Archive for the ‘Research’ Category

Sensitive Information Regarding D.C. Vulnerable Compromised

July 4, 2010

Sensitive information of some of the District’s must vulnerable residents, including abused and neglected elderly and disabled citizens, was left in a haphazard and unsecured mess at a city office, the D.C. inspector general has found.

The District’s Adult Protective Services division is tasked with “investigating reports of abuse, neglect, and exploitation of frail, elderly and disabled adults,” according to the inspector general’s report.

But the APS’s case files — which include clients’ statements, Social Security numbers, health records, and the names of those who reported abuse — were left “unorganized lying on unattended desks, in open boxes, and in carts waiting to filed” in a storage room,” the IG found.

And the storage room was often left open and unlocked because it was used by city employees “as a thoroughfare” to reach exits and restrooms. City employees from a different department and who weren’t authorized to look at the records had easy access to the files, according to the IG.

The report is the third the inspector general has issued in little more than a year that details how a city agency has failed to safeguard city records.

Full Article and Source:
Records of D.C.’s Abused,Elderly and Disabled Found at Risk

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Elder Abuse and Premature Death

August 9, 2009
A recent study reveals some disturbing data on senior care and elder abuse. According to the research conducted at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, the risk of death increases significantly—nearly six-fold—when seniors do not care for themselves, reported Medicine Net. The findings appear in the August 5th issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

Also, when seniors are abused—emotionally, physically, financially, sexually, or through neglect—the risk of death increases by more than double, according the study, said Medicine Net. “Elder self-neglect and abuse really have severe consequences,” said Dr. XinQi Dong, study author and associate professor of medicine at Rush, quoted Medicine Net. According to Dr. Dong, the research indicated that “it’s not just the cognitively impaired,” citing patients with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, affected by these trends, “Even more capable seniors face a higher risk of premature death from self-neglect,” he said, reported Medicine Net.

Full Article and Source:
Elder Abuse Linked To Early Death

More information:
Elder Abuse, Neglect Make Early Death Far More Likely

Self-neglect, abuse ups risk of death in the elderly

Siphoning Off Millions

July 26, 2009
2001 – Court-appointed lawyers are siphoning off millions of dollars in fees from the assets of helpless elderly New Yorkers they are sworn to protect.

Nine years after a legislative overhaul of the state’s guardianship laws, reforms meant to protect the assets of the elderly have had the unintended effect of creating a money trough for well-connected attorneys.

Since 1993, New York-area attorneys have been paid at least $63 million in fees from the assets of mostly elderly people whose money they were assigned to protect, according to a Daily News computer analysis of data provided by the state.

A News investigation into the guardianship system has found:

* Case after case of elderly wards whose life savings have been whittled away. Some lawyers are charging $300 an hour or more to perform routine functions, such as going over bank statements.

* A small cadre of lawyers – party loyalists, former judges and partners in the firms of some of the city’s most powerful politicians – who receive the overwhelming majority of lucrative guardianship cases.

* Attorneys and judges who routinely ignore court rules designed to limit the number of guardianship-related appointments to no more than one per year that pays $5,000 or more.

* Judges and lawyers who do not report all guardianship appointments and legal fees to the state’s Office of Court Administration. Court officials acknowledge many fees go unreported, a problem they say they are trying to correct.

* Few lawyers who are willing to take on the cases of those elderly people, often in nursing homes and without court-appointed guardians or family, with little or no assets.

Full Article and Source:

SENIOR TAKEN FOR MILLIONS Lawyers rack up fat fees as guardians to the helpless

>Siphoning Off Millions

July 26, 2009

>

2001 – Court-appointed lawyers are siphoning off millions of dollars in fees from the assets of helpless elderly New Yorkers they are sworn to protect.

Nine years after a legislative overhaul of the state’s guardianship laws, reforms meant to protect the assets of the elderly have had the unintended effect of creating a money trough for well-connected attorneys.

Since 1993, New York-area attorneys have been paid at least $63 million in fees from the assets of mostly elderly people whose money they were assigned to protect, according to a Daily News computer analysis of data provided by the state.

A News investigation into the guardianship system has found:

* Case after case of elderly wards whose life savings have been whittled away. Some lawyers are charging $300 an hour or more to perform routine functions, such as going over bank statements.

* A small cadre of lawyers – party loyalists, former judges and partners in the firms of some of the city’s most powerful politicians – who receive the overwhelming majority of lucrative guardianship cases.

* Attorneys and judges who routinely ignore court rules designed to limit the number of guardianship-related appointments to no more than one per year that pays $5,000 or more.

* Judges and lawyers who do not report all guardianship appointments and legal fees to the state’s Office of Court Administration. Court officials acknowledge many fees go unreported, a problem they say they are trying to correct.

* Few lawyers who are willing to take on the cases of those elderly people, often in nursing homes and without court-appointed guardians or family, with little or no assets.

Full Article and Source:

SENIOR TAKEN FOR MILLIONS Lawyers rack up fat fees as guardians to the helpless

>Who watches the guardians?

May 20, 2009

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St. Clair County’s guardianship system, designed to protect the interests of people who are unable to handle their own affairs, is beset by poor record-keeping and little oversight and accountability, an examination by the Belleville News-Democrat found.

In one example, John F. Pawloski, a Belleville attorney, was accused of writing more than $50,000 worth of unexplained checks from a dead person’s estate and stealing $6,300 from a disabled adult while serving as St. Clair County’s public guardian.

A study by lawyers, judges and state legislators in 2001 also identified major problems with adult guardianship in Illinois. It found that training is not routinely provided for guardians, many public guardians are overburdened, and guardian performance is poorly monitored.

Since then, nothing has been done to address the problems, experts say.

Zena Naiditch, president of Equip for Equality, a legal advocacy group for disabled people: “There’s no question we have a guardianship system, I think, that’s pretty broken.”

Full Article and Source:
Who watches the guardians? County program helps those in need, but lacks accountability

See also:

Lawyer Agrees to Repay Estate

Lawyer Appeals Judge’s Demand

Ten Days to Produce Documents

John Pawloski Case

Who watches the guardians?

May 20, 2009
St. Clair County’s guardianship system, designed to protect the interests of people who are unable to handle their own affairs, is beset by poor record-keeping and little oversight and accountability, an examination by the Belleville News-Democrat found.

In one example, John F. Pawloski, a Belleville attorney, was accused of writing more than $50,000 worth of unexplained checks from a dead person’s estate and stealing $6,300 from a disabled adult while serving as St. Clair County’s public guardian.

A study by lawyers, judges and state legislators in 2001 also identified major problems with adult guardianship in Illinois. It found that training is not routinely provided for guardians, many public guardians are overburdened, and guardian performance is poorly monitored.

Since then, nothing has been done to address the problems, experts say.

Zena Naiditch, president of Equip for Equality, a legal advocacy group for disabled people: “There’s no question we have a guardianship system, I think, that’s pretty broken.”

Full Article and Source:
Who watches the guardians? County program helps those in need, but lacks accountability

See also:

Lawyer Agrees to Repay Estate

Lawyer Appeals Judge’s Demand

Ten Days to Produce Documents

John Pawloski Case

>Record Number of Complaints

May 12, 2009

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A record number of complaints were filed against judges in New York for the second year in a row, according to a report issued Friday.

The report from the state Judicial Conduct Commission found that 1,923 complaints were received last year, 212 more than the year before.

The commission decided to remove one judge from office, censure eight and publicly admonish six others. Another six judges resigned last year while they were being investigated and agreed not to seek judicial office again.

Since the commission was created by the Legislature in 1975, it has received 39,457 complaints and removed 157 judges from office. Another 421 resigned while under investigation.

Full Article and Source:
Complaints against N.Y. judges reach record levels

Record Number of Complaints

May 12, 2009
A record number of complaints were filed against judges in New York for the second year in a row, according to a report issued Friday.

The report from the state Judicial Conduct Commission found that 1,923 complaints were received last year, 212 more than the year before.

The commission decided to remove one judge from office, censure eight and publicly admonish six others. Another six judges resigned last year while they were being investigated and agreed not to seek judicial office again.

Since the commission was created by the Legislature in 1975, it has received 39,457 complaints and removed 157 judges from office. Another 421 resigned while under investigation.

Full Article and Source:
Complaints against N.Y. judges reach record levels

>Guardianship / Conservatorship Report

April 25, 2009

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In January 2009, a study group report entitled Report of the Guardianship and Conservatorship Study Group was published by the State Court Administrator’s Office to make recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature on various issues, including the rights of protected persons and the powers and duties of guardians and conservators.

Among the report’s recommendations were to educate family members, interested persons, and guardians on the duties, responsibilities, and limitations of guardians.

Report of the Guardianship and Conservatorship Study Group

Guardianship / Conservatorship Report

April 25, 2009
In January 2009, a study group report entitled Report of the Guardianship and Conservatorship Study Group was published by the State Court Administrator’s Office to make recommendations to the Minnesota Legislature on various issues, including the rights of protected persons and the powers and duties of guardians and conservators.

Among the report’s recommendations were to educate family members, interested persons, and guardians on the duties, responsibilities, and limitations of guardians.

Report of the Guardianship and Conservatorship Study Group