Washington, D.C., partner Jesse Witten was quoted in the Health Care Daily Report article “Legal Malpractice Suit Exposes ‘Judgment Calls’ in Fraud Practices.”
A $603 million malpractice lawsuit filed against a large national law firm illustrates some of the potential hazards for clients and lawyers who advise health care clients. The action originated from the firm’s representation of LaTonya Mallory, the former owner and CEO of a clinical laboratory, who was found liable for submitting $17 million in false claims to federal health care programs. Mallory then alleged that she and her company relied on legal advice regarding the Anti-Kickback Statute provided by the law firm’s attorneys, leading to her suit against the firm.
Jesse discussed the difficulties of advising clients on compliance based on proposed actions, as opposed to litigating over past conduct, and noted that legal advice regarding the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law often comes down to “judgment calls” and “can turn on the precise facts of a case.” He also noted the relative rarity of malpractice cases against law firms in this context, with many being settled or resolved before any court filings, making this dispute unusual in its publicity.
Read “Legal Malpractice Suit Exposes ‘Judgment Calls’ in Fraud Practices.” (subscription required)