Nossaman has been a pioneer in the development of California administrative law—that body of law dealing with challenging the actions of governmental or other administrative agencies.
We have been involved from the outset. One of our partners handled the landmark case of Armistead v. California State Personnel Board 22 Cal.3d 198 (1978), in which the California Supreme Court struck down an "underground" regulation and defined when and what sort of state agency standards and policies must be published as regulations. He also represented the petitioner in Skelly v. State Personnel Board 15 Cal.3d 194 (1975), establishing important due process rights for state employees.
We have successfully handled hundreds of cases at the administrative hearing level before such California professional licensing boards as the Medical Board, Dental Board, Board of Psychology, Board of Behavioral Sciences, Board of Registered Nursing, Acupuncture Board, Board of Optometry, and many others. In addition, we have achieved major victories in court appeals of licensing board actions.
We help clients navigate all of the issues they may face as a consequence of professional discipline. In any given case there are numerous potential collateral consequences that must be handled appropriately to minimize harm to clients. These could include possible loss of employment, loss of provider status with private payors and government programs such as Medicare and Medi-Cal, loss of specialty certification, loss of DEA certificate, and discipline by other states. Given the range of our expertise we are uniquely able to anticipate and handle each of these issues.
When physicians have professional licensing problems, an issue of primary concern is to maintain their medical staff privileges. We represent physicians in all phases of peer review actions from informal investigations to judicial review hearings at hospitals and through appeals at both the superior court and appellate court levels. We advocate early involvement of experienced legal representation in protecting the interests of our physician clients in their profession.
In addition to hospital medical staff matters, we have handled hundreds of cases for physicians and other professionals before a wide variety of peer review bodies, including, HMO's, PPO's, and medical groups. An indicator of our expertise is that our attorneys are often called upon by colleagues in the legal profession and the healthcare community to act as "neutrals" in resolving disputed cases. We serve as mediators and as hearing officers in disputes between peer review entities and physicians.
Also, we seek creative solutions to peer review problems that recognize the interests of the peer review body and the right of our client to continue his or her practice. While we make every effort to find a "win-win" solution between the professional and the peer review body, when this is not feasible we are prepared to vigorously litigate the issue before the internal committees and hearing bodies as well as in court.
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