Academy of Chiropractic’s Doctors PI Program

Lawyers & Medical Office Office Systems & Getting Paid #31

From the Desk of :
Mark Studin DC, FASBE (C), DAAPM, DAAMLP

“Getting Paid from an Abusive and Inflammatory Lawyer”

After a few email exchanges where the doctor requested the copies of the bills to decide on a settlement reduction, this was the response from the lawyer with no copies of checks or calculations on settlement. I left many of Dr. Silverman’s comments (from Santa Fe, NM) comments out as they are interlaced with multiple parties and unless you understand the full context of the case, it gets confusing. However, the lawyer’s comments are clear. The lawyer wrote this in its’ original font using only her first name: 



Robin


I am not threatening. 


I am advising you. I am responding to what you took credit for and what a patient disputed. 


I am trying to close a file. 


You are trying to drag it. 


You have my offer. Let me know. 


I hope you care enough for your patient and clients to do the right thing. 


I am sorry but that is what the client advised and told us. That is what the evidence showed in this case. 


It is not my attention to attack you. 


This is the first time a chiropractor has acted the way as you are.


I have heard you sue clients all time. Clearly, you know the business of "threatening" better than I. 


I am representing a client. 


I hope you accept the money and we can help this people and close the file. 


Take care, ​


Dr. Silverman’s replied: 



I would like the to receive (as requested repeatedly) the complete breakdown of distribution for Jane Patient alone based on the other provider’s agreement and the attorney fees. 

Just know the treatment for Ms. patient's injuries were for spinal injuries and the foot injury.  I provided chiropractic and physical therapy modalities on the two separate injuries, which is all included in the bill.  As a result of the care we provided we were able to keep her out of surgery, therefore keeping the bill much lower than it could have been.

The lawyer then replied: 



Robin, 



I have given you all the numbers. Clearly, her net depends on your reduction. I can provide you an estimate but you can do the math. They are getting very little. We have to cut the fees to pay everyone. Since you have not given me the final, are you asking for a disbursement based on the $4500 request? 



She is still suffering. 

She needs surgery so technically you hurt her.  You should let people go to the doctor​ and not tell them that a chiropractor will fix them. She is limping so based on what your work did to her, we can ask we pay nothing as not only she got no help, but she was hurt by trusting you. 

She is told she needs surgery. She now cannot work the full hours because she did not have the surgery and cannot do the work.  



I am trying to get you paid. I hope you don't fight me as a court will be way less generous. 



Thanks, 

NOTE: The lawyer’s above response makes no sense and is written in very poor grammar, which gives you an inkling of the type of lawyer we are dealing with. Grammar mattes with everyone!!!!



Dr. Silverman then concluded the following today: 


Dear Ms. Lawyer,



I appreciate the timely responses to our ongoing saga of who gets paid how much. However, you appear to miss the point. I am a team player and will be happy to reduce my fee the same percentage as all else in the team, yourself included. This is inclusive of your disbursements, as I too have significant disbursements. To underscore my point, I will happily reduce Rick Patient’s fee by 20% as a good faith (a different patient) gesture to verify that I am amenable, in a professional posture to work with the legal community. 



However, I have respectfully requested on a repeated basis the breakdown of distribution regarding Ms. Patient's settlement. You have refused to provide that to me.  You also have not provided the amount you will reduce your bill and it is the policy of this office to reduce the fees based on the amount the attorney reduces their fees as fair and equitable.



In addition, I question whether it is allowable for an officer of the court in the State of Texas to make threats for personal gain with unfounded allegations by suggesting that I “hurt my patient” to leverage me to be “afraid of you” and settle so that you may realize more money.” That inflammatory comment perhaps also has additional legal ramification. Please note that this is my final communication with you as the next one will through an Ethics Complaint to the Texas State Bar regarding your conduct for them to decide the fate of your license. In addition, I will be considering hiring legal counsel to consider action against both your comments and my outstanding fees.  



You have provided me nothing other than threats and unfounded accusations and this is no way for professionals to communicate. 



Please note that it is not my intent to injure your license or engage in litigation, therefore I hope we can resolve this matter amicably as professionals working to serve the same patient/client. I await your response. 



Respectfully, 







Robin Silverman DC



I will keep you updated on the payment status as it unfolds. But this type of response has been successful in getting a lawyer to pay in over 90% of the cases because they were caught by our doctors abusing their office.