By Richard D. Watters – Nowadays, almost all physician contracts and many nurse practitioner contracts contain restrictive covenants which generally prohibit or restrict the practitioner from competing against a former employer in the event the employment relationship should terminate. Although Missouri courts will enforce restrictive covenants, they cannot be enforced if their sole purpose is to prevent competition. The employer must have a legitimate business purpose or protectable interest to enforce restrictive covenants. This is why such agreements generally refer to protecting the employer’s confidential business information and patient lists.
In a new decision out of the Illinois Appellate Courts, a physician successfully challenged his former employer’s effort to enforce a restrictive covenant. In Gastroenterology Consultants of the North Shore (“Group”) vs. Mick Meiselman, M.D. (“Physician”), the Group attempted to prevent Dr. Meiselman from practicing within a 15 mile radius of the Group’s office for three years, pursuant to a restrictive covenant in the Physician’s employment contract. Dr. Meiselman was one of the founding members of the Group where he had worked for 15 years. He and all Group physicians had the same restrictive covenant in their employment agreements. When Dr. Meiselman left to join another practice, he continued treating patients he had seen while an employee of Group. In denying the Group an injunction against Meiselman, the Court noted that, while with the Group, he billed for his own services, maintained his own office, and kept his own telephone number. His compensation was based on his own productivity. The Group did not advertise, promote or market his practice and was not actively involved in it other than to provide administrative services. Referring physicians referred to individual doctors within the Group, including Dr. Meiselman, but not to the Group. On these circumstances the Court found that the Group did not have a legitimate business interest that needed protection and refused to enforce the restrictive covenant.
Groups that treat each physician as his/her own profit center on an eat-what-you-will compensation formula, with little real integration between physicians other than the sharing of administrative expenses, may not give the group practice a sufficient interest in the physician’s practice to be protectable by a restrictive covenant.
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Lashly & Baer partner, Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, published an article in the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Greater St. Louis Chapter Spring 2013 Newsletter entitled “Physician Owned Distributorships-Tread Carefully.” CLICK HERE to download a copy of the article or visit the HFMA Greater St. Louis Chapter website to view the Spring Newsletter.
Lashly & Baer partner, Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, will speak at the Investiture Ceremony of the NorthShore University Health System, as Jay L. Goldstein, M.D. is invested as the Roy F. Kehl Chair of Gastroenterology. The Ceremony will be held on June 11, 2013, at the NorthShore Evanston Hospital. Evanston, Illinois. This Endowed Chair has been made possible by a bequest from long-time Lashly & Baer client, Roy F. Kehl, who died in February of 2011. During his lifetime, Mr. Kehl endowed the Gastroenterology Laboratory at NorthShore’s Evanston Hospital. In September of 2012, NorthShore named Mr. Kehl a Distinguished Benefactor in recognition of total gifts in excess of $4,000,000, and the award was presented to Mr. Vogelsmeier, as Mr. Kehl’s attorney and advisor. Lashly & Baer represented Mr. Kehl for over 50 years, and Mr. Vogelsmeier advised Mr. Kehl on the implementation of his charitable planned giving. Mr. Kehl was a nationally known organist and church music scholar, and was generally regarded as the world’s foremost historian on Steinway pianos.
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Lashly & Baer attorney, Mark H. Levison, has been selected by Small Business Monthly as one of the Top 100 St. Louisans To Know To Succeed in Business. Mr. Levison was selected by a team of editors and community leaders who identified these individuals based on their contributions to the area businesses and the overall
The law firm of Lashly & Baer, P.C. announces that Patrick E. Foppe has been named a member of the firm. Mr. Foppe has been with the firm since 2008, and focuses his practice in civil litigation with an emphasis in transportation-related matters including high-exposure claims involving tractor-trailer accidents, wrongful death, products liability, personal injury, premises liability, and general negligence. He holds a J.D. and a B.S. in International Business, summa cum laude, from Saint Louis University.
Lashly & Baer partner, Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, published an article in the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) Greater St. Louis Chapter Winter Newsletter entitled “Waiving Co-Pays and Deductibles.-Part Two.” CLICK HERE to download a copy of the article or visit the HFMA Greater St. Louis Chapter website to view the Winter Newsletter.
Lashly & Baer partner, Stuart J. Vogelsmeier, presented “Key Compliance Issues for 2013” at the Healthcare Financial Management Association Greater St. Louis Chapter Annual Legislative Update on February 26, 2013. Click here to download the presentation.
Christopher D. Castellanos will be speaking at a CLE seminar on Resolving Estate, Will and Trust Contests, sponsored by the National Business Institute. He will be speaking on ethical considerations including avoiding conflicts of interest, getting a written retainer and being professional. In addition, he will speak on gathering evidence including medical records, bank records, tax returns and depositions. The seminar is being held on Monday, March 11, 2013. To find out more information, visit www.nbi-sems.com.
Attorney Christopher D. Castellanos was featured as an alumni panelist at Washington University School of Law’s Admitted Students Day on Friday, January 25, 2013. The event allows prospective law students to gain insight into the experiences of previous law students during their studies at Washington University.
U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers have released the 2013 Best Law Firms rankings, and St. Louis’ Lashly & Baer, P.C., has been given top marks in the St. Louis region.
In the National rankings, Lashly & Baer earned “National First-Tier Rankings” in Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants while earning “National Third-Tier” in Health Care Law.
In the St. Louis rankings, Lashly & Baer earned “St. Louis First-Tier” in Health Care Law, Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants, and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants, while earning “St. Louis Second-Tier Rankings” in Corporate Law.
In addition to this recognition, three attorneys from Lashly & Baer have been included in the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. Richard D. Watters, listed in Health Care Law, recently joined a distinguished group of attorneys who have been included inBest Lawyers for 20 years or longer. Also listed in Best Lawyers were John Fox Arnold in Corporate Law and Kenneth C. Brostron in Medical Malpractice Law – Defendants and Personal Injury Litigation – Defendants.