Any professional or organization that deals with the health of others has legal interests to protect. Active planning, risk mitigation and multi-faceted representation when something goes wrong, from privacy breaches to medical malpractice lawsuits, demand the right mix of legal experience and bench strength.
At Morris James LLP, we provide a full range of legal services to both healthcare practitioners and organizations.
Focused Legal Representation - Physicians, Pharmacies and Healthcare Organizations
Morris James’ Healthcare Industry Team has long represented many of Delaware’s preeminent hospitals, physicians, and nursing homes, as well as a broad range of medical professionals, including individual physicians, physician networks and physician groups, and healthcare professionals at all levels. Our client, Christiana Care, operates the State’s two largest hospitals and its only Level 1 Trauma Center.
Healthcare providers rely on Morris James to guide them in strategic business and tax planning, regulatory compliance, legislative matters and government procurement, and defending against medical malpractice claims, as well as in the acquisition, construction, leasing, licensure, and finance of new and expanding facilities.
Pharmaceutical companies frequently turn to the firm for representation in patent disputes, where our long term success has garnered recognition by Eli Lily as a “Go-To Intellectual Property Law Firm” for Fortune 500 companies. Firm healthcare lawyers also rank among those top advocates recognized by Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business and have been singled out for legal excellence by Best Lawyers®, and as “Top Lawyers” by Delaware Today; the firm’s medical malpractice defense experts are recognized as such by Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Firms and Attorneys; as well as Delaware Super Lawyers®.
Who We Serve
The Morris James Healthcare Industry Team represents both individuals and businesses of all sizes, working in all aspects of healthcare and medicine. Some of the clients and situations we have experience assisting with include:
- Physicians and physicians’ groups in need of medical malpractice defense or other representation in charges of professional negligence
- Clinics, nursing homes and other care providers involved in licensing, purchase and sale, bankruptcy or business litigation
- Nursing homes and long-term care centers accused of neglect or abuse
- Pharma and medical device manufacturers facing product liability issues
- Any business or individual in need of assistance navigating healthcare intellectual property laws
- Organizations that have been victims of data breaches or accused of noncompliance with HIPAA or other related regulatory standards
- Banks, developers and investors in healthcare assets
- Pharmacies seeking outsourcing and similar permits
Morris James will provide experienced, informed representation in court, at the negotiating table or before a disciplinary board. We understand that, in addition to legal knowledge, successfully defending clients against malpractice and other claims requires extensive understanding of medical conditions and best practices for treatment.
We also bring our extensive business reputation and experience in the the health care industry to help our clients achieve their financial goals.
Healthcare law team members are thought leaders in Delaware healthcare and are drawn from the firm’s Litigation, Real Estate, Tax, Estates and Business Practice, Employment, Government Relations, Bankruptcy, Business Transactions, and Personal Injury practice groups in all of the firm’s Delaware offices. Our client base benefits from this range of coordinated services, experience, and healthcare knowledge. In addition to all Delaware state and federal courts, our attorneys regularly appear before medical licensing and disciplinary boards, and also before facility licensing boards, the Board of Pharmacy, and the Delaware General Assembly on matters of importance to the industry. Clients seeking to acquire, construct, or expand existing facilities seek the firm’s representation before local zoning boards.
Sophisticated Healthcare Representation
Whether you are an individual practitioner seeking advice on consolidation with other healthcare providers, a physician group looking to effectively address the inherent complexities of practice while achieving efficient economies of scale, or an organization bringing a new cutting edge healthcare facility, or technology to the marketplace, Morris James has the knowledge and resources to provide sophisticated healthcare representation.
The firm focuses on achieving healthcare clients’ business and social objectives in the increasingly regulated industry environment, and also recognizes that those in the healthcare profession have unique personal legal needs. To meet these individual legal needs, Morris James lawyers provide counsel on matters such as the tax-efficient use of affiliated real estate companies, passing wealth on to the next generation through strategic use of trusts and other planning techniques, and long-term asset protection.
Our goal is to provide our healthcare clients with the same continuity of care in legal services that they seek to provide their patients, and therefore often coordinate a broad range of legal services for a single client seamlessly within the firm. Healthcare Team leader Kimberly Hoffman helps clients build a suite of services and an appropriate Morris James legal team so clients can focus on the healthcare business, not managing legal matters.
Healthcare Facilities, Systems and Products
For more information on the acquisition, construction, leasing, and finance of new and expanding facilities, as well as representative matters in Delaware, please visit the practice descriptions for Real Estate and Land Use. If you own intellectual property related to a drug or medical advice, please visit the practice description for Intellectual Property Litigation. If you are concerned about new laws or regulations impacting an existing service or facility, please visit the practice description for Government Relations. If you have claims against a company that has declared bankruptcy or are considering reorganization or liquidation of assets, please visit the practice description for Bankruptcy. If you seek help developing internal policies to comply with current employment laws and best practices, have been the subject of an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or Delaware Department of Labor investigation, or have received from your current or former employees an employment related claim, please visit the practice description for Employment. Tax, Estates and Business practice members provide planning advice on Federal and State tax matters, as well as transactional services for business formations, acquisitions and combinations. Corporate boards rely on the knowledge of the Corporate Advice Practice to guide decisions by boards of directors and members of other entities such as limited liability companies. The Business Litigation Group handles general business disputes, such as those with suppliers.
Physicians and Healthcare Professionals
In today’s healthcare environment, the practicing physician realizes now more than ever that there is a dynamic business side to medicine in addition to the professional skills they acquired through years of school and training. The members of our Morris James' Healthcare Industry Team have a comprehensive understanding of the unique needs of physicians and their practices in today’s complex healthcare environment. Our depth of experience in counseling on tax, business, employment, and real estate matters compliments our healthcare expertise to provide the cutting-edge knowledge and coordinated services necessary to the development and implementation of a proactive strategic plan. Team members who defend medical malpractice actions and address licensing issues are invaluable resources in developing practical approaches to peer review and other strategies aimed, first and foremost, at prevention. Even the firm’s Personal Injury Group has been instrumental in positively impacting physicians' bottom lines by assuring full payment of medical bills for injured patients.
We have formed and regularly represent individual physician practices, as well as many of the State’s largest physician groups, in all aspects of their practice, proactively guiding them through the ever-changing healthcare environment as it impacts their chosen specialty and their profession as a whole. Whether independently owned or properly affiliated with the physicians’ practice, surgery centers and imaging centers are an important component of the efficient delivery of medicine, and also rely upon our proven knowledge in healthcare together with our broad-based expertise in the areas of business, tax and real estate. On a national level, the firm coordinates the acquisition and disposition of healthcare related property and multi-jurisdictional litigation as national coordinating counsel and local counsel.
With our representation of individual practitioners as well as physician groups of varying sizes, Morris James has the knowledge and resources to provide sophisticated healthcare representation to physicians in each phase of their practice -- from determination of the proper choice of entity for the practice, compensation arrangements to provide both individual and practice-wide incentives, to strategic business and succession planning for the ongoing growth of the practice. In addition, we provide related services on matters such as the tax-efficient use of affiliated real estate companies, passing wealth to the next generation through strategic use of trusts and other planning techniques, and asset protection strategies to preserve assets long term.
Clients seek the assistance of our Morris James Healthcare Industry Team for a wide range of issues across various areas of expertise including Employment, Taxation, Real Estate, Commercial Transactions, Land Use, Business Litigation, and Corporate Advice. Our services include counseling and implementation in connection with:
- Formation and Organization
- Funding/Financial Considerations
- Startup and Transitional Matters, including proper use of “Tail “ coverage for Claims-Made potential from Prior Practices
- General Operation and Management
- Regulatory Compliance, including Stark and Anti-Kickback issues
- Hiring and Promotion decisions, such as the negotiation of Employment Arrangements, Production-Based Compensation and Related Issues
- Effective termination decision-making and communication processes
- Respective Rights and Duties among Physicians as Shareholder-Employees
- Separation from Employment, including Retirement, Death, Disability and Resignation
- Liquidated Damages imposed as Disincentive for Starting/Joining Competing Practice
- Shareholder/Ownership Matters, including Practice Succession and Considerations for Consolidation
- Acquisition, Sale, Development and Leasing of Real Estate and Equipment
- Peer Review, including Compliance with new Delaware reporting laws relating to Patient Abuse
- Healthcare related contracts with government agencies, drafting and lobbying for passage of legislation and regulations
We actively participate in numerous healthcare-related organizations, including:
- Delaware Medical Group Management Association
- Delaware Healthcare Facilities Association
- American Health Lawyers Association
- Medical Liability and Healthcare Law Committee
- Delaware State Bar Association – Health Law Section
- American Bar Association – Health Law Section