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July 01, 2012

Inside the Commission

New Members of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging 2012-2013


Each September 1, a new roster of commissioners appointed by the ABA president takes the helm of the Commission on Law and Aging. Most commissioners continue to serve for multiple years with a handful of new faces starting in any given year. This year, there are an unusually large number of new faces--seven in all out of the total of fifteen. Plus, one veteran commissioner Professor David English of the University of Missouri Law School steps into the role of chair of the Commission, assuming the role held by Jeff Snell for the last three years. The following pages provide short biographies of the new commissioners. You will find them to be a diverse and highly expert group in their individual disciplines. The full roster of this year’s Commission is below.


Commission Roster 2012-2013

David English, JD – Chair, University of Missouri Columbia School of Law, Columbia, MO

Walter Burke, JD, Burke & Casserly, PC, Albany, NY

Anthony R. Palermo, Woods Oviatt Gilman, LLP, Rochester, NY

William L. Pope, JD, Columbia, SC

Dorothy Siemon, JD, AARP, Office of Policy Integration, Washington, DC

Richard Milstein, JD, Akerman Senterfitt, Miami, FL

Lynn Friss Feinberg, MSW, AARP Public Policy Institute, Washington, DC

Gloria Ramsey, JD, RN, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, Bethesda, MD


New members:

Marcos Acle, JD, Organization of American States, Washington, DC

Hon. Patricia Banks, JD, Circuit Court of Cook County, Cicago, IL

Claire Curry, JD, Legal Aid Justice Center, Charlottesville, VA

XinQi Dong, MD, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, IL

Jason Karlawish, MD, University of Pennsylvania Medical School

Nina Kohn, JD, Syracuse University College of Law, Syracuse, NY

Kerry Peck, JD, Peck Bloom, LLC, Chicago, IL


DAVID M. ENGLISH is an old hand with the Commission having just completed his third consecutive year as a member, but this year he takes on a new role as Chair. He is the William Franklin Fratcher Endowed Professor of Law at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Within the ABA, Prof. English has dedicated a considerable amount of work to aging and disability issues. This includes presidential appointments to the Commission on Law and Aging, the Special Committee on Bioethics and the Law, and the Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law. He has held numerous leadership positions in the Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law. Currently, Prof. English represents the section in the House of Delegates and is a member of the section’s executive committee. He was previously a member of the section council and group chair in charge of the elder law/disability group of committees. In his capacity as a delegate for the Real Property section, Prof. English has spoken frequently to the House of Delegates on resolutions sponsored by the Commission on Law and Aging. As a Uniform Law Commissioner for the state of Missouri he was involved in the drafting of numerous uniform acts directly relevant to the legislative projects and educational work of the Commission, including the 2007 Uniform Adult Guardianship Jurisdiction Act (Reporter), the 2000 Uniform Trust Code, and the 1993 Uniform Health-Care Decisions Act. He was a member of the drafting committee on the Uniform Power of Attorney Act, the Uniform Anatomical Gift Act, and an advisor on the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act. In his current position as executive director of the Joint Editorial Board for Uniform Trusts and Estates Act, Prof. English has oversight responsibility for all uniform legislation relating to aging and disability issues.


MARCOS ACLE, born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Attorney and Doctor of Law and Social Sciences from the Universidad de la República Oriental del Uruguay, has undertaken post-graduate studies in International Law with the Inter-American Juridical Committee in Rio de Janeiro and the University of London, as well as in the area of Consumer Law at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra of Barcelona. After practicing law in private firms and the United Nations Development Programme in Uruguay, he joined the Organization of American States (OAS) where he coordinated the Program on Access to Justice for Vulnerable Groups in the Department Special Legal Programs. Currently, he is a Specialist at the Department of Social Development and Employment of the OAS in charge of the Consumer Protection Program and the Technical Secretariat of the Working Group on Human Rights of Older Persons, which has the mandate to negotiate an Inter-American Convention on the subject. As Coordinator of the Technical Secretariat of the Working Group on Human Rights of Older Persons, Mr. Acle represents the OAS before specialized forums and organizations internationally and has engaged in different research and cooperation activities aimed to developing the international law on human rights of older persons and creating awareness of the subject within the OAS Member States.


HON. PATRICIA BANKS serves on the Executive Committee of the Circuit Court of Cook County and is Presiding Judge of the Elder Law and Miscellaneous Remedies Division of the Circuit Court. She served as a trial judge in the Domestic Relations and Law Divisions prior to her current assignment. Immediately prior to her judicial career, Judge Banks practiced extensively in the areas of probate and family law. Other employment included a position with Sears Roebuck & Company as its first African American Attorney specializing in advertisement and employment law from 1974-78, and staff attorney with the Leadership Council for Metropolitan Open Communities and the United States Department of Labor. Judge Banks has several certifications in mediation, including advanced training in Adult Guardianship and Eldercare mediation. Additionally, she has held various leadership positions, including Chairperson of the Illinois Supreme Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinating Committee, Chairperson of the Judicial Council of the National Bar Association and member of the Chicago Bar Association Board of Managers. Currently, Judge Banks is a member of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges’ Family Violence Advisory Committee and the Center for Conflict Resolution Board of Directors She is a 1972 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School.


CLAIRE E. CURRY graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law in 1982. She became interested in public interest law through her work as a VISTA volunteer. As a staff attorney with Client Centered Legal Services, she worked in the Appalachian coalfields for a year before moving to Charlottesville to join the staff of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Legal Aid Society (now the Legal Aid Justice Center) in 1983. In addition to over twenty-five years as an attorney with Legal Aid, she was the Director of the Community Mediation Center in Charlottesville from 1994-1998. Since 1998 Claire has been Legal Director of the Civil Advocacy Program of the Legal Aid Justice Center. Her areas of practice included public benefits, domestic relations, and housing law, before turning to a concentration on elder law, especially nursing home advocacy. She co-supervises two law school clinics, the University of Virginia School of Law’s Advocacy Clinic for the Elderly and Mental Health Law Clinic. She has also coordinated the work of Charlottesville’s Community Partnership for Improved Long-Term Care since its founding in 2003. She currently serves on the Leadership Council of the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long Term Care and on the Board of Directors for the Direct Care Alliance. At the state level, she is on the Board of Directors for the Virginia Elder Rights Coalition and is Co-Chair of Virginia’s pilot project with the National Consumer Voice known as Quality Care, No Matter Where.


XINQI DONG, MD, MPH, is the Director of the Chinese Health, Aging and Policy Program and the Associate Director of Rush Institute for Healthy Aging and an Associate Professor of Medicine, Nursing, and Behavioral Sciences at Rush University Medical Center. Dr. Dong’s research focuses on the epidemiological studies of elder abuse and neglect both in the U.S. and China. Currently, he is leading an epidemiological study of 2,500 Chinese older adults who live in US to explore the relationships between family violence and psychosocial wellbeing. Dr. Dong is an American Political Sciences Association (APSA) Congressional Policy Fellow/Health and Aging Policy Fellow and serves as a Senior Policy and Research Advisor for the U.S. Administration on Aging (AoA) and a Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Dr. Dong also is a recipient of the Paul Beeson Scholar in Aging Award, National Physician Advocacy Merit Award, the Nobuo Maeda International Aging and Public Health Research Award, and the Maxwell A. Pollack Award in Productive Aging by the Gerontological Society of America. Dr. Dong currently serves as the Board of Directors for the Chinese American Service League, the largest social services organization in the Midwest serving the needs of Chinese population. He is a fellow of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago (IOMC) and member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Global Violence Prevention Forum.


JASON KARLAWISH is a Professor of Medicine, Medical Ethics and Health Policy with tenure, Senior Fellow of the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and Fellow at the Institute on Aging at the University of Pennsylvania. He is the Associate Director of the Penn Memory Center and the Director of the Alzheimers Disease Center’s Education, Recruitment and Retention Core. His clinical practice focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of persons with Alzheimers disease and related disorders. He serves on the Board of Directors of The Greenwall Foundation, the largest foundation dedicated to supporting research in bioethics. He studied medicine at Northwestern University and Johns Hopkins University, and did post-graduate fellowships in bioethics and geriatric medicine at the University of Chicago. Dr. Karlawish’s research focuses on neuroethics, particularly in research and care of older adults, and persons with late-life cognitive disorders such as Alzheimers Disease and Parkinsons Disease. His has investigated issues in dementia drug development, informed consent, quality of life, research and treatment decision making, biomarkers, and voting by persons with cognitive impairment and residents of long term care facilities. He developed the ACED (the Assessment for Capacity for Everyday Decisionmaking), an instrument to assist in judging a person’s capacity to manage their functional deficits. His current research is examining the clinical and policy implications of how risk is changing concepts of disease, medicine, health and aging. This work has introduced the concept of “desktop medicine,” a model of medicine grounded in a concept of disease as risk and treatment as risk reduction.


NINA A. KOHN is a Professor of Law at the Syracuse University College of Law where she teaches elder law, family law, torts, and an interdisciplinary gerontology course. Her research focuses on elder law and, in particular, the civil rights of senior citizens. Recent articles have addressed such issues as the unintended consequences of elder abuse legislation, the potential for an elder rights movement, financial exploitation of older adults, surrogate and supported decision-making, and elder law education. In 2011, the Syracuse College of Law’s graduating class selected Professor Kohn for the Res Ipsa Loquitur award for teaching. In 2012, she was selected as Syracuse University’s Judith Greenberg Seinfeld Distinguished Faculty Fellow. In addition to her work at the College of Law, Professor Kohn is a faculty affiliate with the Syracuse University Gerontology Center, Chair of the Elder Rights Committee of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section of the American Bar Association, and the 2009 Chair of the Aging and the Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools. She earned an A.B. summa cum laude from Princeton University and a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard University. She clerked for the Honorable Fred I. Parker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.


KERRY R. PECK is the managing partner of the Chicago law firm Peck Bloom, LLC where he concentrates his practice in Trust and Estate Litigation, Estate Planning/Administration, Guardianship and Fiduciary Litigation, and Elder Law. His clients include families, hospitals, banks, the State of Illinois, County of Cook, and City of Chicago. Mr. Peck is past President of the 22,000-lawyer Chicago Bar Association, current member of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Law and Aging, and Chair of the Elder Law Section Council of the Illinois Bar Association. He was named chair of the State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez’s Elder Abuse Task Force and was retained by the City of Chicago Department of Aging to rewrite the State of Illinois Elder Abuse and Neglect Act. He was also appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to serve on the Supreme Court’s committee on professional responsibility. Mr. Peck was recently asked to co-author two chapters, “Will Contests” and “Guardianship Litigation,” in a publication for practicing attorneys by the Illinois Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Mr. Peck has also written articles for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin, Chicago Bar Association Record, Illinois State Bar Journal, and various other Bar Association journals and newspapers. He teaches attorneys and healthcare professionals across the country, and is an adjunct professor at John Marshall Law School’s Elder Law Studies program where he teaches a guardianship course.