Licensure and Discipline of Design Professionals and Building Trade Licensees

The New York State Education Department issues licenses to Professional Engineers (PE) and Registered Architects (RA). Alleged violations of the rules governing these professions are investigated and prosecuted by the Education Department’s Office of Professional Discipline (OPD). We represent applicants for PE and RA licenses as well as PEs and RAs facing discipline from OPD.

The New York City Department of Buildings (DOB) issues licenses, registrations, and credentials for more than a dozen building trades, including general contractors, electricians, plumbers, fire suppression system contractors, oil burner installers, and master riggers. Applying for these licenses is a multi-step process and some applicants encounter problems, even if they pass the required exams. For example, DOB may find that they do not have the required practical experience or may deny applications because of past criminal convictions, despite Sections 752 and 753 of the New York State Correction Law, which prohibits unfair discrimination against license applicants with criminal records. Our firm has many years of experience in challenging license application denials in Article 78 proceedings in New York State courts.

When DOB believes that a holder of a DOB license has shown incompetence or committed misconduct, it can seek suspension or revocation of the license in a proceeding at the New York City Office of Administrative Trials and Hearings (OATH). Usually, the precursor to such a prosecution is an interrogation under oath by the Buildings Special Investigation Unit, a unit of the New York City Department of Investigation. We have represented dozens of licensees in these circumstances.

Similarly, although architects and engineers are licensed by the state, DOB can limit, suspend, or revoke their privileges to practice in the five boroughs of New York City after a trial at OATH, upon charges of knowing misconduct, negligence, or incompetence. Our firm has extensive experience in defending the accused in these proceedings.