The 10 Biggest Legal Mistakes Physicians Make by Failing to View Legal Issues Properly

By Steven I. Kern, Esq.

Executive Summary

The U.S. legal system is perhaps the most complex in the world. Over the past 20 years, health care has evolved into one of the most regulated and complicated areas of U.S. law. Each patient encounter involves myriad compliance issues. Most transactions implicate often obscure rules and regulations, and attorneys practicing health care law must devote hours each week just to keep up with the ever-changing laws affecting physicians and their practices. An attorney in general practice is no more qualified to handle physicians’ legal matters than a family practitioner is qualified to perform transplant surgery.


Mistake 1        Thinking: “I’m a Good Doctor—Nothing Bad Can Happen to Me”

Mistake 2        Thinking: “I Have an IQ of 160, Graduated Magna Cum Laude, and Know Better”

Mistake 3        Choosing the Wrong Attorney

Mistake 4        Failing to Appreciate That Personal Activities Can Affect Professional Practice

Mistake 5        Assuming That a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Is a Health Care Lawyer

Mistake 6        Thinking: “My Insurer-Appointed Lawyer Has No Interests Other Than Mine”

Mistake 7        Failing to Appreciate the Needs of the Opponent

Mistake 8        Failing to Read the Fine Print

Mistake 9        Volunteering Information

Mistake 10      Trusting the Wrong People


The above has been excerpted from the SEAK text, The Biggest Legal Mistakes Physicians Make and How To Avoid Them