Julie Hansen-Arenas

Ms. Hansen-Arenas concentrates her practice on the defense of medical malpractice and professional liability actions, and is admitted to practice in all California state and federal courts. Ms. Hansen-Arenas has extensive experience in the development and execution of successful defense strategies throughout all stages of litigation. Since joining the firm in 2004, Ms. Hansen-Arenas has successfully defended many physicians, physician groups, hospitals and other health care professionals in complex civil litigation and administrative matters. Ms. Hansen-Arenas regularly provides counsel to health care providers and entities regarding litigation strategy and effective techniques for risk and conflict management.

    Partner, 2012-Present
    Associate, 2004-2012
    Associate, 2003-2004
    Associate, 2003
  • October 2019, Misappropriated Sperm, Defense Judgment. Defense judgment entered on behalf of fertility clinic and reproductive endocrinologist arising from allegations of negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, and receipt of stolen property. Plaintiff, the widow of a clinic patient, alleged her deceased husband’s sperm was used to impregnant another woman without her consent. The male and female patients of the fertility clinic had presented to the clinic as a couple, in a long-term relationship, seeking to have another child (they had an older son together). The couple described themselves as husband and wife, and never disclosed that the male partner was married to another woman. After six failed attempts at assisted reproduction using their own genetic material, the couple agreed to try conception using donor eggs and the male partner’s sperm. Both the male and female partner were involved in selecting the donor and both consented to proceed with the transfer of fertilized embryos into the female partner’s uterus. Prior to the transfer, however, the male partner died while undergoing cancer treatment. The female partner did not notify the clinic of his death and proceeded with the transfer, which resulted in a successful pregnancy and the birth of twins. During her pregnancy, the female partner brought a child support claim against the male partner’s estate, seeking support for her older son and her expectant twins. The clinic learned of both the male partner’s death and the existence of a widow (who was not the female patient with whom the male partner presented to the clinic) when a subpoena was issued for clinic records in the support matter. The plaintiff widow subsequently sued the clinic and the couple’s reproductive endocrinologist, alleging she was the rightful owner of her husband’s sperm upon his death, and any use of his sperm without her consent was improper, amounting to negligence, a breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, and receipt of stolen property.After extensive discovery and the resolution of multiple family law matters related to decedent’s child support obligations (to both the female partner and another woman), a four-week trial commenced. Shortly before the close of evidence, plaintiff dismissed her negligence claim. Defendants’ non-suit motion was granted as to the breach of fiduciary duty claim. A jury verdict was returned in favor of defendants regarding the receipt of stolen property claim, and in favor of plaintiff on the conversion claim. However, shortly after the jury verdict, the court granted defendants’ motion for judgment notwithstanding verdict, finding the conversion claim was unsupported by the evidence and should not have gone to the jury.
  • November 2013, NICU Management of Severely Premature Infant, Defense Verdict. Defense verdict on behalf of hospital and nursing defendants involving allegations of medical negligence in the management of a neonatal intensive care unit patient. The plaintiff, born at approximately 28 weeks gestation, was eventually diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a result of extreme prematurity and the development of necrotizing enterocolitis. Plaintiff’s parents alleged their daughter received a substantial overdose of pain medication (fentanyl), which they believed caused severe hypoxic ischemic brain injury. The allegation of overdose was largely based upon the infant’s breathing difficulty 15 minutes after the fentanyl was administered and the administration of an opiate reversal agent (Narcan) in response to her respiratory depression. The parents further alleged negligence in the management of the infant’s airway as her condition declined. In an effort to avoid the inherent risks of trial, extensive efforts were made by the Hospital and a co-defendant to resolve the case prior to trial, but no resolution was reached. Following a four-week trial with testimony from the parents, the involved health care providers, and retained medical experts, the jury decided in favor of the hospital and the co-defendants.
  • University of San Francisco School of Law, J.D.
  • University of California Santa Barbara, B.A.

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