Lawyer Monthly - October 2022

I enjoyed reading and writing from an early age, but did not consider practising law until college. I had the opportunity to work at a regional law firm in Huntington, West Virginia while attending Marshall University to study History and Spanish. Law seemed like a natural fit for my interest in researching, developing and supporting arguments and ideas. Attending law school at Duke University, I was drawn towards appellate practice because of its emphasis on research and writing. I liked the process of weaving various cases and statutory interpretations into a cohesive argument in support of my position, and also preparing counterattacks to the best points of the opposing view. I enjoyed interacting with the judges at oral argument and responding to their questions about my position. It gave me a sense of performing that I had been missing from the days when I had time to do vocal and theatre performances. In 2011, my moot court team won the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Competition. That gave me confidence that I could practise appellate law as a career. After law school, I returned home to Michigan to work at a regional defence firm in Metro Detroit. I had the good fortune of practising exclusively in appellate law from the beginning, and many of my cases were medical malpractice cases. After ten years of general civil defence work, I had the opportunity to take a position as head of the appellate department at TNMD, which is largest exclusive medical malpractice defence firm in Michigan. I come from a family of medical providers – my grandfather was chief of the urology department at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, my mother and brother are nurse anesthetists, and my sister is a physician assistant. I have always held medical professionals in high esteem, and being able to defend them gives me great personal satisfaction. I enjoy the complexity of medical malpractice law, both the medicine itself as well as the numerous statutes and lines of case law that specifically focus on medical malpractice. Working at a large medical malpractice defence firm keeps me constantly learning new areas of medicine. Sometimes, this knowledge helps me to be a more informed patient myself. As the appellate lead, I have the opportunity to work with all of the other attorneys in the firm on the difficult strategic issues and legal questions affecting their cases. It is very gratifying to help them win an important motion or to get a certain ruling overturned on appeal. I also appreciate the collegiality of the appellate bench and bar. Appellate lawyers spend their time trying to persuade judges, not fighting with one another over discovery disputes. We rarely see one another or our clients except in court, which makes for a somewhat lonely but very flexible practice. My favourite part of appellate practice might be the fact that there is almost always a winner and a loser once a case goes on appeal, as cases rarely settle. Win or lose, I am proud to defend Michigan’s healthcare providers in court so that they can focus on the tireless and important work they do caring for us all. complaint. The professional can present evidence and call witnesses and retained experts in his or her favour. The administrative law judge will provide a proposed written decision with findings of fact and conclusions of law to the Board, to which either party can file exceptions. The Board’s Disciplinary Subcommittee will then decide whether to accept the decision and impose sanctions if warranted. Sanctions against a license can include suspension, revocation, probation, reprimand or fines. The Board’s decision can be appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals. If the decision becomes final, it is reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank and becomes part of the professional’s permanent licensing record. Discipline can also have serious consequences for the professional’s ability to practise in hospital systems, obtain malpractice insurance, and participate in public and private insurance systems. MY LEGAL LIFE 23 About Karen Beach Contact Karen E Beach, Principal Tanoury, Nauts, McKinney & Dwaihy, PLLC 38777 Six Mile Road, Suite 101, Livonia, MI 48152, USA Tel: +1 313-964-4500 | +1 313-465-8901 Fax: +1 734-469-4298 E: I am proud to defend Michigan’s healthcare providers in court so that they can focus on the tireless and important work they do caring for us all.

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