Heather Stutz focuses her practice on risk management, compliance and litigation matters. She advises clients on how to accomplish their strategic goals, while alleviating risk and succeeding in litigation.

    Heather has successfully litigated at the state and federal trial and appellate court levels, as well as in administrative hearings and arbitrations. She also helps clients prepare for and navigate through internal and governmental investigations.

    Heather has extensive experience in matters involving complex business disputes focused on intellectual property rights, healthcare regulatory issues, antitrust litigation, breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, tortious interference and unfair competition. Heather also has experience with creditors’ rights matters. Heather’s clients include large corporations, healthcare providers and payers, financial institutions, accounting firms and governmental entities.

    Heather assists clients on how to properly gain a competitive edge and positions them for success in any future adversarial proceedings. Her unique mix of advocacy skills and regulatory insight make Heather well-suited for her role advising clients as they perform compliance functions, including internal investigations and corrective action, make strategic business decisions and forge new relationships.

    Heather has been consistently selected for inclusion in Ohio Super Lawyers – Rising Stars, a listing of the top up and coming lawyers in the state.

    Heather is a member of the American Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association and the Columbus Bar Association. She also serves as a Director on the nonprofit Hannah Neil Development Board and volunteers her time on legal matters for a nonprofit tutoring academy focused on serving children with learning disabilities.

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    • Advising international retailer of women’s lingerie, intimate apparel, and health and beauty products regarding numerous regulatory and compliance issues, as well as the preparation and implementation of a comprehensive global document retention policy.
    • Obtaining dismissal of federal and state false advertising and deceptive trade practices claims alleging damages in excess of US$15 million plus punitive damages and attorneys’ fees against our client, an international retailer of women’s lingerie, intimate apparel, and health and beauty products and accessories, and its various affiliates.
    • Successfully representing plaintiffs, a mass retailer of value-priced stationery and related products, and its parent, by obtaining one of the largest verdicts in Franklin County Common Pleas Court after a five-week breach of contract and misappropriation of trade secrets jury trial.
    • Successfully protecting the intellectual property of an international retailer of women’s lingerie, intimate apparel, and health and beauty products, and its various affiliates, through numerous trademark, trade dress and trade name infringement, false designation of origin, deceptive trade practices and unfair competition claims.
    • Successfully representing an international hauling and disposal service business in claims involving trademark infringement, false designation of origin and unfair competition.
    • Advising healthcare systems, including large, vertically integrated Ohio nonprofit system, on provider, payer and physician transactions, regulatory and compliance matters, internal and governmental investigations, and litigation.
    • Representing the Ohio Hospital Association in matters before the Ohio Supreme Court.
    • Advising payers and providers on the risks and rewards of clinically integrated networks, accountable care organizations and other care coordination programs.
    • Advising payers and providers on progressive care coordination and quality incentive transactions, including commercial and governmental bundled payment plans and shared savings programs.
    • Advising on operational integration aimed at population health management, including drafting and review of transactional documents, shared employee leases, firewalls, and policies and procedures.
    • Advising health systems concerning the creation of Centers of Excellence, including drafting/review of contracts and analysis of permissible relationships and incentives.
    • Advising health systems on issues related to employed physicians, including physician contract analysis, adherence to medical staff bylaws, billing and coding investigations, training and compliance.
    • Defending and advising clients on Stark Law and Anti-kickback Statute challenges to physician relationships.
    • Advising payer on corporate restructuring in response to the Affordable Care Act.
    • Advising payer on State Department of Insurance and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services regulatory issues, including issues related to transactions resulting in changes of control.
    • Advising 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entities regarding Internal Revenue Service rules, reporting obligations and community benefit analyses.
    • Conducted large-scale compliance investigation into coding and billing practices for major health system, and developed and implemented corrective action measures, including ongoing compliance monitoring plan.
    • Successfully defended, at the Ohio administrative and appellate levels, competitor’s challenge to Certificate of Need granted to owner of a system of skilled nursing facilities.
    • Conducted business-wide compliance investigation to ensure compliance with federal and state regulatory requirements related to insurance reporting and licensing, as well as broker incentive program processes.
    • Obtaining a defense verdict for a large, vertically integrated nonprofit healthcare system after a 10-week jury trial involving antitrust, unfair competition, tortious interference, fraud and abuse, and deceptive trade practices claims with alleged treble damages of US$330 million.
    • Obtaining a summary judgment, affirmed on appeal, against a constitutional challenge to rules promulgated by a public library.
    • Successfully enforcing the rights of disabled children and the schools they attend to receive Medicaid reimbursement.
    • Successfully representing a large accounting firm against accounting malpractice claim involving alleged damages of tens of millions of US dollars.
    • Successfully representing lenders in multiple workouts and creditors’ rights litigations.

    Education

    • Ohio Northern University, J.D., summa cum laude, valedictorian, member, Ohio Northern University Law Review, 2004
    • Ohio Northern University, B.A., summa cum laude, valedictorian, 2001

    Admissions

    • Ohio, 2004

    Courts

    • U.S. Ct. of App., Sixth Circuit
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of Ohio

    Memberships and Affiliations

    • Member of the American Bar Association
    • Member of the Ohio State Bar Association
    • Member of the Columbus Bar Association
    • Director on the nonprofit Hannah Neil Development Board

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