Monday, February 8, 2010
The law school at
Senior Law Clinic
Gene variants that might show how fast people's bodies are actually aging have been pinpointed by scientists. Researchers from the University of Leicester and Kings College London say the finding could help spot people at higher risk of age-related illnesses. People carrying the variant had differences in the "biological clock" within all their cells. The British Heart Foundation said the findings could offer a clue to ways of preventing heart disease. While doctors know that as people age they are more at risk from diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and heart disease, some people fall prey to these at an earlier age than expected. One theory suggests that biological timers called "telomeres", part of the chromosomes in every cell that carry genetic code, may be a factor in this. From birth, every time a cell divides, the telomeres get shorter and there is some evidence that people with shorter telomeres, either because they diminish more quickly or because they were born with shorter versions, may be at higher risk from age-related illness.
Source and more: BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8500761.stm
Sunday, February 7, 2010
Nina A. Kohn
Syracuse University - College of Law
Edward D. Spurgeon
University of the Pacific (UOP) - McGeorge School of Law
Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 59, No. 3, p. 414, 2010
As the American population ages, the emerging field of elder law stands
poised to play an increasingly important role in both legal practice
and legal education. Relatively little, however, is known about how
elder law is taught in America’s law schools, or about the nature and
impact of elder law scholarship. This article fills the void by
providing findings from a broad-ranging empirical study of the current
state of elder law teaching and scholarship. These findings suggest
that elder law is on the threshold of becoming a mainstream part of the
American legal academy. They also suggest that, at this critical stage,
significant barriers to the field’s development remain. By describing
the current state of the field and the challenges it faces, this
article paves the way for future efforts to guide and support the
The article is available on SSRN at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1547267
Friday, February 5, 2010
The 3rd Annual Industry Trends Survey
The 2009 Industry Trends Survey provided unique insight into the challenges facing today's estate planning attorneys – including the impact of the recent economic downturn on their practices. Topics include:
- Impact of the Economy
- Challenges Attorneys Face
- How Do Attorneys Spend Their Time?
- What Drives Clients to Plan?
- Top Practice Areas
- Communication Preferences
- Education and Marketing
- Where is the Industry Headed?
Thursday, February 4, 2010
According to the EEOC’s suit, in Kelley Drye’s system, attorneys who practiced law after turning 70 years of age received dramatically reduced compensation compared to similarly productive younger attorneys solely because of their age. The EEOC further charged that Kelley Drye unlawfully retaliated against Eugene T. D'Ablemont, an attorney who has practiced law at the firm for over 40 years, by further reducing his compensation after he complained about this discriminatory policy and filed a charge with the EEOC.
“Law firms that single out older attorneys for adverse treatment simply because of their age run great risk of violating the federal prohibition on age discrimination,” said EEOC Acting Chairman Stuart J. Ishimaru. “This lawsuit should serve as a wake-up call for law firms to examine their own practices to ensure they comport with federal law.”
The EEOC’s lawsuit, Civil Action No. 10- CV-0655, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, said that Kelley Drye requires all partners to give up their ownership interest in the firm at the age of 70. If an attorney continues to work, his or her compensation consists of an annual "bonus" payment in an amount totally within the discretion of the firm's executive committee. Since D'Ablemont turned 70 in 2001, even though he routinely has obtained over $1 million in fees annually from his clients, his compensation has been substantially less than younger lawyers at the firm with similar productivity. Moreover, in 2008 and 2009, after D'Ablemont had complained internally about Kelley Drye's age-based compensation system, ultimately resulting in his filing of an age discrimination charge with the EEOC, the firm reduced his bonus payment by two-thirds even though his productivity remained the same.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
The Administration on Aging, along with a number of non-profit organizations, has created a new legal resource web site that is available to consumers, attorneys and advocates alike. It is a good starting point for anyone researching the legal rights and benefits of older Amercians. You can reach the new site by clicking http://www.nlrc.aoa.gov/NLRC/index.aspx: Called the National Legal Resource Center (NLRC), the new project is a collaboration with:
- The American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging
- The Center for Elder Rights Advocacy
- The Center for Social Gerontology
- The National Consumer Law Center
- The National Senior Citizens Law Center
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
A judge in Hong Kong ruled Tuesday that the estate of the billionaire known as Little Sweetie will not be going to her feng shui master, who also claimed to have been her lover. Tony Chan, a feng shui master and the married lover of Nina Wang, who was before her death Asia’s richest woman, was surrounded by journalists as he left an office building in Hong Kong on Tuesday. Justice Johnson Lam ruled instead that the billionaire, Nina Wang, intended to leave her estate to her charity, the Chinachem Charitable Foundation, under a will that she drew up in 2002. Mrs. Wang, once the richest woman in Asia, died of cancer in 2007 at the age of 69. He also invalidated a “feng shui will” from 2006, saying her signature had been forged. That will would have given Mrs. Wang’s entire fortune to her onetime spiritual adviser, Tony Chan. Estimates of Mrs. Wang’s estate have ranged from $4 billion to nearly $13 billion. Mrs. Wang, an engaging eccentric who wore pigtails and miniskirts well into middle age, was the chairwoman of the Chinachem Group, a real estate and development conglomerate that she and her husband, Teddy Wang, had built together. They also founded the Chinachem charity in 1988.
More: International Herald Tribune/NYT: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/03/world/asia/03hong.html
Monday, February 1, 2010
"One in five of the nation's 15,700 nursing homes have consistently received poor ratings for overall quality, a USA Today analysis of new government data finds. More than a quarter-million patients live in homes given another set of low scores within the past year, according to data released today by Medicare, which first released the star ratings of the nation's nursing homes in late 2008. The ratings are derived from inspections, complaint investigations and other data collected mostly in 2008 and 2009. ... nearly all homes that repeatedly received few overall stars — one or two stars — were owned by for-profit corporations, the data show."
To get the ball rolling, here are some ideas from Christine Sgarlata Chung at Albany:
- We brought in a social worker from a local university's center for excellence on aging. This person runs a program on financial abuse of the elderly. We had her talk about perceptions/ misperceptions about elderly victims of financial abuse.
- We used an AARP video called "The Lure of Money." It focuses on senior victims of financial abuse.
- We focused on elderly clients in simulation exercises - particularly interviews. We brought in members of the community to serve as simulated clients so that students could practice with seniors.
- Students spoke at a number of senior seminars around the community.
- We also focused on types of financial abuse that commonly crop up in cases involving seniors.
A charter against ageism in clinical trials is being launched by a group of geriatricians from Europe.The EU funded project, called PREDICT, says treatments are less likely to be tested on older people even though the elderly take the most medication. Trial results from younger people cannot always be extrapolated to the elderly, say the authors. They want older people to have access to drugs which have been shown to be safe and effective for their age group. PREDICT set out assess the extent to which the elderly were excluded from clinical trials and to come up with solutions. They surveyed the medical literature on treatments for conditions which were common among elderly people and found clear evidence that the elderly were underrepresented. For example, the average age of patients in clinical trials of treatments for high blood pressure is 63, although 44% of patients are over 70 when they are first diagnosed.
Source and more: BBC, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/8487509.stm