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Meet Lisa | Founding Partner

Lisa S. Kantor

Founding Partner

Attorney Lisa S. Kantor

Lisa Kantor is founding partner of Kantor & Kantor LLP. Lisa has focused her law practice on representing individuals whose health benefits have been denied for treatment of physical or mental illnesses. Since 2007, Lisa has been a nationwide advocate for patients suffering eating disorders and litigating denials of medically necessary treatment for eating disorders. Through Lisa’s dedication to her clients, Kantor & Kantor has become the only law firm in the country with a distinct health law practice staffed with attorneys experienced in the specific needs of clients who have been denied benefits for eating disorder treatment.

Unmatched Experience & Skill

Lisa’s work includes federal lawsuits and administrative appeals to health plans that refuse coverage or discontinue benefits for treatment thereby forcing patients to be prematurely discharged. She handles multiple class actions regarding the systematic denials of mental health claims by insurance companies.

Lisa is an experienced appellate attorney and regularly argues appeals to the circuit court of appeals. In 2007, Lisa achieved the first published decision in California in which the court applied the state's mental health parity law to beneficiaries who sought treatment outside California. In 2012, Lisa obtained the first federal appellate court ruling that health plans in California must pay for all medically necessary treatment for severe mental illnesses, including residential treatment. In 2014, Lisa obtained a parallel state court appellate court ruling, extending coverage for all medically necessary treatment for severe mental illnesses to all residents of California.

Lisa’s advocacy extends to the legislature where she challenges inappropriate guidelines used to deny treatment and advocates for laws ensuring that health plans provide benefits for the medically necessary treatment of all individuals suffering from severe mental illnesses.

Admissions

  • State Bar of California, 1983
  • United States Supreme Court
  • California Supreme Court
  • United States District Court for the California Central District
  • Temporary Emergency Court of Appeals
  • United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
  • United States District Court for the California Central District
  • United States District Court for the California Eastern District
  • United States District Court for the California Northern District
  • United States District Court for the California Southern District

Education

  • Juris Doctor, University of Virginia School of Law, 1983
  • Bachelor of Arts, Political Science and Economics, 1980

Notable Decisions

  • Bowen v. Consolidated Electrical Distributors, Inc. Employee Welfare Benefit Plan, 461 F.Supp.2d 1179 (C.D. Cal. 2006)
  • Burton v. Blue Shield of California Life & Health Ins. Co., 2012 WL 242841 (C.D. Cal.)
  • Harlick v. Blue Shield of California, 686 F. 3d 699 (9th Cir. 2012)
  • Alexandra H. v. Oxford Health Insurance Inc. Freedom Access Plan, 11-cv-23948-MORENO (S.D. Fla. Mar. 24, 2015)
  • Jacobs v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc., 265 Fed.Appx. 652, 2008 (9th Cir. 2008)
  • Keller v. Albertsons, Inc. Employees’ Disability Benefits Plan, 589 F.Supp.2d 1025 (C.D. Cal. 2008)
  • Martinez v. The Beverly Hills Hotel, 695 F.Supp.2d 1085 (C.D. Cal. 2010)
  • Rea v. Blue Shield of California, 226 Cal. App. 4th 1209 (2014)
  • Shepard v. United Healthcare Ins. Co., 2011 WL 720063 (E.D.Cal. 2011)
  • Shane v. Albertson’s Inc., 504 F.3d 116 (9th Cir. 2007)
  • Welch v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, 480 F.3d 942 (9th Cir. 2007)
  • Thompkins v. BC Life and Health Ins. Co., 414 F.Supp.2d 953 (C.D. Cal. 2006)
  • Vu v. Prudential Property & Casualty Insurance Company, 33P.3d 487 (2001)

Published Opionions

  • Herberg v. California Institute of the Arts (2002) 101 Cal.App.4th 142
  • Migliore v. Mid-Century Ins. Co. (2002) 97 Cal.App.4th 592
  • Vu v. Prudential Property & Casualty Co. (2001) 26 Cal.4th 1142
  • Lorenz v. Commercial Acceptance Ins. Co. (1995) 40 Cal.App.4th 981
  • Howard v. Babcock (1993) 6 Cal.4th 409
  • University of Southern California v. Superior Court (1990) 220 Cal.App.3d 1028
  • U.S. ex rel. Stillwell v. Hughes Helicopters, Inc. (C.D. 1989) 714 F. Supp. 1084
  • Southern Nights Music Co. v. Moses (C.D. 1987) 669 F. Supp. 305
Authority on Health Insurance Law & Mental Health Parity

lkantor@kantorlaw.net|818-886-2525

Facebook: Eating Disorder Legal Assistance

Keynotes, Seminars, Breakouts & Workshops

  • ERISA Law and the Affordable Care Act: This program helps employers navigate the changing health insurance landscape and insurer obligations regarding coverage and benefits.
  • Mental Health Parity: What Does It Really Mean? A seminar that demystifies federal and state mental health parity laws and details health plans' responsibility to adhere to laws the supersede policy language.
  • Holding Insurance Companies Accountable: This seminar explains policy language and the law with tips and advice about how to use plan documents, relevant law and legal precedent to get benefits for treatment.
  • How to Document Evidenced-Based Treatment to Maximize Insurance Benefits: This seminar or breakout sessions explores how to document treatment to meet health plan guidelines and provides tips, forms and sample letters that prevent or minimize delays and denials.
  • On-the-Spot Problem Solving: This workshop invites health professionals to bring denial letters and examples of insurance abuse for hands-on legal advice to address the challenges of getting benefits for residential treatment and mental health care.
  • Partial List of Past Speaking: International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP); National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA); Binge Eating Disorders Association (BEDA); Association of Professionals Treating Eating Disorders (APTED); Center for Hope; Avalon Hills Family Week; Renfrew Center Foundation Conference; A New Journey; California Brain Injury Association (CBIA); Elisa Project Conference

Honors & Recognitions

  • Project Heal and Reasons Eating Disorder Center "Eating Disorder Advocate of the Year" 2016
  • Super Lawyers Award continuously since 2009-2017
  • Super Lawyers "Top Women Attorneys in Southern California" 2012 and 2013
  • Los Angeles Daily Journal "Top Women Lawyers" 2009 and 2012
  • San Francisco Recorder "Lawyer of the Year" award 2012
  • California Women Lawyers 2010-11 "Women of Distinction" award
  • International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals Foundation 2012 "Special Recognition" award
  • Member, Board of Directors, Eating Disorder Coalition for Research, Policy and Action
  • Member, Board of Directors, International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals

Ground Breaking Cases

  • Rea v. Blue Shield: class action against Blue Shield of California finding the insurer must pay for medically necessary treatment, even though their plans specifically excluded it. Blue Shield was the only California insurance company that specifically excluded residential treatment in its plans, and the panel's decision on this case is recognition of the importance of such treatment for mental health care.
  • Harlick v. Blue Shield:landmark appellate court decision that ruled health plans must pay for all medically necessary treatment of severe mental illnesses under the same financial terms and conditions as they provide for physical illnesses. In particular, this ruling will help thousands of people suffering from eating disorders receive residential treatment crucial for recovery.
  • Burton v. Blue Shield of California: first decision interpreting Harlick and deciding that California's Mental Health Parity Act mandates that insurers provide benefits for residential treatment for major depressive disorder and panic disorder.
  • Shepard v. United HealthCare: Ms. Kantor successfully petitioned the California Department of Managed Health Care on behalf of a client with anorexia being discharged from a residential care facility, forcing her insurer to agree to pay for her treatment.
  • Jacobs v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan: Ms. Kantor recovered benefits for a client suffering from bulimia when her medical plan declined to refer her to an out-of-plan treatment facility and refused to pay for the cost of treatment. The California Court of Appeal ruled that the decision to place the plaintiff in residential treatment, rather than follow the health insurers flawed treatment decisions, may have saved her life.
  • Thompkins v. BC Life & Health Insurance Co.: the first published appellate decision in California for an eating disorder case where her client was denied benefits for in-patient treatment of bulimia. The Court of Appeal interpreted California's mental health parity law to include beneficiaries from California policies who did not live in California and sought medical care outside of California.

"Lisa Kantor, JD, has provided a light of hope in our field. … She has gone above and beyond our greatest expectations to help the millions disabled by these crippling diseases which destroy lives, families, and hope."

- Bonnie Harkin, Managing Director International Association of Eating Disorders Professionals

"We are all fortunate that Lisa has dedicated her career to fighting for the rights of those who are routinely denied access to care they legally and morally deserve."

- Carolyn Costin, Founder and Executive Director Monte Nido Treatement Center

"The impact of Lisa's work can hardly be overstated. Since people with mental disabilities so often need and are denied medical care, her work furthers access to justice, safeguards patients' health and wellbeing, and saves lives."

- Patricia Sturdevant, Deputy Commissioner for Policy and Planning California Department of Insurance

In the News

  • Ms. Kantor explains the impact of insurer denials of benefits for residential care | Watch YouTube Video
  • The Eating Disorders Coalition applauds Lisa Kantor for her outstanding leadership in holding insurance companies accountable | Read Article
  • Ms. Kantor's speech to a Congressional Committee considering passage of the FREED Act
  • Ms. Kantor's argument before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Harlick v. Blue Shield | Play Audio
  • Ms. Kantor's CBS 2 News Chicago interview about eating disorders and insurance | Read Article
  • CBS News Anchor Pat Harvey interviewed Lisa Kantor and her client Valerie McCann in a segment airing May 13, 2011, about how health plan denials of residential treatment for eating disorders can lead to more serious health problems.
  • Interviewed in Daryl Robert's 2011 documentary, "America the Beautiful: Health for Sale," film about body image and the media's role in advancing unrealistic expectations.
  • Interviewed by Allison Kreiger in her eating disorder awareness DVD "Get REAL," distributed to colleges and universities nationwide.

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Free Case Consultations Provided
  • 160+ Years' Collective Experience
  • Thousands Of Cases Successfully Handled
  • You Don't Pay Us Unless We Recover Your Claim
  • Selected For Inclusion In The List Of Super Lawyers®

Client Testimonials

  • You are the light in the darkness for all of us.

    “Lisa- You are the light in the darkness for all of us in the eating disorder community. I believe that you were born to take on these challenges.”

    Pam S.

  • Your kindness will never be forgotten.

    “Dear Glenn, Several weeks ago, you graciously met with my husband and me and provided us with invaluable advice vis a vis his application for Long Term Disability and the Voluntary Transition Plan offered by his employer. Your calming presence and thoughtful guidance was so gratefully appreciated and we both felt much lighter as we left your office. We are pleased to advise you that David's application for LTD was approved the day after we met with you (sigh of relief)! Had it not been, we knew when were we would go for representation. We both want to thank you for your thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit. Your kindness will never be forgotten. With Warmest Regards, Lori and David C.”

    Lori & David

  • Finding, and working with your team has been such a blessing to me.

    “Thanks again for all your help. Finding, and working with your team has been such a blessing to me. Deepest regards.”

    M.

  • there are no words that can express the feelings of gratitude and relief I have that you helped us

    “I wanted to thank you again for all of your help. My daughter would not be in treatment without your help. I can never thank you enough, there are no words that can express the feelings of gratitude and relief I have that you helped us, and I believe saved my little girl. Taking her back to Timberline Knolls was very difficult in many ways, I wish UBH could know the damage they have done to her by having her go in and out like this. When she went into Timberline Knolls the first time she was not happy to go exactly, no one wants to go into treatment, but she was open to going in and ready, for the first time, to really look at her issues and work hard to get better. When she had to leave Timberline she expressed that she wished she could have stayed because she felt like she was finally at a place where she was getting better and, though it was hard, she was really opening up and dealing with her issues for the first time, something she has had a hard time doing. I just wanted you to know that she was going down to a really bad place and without you I don't know what would have happened except that she would not be at Timberline Knolls right now getting better and I thought you should know this. With unending gratitude.”

    R.

  • The light at the end of the tunnel was masked, but we found it!

    “I'm sending my heartfelt wishes to you and your team for a wonderful holiday. We celebrate Christmas this year with a lighter heart than past years - knowing how you made a difference for us and for so many others. The light at the end of the tunnel was masked, but we found it! And so, cheers to you and your incredible team. Have a wonderful and safe new year.”

    J.