THIS IS SERIOUS BUSINESS
The first mistake people make in national security clearance cases when they receive the written Statement of Reasons is the failure to understand the seriousness of the written Notice, the SOR. Often people read the allegations and are told by an FSO or S2 that they only need to write a letter back to the government with an explanation. Some people often do this in one or two pages and some even handwrite their “letter”.
They then send in the “Response Letter” and receive a denial. Their job and career are now in jeopardy. The mistake is that they failed to answer the Statement of Reasons in the proper format. They also trusted their job and career to an FSO – who is not required to as part of his duties to give guidance in this important task. The Edmunds Law Firm does Responses that are often 30 pages in length and include exhibits and a legal brief. Attorney Alan Edmunds has been handling national security clearance cases both civilian and military for over 40 years. Our Firm has offices coast to coast ready to help.
DON’T WAIVE THE FORMAL HEARING
The next mistake that is very serious and causes a denial in a security clearance application occurs when an individual waives their right to a Formal Hearing. People are afraid of the courtroom – so they waive the Hearing and chose instead to submit more written material. This is a huge mistake. The Formal Hearing with an Attorney is the best opportunity to win your clearance. If you are from a foreign country the Formal Hearing with an Attorney, in my opinion, is essential. The language problem becomes very serious when a person from another country attempts to speak in court with a Judge and U.S. Attorney present This problem compounds when there are problems with evidence, objections or court procedures. The Judge is not there to help you and the government attorney who treated you nicely on the phone before the Hearing is now going to become very aggressive and work to take away your Clearance or make sure you don’t get the Clearance you have applied for. The lesson is two-fold. Never waive the Hearing and don’t attend a Formal Hearing without an Attorney.
DON’T DO THIS YOURSELF
The Security Clearance Process is filled with deadlines, writing requirements, evidence issues, preparation problems. The time limits do not allow individuals sufficient time to learn the process. The Judge and the Government attorney are not required to help you obtain your Clearance. In fact, the whole process from start to end is about taking your Clearance away or preventing you from getting one. People confuse the purpose of the process. It is not a friendly environment. You should not be discussing your case with a government attorney whose sole function is to take away your Clearance.
If your job, career, and family are important then get help if you receive a Statement of Response; or when the government has questions. Call The Edmunds Law Firm and get peace of mind. The cost is small compared with losing your job and your paycheck.
THE COURT HEARING IS ALL ABOUT PREPARATION
One of the saddest scenes to watch is a person who represents himself in a Security Clearance Hearing who is not prepared. They don’t have their evidence ready, they haven’t thought about what they are going to present to the judge and they don’t know how to handle an aggressive government attorney. Both the government attorney and the judge will interrupt your presentation. They will ask questions right in the middle of your testimony. What are you going to do? You’re all alone and the insults and questions totally render you speechless for your only day in court. You will leave the courtroom totally embarrassed and defeated. You saved money by not retaining a lawyer but you probably lost your job. I receive a lot of calls from people who represented themselves after they went to court. The story is often the same; they didn’t say what needed to be said; they failed to present evidence and they allowed the government attorney to insult them in the Hearing. If you go to a Hearing be prepared. If you don’t know how to do this – retain an attorney.
The Edmunds Law Firm can be reached at 800.481.2526