Committee Highlight/Member Spotlight

Vol. 1, No. 8

 

Committee Highlight

 

Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Committee

The GPSolo Division’s Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Committee (chaired by Parag P. Patel and Vice Chair Kenneth A. Vercammen) provides information on all aspects of estate planning to general practitioners and more experienced elder, estate planning, probate, and trust attorneys. The committee is responsible for providing articles for publication in the GPSolo eReport, produced quarterly, and content for the production of a CLE teleconference or meetings CLE, as well as liaising with counterpart ABA entities.

At the 2011 ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada, the Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Committee jointed with the GPSolo Elder Law Committee to cosponsor the Elder Law, Estate Planning & Probate - “New Ideas to Expand & Excel Your Practice.” The CLE program afforded participants to learn from nationally recognized experts on using new techniques to improve service to elder law and estate clients. The topics included getting referrals from other professionals; the aftermath of the Terry Schiavo case and living wills; forms you can use; email newsletters; how to manage telephone conversations with your clients; marketing with written fee agreements; and ethics and marketing without violating the Rules of Professional Conduct.

Most recently, the committee sponsored a non-CLE accreditation virtual brown bag session titled Estate Planning Primer on December 14, 2011. Estate planning attorneys are not the only practitioners who need to understand trusts and estates issues. Such issues arise in virtually every matter, from corporate to real estate to matrimonial cases. The program provided general practice attorneys with a basic understanding of estate planning and related issues in order for them to better serve their clients' needs.

This brown bag session focused on the following:

  • What You Need to Know About Federal/State Transfer Taxes
  • The Alphabet Soup of Trusts and How They Are Used
  • Planning Issues with Qualified Retirement Accounts
  • Planning Issues with Life Insurance
  • Power of Attorney
  • Last Will and Testament

 

Member Spotlight

 

Marvin S.C. Dang of Honolulu, Hawaii

 

Marvin Dang

 

Marvin S.C. Dang is the managing member of the Law Offices of Marvin S. C. Dang, LLLC, a five-attorney law firm in Honolulu, Hawaii. His law practice emphasizes creditors’ rights, foreclosures, real estate, legislation, governmental relations, estate planning, probate, and business law. Marvin’s firm, which he established in 1981 and which now has more than 50 employees, is the largest collections law firm in Hawaii. His clients include major Hawaii and national financial institutions. Various Hawaii media, both newspaper and television, have quoted Marvin on foreclosure and collection issues.

Marvin became a member of the Hawaii State Bar in 1978 after he earned his J.D. degree from George Washington University Law School. He received his B.A. degree from the University of Hawaii.

When he was a solo practitioner in 1982, Marvin was elected to Hawaii State House of Representatives where he was selected as an Assistant Minority Floor Leader. He is now a registered lobbyist.

Marvin has leadership roles with community projects. He serves as the Vice Chair of the Hawaii Mortgage Foreclosure Task Force, which was created by the legislature in 2010. He was the Vice Chair of the Hawaii Identity Theft Task Force, which the legislature formed in 2005.

Last year Marvin’s law firm raised money for nonprofit organizations. The firm organized a bake sale for the benefit of the Aloha United Way. They made cupcakes and cookies, which Marvin and his employees sold in front of the firm’s office building in downtown Honolulu. Marvin and others from the firm walked in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in Waikiki to raise money for the fight against breast cancer.

Much of Marvin’s volunteer work is with local and national bar association activities. He is the immediate past Chair of the Collection Law Section of the Hawaii State Bar Association, and he sits on the Section’s Board of Directors. He was a Director of the HSBA’s Young Lawyers Section in 1990.

Marvin joined the American Bar Association’s General Practice, Solo & Small Firm Division in the early 2000s. His active service to the Division began in 2005, when he assisted with the planning for the 2006 Annual Meeting in Honolulu. In 2008, he was elected to a four-year term as a Council Member-at Large. Last year, Division Chair Laura Farber appointed Marvin as one of four Division Directors for the 2011–12 bar year. Marvin has been Chair of the Awards Committee, Vice Chair of the By-Laws Committee, and a member of the Long Range Planning Committee, the Membership Committee, the Diversity Committee, and the Communications Committee.

He received the GPSolo Division’s 2006 Small Firm Practitioner of Merit Award. “It was a humbling experience when the Division presented me with this Award during the Annual Meeting in Honolulu,” Marvin said.

Marvin’s volunteer work with the American Bar Association began when he was a law student. He was elected as a Circuit Governor with the Law Student Division during the 1977–78 bar year. He was later selected as a District Representative with the Young Lawyers Division. Beginning in 1979, various ABA Presidents appointed him to a wide range of committees, including the Standing Committee on Publishing Oversight, Coalition for Justice, Standing Committee on Delivery of Legal Services, Standing Committee on Group & Prepaid Legal Services, Board of Directors of American Prepaid Legal Services Institute, Council of the Fund for Justice & Education, Standing Committee on Law and the Electoral Process, and Special Committee on Youth Education for Citizenship.

“While I have been active with the ABA for about 35 years, initially as a law student and continuing as an attorney, I have especially enjoyed the past seven years because of my involvement with the GPSolo Division,” Marvin said. “I renewed acquaintances with people I knew in the Law Student Division and in the Young Lawyers Division. I made new friends with attorneys I met while attending GPSolo meetings and conferences 3 or 4 times a year. Working on GPSolo projects has been a wonderful experience. The Division is quite fortunate to have a hardworking group of volunteers from across the country and a dedicated staff in Chicago.”

“Thankfully, my family has been supportive of the long hours I’ve spent building my law firm and volunteering on bar and community activities,” Marvin said. His wife Dr. Seulyn Au Dang is an optometrist with three offices in Hawaii. Their three children (Corbin, Tiffany, and Chad) are in college. The family had a “staycation” this past Thanksgiving at the newly opened Disney Aulani Resort on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. “I don’t surf in the ocean, but I do surf the Internet,” Marvin said.

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