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E-Newsletter of July 10, 2012 | Vol. 5, No. 28





The Elder Law Section’s Pro Bono Committee is in need of a chairperson.  The mission of the Pro Bono Committee is
·         to work with existing pro bono programs and elder service groups to make section members aware of pro bono opportunities,
·         to connect section members with existing pro bono programs, and
·         to expand the pro bono services offered for elders. 
For several years, council member Kristine Mullman has chaired the Pro Bono Committee, creating awareness and momentum for National Healthcare Decisions Day with the committee acting as state liaison for the national program.  The state liaison role has now been passed on to other organizations, and the Pro Bono Committee is poised to take a new direction.  The new chair will have a unique opportunity to direct the section’s efforts, and as a committee chair, will also serve as an ex officio member of the section’s Governing Council.  If you’ve been looking for a chance to get involved – what are you waiting for?

Anyone interested in serving as chair of the Pro Bono Committee should contact Section Chair Laura Zdychnec at

Submitted by Laura Zdychnec, Esq.
Elder Law Section Chair

Item of Interest


Book Review
Until Tuesday by Luis Carlos Montalvan.

This book has 252 pages and I started and finished it yesterday.  It is the true story of a Veteran who served in Iraq, suffered a brain injury, a broken back and a shattered knee – but his most severe injury is PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). His dog, Tuesday, is saving him, day by day. This is his story and it gives you insight into PTSD, what service dogs do and do not do, and the relationship between the service dog and the person. Montalvan is an army guy – he loves the army and wanted his entire career to be in the armed forces. His injuries have precluded that and he now helps Veterans with PTSD and is an outspoken critic of the manner in which the war in Iraq was handled by the top brass, the civilian side and the media.  Deaths by suicide have outnumbered American deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan; understanding PTSD will be necessary to serve our wounded veterans. This book is a great start to that understanding.

Submitted by Laurie Hanson, Esq.


Elder Law News


The most expensive places to be old and sick | FOX Business

AARP holds forum on Social Security and Medicare | Hudson Star-Observer

Will the boomers trust anyone under 30? | Star Tribune

Preparing for baby boomers, hospice providers diversify services, dispel myths | Star Tribune

Why Medicaid expansion is key part of health reform | CNN

Submitted by Joel Smith, Esq.

Elder Law Cases

Timothy Jirak, Respondent,
Philip Eichten, et al., Appellants,
Eleanor Eichten, Appellant,
Ellen Eichten, Respondent.

WORKE, Judge
Appellants, an elderly mother and her two sons, challenge the district court's declaratory judgment ruling that the mother's 2006 transfers of approximately $450,000 to the mother's daughter and her grandson were gifts. Appellants also seek reversal of the district court's judgment in favor of the grandson on his defamation-per-se claim.  In his cross-appeal, the grandson requests (1) reversal of the district court's decision to deny attorney fees; (2) an increase in the damages award on the defamation-per-se claim; and (3) reversal of the district court's denial of his punitive-damages claim on the defamation-per-se claim.  We affirm.

The opinion is available here.

State of Minnesota by its Attorney General, Lori Swanson, Respondent,
American Family Prepaid Legal Corporation, d/b/a American Family Legal Plan, et al., Appellants,
Stanley Norman, Defendant.


In this legal-services and insurance-product consumer-fraud case, appellants American Family Prepaid Legal Corporation d/b/a American Family Legal Plan (AFLP), Heritage Marketing and Insurance Services, Inc. (Heritage), and Jeffrey Norman1 challenge the judgment of the district court (1) finding them jointly and severally liable on all ten counts of consumer-fraud and insurance-law violations alleged in the state's amended complaint; (2) permanently enjoining appellants and Stanley Norman from selling or marketing any legal or insurance products or services in Minnesota; and (3) ordering appellants and Stanley Norman to pay restitution, sanctions, civil penalties, and attorney fees and costs.  We affirm.

The opinion is available here.

Submitted by Andrea Palumbo, Esq.

Elder Law Statutes, Regulations, and Bulletins

The following appeared in the State Register on July 2, 2012:

Department of Human Services (DHS)
Health Care Purchasing and Delivery Systems Division
Health Care Administration
Public Notice of Maximum Allowable Costs of Medical Assistance Outpatient
Prescribed Drugs

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN to recipients, providers of services, and to the public of additions to the state Medical Assistance maximum allowable cost (state MAC) list for certain outpatient prescribed drugs.

At least once each calendar year, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, publishes a federal upper limit (FUL) payment schedule for many commonly prescribed multiple-source drugs. The federal upper limit is set at a rate equal to 150 percent of the published price for the least costly therapeutic equivalent that can be purchased by pharmacists. This FUL payment schedule constitutes the federal MAC list. For many multiple-source drugs that are not on the federal MAC list, the Department establishes a state MAC list. Additionally, the Department imposes a state MAC for many multiple-source drugs that are on the federal MAC list, as long as the aggregate savings are at least as much as the savings would be using the federal MAC list.

More information is available here, on page 22.

 #12-25-04 Alternative Care Program Allocates Funds for FY 2013. The purpose of
this bulletin is to notify lead agencies of state fiscal year 2013 changes to program appropriation, allocate funds to support local AC access and service delivery, and provide information about requirements related to local AC program administration, including implementation of new budget limits for certain AC participants.
The complete Bulletin, dated July 1, 2012, can be found here.

Additionally, DHS announced the following on July 2, 2012:

#12-62-02 Nursing Facility Policy Changes in 2012 Legislation. The purpose of the bulletin is to inform interested parties of changes made to policy and rates that apply to 
The complete Bulletin can be found here.

Finally, DHS announced:

#12-77-01 State Operated Services Cost of Care Rates as of July 1, 2012. The purpose of the bulletin is to provide notification of the charges for the cost of care for Mental Health, Forensic and other services provided by State Operated Services.

The complete Bulletin can be found  here.

Submitted by Marit Anne Peterson, Esq.

Upcoming Events and CLE Programs

SAVE THE DATE!  The 22nd Annual Elder Law Institute will be held on October 11-12, 2012 at the Minnesota CLE Center in Minneapolis. 


Elder Law Section Activities


MA COMMITTEE MEETING: The next MA Committee meeting will be at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, August 21, 2012. The Medical Assistance Committee is a study group to analyze Elder Law Section member questions and case studies and to discuss administrative policies and procedures in relation to Medical Assistance in Minnesota.  Cathryn D. Reher of Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A., is Committee Chair.  For directions, or to attend by phone, please contact Tracie Fenske with Long, Reher & Hanson, P.A., at 952-929-0622 at least 24 hours in advance of the meeting. Topics for the meeting may be submitted to under the subject heading “MA Committee Topic”, or faxed to 952-542-9201. Please be reminded that the meeting location is: Estate & Elder Law Services (formerly MAO Legal Services), Monroe Village, 1900 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418. The meeting takes place in the building’s conference room. There are a few parking spaces behind the building and lots of street parking. People should walk to the back of the building and come to the back door which faces directly into the meeting room.

GOVERNING COUNCIL:  The next meeting of the Elder Law Section Governing Council will be on Friday, August 17, 2012 at 3:30 pm at 1900 Central Avenue NE, Suite 106, Minneapolis, MN 55418.For further information, please contact Laura Zdychnec, Chair, at:


Elder Law Website


DON'T FORGET THAT THE ELDER LAW WEBSITE IS A GREAT RESOURCE. Here’s what you can find on the Website:  Links to the DHS Health Care Programs Manual, the DHS Bulletin on treatment of uncompensated transfers, the Minnesota Bankers Association Compliance Bulletin on Powers of Attorney, legislative summary; Practice Links to organizations such as NAELA, ABA Commission on Law and Aging, Links to Federal and State Government Agencies, Statutes, and Regulations; Meeting Notices, Listings of Officers and Council Members, Section Bylaws, and more.


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