government counsel. It is similar to a court proceeding in that live testimony is accepted. This means that both the applicant and government counsel will have an opportunity to present its case, offer witness testimony have the opportunity to cross-examine witnesses. Following a hearing, the Administrative Judge will issue a written decision.

The Administrative Judge’s decision can be appealed to the DOHA Appeal Board. The Appeal Board’s decision is generally final. However, the Appeal Board can remand the case to the Administrative Judge for further review and proceeding.

What actions can I take if I am found unsuitable for employment?

Title 5 Code of Federal Regulations Part 731(5 CFR 731) governs federal employment suitability standards and procedures. If a federal agency intends to withdraw their offer of employment for a competitive service position due to the suitability criteria, that agency is required to notify applicant, in writing, the reasons it believes the applicant is not suitable. This is similar procedure security clearance matters, wherein the applicant is given an opportunity to respond to the allegations by admitting or denying each allegation in full or part.

If the agency makes a final adverse suitability decision, the agency must notify you in writing of their decision and inform you of your right to appeal the decision to the Merit System Protection Board (MSBP).

An MSBP appeal can become complex cases requiring undivided attention and experience. There are numerous procedural deadlines that cannot be overlooked without the possibility of the MSPB losing jurisdiction over your matter, including, jurisdictional issues, discovery, conference meetings, etc. For more information on MSPB appeals, please visit our web page dedicated specifically to such matters.

What action can I take today in obtaining or defending my security clearance?

If you are interested in discussing the security clearance process in further detail or need assistance with your security clearance matter or MSPB appeal, please contact us at 1-844-887-0433 to speak to an experienced National Security Clearance attorney. The attorneys and staff at Security Clearance Law Group are dedicated to serving our clients with excellence.

What action can I take today in obtaining or defending my employment suitability matter?

If you are interested in discussing the security clearance process in further detail or need assistance with your security clearance matter or MSPB appeal, please contact us at 1-844-887-0433 to speak to an experienced National Security Clearance attorney. The attorneys and staff at Security Clearance Law Group are dedicated to serving our clients with excellence.

Why do I need an attorney?

The worst mistake that you can make when faced with revocation or denial of your national security clearance is to underestimate the value of experienced representation in this area.

One of the greatest values lies in understandings the expectations imposed on a security clearance holder. The attorneys at Security Clearance Law Group provide you with the knowledge and representation that you need to obtain and/or keep your clearance.

What fees will I need to pay?

At Security Clearance Law Group we recognize that our clients must work within a budget and we work with our clients to come up with an affordable flat fee retainer and installment plans.

When you become a client of Security Clearance Law Group you will receive the expertise of a security clearance law firm with the personal touch of a small firm that cares about the outcome of every case. We have a reputation for having great personal relationships with our clients because we offer great value in the services that we offer.

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