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From Confusion to Clarity for Dentists and Physicians

San Diego’s Attorney for Dentists and Physicians Earns a Position on the Leading Edge of Two Industries

The leading edge of any industry is occupied by “few and far between” people and organizations, yet Matthew W. Odgers has staked out a leadership position in the legal profession and as a counselor and advisor to the rapidly changing healthcare field, especially in the practice of dentistry.
Although he handles transactional work for entrepreneurs and businesses in many industries, Odgers’ practice focuses intensely on healthcare professionals with an emphasis on practice transitions, associate agreements, partnerships, office leases, practice compliance, and more.
“I like working with doctors. They are smart and they help people, I have a great deal of respect for the work they do. There are complex issues that regularly arise within private practice. It makes my job so much easier when I am working closely with a smart client who understands those complexities and is able to implement the solutions that I create,” Odgers says.

From Taking Time Off to Taking Charge

Odgers caught the “travel bug” early. After graduating from Purdue University in three years with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and a minor in Forensic Science, he spent a year in Seoul, Korea, teaching English. He also studied International Law abroad in Hangzhou, China, and attended the Rule of Law in China conference during the summer of 2011. Travel is still one of his great pleasures.
Odgers says he chose to attend law school because a law degree opens many doors to a wide variety of options. “If you’re interested in high-end business, you don’t have to be the head of a corporate giant to work and prosper in that environment. If you’re interested in crime, you don’t have to be a criminal or a cop. But you can be active, involved and evolving in all areas of interest through the law,” he says.
He entered law school thinking he’d eventually become an attorney at trial arguing cases all day. But during his first semester his father and brother passed away, which caused him to lose his desire for a legal career. “I just lost the fire,” he says. During that period he saw first-hand the impact of having a well-developed trust and how the pre-planning allows people to grieve without struggling with financial stresses. “I knew I needed to help people in these situations through careful planning rather than arguing in a courtroom,” he says.
He returned to law school and earned his Juris Doctor and his Certificate in Global Legal Studies from Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego, California.
Today, Odgers has an assistant, Bronte D’Acquisto, and works with Of Counsel Attorney Ray Padilla for estate planning matters. He has plans to hire an associate in the near future.
His firm has been in business five years. Odgers Law Group is solely a transactional business and estate planning law firm and outsources all litigation matters.

Taking the Proactive Approach

A dramatic experience during law school ultimately motivated Odgers into becoming a transactional lawyer. “I believe in taking a proactive approach, not a negative one. I get to think through all of the possible negative outcomes, and then craft a plan around them. I get to evaluate risk and come up with solutions to reduce or eliminate that risk,” he says.

That defining experience came when he accepted a position to work as an assistant on the stand-by defense team for Radovan Karadzic, the former President of Republika Srpska. He was being tried for war crimes at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY), in The Hague, Netherlands.

The legal system under a United Nations court is far different from how courts operate in the United States, but Odgers found the experience worthwhile in legal and professional perspectives. “One of the lessons that I walked away with was that I’m a positive guy and I want to be a pro-active lawyer rather than being a re-active lawyer. On a defense team, everything that you handle relates to past events. There is little that can be controlled, changed, avoided, other than disputing the validity of the evidence. I prefer being in control.”

Variety Is the Spice of Entrepreneurship

Odgers knew from the beginning that he would build his own firm. “I have always found joy in helping people solve problems and I was looking for a career that was going to continually mentally stimulate me. I also fell in love with the versatility in the type of work that I could do. I could try out different practice areas until I found one that sparked my interest. I’m incredibly lucky to have found that niche.
Combining his desire for gaining experience in a wide variety of areas with his work ethic, he decided to master some very small legal agreements and then see if he could get hired to complete them. He began with powers of attorney, wills and trusts, then worked his way up to business formations. He was soon bringing on co-counsel attorneys to help review purchase agreements and leases and more complex business acquisitions. He soon felt confident in estate planning and general corporate/business law and that’s when he was introduced to his first dental purchase transaction by CPA Wes Read with Practice CFO. He was thrilled to discover that there were many overlapping practice areas with a single client—clients who needed someone who understood the dental-specific impacts of each practice area. “From there on I started marketing to dentists, then physicians, to help with their professional corporations, purchase agreements, lease negotiations, partnerships, associate agreements, space-share contracts, and asset protection.
”His clients reflect a similar confidence in his abilities. “Matthew Odgers exemplifies integrity. Planning is something both powerful and delicate, requiring a balance of directness and grace. Matthew has both of these qualities. He is able to ask the necessary questions, while holding his clients up with dignity and respect. His thoughtfulness, thoroughness and approach are phenomenal. I will be working with Matthew in the foreseeable future and will recommend him to anyone I care about for their estate planning needs.” -Kirk Hinkleman

Moving to the Leading Edge in Two Industries

“The statement From Confusion to Clarity for Dentists and Physicians means we are deal makers, not deal breakers. We take the complexities of a multi-variable transaction, break them down into their simplest form, and then identify both sides’ interests to construct a deal that works. This is particularly important considering the way the dental practice world is changing these days,” Odgers says.
Traditionally, dentists own and operate a single dental practice—the aquarium and magazines on the table out in the lobby operation. If a non-dentist attempts to manage a dental office, they are in violation of the corporate practice of medicine. A recent trend in the dental world separates the clinical side of dentistry from the business management side so the two different sides of the business can operate together through a Dental Support Organization (DSO). DSO’s are highly regulated and must be closely monitored after being set up so that they do not violate California or Federal Law. “That’s why an experienced and up-to-date attorney is so critical these days,” Odgers says.
When set up properly, the dentist is able to step away from the business side of the practice and put their full energy into what they do best, treating patients. The business management side of the practice is able to attract money from outside investors to help the practice scale and save money on overhead expenses. “Although the majority of our practice is with single dentists, the DSO trend is growing and appears to be here to stay. Dentists will inevitably have to adapt to a rapidly and wildly changing business environment. Their attorneys will face the same challenge,” he says.
His clients agree. “As a new dentist/specialist and a first-time business owner, I had many questions regarding starting my corporation. Along the way, I have had many more questions that Matt has been more than willing to answer in a timely fashion. Not only have any and all of my questions been answered, he has been more than willing to go out of his way to get things done and help me understand each step of the way.” Dr. Bell.

Out of the Box Thinking

A case demonstrating the success of his approach occurred when Odgers Legal Group was hired at the eleventh hour by a medical client in the final stages of selling their professional corporation. They had a close date set at the start of the following month and the contracts in place and were looking for an attorney to do a quick review and green light. After reviewing the documents, Odgers Law Group discovered that the buyer was not eligible to own or operate a professional corporation. “At this point, most attorneys would have advised their client to terminate the deal all together. Based on our experience, Odgers Law Group was able to propose another solution, which was to sell the non-clinical assets of the practice to a Medical Service Organization, and have the parties enter into a long-term management agreement. “That’s out of the box thinking. Our approach is to look at the transaction as a whole and from there we can usually find a way to compromise, in a different area of the transaction, to help the deal, go through. Because we are experienced in dental and medical transaction we are able to identify potential deal killers early on, and rely on our vast experience to generate a solution that works for all parties,” Odgers says.

Taking a Step Back to Keep Moving Forward

Odgers leads a life balanced between work and a personal life. “Achieving and living a balanced life takes directness, grace, and creativity. It requires taking a step back and looking at the big picture and that means balancing work with a good life outside of the office,” he says. When not working, he loves fishing and traveling. He spends a lot of weekends down in Baja California fishing off of the Coronado islands trying to catch yellowtail, bluefin and Bonita. He has two dogs: a Great Dane named Nixon and a mini dachshund named Woodson. He enjoys traveling and spent a year teaching English in Korea, three months studying in Hangzhou China, and that year working in The Hague Netherlands. Odgers founded “Protecting Those Who Protect,” which provides pro bono estate planning services for active duty and retired military members. That balance gives him the peace of mind and drive to keep moving forward in a dramatically changing legal environment. “Now I get to spend the majority of my time just concentrating on the more complex issues faced on the business side of the heath care field. I have found my calling,” he says.

» EDUCATION

  • Juris Doctorate – Thomas Jefferson School of Law
  • Bachelor of Arts – Purdue University, West Lafayette

» AWARDS

  • 2018: San Diego Next Top Business Leader under 40 Finalist – San Diego Business Journal
  • 2018: Super Lawyer Rising Star
  • AVVO Rate 10/10
  • 2017: ABA on the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyers Award – Nominee
  • 2017: Best of Bar – San Diego Business Journal
  • 2017: Super Lawyers Rising Star
  • 2016: Wiley W. Manuel Award for Pro Bono Legal Services
  • 2016: San Diego Business Journal Best of Bar
  • 2016: Super Lawyers Rising Star
  • 2016: Entrepreneur.com Entrepreneur360 Best Companies
  • 2015: Nominated Top Attorneys 2015 – Corporate Transactional
  • 2014: Young Attorney Award – the San Diego Daily Transcript

» PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS

  • Wealth Counsel
  • California Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Thomas Jefferson School of Law Alumni Association
  • Purdue University Alumni Association

Contact
Main Office:
2061 San Elijo Avenue
Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007
858-869-1114

Satellite Office:
13400 Sabre Springs Pkwy, 275
San Diego, CA 92128
OdgersLawGroup.com
OdgersLawGroup.com/Protecting-Those-Who-Protect

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