The Elder and Health Law (EHL) clinic, a civil practice clinic serving those age 60 and older, offers clients legal representation on matters including protection from physical and financial abuse, estate and end-of-life planning, contract disputes and more. In 2020 alone, the clinic recovered and/or protected $1,424,190 in assets for elders and fine/fees forgiveness.
Ten students joined the Elder & Health Law Clinic (ELHC) in the fall, which expanded to twelve this spring. Lacey Mickleburgh our fearless staff attorney and clinical fellow, Kendell Bennet, rounded out the team. Although COVID-19 presented significant access to the courts, student attorneys were able to assist and represent elders in a variety of legal matters. Cases included estate planning and powers of attorney to give peace of mind to their clients, consumer protection from suspect businesses, elder abuse restraining orders and elder financial abuse litigation.
During this period, the courts were not accepting cases other than requests for elder abuse, domestic violence, or civil harassment restraining orders. Because elders are often the targets of undue influence and false promises, many transfer their homes, their only asset, to family or friends. The ELHC was able to protect these assets through a restraining order and order to re-convey the property to our client. This novel and creative approach saved three homes from sale, and our clients from being evicted from their own homes.
When the courts did open up for trials, student attorneys achieved major settlements in three financial abuse cases, each in the heat of litigation. Students took depositions, propounded and responded to discovery, filed motions and briefs; all of which let to successful results for happy clients. They, successfully represented a client in a multi-day Zoom trial and helped recover substantial assets that had been taken from them. The case began in 2019 and took the efforts of multiple students who assisted with depositions, trial preparation, and more.