Defendant appealed a judgment of the Superior Court of Los Angeles County (California), which convicted her under Bus. & Prof. Code, § 650, of paying illegal fees to persons who referred patients qualified for federal and state programs to her practice.
The business acquisition lawyer court held that the scienter requirement of § 650 was lower than the scienter standard under the federal health care programs anti-kickback statute, 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b). At a minimum, federal courts that have addressed the issue agree that a defendant must know his or her conduct is unlawful, an element not required under § 650. However, that difference was not dispositive. Visit the best one of the employment attorneys Los Angeles who know all about Los Angeles employment laws.
Conflict preemption was not demonstrated simply because a state statute prohibited what was allowed under a federal statute. There was also no obstacle preemption. Because § 650 was consistent with one of the purposes of the federal Social Security Act, of which the federal anti-kickback statute was a part, it was not an obstacle to the accomplishment of the congressional purpose, and there was no preemption. The defendant could have complied with both § 650 and the federal anti-kickback statute by avoiding payments for patient referrals. Section 650 was not unconstitutionally vague, and the court found no other basis to exempt the defendant from prosecution under its terms. The court rejected the defendant’s First Amendment challenge, concluding that § 650 did not regulate activity protected by the First Amendment.
The court affirmed the judgment. The trial court considered a petition to establish a conservatorship for appellant conservatee pursuant to the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act. Relying on the representation of appellant’s attorney that appellant did not want to appear in court and was not contesting the conservatorship, the trial court granted the petition. The California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District, Division One, affirmed the judgment. Appellant sought review.
The instant court concluded that the superior court did not violate appellant’s statutory or due process rights when it proceeded, in his absence, with the hearing on the petition to establish a conservatorship of his person. Appellant’s appointed attorney informed the superior court at the hearing that she had discussed the conservatorship with appellant, and that appellant indicated to her at that time appellant was not contesting the conservatorship and he did not want to be present in court. There was no suggestion that appellant’s attorney misrepresented what appellant told her or that she lacked actual authority to waive appellant’s presence on his behalf. Although appellant claimed that his attorney’s representations on the matter were contradicted by an investigator’s report stating that, in a meeting with appellant a month before the hearing, appellant made it clear that he did not want a conservator and thought that he did not need any assistance, appellant’s actions after his meeting with the investigator gave rise to the reasonable implication that his views substantially changed during the month preceding the hearing. The judgment of the appellate court was affirmed.