Legal Services

Hatch Legal Group can provide legal services particularly important to dental practices in a variety of areas, including on the following topics which have been highlighted in articles in Dental Practice Legal Update:

Business Law

Asset Protection
“The protection of assets from liability is essential to the security of your investment in your practice. We can set up asset protection mechanisms such as limited liability companies, family limited partnerships, general and limited partnerships, title transfers, and corporations.”
Associates
“The associate agreement should be comprehensive and lay out terms such as compensation, production, payment for expenses, malpractice insurance, rights to control, and options to buy are only a few of the many parts of a good associate agreement. This agreement should definitely be drafted by an attorney, and we can draft those agreements and fulfill mutual goals of the owner and associate.”
Business Organization
“One of the first choices any small business such as a dental practice must make is what choice of entity it will operate under. We can discuss the benefits of setting your practice up as a solo practice, an S Corporation, an LLC, an LLP, or a C Corporation, and draft the appropriate agreements customized for your situation.”
Insurance
“It is essential to know exactly what kind of malpractice insurance is necessary to protect you from allegations of malpractice made against you or any other employee or associate in your practice. We can also make sure your workers compensation, disability, business and property, and health insurance policies are written to protect you from any situations in which insurance can protect you.”
Leasing
“Leasing of rental space and equipment are often a key part of getting a practice started and keeping the premises suitable for an efficient dental practice. We can provide drafting and review of commercial leases and equipment leases needed to keep your business running.”
Marketing
“Marketing your practice often involves legal aspects such as laws on advertising and agreements to provide advertising services such as web sites. The review and drafting of these documents by our legal counsel will ensure that your marketing meets legal requirements as well as protects you in contracts with those doing your marketing.”
Practice Transitions
“Sales of practices involve numerous complicated legal review and documents involving associates, retirement, selling or buying the practice and other aspects. Documentation, advice on valuation, contracts, and other legal services are available to assist in practice transitions.”
Unique Legal Issues in the Sale or Purchase of a Dental Practice
Legal Issues in Financing a Dental Practice
Financing the Purchase of a Dental Practice
Considering a Buy-Out Arrangement?
Obtaining Loans for Purchasing or Expansion
Selling a Practice to a Dental Management Service Company
The Financial Positions of Dental Practice Sellers and Buyers
Product Sales
“Selling products out of the dental practice can be both a good service as well as an economic boost to your practice. A review by our legal counsel will ensure that these agreements do not contain provisions that are legally detrimental to your interests, and contain provisions for your benefit.”
Referrals
Valuations
“Valuations often involve not only accounting and business valuation experts but a review and adjustment of practice documents and policies. Drafting and advice on these aspects of valuations can be provided by our counsel.”
Web Sites
“Web site agreements must be oriented toward getting value for your marketing dollars. A web site agreement reviewed and drafted by our counsel is essential to using web sites effectively.”
Billing
“Billing your patients efficiently can be your most effective tool to achieving profitability.  We  have helped dental practices to correct errors in their billing practices brought to their attention by state agencies and in litigation”
Can You Lose Your License Because of Billing Practices?
Improper Billing for Federal Reimbursement
Business Organization
Can Non-Dentists Own Dental Practices?
When to Choose an LLC as a Dental Practice Entity
Dental Graduates
“As a regular speaker before dental school audiences, Attorney Hatch has helped students about to graduate from dental school gain knowledge about the legal complexities facing them in a dental career”
After Dental School, Owner, Employee or Associate?
Dental Office Design
“Attorney Hatch has advised dental offices and dental office design consultants on the laws affecting dental office layouts.”
Legal Issues in Renovating Dental Practice Offices
Taxes
“Attorney Hatch has a good working relationship with a dental CPA to help advise them on saving tax dollars in their practices and has advised practices on legal situations involved with taxation.”
Tax Issues for the Dental Practice
Tax Considerations for Dental Practices as 2013 Tax Year Ends 

Licensing and Dental Regulations

“The Massachusetts Dental Regulations are complex but must be thoroughly complied with. Since their reintroduction in 2010, our counsel have kept on top of the latest enforcement policies of the Board of Registration in Dentistry and can review your office’s compliance with the Regulations. Additionally, counsel have handled licensing issues before the disciplinary section of the Board of Registration in Dentistry.”

Dental Office Design

“Keeping your office in line with requirements for zoning, OSHA, the ADA and other laws requires a legal review, which we can provide, along with drafting of documents with contractors designing your office.”

OSHA

Compliance with OSHA for dental practices is time consuming but can be very costly if not done properly and regularly. We can provide reviews in this area, as well as work with other professionals that we dealing with regularly on this particular issue.
Liability Problems in Handling Toxic Substances

Malpractice

Having an allegation of dental malpractice made against you can be damaging to your reputation and your financial well-being. Get the help you need for our litigation and settlement counsel in this area.
The Standards for Informed Consent

Informed Consent

“The rules on informed consent have become more stringent in Massachusetts since the new Massachusetts Dental Regulations went into effect in 2010, and now require individual informed consent forms tailored for each procedure.   We can provide those forms and also advice on limiting liability by using proper informed consent procedures.”

Employment Law

ADA
“The Americans with Disabilities Act protects disabled individuals in both employment and access situations in dental offices. Our counsel has experience in litigating in this area as well as advising and working with organizations assisting disabled persons.”
Compensation
“Compensation packages must be drafted and thoroughly reviewed by an attorney in order to achieve the mutual goals of owner dentists, associates, and other employees. Those services are provided by counsel with a graduate degree background in human resources.”
Handbooks
“Employee handbooks are essential to providing the compensation packages, rules and regulations of the workplace, and to protect against employment law violations. Counsel trained in employment law are available to draft those handbooks.”
Hiring
“Hiring employees or associates takes a great deal of legal knowledge to handle discrimination laws having to do with age, gender, disability, national origin and other protected groups. Other laws affect the hiring process as well, and counsel with human recourses graduate degree education attainment can assist you in this process.”
Independent Contractors
“Because the use of independent contractors can always lead to allegations of federal wage law violations, which are strictly enforced, having our counsel review and draft agreements with independent contracts is important to using them legally and effectively.”
Payroll
“The payroll system must comply with Massachusetts and federal laws on wages, insurance benefits, tax payments, and other areas in the payroll process. Our counsel will work with you to achieve compliance by setting up the necessary systems.”
Retirement
“Retirement packages can yield tremendous tax, asset protection, and long term income needs, but are subject numerous laws which change regularly. Our counsel keep up to date with those laws and can help you design retirement packages with professionals in the field which will comply with those laws.”
Sexual Harassment
“Sexual harassment is often used as a way for financial gain as well as to ruin a reputation developed over a career. Our counsel, having litigated this area in the past on numerous occasions, can help you with allegations against you or your employees as well as with implementing policies designed to prevent liability for sexual harassment by you.”
Unemployment
“Dental practices should be knowledgeable of what constitutes severance requiring unemployment benefits, or terminations which can be challenged as not requiring unemployment compensation. Extensive experience at the Department of Unemployment Assistance by our counsel can be invaluable to any issues which come up in this area.”
Classes of Employees
“Certain employees in dental offices have legal responsibilities which Attorney Hatch can analyze and advise them on with advisory opinions and specifically designed manuals”
Legal Duties of a Dental Office Manager
The Responsibilities of a Dental Director
Discrimination
“Discrimination law is a highly specialized area pertaining to protected classes such as race, gender, national origin, disability, age and sexual orientation.  Attorney Hatch has an M.S. in Labor Relations and Human Resources and has focused in this area for over thirty years”
Avoiding Age Discrimination Claims
Mental and Emotional Disabilities in Dental Offices
Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Dental Office
Drug Use
“Issues involving drug use are not easy for dental practices to confront, and practices need assistance from an experienced employment attorney such as Attorney Hatch.”
Drug Use in the Dental Practice
Handbooks
The Importance of Having an Office Policies and Procedures Manual
Social Media
“Social media is now becoming so thoroughly entrenched in society that Attorney Hatch has made it a point to keep up to date on the constantly evolving law in the area, and can assist offices with creating social media policies and solving problems concerning social media use and abuse.”
Social Media in the Dental Office
Sexual Harassment
Sexual Harassment in the Dental Office Workplace
Termination
“How to terminate an employee to prevent further litigation is an art, and Attorney Hatch has provided advisory opinions and legal services to practices needing to know how to terminate employees appropriately”
Termination of Employees in a Dental Practice
The Problem of Defamation in the Dental Office
Will Your Practice be Confronted with a Whistleblower?
Workers’ Compensation
“Workplace injuries can occur in the dental office, where hazardous materials, carpal tunnel syndrome, high speed instruments, and sharp dental tools are found, and  Attorney Hatch has handled employee injury cases that involve workers’ compensation at Division of Industrial Accidents as well as the great variety of state and federal courts and administrative agencies that get involved in this issue”
Workers’ Compensation in the Dental Office
Written Agreements
“An attorney who drafts the documents involved in any situation invariably is allowed the ability to benefit a client and give leverage to their unique needs.  Attorney Hatch is adept at negotiating and drafting and customizing those documents to avoid relying on templates which are too simplistic to be effective.”
Enforceability of Restrictive Covenants in Dentistry
Non-Competition Agreements for Dentists 

Privacy

“HIPAA laws, Red Flags rules on the security of financial and personal information, and comparable Massachusetts laws are a constantly evolving area with the necessity of continuous training and updating knowledge of compliance requirements. Our counsel has extensive experience in research and presentations in this area, as well as professional relationships with companies who can provide products and services or training or reference.”
Are You Compliant With the New HIPAA Regulations Effective March 26, 2013?
New Business Associate Agreements Due by September, 2013
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