January 15, 2021

The Commission Mourns the Loss of a Friend, Mentor and Advisor

It is with sorrow that the Commission on Law and Aging shares the news that Edward D. (Ned) Spurgeon, 81, passed away in his Sacramento, California home on January 2.   Ned was a leader in academia and a pioneer in developing the field of law and aging.  From 1980 to 2010, Ned worked in academia and earned a reputation in as an expert in tax law and later in elder law.  He held positions as a tenured professor and Dean of two law schools, first at the University of Utah and then at the University of Georgia. He was also co-founder of the Utah Legal Services Senior Lawyer Volunteer Project, and he subsequently was the first holder of the Gordon D. Schaber Chair in Health Law and Policy at McGeorge Law School in Sacramento.

Ned served on the Board of Directors and is past president of Justice in Aging  and beginning in 1991, championed the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, serving as active member, special advisory and collaborator on many initiatives. Ned was the Albert and Elaine Borchard Foundation Board President for thirty-seven years and founded its Center on Law and Aging, which funded several landmark aging policy events, including:

  • 1993 - Conference on Ethical Issues in Representing Older Clients
  • 2000 - Joint Conference on Legal/Ethical Issues in the Progression of Dementia
  • 2001 - Wingspan: The Second National Guardianship Conference
  • 2007 - Symposium on Facilitating Voting as People Age: Implications of Cognitive Impairment
  • 2011 - Third National Guardianship Summit: Standards of Excellence

Each of these initiatives produced recommendations that have directly influenced the policy and practice environment across the states. The Center continues its leadership today in co-funding the upcoming Fourth National Guardianship Summit, scheduled for May 2021.

On a personal level, Ned was personally committed to nourishing new thinkers and leaders in law and aging, funding an internship and Fellow program through the Center and serving as a mentor to many of us in the field until his death.  He will be sorely missed. 

Read Mr. Spurgeon's obituary here:

Charlie Sabatino, Director

Commission on Law and Aging

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