Patrick T. Stanley
Patrick (“Pat”) Stanley heads the practice management and healthcare transactions practice of Comitz | Stanley.
While most of our firm’s clients are professionals who are transitioning out of practice due to disability, Pat also works with physicians and dentists who are setting up their practices, or adding a new associate or practice partner. And because we know that the chances of a professional becoming disabled—particularly dentists—are quite high, we take this into account when setting up a practice, so that if you do end up in the unfortunate position of having to file a disability claim, there is already a protocol outlined for what happens to your practice/practice interest.
In addition to creating associate agreements, partnership agreements, and other employment agreements, Pat also reviews existing contracts and advises physicians and dentists regarding restrictive covenants and non-compete clauses. When they find out that they have a potentially disabling condition and need to file a claim for benefits, most physicians and dentists’ first instinct is to seek out other employment opportunities. And since many professionals lack training or relevant job experience outside of their own profession, the first place they look is often to other opportunities within their own field.
This can be problematic, if you have a non-compete that restricts your options and/or limits your ability to take staff with you to a new job. Additionally, transitioning to other jobs prior to filing a claim can modify your occupation under your own-occupation/specialty-specific disability policy and can make it much harder (or impossible) to collect disability benefits. Some disability policies also contain provisions that terminate your benefits if you start working in any capacity, and others offset your disability benefits based upon the income you receive from other sources.
So what may seem like a straightforward decision is actually more complicated than you might think. For that reason, when evaluating non-competes and advising doctors regarding their options, Pat coordinates with disability attorneys Ed Comitz and Derek Funk to take all of these considerations into account, so that you are aware of existing limitations and can make a fully informed decision.
Education and Bar Admissions
Pat received his B.A. in History from the University of Kansas and earned his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Arizona. He is admitted to practice before all state courts in Arizona and Florida.
Pat is also admitted to practice in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona and the Southern and Northern Districts of Florida, as well as the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Additionally, Pat has been admitted pro hac vice in courts in New Mexico, California and Alaska.
Pat is a trial lawyer with a substantial background in state and federal courts, as well as arbitration proceedings. He is experienced in litigating first-party insurance bad faith, including disability insurance and professional liability coverage, as well as healthcare litigation, and is recognized as a leader in defending clients against their insurers in the most complex disability claims/cases.
In addition to his litigation background, Pat assists physicians, dentists and other professionals with the practice management needs that often arise when filing a disability insurance claim, including practice sales. He provides counsel regarding the timing of the practice sale, the terms of the buy/sell agreement, lease terminations, and how to structure employment or consultation agreements in order to get the best price for the practice and still maintain a legitimate disability claim.
Pat also offers consultation and representation in regulatory compliance matters, personnel and human resource issues, disciplinary actions, independent contractor and managed care agreements, licensure issues, and collections.
Pat has received an AV Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest possible rating in both ability and ethical standards, as determined through a rigorous peer review process. He has also achieved a ranking of “Superb” on the Avvo legal directory, which is based on input from colleagues and past clients.
In addition, Arizona Business Magazine has recognized Pat as one of the “Best of Arizona” in the areas of Healthcare, Benefits, and Insurance Law. Pat was also named one of the Top 40 Under 40 litigation attorneys in Arizona by the American Society of Legal Advocates.
Pat lives in Phoenix, Arizona. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, camping, playing tennis and spending time with his wife and three children.