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2012-13 Annual Report

MSBA Elder Law Section
Annual Report

Mission Statement for the Elder Law Section
Activities of the Elder Law Section are guided by the following Mission Statement:
The section shall be dedicated to the field of Elder Law and related areas of the law by enhancing the skills of Minnesota lawyers practicing in the area, and by serving as a liaison with other parts of the Bar Association and the public on issues and activities related to Elder Law.

Section Membership
As of June 2013, the Elder Law Section has 495 members.

Financial Status
The Elder Law Section had an account balance of $18,259.82  in cash and investments as of June 27, 2013, which is approximately the same account balance as last year at this time.  The budget for the Elder Law Section is $14,605.00.  Our Strategic Planning Committee set a policy of holding 50% of the budget in reserves. 

The Elder Law Section continues to publish a weekly E-Newsletter to all of its members.  The content of the E-Newsletter includes items of interest to elder lawyers and their clients, including news stories, important website links (provided by the Law Student Committee), recent cases, DHS bulletins, and upcoming CLEs.  Past E-newsletters are published on the Section’s website at:

The section continued to maintain a website with varied information relevant to the Section, including past E-Newsletters, resources, the Medicaid State Plan Amendments, and other documents.  The website can be found at:

Other Section Accomplishments

The Elder Law Section has seen a recommitment to service of our most vulnerable through the efforts of Pro Bono Committee Chair Adam Rohne.

The Elder Law Section has witnessed the blossoming of a new Advocacy Support Committee lead by our Vice-Chair David Rephan and former Chair Suzy Scheller into a vibrant force.

Several Committees continue to be active in the Elder Law Section, including the Medical Assistance Committee, the Education Committee, the Law Student Committee, the Communications Committee, and the Strategic Planning Committee.  Each Governing Council member is asked to serve on a Committee to complete tasks to further the work of the Section.  Much of the work benefiting Section members comes through Committee efforts and their work is appreciated.  Significant Committee work includes:

Strategic Planning CommitteeSetting Budget Reserve Policy, Contribution Policy, Organizational Endorsement Policy, and other issues (Strategic Planning Committee)

  • Reserves.  Of significance, the Strategic Planning committee recommended the following uses of $7,800 in excess funds to spend down reserves:
    • Solicit proposals from the Governing Council and Section
    • Host CLE’s that are free to Section members
    • Host a New Lawyer’s event
    • Secure a “big name” speaker for the Elder Law Institute
  • Policies.  The following are the policies recommended by the Strategic Plan Committee and approved by the Governing Council:
    • Budget Reserve Policy.  The Elder Law Section’s reserve policy shall be to hold 50% of annual budgeted revenue in reserve.
    • Contribution Policy.  The Elder Law Section shall consider only those contribution requests that provide a direct benefit to section members.
    • Organizational Endorsement Policy.  The Elder Law Section shall consider adopting a public opinion endorsing only those projects or organizations that provide services directly related to or supporting the practice of Elder Law.  If the section Governing Council votes to endorse a project or organization, a vote of section membership shall then be taken to validate the endorsement.  If section membership votes to endorse, the endorsement request shall then be submitted to the MSBA for approval.  The Governing Council may, under special circumstances, vote to approve an endorsement as an exception to policy, subject to membership and MSBA approval.

Law Student Committee

  • Host a “Starting Your Elder Law Practice” breakout session at the Elder Law Institute.
  • Host a “Get to Know Elder Law” CLE on 3/13/2012.
  • Conduct ten Law Student Committee meetings.

Education Committee

  • Host “Who Are You Going to Call?  Preventing Financial Exploitation of Elders and What to Do When It Happens” CLE on 2/23/2012

Medicaid State Plan Committee

  • Securing an updated copy of the Medicaid State Plan, although without amendments tracked, which William Mitchell College of Law intends to do in an online version of the Plan.
  • Furthering discussion with DHS on information and document flow to consumers and attorneys.
  • Meeting with David Godfrey, State Medicaid Director at DHS on two occasions.

Annual Meeting and Election Results
The Elder Law Section’s annual meeting and elections were held in conjunction with the Section’s regular Governing Council meeting on Friday, June 15, 2012, in Minneapolis, MN.

Chair:              David Rephan
Chair-elect:      Lori Skibbie
Treasurer:        Mary Frances Price
Secretary:        Andrea Wing

Current and Returning Members:                         
Jill Adkins
Stuart Bear
Allison Burke
Joel Button
Stuart Deuring
Kathleen Eveslage
Margaret Grathwol
Richard Hawke                                                          
John Kantke                                                               
Sheila Kelly                                                                
Kenneth LaBore                                                                                                        
Kristine Mullmann                                                     
Laura Orr                                                                   
Cathryn Reher
Adam Rohne
Suzanne Sandahl
Suzy Scheller
Joel Smith
Dan Steinhagen
Julian Zweber
Laura Zdychnec

New Members:
Genevieve Gaboriault
Malee Ketelson
Jeanine Johnson
Andrea Palumbo

Student Members:
Kayla Giese - Hamline University School of Law
Kimberly Nelson - William Mitchell College of Law
Alexander Saumer - University of St. Thomas School of Law
Austin Bowyer - University of St. Thomas School of Law

Members Leaving the Board:
Vickie Ahl
Paulette Joyer
Vickie McIntyre                                             
Ja Paul Harris
Theresa Lewis


Following the Annual Meeting, the following were Committees and Chairs appointed:

Elder Law Section Committee Chairs for 2012-2013
Awards Committee: Julian Zweber and Stuart Bear
Bylaws Committee: Dick Hawke and Tom O’Connell ٭
Communication Committee:  Joel Button
Education Committee: Jill Adkins*
Law Student Committee: Laura Orr
Legislative Committee: Julian Zweber
Medicaid State Plan: Stuart Deuring and Tom O’Connell*  (uncertain of future of committee)
Medical Assistance:  Cathryn Reher
Newsletter Editor: Allison Burke
Nominations Committee: Dan Steinhagen
Pro Bono Committee:  Adam Rohne
Strategic Planning Committee: Jennifer Wright*
Vulnerable Adult Committee: Ken LaBore and Suzy Scheller
٭ indicates committee chairs who are ex-officio (non-elected) members of the council

MSBA Assembly representative:
Andrea Wing

MSBA Alternate
Mary Frances Price

MSBA Legislative Committee Representative
Julian Zweber

I have enjoyed my time as Chair of the Elder Law Section and recognize many in our Section who work hard on behalf of our clients.

Respectfully Submitted By:
­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­Laura Zdychnec, Section Chair


- Last Updated 04/16/2014 -

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