A group of medical malpractice lawyers from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP are heading to the ever-growing Hodes, Pessin & Katz P.A. in the coming weeks, according to the Maryland Daily Record this morning. At least three lawyers are leaving: Natalie C. Magdeburger and Catherine W. Steiner and of counsel Mairi Pat Maguire. Presumably, their malpractice associates will come with them because that is the last of Whiteford’s medical malpractice group. One huge client, Johns Hopkins, has already announced it will follow and move its malpractice work to Hodes. GBMC did not comment, but you can bet they are following them as well.
The Daily Record laid out the history of the attrition of that one large medical malpractice section:
Over the last two years, Whiteford has lost several other litigation partners. Ward B. Coe III, M. Natalie McSherry, Dana Petersen Moore, and Stephen B. Caplis have moved, respectively, to Gallagher, Evelius & Jones LLP, Kramon & Graham P.A., Venable LLP, and Setliff & Holland P.C.
The firm has also lost litigation partners James R. Chason, James F. Rosner, Francis X. Leary, and Raymond L. Marshall, who formed a boutique civil defense firm bearing their names.
In another recent departure for Whiteford, business and health care lawyer William M. Davidow Jr. moved to Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander LLC last month.
If this were 2006, I might think Whiteford would not mind seeing these medical malpractice lawyers leave because the billing rates for a lot of their business-related clients are so much higher. But now, the malpractice stepchild with their relatively low rates but steady work with clients that pay their bills like clockwork does not look so bad.
Whiteford laid off an undisclosed number of full-time administrative employees earlier this year, so obviously, they are feeling some pain. But Whiteford is a good law firm, I bet they will adjust and be ready to thrive when the market turns around.