For Matthew Pelcowitz, the practice of healthcare defense law is all about details. With a background in not just healthcare law and medicine, but also scholarly and scientific research on opioids and opioid use, Matthew knows that every case requires attention to the minutiae within it.
Matthew serves as an attorney in Chapman Law Group’s White Collar Defense & Government Investigations section. In his practice, he represents a wide range of health care providers — from physicians and pharmacists, to pain management practitioners and chiropractors — in matters involving health care fraud, Anti-Kickback and Stark Law violations, and controlled substance-related crimes.
“My professional experience and education have provided me with a unique perspective on healthcare-related legal issues and has enabled me to successfully advocate for clients,” Matthew explains.
“To be sure, it is the intersection of this legal knowledge and understanding of healthcare where I can make a difference and effectively confront/neutralize issues our clients face.”
In developing his extensive appellate practice, he has filed numerous appeals related to unlawful distribution under 21 U.S.C. § 841, health care fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1347, and mail fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1341. He has also taken appeals as far as the Supreme Court. As one example, Matthew filed an appeal for a prominent pharmacy in Florida, asking the Court whether a pharmacy violates its corresponding responsibility not to fill unlawful prescriptions under 21 C.F.R. § 1306.04 where there is no evidence besides DEA-created unscientific “red flags”.
In another appeal, Matthew challenged the conviction of a Texas physician for health care fraud; arguing the evidence at trial was insufficient to sustain his conviction where there was significant and persistent prosecutorial misconduct.
More recently, Matthew has challenged the constitutionality of trial courts enforcing time limits in criminal trials, specifically, whether such limits violate a defendant’s rights to Due Process. In that appeal, Matthew also challenged unlawful distribution charges, as well as charges for conspiring to commit the same, where the government was permitted to introduce damaging out-of-court statements to the jury, often referred to as hearsay.
Matthew’s practice also extends to other types of post-conviction work. He has extensive experience in filing Writs of Habeas Corpus; seeking to overturn prior convictions where a defendant’s constitutional rights were violated. Many of these he files even where a provider has plead guilty pursuant to a plea agreement with the Government. If a provider was deprived of their day in court, Matthew does everything he can to ensure the proper administration of justice.
His portfolio of research for the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute and Toronto’s Institute for Work & Health includes studies on opioids and chronic pain patients. These projects involved examining genetic differences in enzyme metabolic activity; analyzing neurochemical reactions based on opioid use; and presenting the findings at research conferences, to shareholders, and in meta-analysis workshops.
Notably, at George Washington University Law School, Matthew gained invaluable hands-on experience by editing papers on patent law as well as an amicus curiae brief on the genus claim for the U.S. Supreme Court.
For his master thesis at the University of Toronto — where he graduated with a 4.0 GPA — Matthew examined the chemical structure of opioids and the neurochemical characteristics of those prescribed opioids for chronic non-cancer pain, in addition to assessing genetic differences in enzyme metabolic activity between chronic pain patients prescribed opioids. For his honors thesis at York University, where he earned a B.A. in psychology/biology, Matthew analyzed neurochemical reactions in response to post-immunization pain.
He holds distinction for serving as a member of the University of Toronto’s Graduate Student Alliance for Global Health and the school’s Health Law Club. In addition, Matthew completed a summer associate role working on patent law matters; partnership and membership in corporations and LLCs; protective orders against discovery; and issues on patent infringement
At George Washington, Matthew participated in the Rothwell Intellectual Property Law Moot Court, and he was nominated as a member for the Pauline Newman IP American Inn of Court.;