State [Government] Counsel (TN): Health Policy and Medical Professional Prosecutions
Download this Episode
Subscribe on iTunes | RSS Feed
Or get updates @LSTUpdates or in our monthly newsletter
There are many ways lawyers protect the public from wrongdoing. The lawsuit is one tool, but professional licensing boards also play a major role. Lawyers advise these boards on the creation of professional rules of conduct, and prosecute those who violate them.
In this episode, we talk to Vanderbilt Law School alumna Johanna Barde, a lawyer for the Tennessee Department of Health. In her capacity as assistant general counsel, Johanna creates public health policy—researching and writing rules of conduct—and prosecutes medical professionals during administrative hearings before state health boards. Her Department is part of the vast "administrative state" in the United States that runs parallel to the civil and criminal system.
For a medical professional, her property right—a license—is at stake during these hearings. When the government tries to take that right away, she's afforded due process. At the hearing, just like a trial, Johanna must litigate the facts and the law to persuade the decision-maker of her case. She subpoenas and interviews witnesses, makes opening and closing statements, argues rules of evidence and procedure, and ultimately wins or loses. The work can be repetitive and depressing, Johanna admits, but her colleagues and desire to protect the public health keep her motivated.
This episode is hosted by Debby Merritt, a law professor at Ohio State University.
- Tennessee Department of Health
- Example Health Board Meeting Minutes
- FAQ: How to file a complain against a medical professional
- Wikipedia Book Summary: The Administrative State
- On the Property Right to an Earned License: The right to work in a chosen profession without unreasonable government interference is a property and liberty interest "protected by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and Tenn. Const. art. I § 8." Martin v. Sizemore, 78 S.W.3d 249, 262 (Tenn. Ct. App. 2001) (citing Greene v. McElroy, 360 U.S. 474, 492 (1959). See also State v. AAA Aaron's Action Agency Bail Bonds, Inc., 993 S.W.2d 81, 85 (Tenn. Crim. App. 1998).
- Episode 0: Introduction to I Am The Law, a Series of Interviews
- Episode 1: Family Law (MA): Mediation, Conciliation, Litigation, and Guardian Ad Litem for Child Custody, Divorces, etc. [Small Firm]
- Episode 2: Personal Injury (TN): Settlement Negotiation for Vehicle Collision Plaintiffs While Confronting Sexism [Solo Practice]
- Episode 3: Patent Law (CA): Litigating and Prosecuting Patents at a [Large Firm]
- Episode 4: Public Defender (GA): Representing Alleged Criminals Who Can't Afford a Lawyer [Government]
- Episode 5: Real Estate Law (NC): Residential Home Transactions [Solo Practice]
- Episode 6: Administrative Appeals (CA): Obtaining Writs of Mandamus to Assist Aggrieved Government Employees [Solo Practice]
- Episode 7: Immigration Law (TX): Navigating the Administrative Maze for Immigrant Clients and Their Families [Small Firm]
- Episode 8: Running a Transactional Legal Services NGO for 501(c)(3)'s
- Episode 9: e-Discovery (OH): Reviewing Electronic Documents for Litigation Support at a [Large Firm]
- Episode 10: Personal Injury (LA): Representing Medical Malpractice Plaintiffs [Solo Practice]