Posted by a Government client
When I received an adverse decision regarding my security access I immediately began to research attorneys with domain experience. Although I live far from the DC metro area, I focused on attorneys there because I believed that the DC area would offer firms with specialized practice. Several firms advertised services, but they were large firms and I couldn’t be sure my case would get the attention of a seasoned professional. Mr. Riley, a sole practitioner, seemed to have a strong reputation and I knew I would get attention from the person who had earned the reputation.
In the initial consultation Mr. Riley was able to quickly assess the issues and offered his honest and forthright opinion. He reviewed the alleged issues point by point and ultimately decided that his services would be of value.
I was surprised at needing an attorney and not sure what to expect in the appeal process. Mr. Riley was able to clearly explain the process and offered a client-attorney agreement that capped his fees so I knew my maximum exposure.
Throughout the process he demonstrated deep knowledge and remained accessible. He systematically collected and assembled the data needed to craft a successful appeal, viewing issues through the adjudicator’s eyes to identify potential concerns and make sure all mitigating information was clearly conveyed. He continued working with the same energy and purpose even after we reached the agreed-upon fee cap.
Ultimately, he accompanied me to a personal appearance with a senior adjudicator. Before the appearance he helped me collect my thoughts and ensured I was prepared to completely refute the alleged issues. The effectiveness of my personal appearance supported by my thorough written material allowed favorable adjudication in just 3 months, even though the adjudicator told me to expect 9-12 months.
I would highly recommend Mr. Riley to anyone intending to appeal an adverse security decision.
Posted by a client
I contacted Mark Riley after my eligibility for Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) was denied after I took a job at a defense contractor. I had previously held TS/SCI clearance as an employee of the Department of Defense. The reasons given for denial were all related to information technology issues, none of which were actual security violations. Still, the stark language in which the reasons were delivered did not offer much hope for recourse. Mark is highly selective about the cases he takes on, so his decision to represent me was my first sign that my appeal was winnable. Together we obtained the relevant documentation through FOIA requests, collected letters of reference, and wrote lengthy and thorough rebuttals to the claims made against me. In the end my appeal package was well over fifty pages. The denial decision was overturned a month after submission.
Mark's reputation as an elite attorney for security clearance issues is well-deserved. He was at all times honest, candid, and transparent in his dealings with me as his client. He worked hard on the case and held high standards for any documentation issued on my behalf. His determination inspired me to put a great deal of effort into my defense as well--resulting in a comprehensive, compelling, and ultimately successful appeal.
To anyone dealing with a security clearance denial I recommend retaining legal representation from Mark Riley.
Posted by a Federal Regulation client
I hired Mark after having a consultation with 3-4 other lawyers in this field, he gave me an honest assessment of my situation, and talked to me about the costs and benefits of moving forward, and really listened to my specific problem rather than answering in generics - this is why I chose to go with him. Incredibly knowledgeable in this area with a good relationship with DC government agencies and expertise in their policies and procedures. Was able to successfully work remotely with me as an out of town client. These things effect the future of your career and you want someone who is specialized in this field like Mark.
Posted by Bob
Unfortunately (for me) I brought Mark Riley a difficult case. Fortunately (for me) he knew just what to do. Mark knew the governing laws and policies and immediately formulated a strategy for helping me resolve my clearance issues. Mark provided outstanding advice throughout the entire process. As a result, my clearance issues were resolved and we won my case! What more could you ask?
We all hope that we will never need an attorney; but when the time comes, and you need good counsel, you would do well to talk with Mark Riley.
Posted by Glenn
Mark helped me regain my Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information (TS/SCI) security clearance by researching, writing and putting together a 100+ page rebuttal to a DoD agency suspension action. My clearance had been suspended due to the improper possession and use of a personal thumb drive in a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility. This incident occurred during the height of the Army private Bradley Manning, WikiLeaks scandal and my chances for getting my clearance back were slim to none. Mark believed in me and proved to the decision authority that my infraction was due to negligence and that I did not pose a risk to national security. To my great surprise the decision authority agreed with Mark and my clearance was reinstated. I'm completely convinced that Mark is the only lawyer that had the knowledge and perseverance to help me recover from this very difficult situation. He’s not cheap, but the phrase “you get what you pay for” definitely applies to him. I would strongly recommend retaining Mark’s services for any client with a security clearance issue.
Posted by a Military Law client
Choosing Mr. Riley to represent me was a good decision. The claims against me were very painful, but Mr. Riley’s guidance helped me navigate the process. I believe Mr. Riley’s priorities, as patriot and professional are in proper order; he only took my case after becoming convinced that it was in our country’s best interest. His contacts in the IC and knowledge of the process were essential to my positive outcome.
Posted by a Federal Regulation client
There are only a handful of lawyers in the country that competently specialize in government clearance advocacy. I learned this when I received a letter from the government stating that they were going to recommend that I be denied for my clearance. When I reached out to my general legal network Mark Riley's name was given to me as "if anyone can help you, it's Mark." Mark did in fact help me avoid significant impact to my livelihood as a passionate advocate for my case. He knew the intricacies of the Federal regulations, he used expert witness testimony, and he expertly articulated a defensible position. Mark’s execution of strategy for my case resulted in me avoiding having to go to the appeal board. Along the way Mark was well organized and kept me updated with the progress. Thank you Mark!
Posted by a client
Mark took my security clearance case last year. The case was complicated and involved no less than seven different problems that had been flagged in the investigation. Mark, a retired Army officer, spent a lot of time getting to know and understand me and the issues involved before taking the case, and only agreed to represent me once convinced that it would appropriate to grant me a clearance.Throughout the process, Mark demonstrated an exceptional grasp of the law and administrative processes involved. Most important to me, at several junctures, we had serious discussions on points of principle, and he always respected my view of what would honestly reflect my views and values, even when the result could weaken my case. As a result, my filings gave what i believe to be an exceptionally honest appraisal of who I was, and allowed the government to make the most informed decision possible regarding my case. That decision proved to be positive, and has allowed me to continue serving my country.
Posted by a Military Law client
Mark Riley got the job done - he was thorough and insightful. He is especially helpful in understanding the process of responding to challenges to security clearance retention - he brings many years of experience in military and security matters to bear with clear, cogent and complete response generation. Could not have done this (and prevailed) without Mark's help.
Posted by a Appeals client
Mark Riley is outstanding in every aspect of the word. The bottom line is that he gets positive results even in the face of huge challenges faced in dealing with the US Intelligence Communities' clearance, access, and polygraph processes. In my case, he made sure that he took the time to listen and carefully compile my appeal so that it was successful at the first level without ever having to go through an appeal board. This alone saved me precious time and money that would have been lost in wages if I would have had to wait for a second level appeal. Specifically, Mark was extremely competent in logically presenting my case and then mitigating circumstances so as to affect a positive outcome to my appeal. Throughout the process, he instilled great confidence in me that my appeal was leading toward success and he also calmed my fears in dealing with the security bureaucracy. As my legal counsel, Mark provided answers to my numerous questions supported by facts as well as by key input from his vast experience in handling clearance/polygraph cases. His advice was always on target and I am glad that I followed his recommendations. Further, his empathetic nature and tenacity allowed me to know that I had made the right choice in selecting him to represent me. Sure, I could have tried to represent myself but I realize that I could not have done so with the same level of experience and knowledge about preparing a powerful and successful appeal. Mark impressed me with his ability to focus on the key matters affecting my case and his ability to identify important inconsistencies in the government’s logic for attempting to deny me access to classified information. I look at Mark as not only an eminently qualified lawyer, but also as a person who truly cares about people. Mark has my highest regard - he saved not only my career in support of the US intelligence community, but he also saved my honor and reputation. He provided hope when all seemed lost. If you need legal counsel to help with your appeal in a clearance or polygraph matter, go with Mark Riley and you will not be disappointed!