The ABA Commission on Law and Aging welcomes five new appointments for the 2019-2020 term. We are thankful for the contributions of those whose terms have ended, and we look forward to continuing and advancing meaningful work with our new and current commissioners.
We'd like our readers to get to know our new commissioners: Judith Feder; Hon. Lauren Holland; Jason Karlawish, MD; Casey Ross; and Dominic Vorv.
Hon. Lauren Holland
Judge Lauren Holland is a Circuit Court Judge in Oregon and the current president of the Oregon Circuit Court Judges Association. She is a leader in identifying and implementing standards and best practices for protective proceedings in her own court and throughout the state. She instituted a court-appointed attorney list from which to appoint experienced attorneys to represent persons subject to protective proceedings. She developed a mandatory fiduciary education class for guardians and conservators and established a monitoring program utilizing trained volunteers to conduct independent investigations for the court in ongoing guardianships and conservatorships. Born and raised in Chicago, she attended the University of Illinois. She moved to Oregon in 1972, where she graduated from the University of Oregon. Judge Holland earned her JD Order of the Coif at the University of Oregon Law School in 1978. She was elected to the bench in 1992.
Why did you decide to join the Commission?
The Commission provides judges, lawyers, legislators and other system leaders resources and tools to ensure that seniors have the best opportunity and protections to lead autonomous, respected, and valued lives. In Oregon, I have led successful efforts to do that for the people who appear before me and statewide, testifying before the legislature this session on a bill to codify fiduciary standards of decision-making and rights of protected persons to associate with others. When people who are serving our most vulnerable collaborate and learn from each other’s practices, we extend the reach of our impact. The Commission connects us, across the country, to expand successes and ensure we continue to strive to improve our system of service to seniors.
What do you hope to bring to the Commission and what do you hope to accomplish?
As Chair of the Oregon Circuit Judge Conference in 2018, I organized this statewide judicial education conference, presenting, along with national speakers, the keynote session on Protective Proceedings. I have listened to and collaborated with protective proceeding stakeholders to ensure we include diverse voices and members of the community at the table. I have also worked with the University of Oregon Law School conducting a Probate Mediation Clinic and trainings for law students. I have had personal experience with family members whose capacities were questioned and the challenges and obstacles they faced being respected and heard. I bring passion, enthusiasm, experience and a willingness to learn as I join the Commission in continuing its influence and reach in the service of seniors and vulnerable members of our communities.
Has the Commission impacted your work, and, if so, how?
The policies and resources of the Commission have allowed me to look beyond state borders to access and discuss ideas implemented elsewhere to protect vulnerable persons. I have been Co-Chair of Oregon WINGS since its inception. Under a grant from the ABA and NCSC, Oregon WINGS has completed a mapping project to determine and close gaps in services thereby allowing less restrictive alternatives to guardianships for vulnerable persons. From that project, we are now creating a “Train the Trainer” program and pursuing a public service presence. The commitment and dedication of those who serve with the Commission and in support of the Commission has been an inspiration.