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Events

The Capacity Crisis: What Lawyers Need to Know and Do for Their Clients, the Public and Themselves

presented by
Touro Law Center's Aging and Longevity Law Institute

Monday, October 7, 2013
9:45 am - 4:30 pm
 

Touro Law Center held the 1st Annual Conference on Developments in Aging and Longevity Law. The conference marked the launch of Touro Law Center’s Aging and Longevity Law Institute and  addressed the role of the legal profession to recognize and address America’s capacity crisis.

Through the substantive and passionate presentations of our esteemed interdisciplinary faculty and the informative and functional resources developed by our program committee which was comprised of respected professionals from around the United States, the Institute’s inaugural conference addressed, inter alia, the following important issues:

 

  • What Lawyers and Judges Need to Know About the Causes and Implications of Diminished Mental Capacity
  • The Need for the Government to Address the Legal Needs of Individuals with Diminished Mental Capacity
  • What Lawyers and Judges Need to Know and Do to Address the Capacity Crisis
  •  

    This innovative and unprecedented program not only educated and enlightened the legal community, but helped facilitate a national dialogue as to why our society, and the legal profession, in particular, must immediately address the capacity crisis.


    PROGRAM SCHEDULE:  Monday, October 7, 2013


    9:00 am-9:45 am    
    Registration and Continental Breakfast

     
    9:45 am-10:00 am 
    Welcome and Program Introduction
    Speaker: Dean Patricia Salkin, Touro Law Center
     
     

    SESSION 1: 

    What Lawyers and Judges Need to Know About the Causes and Implications of Diminished Mental Capacity


    10:00 am-10:15 am 
    The Fragility of Capacity: Tens of Millions of People, Hundreds of Billions of Dollars and the Power of Over One Million Attorneys
    Speaker: Robert Abrams, Esq., Chair, Aging and Longevity Law Institute Advisory Board
     
    10:15 am-11:15 am 
    The Etiology, Prevalence and Legal Implications of Diminished Mental Capacity 
    Speakers: Howard Krooks, Esq., President, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys;
    Dean Robert Goldberg, Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine 
    Dean Stuart Feldman, Ph.D., Touro College of Pharmacy 
      

    11:15 am-11:30 am 
    How the Law Has and Continues to Evolve to Recognize the Unique Needs and Rights of Individuals with Diminished Mental Capacity 

    Speaker: Honorable Sol Wachtler, former Chief Judge, New York State and Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment, Touro Law Center

     

    11:30 am-12:30 pm 

     

    SESSION 2:
    The Need for Government to Address the Legal Needs of Individuals with Diminished Mental Capacity


    Keynote Presentations:
     

    Introduction: Dean Patricia Salkin, Touro Law Center; and Professor Marianne Artusio, Director, Aging and Longevity Law
    Institute, Touro Law Center

    The Courts: Legal, Social and Ethical Implications of Judicial Intervention in Civil Matters Involving Individuals with Diminished Mental Capacity
    Speaker:  Honorable A. Gail Prudenti, Chief Administrative Judge, New York State Unified Court System

    New York State’s Legal Services Initiative: An Example of How New York State Government Addresses the Legal Needs of Individuals with Diminished Mental Capacity 
    Speaker: Greg Olsen, Acting Director, New York State Office for the Aging 
       
    The Criminal Justice System: When Individuals with Diminished Mental Capacity Are Accused, Convicted and/or Victims of a Crime 
    Speaker: Honorable Kathleen Rice, Nassau County, District Attorney


    12:30 pm-1:15 pm Lunch

    1:15 pm-4:30 pm
    (Break 3:00 pm-3:15 pm)


     

    SESSION 3:
    Experiential Wisdom Through Collegial Collaboration: What Lawyers Need to Know and Do to Address the Capacity Crisis

     

    I. Professional Responsibility

    II. Recognition, Assessment and Legal Standards to Determine Diminished Mental Capacity

    III. The Personal Challenges and Vulnerability of Individuals with Diminished Mental Capacity

    IV. Be a Planner, Not a Gambler: We All Need to Plan for the Possibility of Diminished Mental Capacity


    Program Facilitator: Robert Abrams, Esq.

       
    I. Professional Responsibility 

    The Applicability of the Rules of Professional Conduct When      Providing Legal Services Involving Individuals with Diminished  Mental Capacity 
    Speaker: Deborah Scalise, Esq., Scalise & Hamilton, LLP
     

    II. Recognition, Assessment and Legal Standards to Determine Diminished Mental Capacity

    Legal Standards to Determine Mental Capacity
    Speaker: Professor Marianne Artusio, Director,Aging and Longevity Institute, Touro Law Center
     
    Standards for and Assessment of Mental Capacity: Do Attorneys Have the Legal Authority, Professional Responsibility and/or Expertise to Determine if an Individual Lacks  the Mental Capacity to Make All or Some of His/Her Decisions
    Speaker: Peter Strauss, Esq., Epstein, Becker & Green, P.C.
     
    Recognition of Familial Manipulation of an Individual with Diminished Mental Capacity
    Speaker: Nancy Burner, Esq.,Nancy Burner & Associates, P.C.


    III. The Personal Challenges and Vulnerability of Individuals with Diminished Mental Capacity

    The Financial Exploitation of Individuals with Diminished Mental Capacity (and the Need to Educate the Representatives of Banks and Other Financial Institutions) 
    Speaker: Donna Dougherty, Esq., Attorney in Charge, Jewish Association Serving the Aging/Legal Services for the Elderly, Queens, New York
      
    My Fiancée Can’t Remember My Name and I Don’t Care – When Individuals with Diminished Mental Capacity Marry
    Speaker: Steven Eisman, Esq., Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Einiger, LLP
       
    Where Life and the Law Collide: Should Individuals with Diminished Mental Capacity Have the Right/Privilege to Drive, Live Independently, Make New Friends, Make Bad Choices, Etc? 
    Speakers:  Melissa J. Earle, Ph.D. LCSW, Associate Dean, Administration and Program Initiatives, Touro College Graduate School of Social Work; and  Ellyn Kravitz, Esq., Of Counsel, Abrams, Fensterman, Fensterman, Eisman, Formato, Ferrara & Einiger, LLP
     
       
    IV. Be a Planner, Not a Gambler: We All Need to Plan for the    Possibility of Diminished Mental Capacity
    How to Plan for the Possibility of Diminished Mental Capacity
    Speaker: Cora Alsante, Esq., Hancock Estabrook, LLP
      
    Business, Tax and Employment Issues Involving Individuals with Diminished Mental Capacity, Including How to Close the Law Practice of an Attorney Exhibiting Clear Signs of Diminished Mental Capacity
    Speaker: Richard Weinblatt, Esq., Haley Weinblatt & Calcagni
     
    The Flexibility of Article 81 Guardianships to Meet the Property   Management and Personal Needs of Individuals with Diminished  Mental Capacity
    Speaker: Joan Lensky Robert, Esq., Kassoff, Robert & Lerner, LLP

    The Determination of Testamentary Capacity in Contested Probate Proceedings 
    Speaker: Ilene Cooper, Esq., Farrell Fritz, P.C.
       

    4:30 pm  
    Dean’s Reception