Health Care Counsel

Arent Fox's health care law blog offers news, analysis, and insights for the health care industry.

Health Care Counsel

Debra Albin-Riley

Debra Albin-Riley, Partner at Arent Fox
Debra Albin-Riley
Los Angeles, CA

Debra Albin-Riley is a partner in the firm’s Complex Litigation and Health Care departments. Her significant experience before judges, juries, and hearing officers allows her to take matters to trial or hearing, or skillfully negotiate positive resolutions for her clients prior to verdict or decision. Debra’s practice focuses on complex multiparty litigation, including complicated matters involving the health care industry. She skillfully handles matters for her health care clients that involve commercial and contractual disputes, medical staff and peer review issues, product liability, toxic tort, and licensing issues. Her clients include hospitals and health systems throughout California.

Recent Client Work

Debra currently represents a hospital in Northern California involving claims related to allegations of toxic mold exposure. She counsels and represents hospitals, health systems, and medical staffs relating to peer review matters, including medical staff bylaws review and revision, exhaustion of administrative remedies, California Evidence Code Section 1157, and Anti-SLAPP issues. In one recent matter, she skillfully negotiated a settlement between a physician and two hospitals in the midst of a contentious peer review hearing. Debra recently obtained a significant victory for a regional hospital as the lead trial counsel in a lease dispute involving intricate questions of state licensing requirements. After successfully expunging a lis pendens that threatened the sale of the hospital, she proceeded to secure a complete defense judgment for the hospital, and her client was awarded attorneys fees and costs in a seven-figure amount.

Previous Work

Prior to joining Arent Fox, Debra was a partner in the Los Angeles office of a large international law firm, where she served as a key member of several national trial teams involving product liability claims against a major pharmaceutical company. Her experience with multi-party, multi-district litigation in these cases serves her current clients in matters related to jurisdictional strategy and case organization and management, during both the litigation process and in developing complex settlement structures.

Professional Activities

Debra is the past chair of the Litigation Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association. She also served on the board of governors of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.

Publications, Presentations, and Recognitions

Debra has been rated among the “Top Women Lawyers” in California by the Daily Journal as a result of her impressive track record of success before judges, juries, and administrative hearing officers. She was also listed as one of Lawdragon’s Magazine’s “Top 500 Leading Litigation Lawyers.” Debra has been named as a “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine every year since 2004 and is rated “AV Preeminent” by Martindale Hubbell.


Debra is a member of the California Society of Healthcare Attorneys and the American Health Lawyers Association.

Life Beyond the Law

Debra serves on the board of directors for the Library Foundation of Los Angeles and chairs the Foundation’s governance committee.


Blog Posts by Debra Albin-Riley

Pharmaceutical & Device Compliance
Sellers Beware: California Adopts New Proposition 65 Warning Requirements

On August 31, 2016, California took a long-awaited step in publishing new major changes to the Proposition 65 warning regulations; the first of such amendments in more than a decade. The wholesale changes completely alter the “safe harbor” warning rules, creating a new set of obstacles for companies offering products or operating facilities in California. Although the new regulations are intended to increase clarity and decrease litigation, they may actually have the opposite effect. 

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Payer Disputes & Reimbursement, Product Coverage & Payment
Cutting Class: California Health Provider Overcomes Class Action Treatment of Patient Billing Claims

In a decision that is good news for California hospitals, the California Court of Appeal invalidated class certification when a San Diego-based hospital system proved that the only way to determine the members of an uninsured patient class was to review more than 120,000 patient records. In Hale v. Sharp Healthcare, the California Court of Appeal, Fourth Appellate District affirmed the trial court’s order decertifying a class of uninsured patients claiming unfair billing practices. In its decision filed November 19, 2014, and certified for publication on December 5, 2014, the Hale Court not only found Sharp Healthcare (Sharp) persuasively showed that a patient class could not be reasonably ascertained, but also that the billing practices applied to the uninsured patients varied such that diverse individual, rather than common, issues prevailed.

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HIPAA / Health Privacy & Security, Litigation & Alternative Dispute Resolution
No Harm, No Foul: California Court Denies Class Action Bid Seeking $4 Billion from Provider

On July 22, 2014, the California Court of Appeal, Third Appellate District, found that patients whose confidential health information had been stolen could not sustain a class action absent an allegation that the information was actually viewed by unauthorized third parties.

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Arent Fox LLP, founded in 1942, is internationally recognized in core practice areas where business and government intersect. With more than 350 lawyers, the firm provides strategic legal counsel and multidisciplinary solutions to clients that range from Fortune 500 corporations to trade associations. The firm has offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.