Health Law

D.C. Bar Health Law Section Newsletter April 2014

Health Law Section Steering Committee and D.C. Bar Elections
Members of the Health Law Section Steering Committee are elected for staggered three-year terms, and there will be three open positions on the Steering Committee this election cycle. These positions will have terms running from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2017.

There are six candidates for the positions and their names, as they will appear on the spring ballots, are as follows:

  • Jenifer A. Cromwell with Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC
  • Geoffrey W. Hymans with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Counsel to the Inspector General
  • Laverne Largie with Liberty Mutual Group, Inc.
  • Brian J. Malkin with Frommer, Lawrence & Huag, LLP
  • Sondra L. Mills with the U.S. Department of Justice - Consumer Protection Branch
  • Amy Nordeng with the American Society for Radiation Oncology

Elections for the Health Law Section Steering Committee and other D.C. Bar positions will take place on the Bar's Web site between April 29, 2014 and May 23, 2014.

Paper ballots may be requested by writing to:

D.C. Bar Sections
Attention: Ballot Request
1101 K Street NW
Suite 200
Washington, DC 20005

Your request must be postmarked on or before April 15, 2014, and you must include your name, address, and D.C. Bar number as it is listed in your Bar membership record. You will be contacted if your request for a paper ballot cannot be accommodated.

If you have additional questions about the nomination or voting process, you maycontact the D.C. Bar Sections Office or the Health Law Section Nominating Committee Chair, Jennifer Hitchon.
Back to Top

Programs & Education
There are several interesting Health Law Section programs scheduled this spring. Please watch for announcements with further details about these programs.

The Health Law Section continually strives to plan programs to meet the interest and needs of our members. If you have thoughts about programs the section can host, please e-mail Programs & Education Committee Co-Chair Alan Arville or Co-Chair Hemi Tewarson.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014 – Sunshine Act Program – Webinar, 12:00 – 1:00 pm
Starting this year, pharmaceutical and medical-device manufacturers must begin collecting and reporting data on gifts, payments, and other transfers of value provided to physicians and teaching hospitals under the "Sunshine Act" provisions of the Affordable Care Act. These transparency efforts will not only impose significant administrative and financial burdens on manufacturers and related parties, but also may give rise to government and public scrutiny once the data is available online. This webinar will discuss:

  • The scope of Sunshine Act reporting
  • Guidance from CMS and key unresolved questions
  • Potential effects on industry relationships with physicians
  • Potential implications of increased scrutiny

Register for the Sunshine Act program here.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 – U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief – Program and Reception, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
A decade ago, AIDS was a death sentence. This terrible disease created millions of orphans and stalled economic development, leaving countries stuck in poverty. Today, the picture is significantly different, with millions of lives being saved through antiretroviral treatment and people with HIV/AIDS leading long, productive lives. 

The U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief ("PEPFAR") has played a critical role in saving lives and supporting HIV/AIDS treatment, prevention, and care programs acrossthe globe. PEPFAR is the largest initiative by any nation to combat a single disease globally, and its goal is to help strengthen the capacity of partner governments so that they can lead in the response to their own AIDS epidemics and other health demands. The Health Law Section will bring together an expert panel on April 29 to reflect on the 10-year history of the program and to discuss its future. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014 – Health Reform – Perspectives on Current Implementation and Future Impact – Program and Reception, 6:00 – 8:00 pm
The Affordable Care Act made extensive changes to the health insurance system in the United States. As implementation of this complex law continues, there have been challenges for the federal government, the states, private health plans, and providers. This event will provide valuable insight into the efforts by states to implement health reform, including the challenges they have faced and the progress they have made. This program will also address the potential impact of health reform on the health insurance system across the states in the future.
Back to Top

New Practitioners
Are you signed up for the Health Law Section's new practitioners group? This group is geared towards lawyers in their first 8 years of practice who are either working in health law or are interested in transitioning into health law. The group is growing and is sponsoring exciting programs and events, including career panels, speed networking, and volunteer opportunities. To get involved with the new practitioners group, or to volunteer to serve as a panelist during an upcoming career panel in April, please e-mail the New Practitioners Committee Co-Chairs Kate McDonald ( or Lidia Niecko-Najjum.
Back to Top

Upcoming CLE Programs

Ethics & Pro Bono: Remaining Ethical While Doing Good
Thursday, April 3, 2014, 5:00 - 7:45 pm
2.0 Ethics Credit Hours, including up to 1.0 substance abuse credit hours for states with this requirement

The D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct have numerous provisions that are particularly relevant to attorneys handling pro bono matters. From the applicability of rules requiring written fee agreements to dealing with pro se litigants or impaired clients to conflict-of-interest issues, our faculty members will help you better understand your ethical obligations. Using hypothetical scenarios based on actual issues and questions that have been raised by pro bono attorneys, D.C. Bar ethics counsel will give you the tools you need to avoid ethical problems when representing pro bono clients. This class is relevant to any attorney engaged in pro bono work. The issues also are important to those employed by legal services provider organizations.

Substance Abuse and Depression in the Legal Profession
Thursday, May 1, 2014 from 9:30 am to 11:45 am
2.5 Ethics Credit Hours, including up to 1.0 substance abuse credit hours for states with this requirement

Attorneys who have received help from the D.C Bar Lawyers Assistance Program will share their stories to help illustrate the connection between substance abuse and mental health issues and ethics violations. An attorney who has represented a number of respondents in cases involving these issues and a senior assistant bar counsel will discuss the rules related to addiction and mental health problems in bar disciplinary cases, as well as key cases about addiction and mental health issues. This course also helps you understand the role of the profession in assisting lawyers who experience addiction, depression, or other mental health problems.
Back to Top

Celebration of Leadership
Each year in June, the D.C. Bar Board of Governors and past presidents of the D.C. Bar host a gala dinner and annual meeting to recognize leaders in the profession and to celebrate outstanding contributions to the Bar. At the celebration, the new D.C. Bar president is sworn in and the Bar welcomes its newly elected officers, members of the Board of Governors, and ABA delegates. The evening also features the presentation of the Beatrice Rosenberg Award for Excellence in Government Service and the Justice Thurgood Marshall or Justice William J. Brennan, Jr. Public Interest Award. Outstanding D.C. Bar members, committees, sections, and projects are honored with other annual Bar awards.

At the 2014 Celebration of Leadership, outgoing D.C. Bar President Andrea Ferster will give remarks concluding her term as president. Brigida Benitez will be sworn in as the new D.C. Bar president and will end the evening with remarks about her upcoming term.

You may purchase tickets for the 2014 Celebration of Leadership event here.
Back to Top