Kevin W. Yankowsky

Partner
Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

Houston
United States
T:+1 713 651 5198
Houston
United States
T:+1 713 651 5198
Kevin W. Yankowsky

Kevin W. Yankowsky

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Biography

When it comes to litigation credentials, nothing matters more than real, first chair jury trial experience.  Unlike many self-described "litigators", Kevin W. Yankowsky has that experience, and brings a level of expertise to all disputes matters grounded on years of practice as lead counsel in the courtroom.  For 14 years Kevin has been a Disputes Partner in Norton Rose Fulbright's Houston Office.   Kevin has served as lead counsel in over 33 jury trials and 12 appeals, in both State and Federal Court, the majority of which involved claimed damages in excess of $1 million.  In recognition of his extensive jury trial experience and accomplishments, in 2010 Kevin was admitted as an Associate of the American Board of Trial Advocates, an honor open only to lawyers who have tried a minimum of 20 civil trials to a jury verdict as lead counsel.  

The defense of any significant litigation, regardless of industry, and regardless of whether based in contract or tort, benefits from the involvement of litigation counsel with actual and significant courtroom experience. Kevin provides those benefits to major Firm clients across many industry areas and in a wide variety of litigation contexts. Although he has devoted a significant part of his career to representations in the healthcare field, Kevin's real trial experience and expertise extend far beyond that industry and its litigation. As examples, since 2016 Kevin has served as

Lead trial counsel for a national oil and gas services company defending litigation following a facility fire resulting in catastrophic injuries;

Co-lead trial counsel for a major national chemical production company defending complex multiparty litigation following a plant explosion, and

Lead trial counsel in the largest property tax valuation lawsuit in Harris County history.

Kevin's major clients include not only institutional healthcare providers, but also major national companies in the oil and gas and petrochemical industries. His first chair commercial trial experience includes defending firm clients in matters ranging from DTPA claims, breach of contract and commercial fraud actions, defamation suits and the enforcement of non-competition agreements. Kevin's first chair tort trial experience includes the defense of professional liability claims, products liability matters and premises liability suits. 

Kevin is also a member of Norton Rose Fulbright's Electronic Discovery and Information Governance group, and advises Firm Clients on a variety of electronic data and document retention issues. In addition to his extensive courtroom experience, Kevin routinely provides industry specific guidance and expertise to Firm healthcare clients on a wide range of important and often challenging issues unique to the field; including: 

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule Issues
  • HIPAA Security Rule Issues
  • HITECH Breaches
  • EMTALA Issues
  • Joint Commission Investigations
  • Hospital Committee and Medical Peer Review Matters.

Kevin's established reputation as both an accomplished trial lawyer and risk management consultant has made him a frequently featured speaker at national conferences and professional symposiums across the country. By providing a better understanding of the legal and litigation risks arising from topics as diverse as electronic data management, recordkeeping, policy drafting, staffing, training and communication, Kevin helps his clients minimize the dangers, uncertainties, expense and frequency of twenty-first century litigation.  Building on lessons learned from more than two decades of trying lawsuits for health care providers, Kevin also recently published his first book-Preventative Legal Care; A Practitioner's Guide to Medical-Legal Fitness. In it he shares insight into ways clinical practitioners and health care executives can minimize medical legal risks separate and apart from quality care initiatives. 


Professional experience

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JD, The University of Texas School of Law, 1994
BA, magna cum laude, Political Science, Rice University (Phi Beta Kappa), 1991

Kevin is admitted to practice in the State of Texas, the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.  

  • New Mexico State Bar
  • Texas State Bar
  • Lead Counsel in more than 33 jury trials and 12 appeals.
  • Lead Counsel recovering all demanded compensation by a health care network in a breach of contract and commercial fraud lawsuit against its system-wide elevator maintenance provider, without the necessity of trial.
  • Lead Counsel obtaining a defense recovery in a Federal jury trial over alleged breach of contract, fraud and DTPA violations associated with the sale of a major cardiovascular surgery practice.
  • Lead Counsel successfully defending a major radiology practice against defamation claims by a former partner accused of violating a non-competition agreement.
  • Lead Counsel obtaining a defense jury verdict for a hospital client accused of negligence and gross negligence by the parents of a premature infant who sustained a brain injury resulting from a fall from a neonatal intensive care incubator unit.
  • Lead trial counsel for a national oil and gas services company defending litigation following a facility fire resulting in catastrophic injuries.
  • Co-lead trial counsel for a major national chemical production company defending complex multiparty litigation following a plant explosion.
  • Lead trial counsel in the largest property tax valuation lawsuit in Harris County history.
  • Lead counsel obtaining a defense jury verdict for two academic neurologists accused of negligence and gross negligence in the misdiagnosis of a brain aneurysm leading to a permanent brain injury in a 50 year old patient.
  • Lead counsel obtaining a defense jury verdict for an acute care hospital accused of negligence and gross negligence in the post-operative care of a 60 year old man who died in the facility following a respiratory arrest and unsuccessful code blue resuscitation.
  • Lead Counsel obtaining a defense jury verdict for a rehabilitation facility accused of negligence and gross negligence leading to a patient's fall and resulting permanent brain injury.
  • Lead Counsel obtaining an in-trial dismissal of a hospital accused of negligence and gross negligence in the unexplained death of an infant from an hypoxic brain injury.
  • Lead Counsel obtaining a dismissal for a health care network accused of overcharging self-pay patients for pharmaceutical products in a class action lawsuit.
  • Lead Counsel representation of health care institutions and health care insurers as plaintiffs in commercial litigation matters.
  • Defense of occupational injury claims through binding arbitration for institutional health care clients with Occupational Injury Assistance Plans.
  • Texas Top Rated Lawyer, LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell, 2012 - 2014
  • 40 Under 40 - Community Leadership Award, Houston Business Journal, 2009
  • Preventative Legal Care: A Practitioner's Guide to Medical Legal Fitness; Best Publishing, 2015
  •  "Criminalization of Health Care Conduct: Risk and Reality," WCHM, April-June 2012
  • "Criminalization of Adverse Events: What Healthcare Providers Need to Know," The International Law Firm of Fulbright & Jaworski - Health Care, April 20, 2012
  • "Chart with Your Eyes," Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine, Volume 2, Issue 4, October-December 2011
  • Co-author, "Legal Issues in the Care of Pressure Ulcer Patients: Key Concepts for Healthcare Providers," Advances in Skin & Wound Care, Volume 23, Number 11, November 2010
  • Co-author with Robert Owen, "Rule 502: What Will It Really Change?," Energy Law360, October 2008, Fulbright Alert, September 2008
  • Contributor, "Making IT Legal-Size," Modern Healthcare magazine, May 19, 2008
  • "On the Witness Stand"; Canadian Association for Enterostomal Therapy (CAET) National Conference; Montreal, Quebec, Canada June 6, 2016
  • "Protecting Patient Safety Data"; North Texas Society for Healthcare Risk Management Annual Conference; Irving, Texas April 29, 2016
  • "The Criminalization of Skin Care" Symposium on Advanced Wound Care Spring National Conference; Atlanta, Georgia April 17, 2016
  • "Managing the High Profile Criminal Trial": Norton Rose Fulbright Health Law Symposium; Austin, Texas January 29, 2016
  • "The New HIPAA:  Bigger, Badder and Coming After You" Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin & Wound Care - 2013 National Conference, Lake Buena Vista, Florida, October 24 2013
  • "Coping with and Avoiding Litigation" Symposium on Advanced Wound Care Spring 2013 National Conference, Denver Colorado, May 1, 2013
  • "The Transparency Revolution: Preserving Privilege and Managing Risk" Norton Rose Fulbright Health Law Symposium, Austin, Texas, February 1, 2013
  • Keynote Speaker: "Legally Defensible Documentation" Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin & Wound Care - 2012 National Conference, Las Vegas, Nevada October 20, 2012
  • "Criminalization of Healthcare Conduct," Fulbright 8th Annual Health Law Symposium, Austin, Texas, February 3, 2012
  • "Hospital-Physician Integration: Risks & Rewards," Greater Houston Society for Health Care Risk Management, Houston, Texas, February 2, 2012
  • "Defend Yourself! Legal Implications of Medical Documentation," Pressure Ulcer Prevention Coalition Annual Consensus Conference, Boise Idaho, November 2, 2011
  • "Liability for Hospitalists and Employed Physicians", CHRISTUS Health Risk Management Colloquium, San Antonio, Texas September 22, 2011
  • "Lawsuits and Technology," General Session Presentation, Wound, Ostomy & Continence Nurses Society 2011 National Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana, June 5, 2011
  • "Legal Aspects of Photography and Wound Care," Symposium on Advanced Wound Care Spring 2011 National Conference, Dallas, Texas, April 15, 2011
  • "Preserving Privilege Under Nursing Peer Review," Greater Houston Society for HealthCare Risk Management 2011 Education Day, Houston, Texas, March 4, 2011
  • "Hospital-Physician Integration: Recognizing & Reducing Litigation & Liability Risks," Fulbright 7th Annual Health Law Symposium, Houston, Texas, February 3, 2011
  • Keynote Speaker: "You Be The Jury" Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin & Wound Care - 2010 National Conference, Orlando, Florida, September 2010
  • "Wounds & Litigation: How to Safeguard Your Practice and Your Facility," Wolters Kluwer Symposium on Advanced Wound Care - 2010 National Conference, Orlando, Florida, April 2010
  • Co-presented with Caroline Fife, MD, "Legal Implications of Pressure Ulcers," Medline University, March 2010 
  • "Medical Malpractice: Preventative Legal Care for the Nurse Practitioner," UnitedHealth PSMG Annual Conference, Denver, Colorado, March 2010
  • "Electronic Health Records & Enterprise Risk," Fulbright 6th Annual Health Law Symposium, Houston, Texas, February 2010
  • Hospital Council of Northern & Central California 2009 Leadership Summit, Napa, California, October 2009
  • Clinical Symposium on Advances in Skin & Wound Care 2009 National Conference, San Antonio, Texas, October 2009
  • Panelist, "Medical Tourism: What Your Company Should Know Before Venturing Abroad," Fulbright Web Seminar, October 8, 2009
  • Society for the Advancement of Wound Care (SAWC) 2009 National Conference, Washington DC, September 2009
  • "Prevention Above All: Targeted Interventions & Practical Solutions" Invitational Health Care Leadership Summit, Washington DC, August 2009
  • "Record Retention and Litigation Hold Policies," BJC HealthCare Ethics and Compliance Forum, St. Louis, Missouri, May 2009
  • Co-presenter with Laurie Weiss and Rick Robinson, "Great Expectations: Applying Enterprise Risk Management and Cost Control Approaches to Large Data Volumes in the Healthcare Industry," Fulbright Web Seminar, February 12, 2009
  • "Medical Malpractice: Don't let it Happen to You," St. Jude Medical Electrophysiology Fellows Program, Miami, Florida, February 2009
  • "The Law of Electronic Discovery: It's In Most Cases Now," University of Houston School of Law Advanced Civil Evidence and Discovery CLE, Houston and Dallas, Texas, September 2008 and November 2008
  • "The Electronic Revolution: Strategic Planning to Avoid Defeat," American Society for Health Care Risk Management's Annual Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, October 2008
  • "Pressure Ulcers & The Law: Things That Get You Sued and How to Avoid Them," Memorial Hermann Hospital System National Conference on Pressure Ulcers and the Law, Houston, Texas, September 2008
  • "House Bill 4: Five Years Later," Texas Hospital Association, Austin, Texas, September 2008