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Dorothy H. Cornwell

Dorothy H. Cornwell


T (404) 962-1096
F (404) 962-1246

Dorothy Cornwell practices in the Smith Moore Leatherwood health care group, with a focus on litigation and regulatory compliance. Dorothy focuses particularly on the intersection of the health care and health insurance industries. She is an experienced litigator, with substantial involvement in life, health, and disability litigation. Her practice has included litigating complex issues related to ERISA preemption on behalf of health care providers and insurers. In addition, she advises clients regarding Medicare billing and compliance, including matters related to physician supervision, hospital-based clinical trials, and psychiatric patients. 

Dorothy works with numerous health-related entities, including hospitals, physician practices, home health agencies, employer health plans, and health insurers. As part of her experience with these entities, Dorothy has addressed a variety of issues, including the corporate practice of medicine, concierge medicine and direct primary care homes, conduct constituting the business of insurance or the practice of medicine, and the supervision of nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and other non-physician personnel in various settings. Dorothy's experience includes regular interaction with government agencies. She has assisted clients in navigating the OIG self-disclosure process and conducting internal investigations. She has worked with state agencies on various matters related to health care, insurance, and CON. Dorothy advises employers, insurers, and providers regarding coverage and compliance under the Affordable Care Act, and she has worked with Accountable Care Organizations on compliance issues, including antitrust analyses.

Recently, Dorothy’s practice has included a concentration on medical spas. Dorothy speaks regularly at national conferences on topics related to this industry, including gift cards and supervision. Dorothy assists clients in this unique field on a range of issues, such as trademark disputes and investigations by licensure boards. She also advises clients as to regulatory and business matters and assists clients with medical director agreements, nurse protocol agreements, and similar documents.

Dorothy also handles more general commercial litigation. Her background includes lawsuits related to breach of fiduciary duty, trusts, attorney-client disputes, trademarks, director and officer liability, derivative actions, and non-compete agreements.


Representative Work

  • Griffin v. Humana Employers Health Plan of Georgia, Inc., -- F.Supp.3d--, 2016 WL 897700 (N.D. Ga. 2016)
  • Birdette v. Saxon Mortgage, 502 F. App’x 839 (11th Cir. 2012)
  • AirTran Airways, Inc. v. Elem, 771 F. Supp 2d 1344 (N.D. Ga. 2011)
Thought Leadership


October 2017
ERISA and Life Insurance News, ERISA and Life Insurance News
April, 2016
Adverse Tax Impact Not Remediable under ERISA , ERISA and Life Insurance News
April, 2016
May 30, 2014

Published Works

  • Co-author, "Top Ten Health Law Issues 2017," AHLA Connections, January 2017
  • "A Comparative Look at the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010," Life, Health,  Disability and ERISA Claims Seminar, Course Materials, April 2012
  • "Current State of the Litigation:  Constitutional Challenges to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act," International Association of Defense Counsel, Insurance and Reinsurance Committee Newsletter, Life and Health Subcommittee, February 2012
  • "Playing the Odds: Alcohol, Statistics and Accidental Death and Dismemberment Policies," ABA Life Insurance Committee Newsletter, August 2011
  • "To Catch A KERP: Devising a More Effective Regulation than Section 503(c)," Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal, Vol. 25, Issue 2.


  • Duke University, B.A., English and Economics, 2006
  • Emory University School of Law, J.D., 2009
  • Georgia, 2009
  • Georgia Supreme Court
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Georgia
  • Georgia Court of Appeals
  • United States District Court, Middle District of Georgia
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Georgia
  • Georgia Bar
    • Young Lawyers Division, Leadership Academy, Class of 2011
    • Administrative Law Section
    • Employee Benefits Law Section
    • Health Law Section
  • Defense Research Institute (Life, Health and Disability Section)
  • AHLA

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