Professionals, including attorneys, doctors, engineers, architects, and accountants, must address a distinct set of legal issues in their individual practices and in connection with the continued, successful operation of their firms. Gibbons works with professional service providers on the full range of these issues.
Areas of Focus
Professional Liability and Malpractice Defense
Gibbons has represented various professional service firms in defense of a substantial number of professional liability claims. For example, on behalf of lawyers and law firms, we have handled allegations of negligence, conflict of interest, complicity, and malpractice, involving intellectual property, corporate, matrimonial, estate, insurance fraud, and real estate disputes, among others. We have also defended third parties in such claims. In one precedent-setting matter, Gibbons represented the Philadelphia Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service when the attorney to whom an injured person was referred missed the applicable suit deadline. The resulting decision established the rule in Pennsylvania that there is no tort of “negligent referral.” We also defended a pro bono intake agency when the volunteer lawyer assigned to a matter was sued for malpractice.
In our representation of engineering and architecture firms, Gibbons generally handles claims of professional negligence, personal injury, property damage, and medical monitoring in connection with the design and construction oversight of a wide array of structures, which have included apartment buildings, hotels, waterfront properties, piers and loading docks, educational facilities, and a processing plant. Disputes in which our accounting firm clients have been sued for professional liability have involved validity of tax opinions, allegedly inappropriate selection of tax shelter investments, delinquent property taxes, value calculations, and fraud and conspiracy in connection with a contractual buyout. We have also represented several accounting firms in response to document subpoenas.
Criminal Defense, Including Healthcare Fraud & Abuse
Gibbons attorneys possess a wealth of both prosecutorial and defense experience on which to rely in defending the interests and rights of medical, legal, and accounting professionals in a wide variety of criminal, quasi-criminal, civil, administrative, and regulatory matters at all levels of the federal and state judicial systems, as well as in matters pending before professional licensing boards. When criminal or administrative charges have been filed against a client of the firm, Gibbons has successfully represented those clients for purposes of grand jury and other subpoena compliance, through pretrial proceedings, at trial, and, when necessary, for sentencing.
Gibbons provides state and federal regulatory and legislative counseling to professional service providers – physicians and physician groups in particular. We review, analyze, and monitor hundreds of bills per legislative session for each of our healthcare provider clients, analyzing those of particular operational or financial significance and creating lobbying strategies to achieve our client’s objective. These strategies often involve drafting “white papers,” advocacy memoranda, letters, and other persuasive materials. We often testify on bills before the following Committees: Assembly Health and Senior Services; Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance; Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens; Senate Commerce; and Assembly and Senate Budget.
Gibbons attorneys appear before state departments, agencies, authorities, commissions, boards, and the Office of the Governor, serving as our client’s lead liaison to state government decision-makers. Our attorneys regularly analyze existing law governing the approval process for new healthcare facilities, representing clients before the appropriate agencies or departments. We possess longstanding relationships among senior decision-makers at the Departments of Health and Human Services and regularly shepherd regulatory matters from the initial meeting and analysis through final approval or licensure. Our attorneys also provide strategic counsel and advocacy services on federal matters as well, including implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
HITECH Act and HIPAA Advice
With the enactment of the HITECH Act of 2009 and the promulgation of the interim Breach Notification Rule in August 2009, Gibbons has been advising healthcare provider clients on the resulting changes to HIPAA and the need to revise privacy and security policies and business associate agreements. Gibbons also advises clients on HIPAA compliance issues on an ongoing basis.
General Business Counseling
Gibbons works with professional service providers on a host of their day-to-day business needs throughout their entire business life cycles, starting with the various legal considerations for the formation of a practice and continuing through incorporation and partnership agreements, contract issues, employment and intellectual property concerns, leases, negotiations for services, compliance, licensure, and mergers with or acquisitions of partners or whole practices. Gibbons also represents high-level professionals in executive compensation matters.