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Outside Counsel Can Be the Right Choice, but Know When


Outside counsel can be an important resource for hospitals and health systems, but knowing when it is right to bring in someone can be difficult. If you move too quickly to call in an outside law firm, you may waste budgeted resources while casting doubts on the abilities of the risk manager and in-house counsel.

But holding on to legal matters that should be handled by outside counsel can have even worse consequences.

The use of outside counsel might be downplayed when a medical center is involved in a controversial matter, says Rodney K. Adams, JD, a healthcare attorney with the law firm of LeClairRyan in Richmond, VA. He was called on to represent a hospital that was embroiled in litigation over discontinuation of life support for a brain-dead child.

The medical center wanted Adams to handle the litigation because he was more qualified than its in-house counsel, but he was not the public face of the hospital’s legal team. An in-house attorney acted as the public voice for the hospital regarding the litigation.

“They didn’t want it to look like the hospital was ganging up on the family by calling in an outside firm,” Adams says. “The situation was already so delicate that they wanted to avoid any impression that they were throwing their weight around and the family was at a disadvantage.”

Read the full article at Relias Media here.

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