Mute Oracle: The Controlled Substances Act and Physicians’ Criminal Conduct

 Balance in the law?

Balance in the law?

Criminal laws are supposed to give persons regulated by the law sufficient notice of what conduct, exactly, is prohibited.  Criminal laws, as interpreted by courts, are also supposed to provide clear standards for mens rea (that is, the level of intent the Government must prove at trial).  With regard to physicians and their prescribing practices, the federal Controlled Substances Act does neither.

Or, as my Lightfoot colleagues Brandon Essig, Jeff Doss and I put it in a recent article for Law 360:

With the Eleventh Circuit’s recent decision in United States v. Enmon, physicians continue to face two critical questions in the uncertain case law under the federal Controlled Substances Act. First, what conduct is prohibited? Second, what intent must the physician be shown to possess in order to support a conviction? Given the government’s increasingly aggressive prosecution of physicians with regard to controlled substances, white-collar practitioners who represent a physician or other healthcare professional in a “pill mill” case understand and address these issues in pretrial briefing and in preparing their trial strategy and must do so early.

And my mens rea is unknown, too.

And my mens rea is unknown, too.

Read the entire article: Questioning The Controlled Substances Act After Enmon



Representing Witnesses Before The Grand Jury

And you ain't authorized.

And you ain’t authorized.

For businesses and their officers, directors and employees, the grand jury is an increasingly visible complement to the threat of civil litigation and administrative sanction.  (We have discussed the grand jury’s role and power here and here).

Under the auspices of the Alabama State Bar’s White-Collar Crime Committee, Lightfoot hosted a one-hour CLE video on Representing Witnesses Before The Grand Jury.

Representing Witnesses Before the Grand Jury from LFW on Vimeo.

This program offers practical advice for representing witnesses subpoenaed to testify before the grand jury or provide documents. Listen to insights into the decision to testify (or not), preparing your client to provide testimony, securing immunity and special considerations in representing the immunized witness.

Monopoly

Reasonable doubt at a reasonable price.

Hosted by Lightfoot white-collar lawyers Jack Sharman, Tenley Armstrong  and Jeff Doss, the panelists are Richard Jaffe (Jaffe & Drennan, P.C.), David McKnight (Baxley, Dillard, McKnight & James) and Melissa Atwood (U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Alabama).  (The panelists’ opinions are their own and may or may not reflect the opinions of their firms, their clients or, in Ms. Atwood’s case, the Department of Justice).