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Home > This Just In > PAF's National Legal Resource Network Has a New Leader

Volunteer Legal Network Dedicated to Assisting Patients in Complex Healthcare Cases Moves Forward with New Leader

Rich Carter from Carter & Coleman is taking on lead in Director role

HAMPTON, Virginia – Formed nearly 17 years ago, The National Legal Resource Network (NLRN) is comprised of our nation’s leading health care attorneys who volunteer their time and expertise for the benefit of patients facing complex healthcare problems resulting from chronic, debilitating and/or life threatening disease. Developed as a division of the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), this exclusive network of lawyers receives referrals directly from case managers, and work to resolve issues related to managed care, insurance, job retention and debt crisis matters.

Rich Carter, Esq., a partner in the Alexandria based firm Carter & Coleman and longstanding member of the NLRN, will succeed founder Sheldon Weinhaus as Director and will provide guidance to the roster of approximately 130 attorney members currently engaged within the network.

Mr. Carter brings over thirty years of litigation experience handling a wide variety of complex litigation matters involving insurance recovery and coverage, intellectual property disputes and commercial litigation. One of the best known ERISA health care litigators in the country, he has handled cases in every federal judicial circuit and spoken on health care litigation topics at the annual conventions of the American Bar Association and the Association of Trial Lawyers of America as well as specialized Health Law and Medical conferences throughout the country.

“In 1996, shortly after PAF was formed, it became apparent that there existed a need for legal experts when it came to resolving some of the patient cases”, stated NLRN founder Sheldon Weinhaus and one of PAF’s inaugural executive board members. Sheldon, a partner in Weinhaus & Potashnick, worked with Nancy Davenport-Ennis, PAF’s Founder and Chairman of the Board, to develop the National Legal Resource Network and brought together many best-in-field and prominent health care attorneys to work without sufficient reimbursement for the benefit of patients. “The network has provided crucial service to so many over the last 17 years, and with Rich’s leadership and commitment to helping patients, I am confident it will continue to have real impact in the lives of patients.”

Members of the network are selected based on their expertise in common healthcare matters and their desire to contribute their services to better the lives of patients facing seemingly insurmountable hurdles. Network members receive referrals directly from PAF case managers on their most complex unresolved cases and have agreed to provide an initial case evaluation and consultation pro-bono on behalf of the patient in a timely fashion.

“Rich's practice has been on the cutting edge of issues commonly faced by the patients we serve,” stated Nancy Davenport – Ennis, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Patient Advocate Foundation. “His wealth of experience dealing with ERISA claims, access to care, experimental treatments, medical necessity and disability insurance will be invaluable to patients.“

Over the years, members of the NLRN have been directly involved in hundreds of cases where they worked to successfully resolve complex issues on behalf of patients in crisis. Members of the legal community that are interested in joining the National Legal Resource Network can visit the volunteer section of PAF’s website at to download a membership application.

Rich Carter, Partner, Carter & Coleman
Carter & Coleman, headquarter in Alexandria, Virginia, has provided skilled legal representation in the community for over 20 years. Maintaining a practice area specializing in healthcare matters, Carter & Coleman has experience representing patients as well as members of the medical community and is skilled in issues such as ERISA claims, access to care, experimental treatments, medical necessity and disability insurance. For a full company profile and legal resume for Rich Carter, visit