Security Clearance Attorneys - U.S.

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Avery Dooley & Noone, LLP represents clients in employment-related litigation before federal and state courts and administrative agencies, as well as in arbitration and mediation. Our attorneys have years of experience in all phases of employment litigation, training, counseling, and dispute resolution.

Applying for and Maintaining a Security Clearance

For law enforcement officers, Department of Defense employees, and government contractors who are required to work with sensitive government information, a security clearance is often a prerequisite for employment. If the government denies, suspends, or revokes your security clearance, you may be unable to work in your chosen field. The application process can be overwhelming and complex. Learn more about applying for a security clearance in our related blogs.

Generally, the determination of your ability to maintain a security clearance is based exclusively on the government’s assessment. The Supreme Court has held that decisions on security clearance matters are, under the Constitution, within the exclusive province of the Executive Branch.

Contesting and Appealing a Security Clearance Decision

To contest a security clearance decision, you will need to send an appeal to the Defense Office of Hearings and Appeals (DOHA) within 20 days. Once your appeal has been received, you will be asked to submit a File of Relevant Materials (FORM) within 30 days. This will give you an opportunity to include your rebuttals, explanations, and counter-arguments to the security clearance denial, suspension, or revocation.

Because the security clearance decision is based solely on the government’s assessment, it is critical to carefully, thoroughly, and persuasively set forth the appropriate arguments to address the Statement of Reasons for denying, revoking, or suspending your clearance. You cannot afford to take security clearance processes lightly. Here are a few factors that may be considered during an assessment:

  • Credit history
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Legal violations
  • Registration for the selective service

For government contractors, the DOHA makes the final decision on security clearance matters. For federal employees, final decisions are made by the personnel security appeals boards of the various government agencies. The courts have no jurisdiction to review the merits of any security clearance decisions.

As security clearance lawyers Avery Dooley & Noone, LLP has helped clients navigate the legal system since 1921. We are one of the few law firms in New England that handle security clearance cases. If you would like to apply for a security clearance, or contest or appeal negative security clearance investigations, actions, and decisions, call us today at (617) 489-5300 for a free consultation.