Debra Albin-Riley Named a 2020 Top Health Care Lawyer by Daily Journal

The Daily Journal named health care litigation partner Debra Albin-Riley a 2020 Top Health Care Lawyer in California. An April 22 article highlights Debra’s administrative litigation work in complex medical staff peer review hearings, and in serving as lead trial counsel in related court litigation at the trial and appellate level.

The article discusses Debra’s accomplishments, including her successful representation of Providence St. Joseph Health in Aram Bonni, M.D. v. St. Joseph Health System, et. al. Dr. Bonni filed a whistleblower retaliation claim following his peer review and summary suspensions based on allegations that he had, during surgery, seriously injured multiple patients at two hospitals. The article highlights how, in 2015, Debra convinced the Orange County Superior Court to grant the Anti-SLAPP motion she filed to strike Bonni’s whistleblower retaliation claim. Bonni appealed and a state appellate panel reversed, questioning whether anti-SLAPP protections apply in a retaliation case. Debra then filed a Petition for Review, which was granted.

The article profiles Debra’s upcoming argument in the Bonni case before the California Supreme Court, which could resolve tensions between the anti-SLAPP statute and the medical staff peer review process. “This case offers the Supreme Court the chance to consider how protective the [peer review] process is,” said Debra. She added “[w]e urge that every aspect of peer review should be protected. What I love about this area of work is how concerned our clients are with patient safety.”

The Daily Journal Top Health Care Lawyers list was compiled from hundreds of nominations submitted by lawyers statewide, with the honorees selected by editors based on the impact of their work.


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