Bernie Duco

Of Counsel
Practice Areas: Directors & Officers' Liability


Bernie Duco has served as General Counsel and a senior executive for two major health systems – Mercy Health System, a multi-state system headquartered in St. Louis, and Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, one of the largest non-profit systems in Texas. In these roles, Bernie has over 20 years of experience in advising Boards, committees and senior executives about a broad spectrum of complex legal issues.
Prior to serving in these roles, Bernie was a partner in the law firm of Wood, Lucksinger & Epstein in
Houston, and represented a number of clients in the health care sector.

Representative Matters

Corporate reorganization of two non-profit health systems
Oversaw and managed to a successful resolution:

  • A major anti-trust claim (multi-week trial resulting in a verdict for the health system)
  • A claim against a major bank in connection with investment securities purchased by the health system
  • Anti-trust claim brought against the health system’s physician clinic subsidiary
  • Several major professional liability matters

Organized and led the development of a highly successful MSSP Accountable Care Organization

Acquisition and disposition of a several hospitals and physicians’ practices

Formation and development of several hospital-physician joint ventures


Rice University, B.A., History
University of Houston Law Center, J.D.

Court Admissions

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Professional & Community Involvement

St. Louis ARC (non-profit organization committed to meeting the needs of the mentally disabled)
Houston Eye Fund – Former Board member
Houston Journal of Health Law & Policy – founding sponsor

Recent Publications

Dong H. Kim, MD, Bernard Duco, JD, et al; A Review and Survey of Neurosurgeon – Hospital
Relationships: Evolution and Opinion. Neurosurgery 2017; 80 (45): 510-518.

Other Areas of Executive Responsibility

Corporate Compliance

Workers’ Compensation

Employee Health and Worker Safety Program

Risk Management

Insurance Program, including a Cayman Islands captive and a Bermuda captive

President and Board Member of Sisters of Mercy Ministries, a health system subsidiary providing outreach services to committees in New Orleans, Jackson, Mississippi, Gulfport Mississippi and Belize

Previous Affiliations

Norton Rose Fulbright
Memorial Hermann Health System
Mercy Health System
Wood, Lucksinger & Epstein