Elder Law Newsletter

On a monthly basis, members are emailed the section eNewsletter containing cases, Elder Law news, statutes and bulletins, members in the news and section activities.

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2017-18 Newsletters

2016-17 Newsletters

2015-16 Newsletters

MSBA Elder Law Section

Annual Report

Section Membership

As of June 28, 2018, the MSBA Elder Law Section had 489 members.

The Section experienced an increase in membership of over 20% between November 10, 2017, and June 28, 2018. On November 10, 2017, our section had 403 members. Between November 6 and November 10, 2017, MSBA staff removed from the section roster any individuals who had not paid section dues that became due in July 2017.

The Elder Law Section’s 2017-2018 work plan included the MSBA’s suggested goal of attaining a 2% increase in membership. The section profile reviewed by the section council prior to approval of the work plan listed our section’s membership as 483. To achieve a 2% increase, our section needed a net gain of 10 members. Our section has experienced a net gain of 6 members. As of March 2, 2018, only one of the MSBA’s 35 other sections (the Immigration Section) had experienced a net gain in membership.

When the Elder Law Section’s membership gains and losses are viewed by attorneys’ years in practice, attorneys practicing for 20 to 29 years represented the only category in which membership declined.

Financial Status

The Section had an account balance of $20,602.29 as of April 30, 2018. The MSBA finance director sends financial reports to our section treasurer approximately one month after each month’s end. A final year-end report will be anticipated in approximately two months. An executive summary from the treasurer accompanies this report.

CLEs & Events

The section sponsored six (6) CLE programs and cosponsored three (3) additional CLE programs in fiscal year 2017-2018. A chart showing the attendance and number of credits approved for each CLE program appears on the next page.

The chart does not include any of the CLE programs facilitated by the MSBA Elder Law Section during Minnesota CLE’s presentation of the 2017 Elder Law Institute (13.25 total approved credits) nor the MSBA Elder Law Section’s cosponsorship of the 2018 MSBA Convention (9.25 total credits anticipated).

Sponsored CLE Programs

Program Title



Event Code

CLE Credits

Number of Attendees

Planning Considerations for Attorneys Advising LGBT Seniors Following the Passing of Obergefell v. Hodges




2.0 Standard


Working with Muslim and Somali Clients: A CLE on Islamic Wills and Cultural Competency with Somali Clients




1.5 Elimination of Bias


Elder Law 101 (1st in Series): Disability Planning with Health Care Directives




1.0 Standard


Emerging Issues in Assisted Living and Nursing Homes


St. Paul


3.0 Standard


Elder Law 101 (2nd in Series): Disability Planning with Powers of Attorney




1.0 Standard


Elder Law 101 (3rd in Series): Capacity and Representation Issues




1.0 Standard


Cosponsored CLE Programs

Program Title



Event Code

CLE Credits

Number of Attendees

Financial Exploitation and Elder Abuse: Mom Says She’s “Fine” but the Stash of Money in her Coffee Can Is Gone




1.0 Standard


Wills, Trusts, and Elder Law in the Hmong Community


St. Paul


1.0 Standard


Protecting the Elder Clients and Protecting the Provider: Isn’t the Goal the Same?


St. Paul


1.0 Ethics


Annual Meeting and Election

The Section’s Annual Meeting was held on June 15, 2018, in the community room of Monroe Village, which is located at 1900 Central Avenue NE, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55418.

The following section council members were elected to serve as section officers from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019:

Chair: Mary Ebb
Vice Chair: Marit Peterson
Secretary: Genevieve Gaboriault
Treasurer: Jill Sauber

The following section members were elected to serve as section council members from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2020:

  • Jack Austin
  • Mary Joki Ebb
  • Charissa Perzel Hall
  • Amber M. Hildebrandt
  • Maya Missaghi
  • Laura Orr
  • Marit Peterson
  • Mary Frances Price
  • Cathryn Reher
  • Bridget Reischl
  • Adam Rohne
  • Suzanne Sandahl
  • Suzanne Scheller
  • Jennifer Wright
  • Ruthanne Vos

The following section members were elected to fill vacated terms expiring in June 30, 2019:

  • Joel Smith
  • Daniel Steinhagen
  • Julian Zweber

The following section members who are law students were elected to serve as associate (student) members of the council:

  • Traci Sherman
  • Brianna Tretter

The following council members will continue council membership during the second year of their two-year terms, which end June 30, 2019:

  • Callyn Bedker
  • Lauren Fink
  • Genevieve Gaboriault
  • Brenna Galvin
  • Jean Gustafson
  • John Kantke
  • Jill Sauber
  • Jeff Schmidt
  • Rachel Schromen
  • Lori Skibbie
  • Laura Zdychnec

During the section meeting, the section recognized the service of the following section members leaving the section council: Stuart Duering, Lori Guzmán, Richard Hawke, Kenneth LaBore, and David Rephan. The section also recognized its section services manager, Tram Nguyen, with a gift of appreciation.

Diversity and Inclusion

The section identified developing a diversity plan as a goal in its 2017-2018 work plan. The section’s diversity committee prepared the following diversity plan, which was approved by the section council on December 15, 2017:

  1. Reach out. The Elder Law Section will send application information about its Minnesota Elder Law Institute scholarships to Minnesota’s affinity bar associations using the MSBA’s Affinity Bar Leaders Directory each year that scholarships are offered.
  2. Educate ourselves. The Elder Law Section will sponsor at least one continuing legal education (CLE) seminar each bar year offering elimination-of-bias credit.
  3. Get engaged. The Elder Law Section will ensure that at least three events sponsored by affinity bar associations are attended by a representative of the Elder Law Section each bar year. The section will budget funds for its section’s representation at these events.
  4. Encourage others to get engaged. The Elder Law Section will advertise at least four events sponsored by affinity bar associations or offering elimination-of-bias credit in its e-newsletter each bar year.

The section co-sponsored a CLE programs with the Hmong American Bar Association and, within the Elder Law Section committees, discussed efforts to reach out to other affinity bar associations to become more familiar with each other’s objectives and activities as well as explore other opportunities for cosponsoring CLE programs or networking events. With leadership from its Diversity Committee, the section satisfied all four elements of its diversity plan during the 2017-2018 year.

Section Survey

The section surveyed its membership with leadership from its Strategic Planning Committee. Fifty-three (53) members participated in the survey at a time when the section had 448 members, resulting in a participation rate of 11.83%. The purpose of the survey was to learn more about our members and the benefits of membership that they find most valuable.

Nearly 50% of the survey’s participants had practiced in elder law for 15 or more years. Of all attorneys who participated in the survey, nearly 50% reported that 75% or more of their practice is in elder law. The majority of survey participants identified that their practice involved care planning, estate planning, fiduciary representation, public benefits, and legal capacity counseling. Of those who participated in the survey, the majority reported that their practice is less than 10% litigation-oriented.

Nearly 75% of participants expressed that CLE programs were very important to the value of Elder Law Section membership and that the topic of a CLE program is the primary driver in their attendance. More than 75% of participants have attended MSBA and Minnesota CLE seminars in the last year. Nearly 75% of participants answered that they reviewed the section’s monthly eNewsletter on a monthly basis.

Committee Annual Reports

The following section committees have submitted their own annual reports accompanying this report:

Advocacy Support
Law Student

The work of nine other committees contributed to the section’s activities as summarized earlier in this report.

Submitted by:
Laura Orr
2017-2018 Elder Law Section Chair
Date: June 28, 2018