Kirshner and Gosnell Secure Positive Outcome for Physician Charged in Opioid Indictment

In a closely watched case that drew national attention, Clayman & Rosenberg partners Isabelle Kirshner and Wayne Gosnell secured a favorable sentence for a client charged with illegally distributing oxycodone, a painkiller at the center of the nation’s opioid crisis.

The client, a prominent endocrinologist, originally faced up to 20 years in prison. He was sentenced to serve just 18 months in prison, significantly below the Sentencing Guidelines which called for a prison term in the range of 3 1/2 years.

As part of sentencing, Kirshner successfully argued that the client was not involved in a pill mill as originally claimed by the government. Instead, she showed that the physician wrote a dozen illegal prescriptions to one man — a practiced con artist — who manipulated the client and even stole the physician’s prescription pads. That con man ultimately worked as a government cooperator who lied in an attempt to obtain a reduced sentence for himself.

During the sentencing hearing, the Judge acknowledged the client’s lack of criminal history and his otherwise exemplary career, noting that he has no need to be deterred from future lawbreaking.

Read more about the outcome of the case in Law360.