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White-Collar and Regulatory Defense
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Healthcare Investigations at Warp Speed

We covered one of the U.S. Justice Department’s major healthcare sweeps last month. But we didn’t know the feds had shut things down with such blinding speed. Reportedly, it took them six to eight months from first alert to coordinated raids. The investigation is said to have begun earlier this year when analysts detected a surge in Read More

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FTC Sues Over Phony Business Practices Online

Speaking of online reviews, the Federal Trade Commission just moved to settle two cases against businesses it alleged engaged in deceptive acts or practices online. In the first, the agency alleged the defendants sold fake likes, views, followers, and subscribers on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and other platforms. And they did not discriminate. They sold to everyone: Read More

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Don’t Violate HIPAA Fighting Bad Yelp Reviews

Healthcare providers, beware: You cannot respond to bad online reviews by disclosing your patients’ protected health information (or PHI). As you know, PHI refers to any health information that identifies or could be used to identify a patient. If you’re not sure what counts, do your homework or call your lawyer. But don’t disclose it Read More

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More Varsity Blues

As the college-admissions scandal winds its way through court, California’s clawing back the money. The tax money, that is. A few days ago, the state enacted a new law that scrutinizes all tax deductions these defendants may have taken for charitable donations to any college or university. It applies to every tax year beginning with 2014. It also denies Read More

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The Lure of Free Cancer Screenings

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department announced a major takedown of telemedicine that it says went too far. It’s among the bigger healthcare-fraud sweeps to date: 35 people charged with over $2.1 billion in false or fraudulent bills. The defendants hail from telemedicine companies and genetic-testing labs and include nine physicians. They reportedly billed Medicare for tens Read More

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You Cannot Be Serious

The Fourth Amendment is supposed to protect your right to be secure against “unreasonable searches and seizures.” Those are the actual words of the text, which is why I put them in quotes. But earlier this month, the federal court of appeals that covers California and eight other states could not say whether it violated the Fourth Amendment Read More

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When the Government Goes to Trial

Every now and then, a court will speak to the core of the laws that govern our way of life. Last week, the California Court of Appeal said something profound for the 21st century. Sure, it’s been said before but maybe not in this way, updated for the modern day, spelled out in language we all understand. Read More

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You’ve (Still) Got (Money) Bail

California’s bail system is proceeding along two tracks for now. On one hand, around this time last year, the state passed a law to eliminate money bail. We broke down the new law in detail here, and we weighed its pros and cons here. The law was supposed to go into effect this October, but opponents have since Read More

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A Feel-Good Story From Our Backyard

Earlier this month, a group of law students from the University of California, Irvine did something special: they won the release of an elderly inmate based on the law of compassionate release. That is not easy to do. Before a recent new law, it was nearly impossible, and even now, it’s exceedingly rare. But the man Read More

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Giving the Gift of Education

How’s this for an idea? Let’s reinstate Pell grants for people in prison. What are those? They are federal grants that help people pay for college who otherwise can’t. They require you to use the money for higher education and maintain satisfactory progress toward a degree. People in prison were eligible for them until 1994 but Read More

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