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Writs and Appeals

For over 25 years, the Law Office of Alexander W. Kirkpatrick has helped licensed health care professionals fight against the imposition of license disciplinary actions or sanctions. We diligently pursue all possible remedies, including petitions for writ of mandate to seek judicial review of the disciplinary action and requests for injunctive relief, such as temporary restraining orders. From our office in Pasadena, we are well-positioned to address the needs of all types of health care professionals, including physicians, pharmacists, clinical psychologists, and physical therapists, throughout Southern California.

Writs of Mandate

A Petition for Writ of Mandate must be utilized in most cases to seek judicial review of administrative decisions which affect licensed health care professionals, including Medical Board disciplinary actions. In some cases, mandate petitions may be combined with requests for injunctive relief, such as a temporary restraining order, which can help protect the rights and interests of our clients. Despite the fact that such petitions are rarely granted by the Superior Court, Mr. Kirkpatrick has prevailed on a significant number, including those involving disciplinary actions taken by the Medical Board of California and other relevant boards, and sanctions imposed by the Department of Health Care Services suspending Medi-Cal providers. Recent examples of these successful cases include:

  • After a physician’s medical malpractice insurer settled a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the patient’s family, the $1 million settlement was reported to the Medical Board. Despite strong expert witness testimony the physician did not commit malpractice, the administrative law judge (ALJ) adopted the opinions of the Medical Board’s reviewers that the physician’s negligence resulted in the patient’s death and imposed a stayed revocation of the physician’s license. We brought a petition for writ of mandate, and the Superior Court reversed all disciplinary findings and ordered the Medical Board to reverse its disciplinary decision.
  • A surgeon’s medical staff privileges were terminated on the grounds that he departed from the standard of care in two instances, even though there was no harm to his patients and despite very unclear theories of negligence. The Medical Board brought disciplinary charges and prevailed at the administrative hearing, resulting in five years’ probation. On mandate the Superior Court reversed the discipline. On remand, the Medical Board re-imposed the same discipline. After a second writ petition, the Superior Court once again ordered the Medical Board to dismiss all findings against the surgeon and his license was cleared.
  • After a physician was twice convicted of misdemeanor lewd conduct, the Medical Board decided he had "failed" a psychiatric evaluation and imposed a stayed revocation of his license. Once we brought a petition for writ of mandate, the Superior Court reversed, finding that the diagnosis did not demonstrate any nexus to competence to practice.
  • After a physician’s license was revoked for failure to complete a Diversion Program, we filed a petition for writ of mandate. The Court found the Medical Board had failed to act on a treatment recommendation that would have permitted the physician to return to practice and the physician’s discipline was reversed.
  • The Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) refused to return $200,000 that it had withheld from a pharmacy during a criminal investigation despite the investigation’s conclusion. We obtained a peremptory writ of mandate commanding DHCS to return the money, which it finally did under threat of contempt of court.
  • DHCS summarily suspended a pharmacy based on its suspicion there was an undisclosed, secret ownership by a third party.  However, we were able to secure a temporary restraining order (TRO) from the Superior Court ordering DHCS to immediately reinstate the pharmacy.
  • After DHCS summarily suspended a pharmacy on allegations that it had filled telephonic prescriptions for controlled substances without documentation of the physician’s authorization, we were able to obtain a TRO commanding reinstatement of the pharmacy’s provider status.

Seek Experienced Representation

For 25 years, Alexander W. Kirkpatrick has represented individual health care providers in all types of regulatory, administrative, and licensing matters, including license discipline proceedings. To discuss your case with an experienced health care attorney, contact the Law Offices of Alexander W. Kirkpatrick today.

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