Ms. Deese, Chair of the Firm’s Health Law Practice Group, specializes in defending health care providers at their most vulnerable. She prides herself on minimizing the angst providers experience when dealing with the lawsuits and investigations that are unavoidable for today’s practitioners. She handles medical malpractice cases and credentialing issues within institutions and before the various licensing boards. Crystal defends lawsuits related to all aspects of health care and privacy in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. She also concentrates her practice on Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act investigations and manages breaches of all sizes.

Crystal has first-chaired the defense of significant medical malpractice trials on behalf of the region’s largest health system and its providers. She has a proven track record of success and is widely regarded for her courtroom advocacy skills and professionalism. Crystal’s skills and natural leadership ability, combined with her knowledge of health care, have lead to her invitation to serve as a guest speaker and presenter at regional programs on health care risk management and related issues. She currently serves on the Continuing Legal Education Committee for The District of Columbia Bar and regularly teaches courses there.

Crystal received her Bachelor of Arts from Winthrop University (1993, magna cum laude) and her J.D. from American University, Washington College of Law (1996, cum laude). She is a member of the bars of The District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia.

Speaking Engagements

  • “Effective Deposition Practice Series – Depositions that Work: Advanced Strategies” (The District of Columbia Bar) – 2021, 2022, 2023
  • “Refresher Course on Using the Bluebook: Practice Tips” (The District of Columbia Bar) – 2018, 2021, 2022
  • “The 2021 Tort Law Seminar – Order of Proof” (Prince George’s County Bar Association) – 2021
  • “Handling a Medical Malpractice Case: The Basics & Beyond 2021” (The District of Columbia Bar) – 2021
  • “Tort Damages in the District of Columbia” (The District of Columbia Bar) – 2020
  • Refresher Course on Using the Bluebook: Practice Tips” (Clear Law Institute webinar) – 2019
  • April 2024
    Congratulations to our 2024 Super Lawyers and Super Lawyers Rising Stars
    Please join us in congratulating our firm’s attorneys who were selected as 2024 Super Lawyers and Super Lawyers Rising Stars. Honorees for these awards have achieved a multitude of professional achievements and earned recognition and respect from their peers ... Read More
  • December 2023
    The Appellate Court of Maryland addresses choice of law question
    The Appellate Court of Maryland addresses choice of law question, holding law from the place where the injury initially developed applies.  In Blackston v. Drs. Weight Loss Centers Inc., No. 553, Sept. Term,2022, 2023 WL 4247374 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. June 29, 2023), cert. granted sub nom. Doctor's Weight ... Read More
  • November 2023
    Upcoming Class: Tort Damages in the District of Columbia 2024
    Crystal S. Deese, chair of Jackson & Campbell P.C.'s Health Law Practice Group, will be teaching an upcoming virtual class on Tort Damages in the District of Columbia 2023 for the D.C. Bar Continuing Legal Education Program. The class will take place on Tuesday, December 12, 2023, from 6:00 p.m. – 9:15 p.m and will be worth 3.0 credit ... Read More
  • September 2023
    Blue Book Rules Seminar for the DC Bar
    Crystal Deese, Director of J&C’s Health Law Practice Group, is teaching a one hour seminar on the Blue Book rules today for the DC Bar at noon.  The course is a refresher from your first year law school curriculum and she tries to keep the dry material entertaining. Register for the webinar and find the course details here ... Read More
  • August 2023
    The Best Lawyers in America 2024
    Jackson & Campbell, P.C. is pleased to announce a number of our Directors have been named to The Best Lawyers in America© 2024 Edition. Congratulations to: Arthur D. Burger (2015) - Ethics and Professional Responsibility Law Christopher ... Read More
  • December 2022
    Dismissal - forum non conveniens: Foreign medical malpractice plaintiff’s choice to pursue a claim in D.C. outweighed by public and private interest factors in favor of the forum where alleged negligence occurred.
    Attorneys Crystal Deese and Benjamin Harvey secured dismissal of a medical malpractice case from D.C. Superior Court on forum non conveniens grounds. Defendants’ motion was successful despite the fact that the defendant hospital system was incorporated in the District and its nurse employee was licensed in both the District and in Maryland. The court weighed the private and public interest ... Read More
  • June 2022
    Undisclosed Bankruptcy can be fatal to Plaintiff’s Medical Malpractice case
    On June 6, 2022, Crystal Deese and Sarah Godfrey appeared in the Circuit Court for Fairfax County, Virginia, for Day 1 of what was supposed to be a 5-day jury trial.  Plaintiff had filed a suit against our client, a medical practice, claiming $2.3 million in past and future damages after a routine cataract surgery allegedly rendered her ... Read More
  • March 2022
    Summary judgment granted in premises case. Res ipsa loquitur inapplicable where mode of claimed injury required expert support.
    Edward Sedlacek & Crystal Deese obtained summary judgment for their hospital client against a Plaintiff suing for premises liability and res ipsa loquitur.  Plaintiff claimed to have received an electrical shock forceful enough to fracture two different bones.  None of the medical experts agreed that electricity caused these twisting type fractures. The court rejected Plaintiff’s argument that a lay jury ... Read More
  • July 2021
    Health Law Practice Group Update: Attorneys secure dismissal of a conversion case styled as patent infringement
    Attorneys Crystal Deese and Sarah Godfrey recently secured dismissal a conversion case styled as patent infringement in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. The plaintiff, a biomedical research tech, sued the head of his former research laboratory for allegedly “stealing” his intellectual property. Plaintiff claimed the theft occurred when the lab director permitted one of plaintiff’s colleagues to ... Read More
  • July 2021
    Health Law Practice Group Update: Summary Judgment in Premises Liability Case
    The Health Law Practice Group obtained summary judgment in a premises liability case. Plaintiff claimed she slipped and fell on liquid an employee allegedly deposited and left on a hospital floor. She claimed a permanent wrist injury following a surgical procedure negatively impacted nearly all activities of daily living. Judge Shana Frost Matini in the Superior Court of the District ... Read More
  • July 2021
    Health Law Practice Group Update: Attorneys Win Motion to Limit Plaintiffs’ Economic Damages
    Attorneys Crystal Deese and Pam Diedrich recently won a Motion to Limit Plaintiffs’ Economic Damages. Plaintiffs sought to recover the entire amounts of their medical bills rather than the far lower figure the hospital received in payment. Judge José M. López in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia ruled that Plaintiffs can only claim the amounts actually paid ... Read More
  • July 2021
    Health Law Practice Group Update: Attorneys Successfully Asserts Claim-Splitting Doctrine
    This month, Edward Sedlacek and Crystal Deese secured dismissal of an individual physician from a malpractice suit despite Plaintiff's two-pronged attempt to add her into the litigation. Plaintiff sued a hospital in 2019 claiming permanent injuries due to inappropriate postoperative management. In 2021, Plaintiff filed a separate suit making the same allegations against his surgeon. We moved to dismiss the ... Read More
  • February 2020
    Health Law Practice Group Privileged to Serve MedStar Washington Hospital Center
    Earlier this month, Jackson & Campbell, P.C.'s Health Law Practice Group obtained a defense verdict in a malpractice case alleging that a patient suffered permanent nerve damage during a lower left wisdom tooth extraction. She alleged the surgical technique and procedure choice were improper and denied giving her informed consent to the procedure. After a six day trial, the ... Read More
  • March 2019
    Health Law Practice Group Precludes Untimely Lawsuit
    The Health Law Practice Group had a pro se plaintiff’s lawsuit dismissed in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia (Rigsby, J.) for lack of pre-suit notice and a limitations bar. The plaintiff noted a timely appeal, which Jackson & Campbell, P.C. successfully defended. In Waugh v. MedStar Georgetown Univ. Hosp., No. CAM-7381-17 (D.C. Mar. 14, 2019), ... Read More
  • June 2018
    Nurses Qualify to Testify about Causation
    In Frausto v. Yakima HMA, LLC, 393 P.3d 776 (Wash. 2017) the court held that an Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioner (ARNP) could qualify to provide causation testimony in a pressure ulcer case. The court based its holding, at least in part, on the Washington state statute empowering ARNPs to diagnose illnesses. The court noted that a majority of ... Read More
  • June 2018
    Health Law Group Privileged to Serve Children's National Medical Center
    Recently Jackson & Campbell’s Health Law Practice Group successfully defended Children’s National Medical Center in a wrongful death lawsuit. Judge Anthony Epstein entered judgment for the hospital after Plaintiff rested his case at trial. Attorneys Crystal S. Deese and Diona Howard-Nicolas, along with the entire Health Law Practice Group, are honored to have served our client in ... Read More
  • January 2018
    Health Care Providers' Altered Medical Records Results in Attorney's Disbarment
    Delaware Supreme Court Rules on Malpractice Case Concerning Altered Medical Records The Supreme Court of Delaware disbarred a lawyer who had been practicing for more than three decades, with no prior disciplinary record, after he failed to produce the original version of altered medical records and then failed to correct the sworn testimony of the physician and physician’s assistant who altered ... Read More
  • November 2017
    The National Practitioner Data Bank: Six Need-to-Knows
    The National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) was established through Title IV of Public Law 99-660, the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986. Codified at 45 CFR Part 60, the NPDB is an online repository for reports on negative events involving physicians, dentists, and other licensed health care professionals. The statute requires certain health care entities to report the ... Read More