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How did a clerkship with Judge Merritt change the way Chris Climo approaches the practice of law? Find out more>


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Primary Care Providers Win Challenge of CMS Interpretation of Enhanced Payment Law

With the help and support of the Tennessee Medical Association, 21 Tennessee physicians of underserved communities joined together and retained Bass, Berry & Sims to file suit against the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to stop improper collection efforts. Our team, led by David King, was successful in halting efforts to recoup TennCare payments that were used legitimately to expand services in communities that needed them. Read more

Tennessee Medical Association & Bass, Berry & Sims

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Download the Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Review 2017, authored by Bass, Berry & Sims

The Healthcare Fraud & Abuse Review 2017 details all healthcare-related False Claims Act settlements from last year, organized by particular sectors of the healthcare industry. In addition to reviewing all healthcare fraud-related settlements, the Review includes updates on enforcement-related litigation involving the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute, and looks at the continued implications from the government's focus on enforcement efforts involving individual actors in connection with civil and criminal healthcare fraud investigations.

Click here to download the Review.

Chris Lazarini Provides Insight on Case Claiming Legal Malpractice Related to Broker-Dealer Securities Violations

Securities Litigation Commentator


June 13, 2016

Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Chris Lazarini provided insight on the case of Damian vs. Carey & Winston & Strawn LLP in which the court-appointed receiver of a broker-dealer that committed securities violations sued the broker-dealer's attorneys for alleged malpractice. The Court denied the motion.

Chris provided the analysis for Securities Litigation Commentator (SLC). The full text of the analysis is below and used with permission from the publication. If you would like to receive additional content from the SLC, please visit the SLC website to sign up for the newsletter.

Damian vs. Carey & Winston & Strawn LLP, No. 15-c-4335 (N.D. Ill., 3/4/16) 

The mere fact that a broker-dealer commits securities violations as a result of its officers ignoring its attorneys' advice and failing to disclose to the attorneys that the advice was based on faulty assumptions does not preclude a claim for legal malpractice by the broker-dealer's receiver against the attorneys. 

In 2014, the Southern District of Florida granted summary judgment to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in its fraud action against commodities brokerage Hunter Wise Commodities, LLC ("Hunter Wise"), and its principal officers ("Officers"), imposing a $55 million civil penalty jointly and severally against them. The Florida court appointed Plaintiff as Special Monitor and Corporate Manager for Hunter Wise, granting her full authority to sue others to preserve and increase the receivership estate.

Plaintiff sued Defendant attorneys, whom Hunter Wise retained to advise it regarding the impact of the then-pending Dodd-Frank Act on the company's business, alleging that they committed legal malpractice. Defendants moved to dismiss on collateral estoppel grounds, arguing that the Florida court found that the Officers ignored Defendants' Dodd-Frank warnings, knowing, but without disclosing to Defendants, that aspects of it were based on Defendants' faulty assumptions.

Examining the Florida court's opinion, the Court denies the motion. The malpractice claim, the Court explains, involves an examination of the adequacy of Defendants' representation of Hunter Wise, what Defendants were asked to do, what information Defendants were given, what Defendants might have done differently had they investigated more fully, and what Defendants allegedly neglected to do. Because the Florida court did not examine these issues, the Court finds that Defendants failed to demonstrate that the issues sought to be precluded are the same as the issues decided in the prior litigation. 

The Court telegraphs that it does not think much of the malpractice claims, suggesting that Plaintiff will face "a steep uphill battle" in convincing a fact finder that Defendants' acts or omissions proximately caused Hunter Wise to suffer damages, but noting that, at this stage, Plaintiff has stated a minimally plausible claim for legal malpractice.

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