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FIRMS FOR FUTURE BANKRUPTS GOT MAJOR BOOST To the editor: While we appreciate your thoughtful reporting regarding the bankruptcy case involving Doctors Community Healthcare Corp. (the company that owned Greater Southeast Memorial Hospital), we think your most recent coverage in the Nov. 14 “Inadmissible” column missed the significance of the recent court decision dismissing part of the complaint ( “Still in Play,” Page 4). Rather than a “mixed bag,” we believe that U.S. Bankruptcy Judge S. Martin Teel Jr.’s dismissal of the deepening insolvency claims against the law firms (as well as other defendants) is, for a number of reasons, of great significance for law firms and others advising companies that later enter bankruptcy, including the fact that it materially reduces potential damages. As for the remaining claims against the law firms, these fall into the context of a story you have covered for a long time — law firms as “deep pockets.” Indeed, in his decision, which rejected outright one proffered basis for malpractice liability, Judge Teel expressed considerable concern as to the other: “The most troubling aspect of the allegations is that they refer repeatedly to �the Debtors’ collectively, without establishing (1) that harms suffered by one debtor harmed the others or (2) that opinion letters prepared by the Law Firm Defendants were written after the law firms were retained by the specific debtor harmed by those opinions. Because the Complaint is so unclear on this point, the court would view favorably a motion from the Law Firm Defendants for a more definitive statement under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(e).” The court’s invitation to the law firms to compel the plaintiff to move beyond vague and undefined assertions, and to actually identify the acts of malpractice the firms allegedly committed, is a highly unusual and important judicial commentary on the inadequacy of the plaintiff’s malpractice claim. Yet the isolated sentence quoted in the “Inadmissible” article, which related to a subsequent and ancillary issue raised by one of the defendants, created, in our view, a misimpression as to Judge Teel’s overall assessment on the merits of the malpractice claim. In light of the totality of Judge Teel’s ruling, we are confident that the legal work of Epstein Becker & Green in this matter will withstand any scrutiny it receives. Douglas A. Hastings Chair, Health Care and Life Sciences Practice Epstein Becker & Green Washington, D.C.

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