Jeffrey P. Rust is a healthcare and corporate attorney, guiding the firm’s clients through transactional and regulatory matters while creating an atmosphere of collaboration and trust. Jeff advises hospitals, health systems and multi- and single-specialty medical practices in joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, financings, governance issues, employment matters, shareholder and partnership agreements, contract drafting and negotiations, dispute settlements, and the formation and operation of for-profit and not-for-profit entities. Jeff’s experience extends to providing counsel regarding compliance with federal and state fraud and abuse laws, reimbursement issues, self-referral and Stark implications of hospital-physician relationships, and a variety of complex legal, business and transactional matters.
What type of challenges do you help clients overcome?
The biggest challenge is to overcome the initial distrust that may exist between two or more parties, and this distrust may carry over to counsel for the parties. But I find that developing trust and then guiding clients to see the big picture is the best approach. In those instances where the parties are truly at odds, I often impress upon my clients that coming to an agreed-upon resolution may be better and less costly than pursing litigation and leaving the decision to a judge. I have a strong ability to communicate with clients in a practical way that allows them to make decisions based on sound reason rather than emotion. Helping clients understand the regulatory framework by which they are governed, especially in the healthcare area, is another real challenge. The regulations are complex and counterintuitive. Our healthcare clients often need to be reminded of the framework and the ground rules to avoid much bigger issues down the road.
“Success is when a client not only calls on me again, but more importantly, when that client makes a referral. By making a referral, the client is showing that he or she views me as a trusted adviser who has demonstrated excellent legal skills and sound judgment.”
How do you build a successful legal practice?
While some client relationships evolve from networking and community involvement, most have been referrals from existing clients and from other attorneys. I strive to build a relationship and a level of trust with my clients and within the legal community. Hiring an attorney can be scary, and it is much easier if the person in need of legal advice receives a referral from a colleague who says that this attorney is someone that you can trust implicitly.
What makes Farrell Fritz different from other law firms?
In many ways, it’s the mindset at the firm. This is not a “win at any cost” culture, but rather, it’s one focused on “getting the best result without losing integrity.” We are a firm where clients and adversaries know they are going to get a straight answer. We are honest and forthright; we don’t leave counsel on the other side questioning our intent. It’s these trusted relationships that help us obtain excellent results for the client without having to run up exorbitant legal fees.
What are some ways you give back to the community?
I spend a great deal of time volunteering with The Arthritis Foundation. I am currently serving as Board Chair for The Arthritis Foundation’s Long Island Chapter, and I am also a member of the Foundation’s Northeast Regional Board and its budget and finance committee. Farrell Fritz is very supportive of my efforts in serving our community on a volunteer basis. I am also active on a fundraising committee in support of Winthrop-University Hospital. Moreover, I devote 40 to 60 hours every year providing pro bono legal assistance. Farrell Fritz encourages all of our attorneys to give back to the community by providing legal services on a pro bono basis.