Second Annual Elder Law Institute
by Samantha Shepherd, Vice Chair, Elder Law Committee
As the summer concludes, it is time again for reflection on recent activities of the Elder Law Committee of The Missouri Bar. Since the publication of the last newsletter, the Elder Law Committee of The Missouri Bar held its second Annual Institute. The Institute was a success, with attendees from all corners of our state. The 136 attendees came away enriched and educated. The Institute was held in two locations this year: St. Louis and Blue Springs. Both locations provided the same top level of programming content and provided a forum to facilitate networking among our members.
This year the Institute was co-sponsored by the Missouri Senior Help Line. The financial assistance of the Missouri Senior Help Line enabled the Institute’s planning committee to offer a national presenter, Denis Culley. Denis gave a presentation on the challenging topic of elder abuse. And Denis delivered. His real life stories and his application of law to these scenarios gave both the experienced and the new practitioner “take aways” for practicing law in a field where elder abuse is, regrettably, always a consideration.
As for me, I left with this: our seniors are invisible; as a culture we are far more inclined to notice and give attention to the young and the beautiful. We no longer give up our seats or hold open doors for those of advanced years. With this invisibility enters the possibility of physical abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. As elder law attorneys it is our job to bring these issues to the light and to advocate for and defend the rights of our elders, our clients.
The Elder Law Section will continue to strive toward developing robust programming to assist those Missouri attorneys who wish to expand their practices to include elder law, to assist existing practitioners to take their practice to the next level and to serve its existing membership of 592 Missouri attorneys. If you have programming ideas, please feel free to contact me.
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