SOURCE: Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens & Cannada, PLLC

October 05, 2010 09:00 ET

Butler Snow's Tucker Appointed Federal Monitor in Medical Technology Case

MEMPHIS, TN--(Marketwire - October 5, 2010) - Butler Snow attorney, James B. Tucker, will serve as the Federal Monitor to oversee compliance at Wright Medical Technology as part of a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (DPA) reached between Wright Medical and the U.S. Attorney's Office last week. 

"I do not believe a better team could have been assembled anywhere to address the specific issues needed to perform the duties of Monitor in this case," said Tucker, Practice Group Leader of the Investigations Group and member of the Commercial Litigation Group at Butler Snow. "My team includes three former in-house compliance officers, three members with in-house orthopedic medical device experience, and three former government prosecutors -- the perfect mix for this project. The strength and depth of this team certainly enhanced my selection."

The U.S. Attorney's Office adopted more stringent principles regarding the selection and use of Federal Monitors ("The Morford Memorandum"), which now specifically require "The selection process must, at a minimum, be designed to: (1) select a highly qualified and respected person or entity based on suitability for the assignment and all of the circumstances; (2) avoid potential and actual conflicts of interests; and (3) otherwise instill public confidence." The selection criteria also require consideration of both a Monitor's potential benefits to the corporation and to the public, as well as a Monitor's cost and impact on corporate operations.

Tucker currently leads Butler Snow's Investigations Group and previously served as U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of Mississippi. Before becoming U.S. Attorney, he served as the office's Criminal Division Chief from 1985 to 2001. He also spent time at Justice Department headquarters, serving as a trial attorney. While serving as an Assistant U.S. Attorney, he was designated senior litigation counsel in the DOJ's Criminal Division. Tucker has 32 years' experience as a federal attorney, working on both criminal and civil matters. Tucker was twice the recipient of the Director's Award for Superior Performance in Criminal Litigation, served as Special Assistant Counsel to the office of Professional Responsibility at U.S. Department of Justice and is also a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, as well as a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. 

Key team members include:
Machelle D. Shields, Healthcare Policy Advisor for Butler Snow's Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Healthcare Industry Group, has specific experience implementing Corporate Integrity Agreements and effective compliance programs for medical device, pharmaceutical and other companies, including performing internal investigations. 

Denise D. Burke, an attorney with Butler Snow's Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Healthcare Industry Group, has extensive experience interpreting federal healthcare regulations and has assisted clients with implementing Corporate Integrity Agreements and effective compliance programs for medical device, pharmaceutical and other companies, including performing internal investigations. 

Charles F. Johnson III, attorney and Co-Chair of Butler Snow's Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Healthcare Industry Group, has extensive experience performing governmental and internal investigations, has served as interim general counsel to a medical device company, and currently serves as Butler Snow's relationship partner for several global medical device and pharmaceutical companies.

Robert G. (Bob) Anderson, an attorney in Butler Snow's Investigations Group and former Assistant U.S. Attorney, has coordinated and directed over 100 healthcare fraud investigations as a Health Care Prosecutor, and has twice received the Health and Human Services Inspector General's Integrity Award.

Amanda B. Barbour, an attorney in Butler Snow's Investigations Group, and former Assistant District Attorney, assists regularly with investigations for large national companies.

Julie Watson Lampley, an attorney in Butler Snow's Pharmaceutical, Medical Device and Healthcare Industry Group, is an experienced healthcare lawyer who focuses exclusively on compliance and transactional issues for pharmaceutical and medical device clients.

Wright Medical settled criminal and civil investigations with federal prosecutors in New Jersey and will pay $7.9 million as part of a DPA to settle allegations it paid kickbacks to surgeons in exchange for using its products. As part of the DPA, the company will also install new compliance procedures and James Tucker of Butler Snow, as Federal Monitor, will oversee its operations for one year. If the company complies with authorities, prosecutors have agreed to not pursue charges of violating the federal anti-kickback statute. The alleged crimes took place from 2002 through 2007.

Wright Medical Technology also agreed to a $7.9 million settlement with the Justice Department and inspector general of the Health and Human Services Department to resolve fraudulent-marketing claims, and as a result, entered into a five-year corporate integrity agreement. For more information on this case, please visit: http://www.justice.gov/usao/nj/press/2010releases.html.

About Butler Snow
Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens & Cannada, PLLC, is a full-service law firm with more than 160 attorneys representing local, regional and national clients from offices in Ridgeland, Miss., Gulfport, Miss, Memphis, Tenn. and New Orleans, La. The firm counsels its clients in practice areas such as, Business Services Law, Economic Development Projects, Government Relations, Pharmaceutical, Medical Device & Healthcare Industry Litigation and Business Issues, Energy Industry Business Law and Litigation Issues, as well as General Litigation Matters. For more information, visit www.butlersnow.com.