January 16, 2014

Steven D. Brownlee, MBA, MD, Esq. Joins Chapman Law Group

Dr. Brownlee joins Chapman Law Group's health law practice as a physician-attorney. His experience in medicine, medical management consulting, and the practice of law makes him a valuable asset to the firm's health law practice and clients.


Dr. Steven D. Brownlee’s professional career spans ten years in a variety of fields including the practice of medicine in Pittsburgh, PA, medical management consulting, and the practice of law with a concentration in healthcare. Steven’s prior experience and training as a physician and medical management consultant makes him ideally suited as a healthcare attorney.

Steven’s education and work experience makes him ideally suited to assist all healthcare professionals in the areas of professional licensing, Medicare/Medicaid issues, DEA issues, medical management, medical malpractice, physician contracts, and virtually all issues facing the modern healthcare professional. Steven’s knowledge of medical diagnosis and treatment combined with his legal expertise make him a formidable advocate for his clients.

Throughout Steven’s career he worked with healthcare professionals and is continually impressed with the commitment, dedication and sacrifices that healthcare professionals make on a daily basis. Steven puts forth the same commitment, dedication and sacrifice into the practice of law defending the rights of healthcare professionals. Steven’s primary practice is in the areas of professional licensing, physicians’ contracts, medical malpractice defense, and all issues relating to healthcare.

For more information about Steven D. Brownlee, MBA, MD, Esq., visit www.chapmanlawgroup.com

December 20, 2013

Flowchart of the Florida Administrative Complaint Process


The investigation letter is the beginning of the professional licensing discipline process. Someone filed a complaint alleging you violated one or more of the rules associated with your profession. Generally speaking someone accused you of unprofessional conduct and the disciplinary committee wants to know your side of the story. The investigation process must be taken seriously. Before responding to the investigator and/or complaint, please retain legal counsel to guide you through the process.

 Full size flowchart of the Florida Administrative Complaint Process


Flowchart of the HPRP Process


HPRP can help protect your license, but there are also other options that can help protect your license. The untold truth is that HPRP is a long, intrusive and expensive program. Many find it very difficult to maintain the requirements to prevent reporting and licensing action with the board. Please contact a professional licensing attorney to help you evaluate whether HPRP is a good option.




November 23, 2013

Arrested for a DUI / DWI? What do I do next?


If you’re a health care professional you’ve heard the horror stories and now you are facing a critical decision. You know the next decision you make will have a huge impact on your professional career. Being arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while impaired (DWI) is a serious offense. For most of the working population a DUI/DWI charge is embarrassing and costly. For a healthcare professional it could also cost you your career.

Chapman Law Group is dedicated to advocating for physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses (RN, LPN, CNA, CRNA), psychologists, and a host of other licensed health care workers when confronted with the difficult decisions related to DUI/DWI offenses. The outcome in large part depends on three critical factors: 1) do you have an alcohol or drug addiction, 2) is this your first offense, 3) are you able to prove to the relevant Board: a) that this was an isolated situation, b) that you are safe to practice, c) that you would not benefit from a period of monitoring and d) that you do not need active supervision.

Chapman Law Group is prepared to work through these critical steps with you and, if possible, prove to the relevant Board that you are capable of continuing without an intervention.

First, do not under any circumstances contact the relevant interventional program. In Michigan do not call HPRP. In Florida do not call IPN or PRN. Contrary to the mission statement of the relevant state program they are not there to help you and guide you. Their job is to protect the public! Of course this is a very subjective mission and open to aggressive interpretation. Uninformed co-workers or supervisors may encourage you to call HPRP or PRN/ IPN. Resist the temptation! Your first call after being released from custody should be to a professional licensing attorney, followed by a good criminal attorney who knows your local court system. If we cannot handle the criminal aspect, we will work with your local criminal attorney to make sure statements are not made in court or in pleadings that harm your career. Please do not try to handle the licensing aspect by yourself or with someone who only handles a few cases. You need a professional licensing attorney who knows what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.

Second, we will work with you, through a variety of processes, to determine if you have an addiction problem that could benefit from treatment. Remember, HPRP or IPN/PRN is not the only program in town. We will work with you to locate a PhD or MD/DO specializing in substance dependency/addiction. The selected professional will conduct a detailed assessment including 1 or 2 clinical sessions and the administration of the MMPI 2-RF and often the SASE inventory. This process is superior to the HPRP or IPN/PRN intake/evaluation process and provides a strong background for the necessary recommendations: a) that this was an isolated situation, b) that you are safe to practice, c) that you would not benefit from a period of monitoring, and d) that you do not need active supervision.

Third, we will work with you to report the conviction and prepare the necessary pleadings to argue your case before the relevant Board or Administrative Law Judge. In all cases the Board’s concern is that you are safe to practice and that you are not impaired. Therefore, if step two reveals that you are impaired, we will work with you to obtain the best resolution possible. Often this includes working with HPRP or IPN/ PRN to obtain the right monitoring agreement. The decision to call HPRP or IPN/PRN should not be made without proper legal advice.

Remember, having a DUI/DWI is not the end of the world if handled properly. You will get through the process if you take the necessary steps to make sure you retain the services of a professional licensing attorney. If you do have a dependency or impairment problem, the interventional programs are there to help; if you do not have a dependency/impairment problem the interventional programs are a nightmare and need to be avoided at all costs.

Chapman Law Group attorneys are licensed in Michigan and Florida and are ready, willing and able to assist you in all your professional licensing needs.

If you are faced with a DUI / DWI charge, please contact our professional licensing attorneys at Chapman Law Group. For over 20 years, we have been defending health professionals and would be honored to assist you.

STOP: HPRP Is Not For Everyone


The Health Professionals Recovery Program (HPRP) is a rigorous monitoring program designed to assist health professionals who struggle with substance abuse, chemical dependency, or mental illness. However, HPRP is not right for everyone and you should consult an attorney that specializes in dealing with professional licensing to determine if an HPRP monitoring agreement is right for you. A multi-year monitoring agreement with HPRP can be very expensive and time consuming and could still result in action taken against your license.

HPRP was enacted by the Michigan Legislature in 1994 and is run by a private sector contractor; Ulliance Health, Inc. Physicians, nurses and other health professionals enter into the HPRP by way of a monitoring agreement which is a contract that specifies terms of treatment that the individual must abide by. Health professionals can be referred to HPRP two different ways “non-regulatory” referral and “regulatory” referral.

The first way is “non-regulatory” referral; this includes individuals who self-report to HPRP and those who are offered a “non-regulatory” status as part of an agreement with HPRP. It is called non-regulatory because the names of individuals participating in the HPRP may not be given to the public or to the State as long as the individual meets the program requirements. However, if the Health Professional fails to abide by even one aspect of the contract over the term of the contract, often as long as three years, the Health Professional will be reported to the state as “non-compliant”. While HPRP claims that “non-regulatory” referrals are confidential and voluntary, you should know that failure to sign a contract could result in a report to the Department of Community Health, Bureau of Health Professions. Once you sign a monitoring agreement, any breach of that agreement will be reported to the Department of Community Health, Bureau of Health Professions and your license could be in jeopardy.

Physicians, nurses and other health professionals may receive a “regulatory” referral as a result of a regulatory action taken on an individual’s license by their profession’s board or disciplinary subcommittee. “Regulatory” referrals are not confidential and your participation may be reported to your place of employment, a court, or in accordance with the Freedom of Information Act.

Prior to being offered a monitoring agreement, HPRP will send an individual to an evaluator to determine if the Health Professional suffers from impairment due to substance abuse or mental illness. Under Section 333.16168 of the State of Michigan Public Health Code, if you choose not to follow through with evaluation, treatment, the recommendations of the HPRP or any authorized provider, or refuse to sign a monitoring agreement, the HPRP is required to send your name to the Department of Community Health, Bureau of Health Professions and your information will no longer be confidential – even if you self-reported.

Furthermore, if you are evaluated and the evaluator believes you are unsafe to practice, a summary suspension order could be placed on your license if you do not agree to enter a monitoring agreement. This means that you will not be able to practice until the order is lifted, if at all. You should consult an attorney who specializes in professional licensing prior to agreeing to an HPRP evaluation or monitoring agreement.

HPRP monitoring agreements can be negotiated with the assistance of an attorney, but often contain standard clauses that require frequent drug tests, breathalyzers, work-site monitoring, restrictions on ability to practice, limitation on hours worked, individual and group counseling, vacation approval process, requiring approval for legally prescribed medications, and regular reports to HPRP.

If you sign a monitoring agreement or are subject to “non-regulatory” referral you will be referred to an HPRP provider for a complete evaluation. Generally, the evaluator will require that you sign a release of information so that any information that you give the HPRP evaluator can be shared with HPRP. After an evaluation, the evaluator may find that you are high-risk and unsafe to practice and recommend that you do not return to work until you are safe to practice. While this is a recommendation, if you fail to comply with this recommendation you will be reported to the Department of Community Health, Bureau of Health Professions and you will likely face summary suspension of your license.


The costs of maintaining a compliant status in the HPRP are very high and the Health Professional is responsible for the costs of drug tests, therapy sessions, group counseling sessions, collection fees, and visits with addictionists and other physicians. Participants report that they spend up to $30,000 of their own money through the course of a three-year monitoring agreement . If you are in the program and you cannot afford it, your name will be reported to the Bureau of Health Professions as “non-compliant”.

If you are being investigated by the State of Michigan or are being evaluated by the HPRP you should consult with an attorney who is familiar with HPRP and professional licensing. Remember, it is your choice whether to enter the HPRP or not and an attorney can ensure that your rights are protected while still making sure you get the help you need.

If you are considering HPRP, please contact our professional licensing attorneys at Chapman Law Group. For over 20 years, we have been defending health professionals and would be honored to assist you.

July 10, 2013

Chapman Law Group Welcomes Ronald W. Chapman, II Esq.

While Ronald W. Chapman, II is our newest attorney to the firm, we will not be calling him "junior". Ron joins us after a career as a Judge Advocate for the United States Marine Corps


While Ronald W. Chapman, II is our newest attorney to the firm, we will not be calling him "junior". Ron joins us after a career as a Judge Advocate for the United States Marine Corps. His assignments included a deployment to Afghanistan during Operation Enduring Freedom where he served as the legal advisor to a Marine unit during combat operations. His duties included: advising commanders on operational law including use of force; fiscal and contract law; administrative law; and construction and operation of a detention facility used to house insurgents.

Ron returned from Afghanistan and was selected to serve as the senior operational law advisor to an organization of over 30,000 members. As senior operational law advisor his duties focused on administrative investigations, use of force, national security law, and intelligence law. His experience in the areas of administrative law, administrative investigations, and criminal law make him a valuable asset to our team. Ron will focus his work in the area of correctional law, medical malpractice, health law and professional licensing, continuing our efforts to build a strong team dedicated to helping the health care providers.

If you require assistance with a professional licensing, correctional law or health law matter, please contact Chapman Law Group at (866) 238-0203. For more information about the firm, please visit www.chapmanlawgroup.com

April 10, 2013

Chapman Law Group Welcomes Nurse Attorney Marian Wangler Ratton, RN, Esq.

Marian Wangler Ratton, RN, Esq. joins Chapman Law Group after a long career as a practicing nurse and attorney. With over 25 years experience as a registered nurse and attorney, Marian brings a wealth of experience to the firm's healthcare practice.


Nurse attorney Marian Wangler Ratton, R.N., Esq. is a practicing attorney and registered nurse who has dedicated her career to the defense of healthcare professionals as well as practicing family law and estate planning. What makes Marian unique is that she has continuously practiced both nursing and law for over 25 years, sharing her time equally between both careers. Her combined knowledge and experience in law and nursing makes her ideally suited to represent, advise and educate nurses and health care professionals with legal issues relating to nursing, healthcare law and professional licensing.

Since 1983 Marian has been a registered nurse working at several Metro Detroit Hospitals. She is an experienced ICU and cardiovascular nurse as well as an educator and preceptor. Marian has taught classes in Medical-Legal Ethics in Healthcare at local colleges and has been a speaker at women's seminars on the topics of family law and estate planning. In 1988 she earned her Juris Doctor and worked at several firms practicing medical malpractice before starting her own firm in 1992 with her husband. During such time, Marian worked as a legal nurse consultant and focused her practice on family law, estate planning and probate.

With over 30 years experience as a registered nurse, Marian brings a wealth of experience to the firm's healthcare practice and is a valuable asset to our nursing and healthcare clients who require legal representation and advice for health law matters, specifically nurse licensure and nursing medical malpractice.

If you require assistance with a nursing licensing, nursing malpractice or health law matter, please contact Chapman Law Group at (866) 238-0203. For more information about the firm, please visit www.chapmanlawgroup.com