Archive for the ‘ABA Commission’ Category

Budget Cuts on Judicial Investigations

April 6, 2009
Georgia’s system for protecting its residents from rogue judges is in peril.

To balance this year’s budget, the General Assembly significantly cut public money for programs that administer judicial discipline and judicial training for the state’s 1,700 judges.

The cuts are impeding investigations of judges accused of corruption and limiting training for those who sit on the bench, including the hundreds of Georgia judges who are not attorneys.

Only after receiving a strongly worded letter last week from state Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears did the General Assembly decide against a Senate plan to wipe out virtually all state money for training judges.

The Judicial Qualifications Commission, which investigates complaints and punishes errant judges, is already one of the most slimly staffed in the nation. Commission members say they are now so short of money that they have halted some investigations.

Robert Ingram, a commission member “Right now, we have got judges who have serious charges against them that we can’t investigate.”

Full Article and Source:
Policing of judges gets less funding

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>Budget Cuts on Judicial Investigations

April 6, 2009

>

Georgia’s system for protecting its residents from rogue judges is in peril.

To balance this year’s budget, the General Assembly significantly cut public money for programs that administer judicial discipline and judicial training for the state’s 1,700 judges.

The cuts are impeding investigations of judges accused of corruption and limiting training for those who sit on the bench, including the hundreds of Georgia judges who are not attorneys.

Only after receiving a strongly worded letter last week from state Supreme Court Chief Justice Leah Ward Sears did the General Assembly decide against a Senate plan to wipe out virtually all state money for training judges.

The Judicial Qualifications Commission, which investigates complaints and punishes errant judges, is already one of the most slimly staffed in the nation. Commission members say they are now so short of money that they have halted some investigations.

Robert Ingram, a commission member “Right now, we have got judges who have serious charges against them that we can’t investigate.”

Full Article and Source:
Policing of judges gets less funding

ABA Seeking Stories About Multi-State Guardianships

December 11, 2008
The American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging (ABA Commission) is looking for stories about how multi-state guardianship problems affect the lives of vulnerable individuals and their families, especially stories involving elder or adult abuse.

Adult guardianships often involve more than one state, raising complex jurisdictional issues. For example, many older people own property in different states. Family members may be scattered across the country. Frail, at-risk individuals may need to be moved for medical or financial reasons. Thus, judges, guardians, and lawyers frequently are faced with questions about which state should have initial jurisdiction, how to transfer a guardianship to another state, and whether a guardianship in one state will be recognized in another.

Such jurisdictional issues can take up vast amounts of time for courts and lawyers and can cause cumbersome delays and financial burdens for family members. Jurisdictional tangles can bar timely medical treatment for incapacitated individuals and can exacerbate family conflict. Moreover, lack of clear jurisdictional guideposts can facilitate “granny snatching” and other abusive actions.

To address these challenging problems, the Uniform Law Commission in 2007 approved the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA). The UAGPPJA seeks to clarify jurisdiction and provide a procedural road map for addressing dilemmas where more than one state is involved. The UAGPPJA cannot work as intended — providing jurisdictional uniformity and reducing conflict — unless all or most states adopt it.

Your stories about how multi-state guardianship problems affect the lives of vulnerable individuals and their families can make a real difference!

HOW YOU CAN HELP:
(1) Send your stories to the ABA Commission at:
guardianshipjurisdiction@staff.abanet.org

(2) Indicate whether the ABA Commission staff may share your name and contact information with the Uniform Law Commission staff. They may contact you regarding legislative advocacy within your state. ABA staff will not share this information without permission; we don’t want to discourage anyone from sending stories.

The ABA Commission’s Joint Campaign for Uniform Guardianship Jurisdiction is funded by the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law; the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Foundation; and the Uniform Law Foundation. For more information about the UAGPPJA and the Joint Campaign, visit:
www.abanet.org/aging/guardianshipjurisdiction

Source:

ABA.org – aging – guardianship jurisdiction – story solicitation

See also:
Description of ABA Commission on Law and Aging Joint Campaign for Uniform Guardianship Jurisdiction

>ABA Seeking Stories About Multi-State Guardianships

December 11, 2008

>

The American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging (ABA Commission) is looking for stories about how multi-state guardianship problems affect the lives of vulnerable individuals and their families, especially stories involving elder or adult abuse.

Adult guardianships often involve more than one state, raising complex jurisdictional issues. For example, many older people own property in different states. Family members may be scattered across the country. Frail, at-risk individuals may need to be moved for medical or financial reasons. Thus, judges, guardians, and lawyers frequently are faced with questions about which state should have initial jurisdiction, how to transfer a guardianship to another state, and whether a guardianship in one state will be recognized in another.

Such jurisdictional issues can take up vast amounts of time for courts and lawyers and can cause cumbersome delays and financial burdens for family members. Jurisdictional tangles can bar timely medical treatment for incapacitated individuals and can exacerbate family conflict. Moreover, lack of clear jurisdictional guideposts can facilitate “granny snatching” and other abusive actions.

To address these challenging problems, the Uniform Law Commission in 2007 approved the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act (UAGPPJA). The UAGPPJA seeks to clarify jurisdiction and provide a procedural road map for addressing dilemmas where more than one state is involved. The UAGPPJA cannot work as intended — providing jurisdictional uniformity and reducing conflict — unless all or most states adopt it.

Your stories about how multi-state guardianship problems affect the lives of vulnerable individuals and their families can make a real difference!

HOW YOU CAN HELP:
(1) Send your stories to the ABA Commission at:
guardianshipjurisdiction@staff.abanet.org

(2) Indicate whether the ABA Commission staff may share your name and contact information with the Uniform Law Commission staff. They may contact you regarding legislative advocacy within your state. ABA staff will not share this information without permission; we don’t want to discourage anyone from sending stories.

The ABA Commission’s Joint Campaign for Uniform Guardianship Jurisdiction is funded by the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law; the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel Foundation; and the Uniform Law Foundation. For more information about the UAGPPJA and the Joint Campaign, visit:
www.abanet.org/aging/guardianshipjurisdiction

Source:

ABA.org – aging – guardianship jurisdiction – story solicitation

See also:
Description of ABA Commission on Law and Aging Joint Campaign for Uniform Guardianship Jurisdiction

Uniform Power of Attorney Act

December 6, 2008
The misuse of powers of attorney to exploit the elderly appears to be on the rise, but a new AARP report says that states can improve protections for older people by adopting a model law that addresses this type of abuse.

For most people, the power of attorney (POA) is the most important estate planning instrument — even more useful than a will. But while a POA avoids the costly and time-consuming process of having a court appoint a guardian or conservator, it also confers a great deal of authority on the agent. This is why advocates for the elderly often call the POA a “license to steal.”

Increasingly, it seems, dishonest agents have been taking advantage of this license. AARP says that adult protective services and criminal justice professionals are reporting “an explosion” of financial exploitation cases of this type against the elderly.

In 2006, the Uniform Law Commissioners, which draft and propose model laws for states, approved the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA) to offer states a set of provisions that will protect people who executive POAs and discourage abuse. The UPOAA includes stringent requirements for agents to exercise certain powers and provisions making malfeasant agents liable for damages, attorney’s fees and costs.

New Mexico and Idaho — have enacted the UPOAA and 12 states are considering adopting it in 2009. AARP’s study of current state POA statutes found that “a large majority of state laws lack most of the UPOAA’s protections for individuals creating powers of attorney.”

The AARP report,“Power of Attorney Abuse: What States Can Do About It,” compiled by the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging under contract to AARP, offers advocates tips for enacting the UPOAA provisions and includes a list of stakeholders who may want to collaborate in the study and recommendation process.

Source:
AARP Report Says States Have Power to Curb Power of Attorney Abuse

See also:
Power of attorney can victimize elderly – Agents can write checks, sell seniors’ property

>Uniform Power of Attorney Act

December 6, 2008

>

The misuse of powers of attorney to exploit the elderly appears to be on the rise, but a new AARP report says that states can improve protections for older people by adopting a model law that addresses this type of abuse.

For most people, the power of attorney (POA) is the most important estate planning instrument — even more useful than a will. But while a POA avoids the costly and time-consuming process of having a court appoint a guardian or conservator, it also confers a great deal of authority on the agent. This is why advocates for the elderly often call the POA a “license to steal.”

Increasingly, it seems, dishonest agents have been taking advantage of this license. AARP says that adult protective services and criminal justice professionals are reporting “an explosion” of financial exploitation cases of this type against the elderly.

In 2006, the Uniform Law Commissioners, which draft and propose model laws for states, approved the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA) to offer states a set of provisions that will protect people who executive POAs and discourage abuse. The UPOAA includes stringent requirements for agents to exercise certain powers and provisions making malfeasant agents liable for damages, attorney’s fees and costs.

New Mexico and Idaho — have enacted the UPOAA and 12 states are considering adopting it in 2009. AARP’s study of current state POA statutes found that “a large majority of state laws lack most of the UPOAA’s protections for individuals creating powers of attorney.”

The AARP report,“Power of Attorney Abuse: What States Can Do About It,” compiled by the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging under contract to AARP, offers advocates tips for enacting the UPOAA provisions and includes a list of stakeholders who may want to collaborate in the study and recommendation process.

Source:
AARP Report Says States Have Power to Curb Power of Attorney Abuse

See also:
Power of attorney can victimize elderly – Agents can write checks, sell seniors’ property

Guardianship Legislation

January 30, 2008
According to a State Adult Guardianship Legislation report, about 13 states passed a total of 16 adult guardianship bills last year.

The report includes – Connecticut bolstering procedures for appointment and appeal. Washington, Arkansas and Nevada creating or strengthening a public guardianship program.

Other states in the report include Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Idaho, Kentucky, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Virginia.

Legislation at a glance:

California’s Omnibus Act was also mentioned in the report. “In 2006, in response to a series of reports on the state’s adult guardianship system (called “conservatorship” in California), the legislature passed an Omnibus Act, which was “a landmark package of bills to overhaul California’s troubled conservatorship system. That legislation [was] designed to remedy alarming deficiencies in California’s conservatorship system that had led to the abuses of California’s elderly and most vulnerable” (Bill Summary, Legislative Analysis, Leora Gershenzon). While the Act was moving through the legislature, the Chief Justice appointed a Probate Conservatorship Task Force to make recommendations for reform. The Task Force released recommendations, several of which were included in AB 1727, which also makes a number of technical and other clarifying amendments to last year’s Act.”

After the good news of California’s much needed reform, it was reported that Schwarzenegger vetoed the funding. “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Friday signed into law a $145 billion budget for FY 2007-2008, but not before using his line-item veto power to cut $700 million, including $17.377 million that would have implemented conservatorship reforms approved by lawmakers last year.”

Source: Schwarzenegger Vetoes Conservatorship Reform Funding

The Los Angeles Times reported: “When yacht owners are preferred over the aged and homeless, the bottom line is we’ve sunk too low.”

Source: Schwarzenegger’s bad budget cuts

In reality, it is not clear how any of the new legislation will help victims of guardianship and conservatorship abuse. NASGA believes that much more is needed.

Reports from the Commission on Law and Aging, American Bar Association:
State Adult Guardianship Legislation: Directions of Reform – 2007
State Adult Guardianship Legislation: Directions of Reform 2006

Guardianship Legislation

January 30, 2008
According to a State Adult Guardianship Legislation report, about 13 states passed a total of 16 adult guardianship bills last year.

The report includes – Connecticut bolstering procedures for appointment and appeal. Washington, Arkansas and Nevada creating or strengthening a public guardianship program.

Other states in the report include Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Illinois, Idaho, Kentucky, Minnesota, Rhode Island and Virginia.

Legislation at a glance:

California’s Omnibus Act was also mentioned in the report. “In 2006, in response to a series of reports on the state’s adult guardianship system (called “conservatorship” in California), the legislature passed an Omnibus Act, which was “a landmark package of bills to overhaul California’s troubled conservatorship system. That legislation [was] designed to remedy alarming deficiencies in California’s conservatorship system that had led to the abuses of California’s elderly and most vulnerable” (Bill Summary, Legislative Analysis, Leora Gershenzon). While the Act was moving through the legislature, the Chief Justice appointed a Probate Conservatorship Task Force to make recommendations for reform. The Task Force released recommendations, several of which were included in AB 1727, which also makes a number of technical and other clarifying amendments to last year’s Act.”

After the good news of California’s much needed reform, it was reported that Schwarzenegger vetoed the funding. “Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger Friday signed into law a $145 billion budget for FY 2007-2008, but not before using his line-item veto power to cut $700 million, including $17.377 million that would have implemented conservatorship reforms approved by lawmakers last year.”

Source: Schwarzenegger Vetoes Conservatorship Reform Funding

The Los Angeles Times reported: “When yacht owners are preferred over the aged and homeless, the bottom line is we’ve sunk too low.”

Source: Schwarzenegger’s bad budget cuts

In reality, it is not clear how any of the new legislation will help victims of guardianship and conservatorship abuse. NASGA believes that much more is needed.

Reports from the Commission on Law and Aging, American Bar Association:
State Adult Guardianship Legislation: Directions of Reform – 2007
State Adult Guardianship Legislation: Directions of Reform 2006