Vol. 38, No. 2, Summer 2004
Symposium on Elder Law
Seymour Moskowitz, Still Part of the Clan: Representing Elders in the Family Law Practice, 38 FAM. L.Q. 213 (2004).
This article surveys some of the challenges presented by the increasing representation of the elderly and their families. Such cases are conceptually complex and change frequently. Often, expertise in allied topics - bankruptcy, disability law, insurance, etc. -- is required. The author catalogs the requisite practice areas and the potential challenges to be addressed in each as well as potential ethical issues that may present themselves throuhout the client's representation. The author cautions that the task is formidable, but legal services well performed bring the incalculable reward of helping clients with disparate needs.
Carolyn L. Dessin, Protecting the Older Client in Multi-generation Representations, 38 FAM L.Q. 247 (2004).
This article examines the rules of professional conduct that govern multi-generation representations and the representations of clients who may be impaired. It examines some of the case law dealing with situations in which such representations have caused problems for both the attorneys and the clients. It explores the aging process and loss of capacity and analyzes several hypothetical situations with the goal of adequately representing clients' interests while avoiding potential difficulties.
Rebecca C. Morgan, The Practical Aspects of Practicing Elder Law: Creating an Elder-Friendly Office, 38 FAM. L.Q. 269 (2004).
This article focuses on practical ways of making a law office elder friendly: how best to do it and what other elder law attorneys have learned in the process. The author examines the role of family in the elder law practice - physically, causally, and substantively--and compiles her own suggestions as well as "best practices" of experienced elder law attorneys in achieveing greater client accessibility and satisfaction.
Elizabeth Barker Brandt, De Facto Custodians: A Response to the Needs of Informal Kin Caregivers?, 38 FAM L.Q. 291 (2004).
This article outlines the issues and problems confronting informal kin caregivers and the limitations of the current legal framework in most states. The author analyzes the "de facto custodian" statutes enacted by Kentucky, Indiana, Minnesota, and Idaho. She proposes a series of safeguards and guidelines that should be observed by states considering such statutes.
Paul J. Buser, Domestic Partner and Nonmarital Cliams Against Probate Estates: Marvin Theories Put to a Different Use, 38 FAM L.Q. 315 (2004).
This article is a primer for lawyers who want to use the courts' reasoning in Marvin v. Marvin to represent clients' nonmarital partner interests in probate courts. The author argues that the language of the law of nonmarital prartners for family law proceedings, such as havebeen adopted by the American Law Institute's Principles for Family Dissolution, and statutory laws enacted by Hawaii and New Hampshire, will be instructive. He advises that complete acceptance of Marvin-type claims may take another thirty years, but that they will one day prevail in probate courts as they have in family law courts.
American Bar Association Section of Family Law Working Group on Same-Sex Marriages and Non-Marital Unions, A White Paper: An Analysis of the Law Regarding Same-Sex Marriage, Civil Unions, and Domestic Partnerships, 38 FAM L.Q. 339 (2004).
This report covers the history of marriage; the evolution of laws governing sexual orientation and same-sex couples; and areas of the law that are impacted by recognition of same-sex unions.
Charles P. Kindregan, Jr., Same-Sex Marriage: The Cultural Wars and the Lessons of Legal History, 38 FAM L.Q. 427 (2004).
This article examines in light of historical and religious views of marriage the Goodridge v. Dep't of Pub. Health decision, in which the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts ruled that same-sex couples have the right to obtain civil marraige licenses under the state constitution.
Nancy Ver Steegh, A Book Review: The Unfinished Business of Modern Court Reform: Reflections on Children, Courts, and Custody by Andrew I. Schepard, 38 FAM L.Q. 449 (2004).
The author reviews Children, Courts, and Custody by Andrew I. Schepard and explores what the book reflects in terms of the changing divorce process over the last twenty-five years.