Stetson University

2013 Special Needs Trusts - Speakers


Michael Amoruso
Attorney at Law
Amoruso & Amoruso LLP
Rye Brooke, N.Y.

Michael Amoruso concentrates his practice on elder law, asset preservation, estate planning, estate administration and guardianship. He is a past chair of the New York State Bar Association Elder Law Section and a member of the executive committee. He received an AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubbell, the highest possible rating for both legal ability and ethical standards.

Amoruso is a nationally published author and frequent lecturer for the New York State Bar Association, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, National Association of Estate Planners and Councils, WealthCounsel LLC and ElderCounsel LLC, the Westchester Business Journal and Generations on cutting edge elder law and special needs topics. He hosts the weekly "Eldercare on the Air" radio show on WFAS AM and is a frequent source of quotes and opinions for the local and national press.
Most importantly, Amoruso is the doting father of two beautiful daughters.


Michael Astrue
Past Commissioner of Social Security
Massachusetts

Michael Astrue served as commissioner of Social Security and a trustee of the Medicare and Social Security trust funds from 2007 to 2013. During his tenure, he cut backlogs for disability hearings, improved and expanded electronic services, and provided more accurate and detailed guidance to the public, particularly women, about retirement choices. For his accomplishments, he received numerous awards, including the Humanitarian of the Year from the Alzheimer's Association, the Public Health Leadership Award of the National Organization of Rare Diseases, and the President's Award from the ARC.

In almost 15 years of public service, Commissioner Astrue also served as counselor to the commissioner of Social Security, associate counsel to President Bush and President Reagan, and general counsel of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In the private sector, he served as general counsel of Biogen, CEO of Transkaryotic Therapies -- a company devoted primarily to fatal genetic diseases of children -- and chair of the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council.

Astrue is an honors graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School.


Dr. Karen Berkman
Research Assistant Professor and Director
Center of Autism and Related Disabilities
University of South Florida
Tampa, Fla.

Dr. Karen A. Berkman is on faculty in the Department of Child and Family Studies and is the executive director of CARD-USF (Center for Autism and Related Disabilities) and the director of the Learning Academy at the University of South Florida. She coordinates all project activities and provides administrative supervision at the University of South Florida and Florida Gulf Coast University CARD sites. She was selected by Governor Charlie Crist to be a member of the Governor's Florida Autism Task Force for a four-year period and develop a statewide plan to best serve those individuals diagnosed with an autisms spectrum disorder. Dr. Berkman has spent more than 30 years working in the field of developmental disabilities as a clinician and program administrator.  She is recognized for her seminal work on challenging behavior and lifestyle planning as well as creative program development for individuals with developmental disabilities.


Thomas F. Brink
Attorney at Law
Litchfield Cavo LLP
Tampa, Fla.

Thomas F. Brink's practice focuses primarily on general liability, premises liability and property cases. His past experience includes most areas of first and third party litigation, SIU, fraud, bad faith, PIP, sinkhole litigation, subrogation, errors and omissions, guardianships and elder care issues.

Prior to joining Litchfield Cavo LLP, Brink served as senior counsel for CNA Insurance, where he handled major general liability, property, premises liability and subrogation cases from their inception through conclusion at mediation or trial. He also served as the deputy director of the Statewide Public Guardianship Office where he coordinated the training and education of public guardians throughout the state of Florida.

Before attending law school, Brink worked for Prudential Financial Services for almost 11 years. As a senior adjuster in Florida, he handled major property losses and served on the company's catastrophe team; he also assisted in catastrophe relief following Hurricane Andrew in South Florida in 1992.

In law school, Brink earned a certificate of concentration in elder law, and from 1999 to 2000, he served on the Lt. Governor's Task Force on Availability and Affordability of Long Term Care to improve elder care in Florida. He also interned with the Florida Attorney General's office in the Economic Crimes and Elder Protection divisions, and with Florida State Senator John Grant in the Statewide Public Guardianship Office. In both 2004 and 2005, he was recognized by Florida Trend as one of the state's 40 "Best Up-and-Coming Attorneys," based on peer voting.

Since 2003, Brink has served as an adjunct professor of law at Stetson University College of Law, teaching a skills course in Interviewing Counseling and Negotiation.


Stephen W. Dale
Attorney at Law
The Dale Law Firm P.C.
Pacheco, Calif.

Stephen W. Dale received his J.D. from Armstrong Law School and his LL.M. in Taxation from Golden Gate University. His law firm is dedicated to providing quality estate planning to clients by working cooperatively with the clients' tax, financial and insurance professionals.

Dale is a disability rights advocate and spends much of his time attending disability rights activities, including legislative hearings and serving on boards and committees of disability rights organizations. He is a frequent speaker on a variety of disability-related topics across the country, and is the recipient of the 2010 Theresa Foundation Award and the 2007 NAELA Powley Award. Additionally, he is a long-standing member of the Special Needs Alliance, a national, not-for-profit organization of attorneys dedicated to the practice of disability and public benefits law.

Dale regularly teaches courses to the public, financial professionals, and other attorneys on special needs trusts, and trust administration with a special emphasis on achieving independence while maintaining essential government benefits. He also offers benefits and estate planning courses to his clients as well as administration workshops for professional trustees. Dale has received accreditation for his professional courses by the California Department of Insurance and the California State Bar.

The Dale Law Firm P.C. has an office in Pacheco with two full-time associates dedicated to providing quality estate planning to clients by working cooperatively with the clients' tax, financial and insurance professionals.


Robert W. Fechtman
Attorney at Law
Fechtman Law Office
Indianapolis, Ind.

Robert Fechtman received his undergraduate degree from Northwestern University, and received his J.D. from Rutgers School of Law. He focuses his practice on the problems of older and disabled persons, particularly special needs trusts. He has been certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. Fechtman is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, a past president of the Indiana Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and a member of the Special Needs Alliance, which is a national, non-profit, invitation-only network of lawyers dedicated to disability and public benefits law. 

Fechtman is a frequent writer and speaker on a variety of estate planning, special needs and elder law topics and is currently serving on the board of directors of the Special Needs Alliance and of the National Elder Law Foundation.


Travis D. Finchum
Attorney at Law
Special Needs Lawyers P.A.
Clearwater, Fla.

Travis D. Finchum received his B.S. and J.D. degrees from the University of Florida. He is board certified as an elder law specialist by The Florida Bar. He is a past chair of the Special Needs Trust Committee and now serves on the Committee on Board Certification for the Elder Law section of The Florida Bar.

Finchum continues to serve on the boards of numerous non-profit organizations that serve the frail elderly and those with a wide assortment of disabilities, including mental illness. He recently served on the faculty of the Lighting the Way program providing statewide training on guardianship and guardianship alternatives sponsored by the Florida Developmental Disabilities Council.

He serves as co-trustee of the Guardian Trusts organization, which has assisted more than 1,000 disabled individuals in protecting their assets for use during their lifetimes without disqualifying them for much needed public benefits.


Heidi J. Flatt, CPA, CGMA
Chief Operating Officer
Trust Services, NYSARC Inc.
Delmar, N.Y.

Heidi J. Flatt, CPA, CGMA, is the chief operating officer for Trust Services for NYSARC Inc. and has been the administrator of trust programs since 2000. She has been employed in a financial management capacity for NYSARC since 1992. A graduate of the State University of New York at Oneonta, she holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Economics with concentrations in accounting and finance. 

Flatt is a certified public accountant and chartered global management accountant, licensed in the state of New York. Her professional affiliations include membership in the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.

She is a trustee of the Brittonkill Educational Foundation and a parishioner and past vestry member of All Saints Church in Hoosick, N.Y.

Flatt has presented on NYSARC's trust services programs for the NYS Bar Association, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), law firms, agencies, and service providers across New York State. She is dedicated to addressing the needs of individuals with disabilities through the use of supplemental needs trusts. Her extensive experience working with supplemental needs trusts and programs for the disabled has allowed her to become very knowledgeable in the areas of Medicaid, Social Security, and other government benefits and also to understand the needs of those with varying disabilities.


Robert B. Fleming, CELA
Attorney at Law
Fleming & Curti PLC
Tucson, Ariz.

Robert B. Fleming is a partner in the Tucson law firm of Fleming & Curti PLC., with a practice limited to trusts (and special needs trusts) administration, guardianship, conservatorship, estate planning, and probate. Fleming  is a co-author (with Lisa Davis) of The Elder Law Answer Book, and (with Professor Kenney Hegland) of New Times, New Challenges: Law and Advice for Savvy Seniors and Their Families. Fleming has been selected as a fellow of both the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He is a past chair of both the Mental Health and Elder Law and the Probate and Trust Sections of the State Bar of Arizona, and a past president of the National Elder Law Foundation.

Fleming is certified as an estate and trust specialist by the State Bar of Arizona, and as a certified elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. At different times, he was president of the Pima County Bar Association and the Young Lawyers Section of the State Bar of Arizona (he no longer qualifies to be a member).

Fleming is a founding member of the Special Needs Alliance. Perhaps more importantly, he is a husband, father, grandfather, scuba diver, pilot and martial arts practitioner.


Bradley J. Frigon, CELA
Attorney at Law
Law Offices of Bradley J. Frigon
Englewood, Calif.

Bradley J. Frigon received his J.D. from Washburn University in his home state of Kansas and continued his education at the University of Denver earning his Master of Laws in Taxation. Practicing law for more than 30 years, he has extensive experience in estate planning, probate, elder law, Medicare Set Asides, special needs planning, and tax matters.

Frigon serves as president elect of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, treasurer of the Special Needs Alliance, a certified elder law attorney (CELA), a member of the Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP), the Colorado Bar Association, a fellow in the Kansas Bar Association, and a board member of the Colorado Fund for People with Disabilities.

In addition to his practice, Frigon is an adjunct professor at Stetson University College of Law, a nationally recognized speaker, author of numerous publications including co-author of Fundamentals of Special Needs Trusts and has been quoted in the Wall Street Journal, MSN Money, Kiplinger Retirement Report, and Bloomberg.

He is recognized as a Colorado Super Lawyer and is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell.


Laurie Hanson
Attorney at Law
Long, Reher & Hanson P.A.
Minneapolis, Minn.

Laurie Hanson is a shareholder with Long, Reher & Hanson P.A., an elder law firm in Minneapolis, Minn. She concentrates her practice exclusively in the area of special needs estate planning representing clients who are aging or living with disabilities with regard to public benefit eligibility, special needs, supplemental needs, and pooled trusts; personal injury and divorce settlement planning; probate; trust litigation; and surrogate decision-making.

Hanson is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Special Needs Alliance, a national professional association of attorneys committed to helping individuals with disabilities, their families, and the professionals who represent them. She is past chair of the Elder Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association and she received the section's prestigious Mary Alice Gooderl Award in 2008 for her contribution to the practice of Elder Law in Minnesota. Hanson has been named a Super Lawyer by her peers consistently since 2001.


Barbara Helm
Executive Director
ARCare, Inc.
Overland Park, Kan.

Barbara Helm is the executive director of ArCare Inc., a non-profit corporation offering future planning services and financial services to individuals with disabilities and their families. She has been the executive director for 23 years. Helm was instrumental in the development of the ARCare Pooled Trust Program and has been administering the trust since its inception in 1996. The ARCare Trust Program includes both a third party and self-settled master trusts. The trust program, which serves beneficiaries in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Iowa and Oklahoma, currently has more than 1,000 participants.

She is a frequent speaker at community and continuing legal education events speaking on the topics of future planning and the ARCare Trust Program.


Barbara S. Hughes
Attorney at Law
Hill, Glowacki, Jaeger & Hughes LLP
Madison, Wis.

Barbara S. Hughes is a partner with the Madison law firm of Hill, Glowacki, Jaeger & Hughes LLP, focusing her practice in special needs and elder law, estate planning, probate and trust administration. 

Hughes is an active member of the Special Needs Alliance (a lead editor for The Voice, its electronic newsletter), National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (fellow, member of its Council of Advanced Practitioners, and a 2003-07 director), Elder Law Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin (past chair, current advisor), and Madison Estate Council (a past director). She has given CLE presentations for NAELA, the SNA and the State Bar of Wisconsin on a variety of special needs trust topics, among them drafting tips and the use of special needs trusts in divorce. Her pro bono service includes intensive work on the task force that created the WisPACT Inc. pooled and community trusts for Wisconsin individuals with disabilities.


Mary Alice Jackson
Attorney at Law
Boyer, Jackson, Bowman & Boyer P.A.
Sarasota, Fla.

Mary Alice Jackson is a partner in the firm of Boyer, Jackson, Bowman & Boyer P.A. with offices in Austin, Texas, and Sarasota, Fla. She is a fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is board certified in elder law by The Florida Bar. Her practice focuses on special needs trusts planning, long-term care counseling, estate planning and probate.

Jackson is AV rated by Martindale Hubbell, and has been named as one of Florida's legal elite by Florida Trend magazine and as a Florida Super Lawyer. She is a member of the Special Needs Alliance, a national association of special needs planning attorneys, and serves on its board of directors. She serves on the ethics committee for Family Eldercare in Austin, Texas, and has been speaker at the annual University of Texas special needs trusts seminar during the past few years. She serves on the public policy steering committee for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

Jackson is an adjunct professor in the Stetson University College of Law Elder Law LL.M. program and is a member of the advisory board for the Center for Excellence in Elder Law at Stetson, which is her alma mater. She and her husband, Bob reside in Austin, Texas, with their standard poodles, Biscuit and Max. 


Bernard A. Krooks, CPA, CELA, AEP
Attorney at Law
Littman Krooks LLP
New York, N.Y.

Bernard A. Krooks is a founding partner of the law firm Littman Krooks LLP and chair of its Elder Law and Special Needs Department, and is a nationally recognized expert in all aspects of elder law and special needs planning. 

Krooks is past president of the Special Needs Alliance, past president and fellow of the NAELA, past chair of the NAELA Tax Section and past editor-in-chief of the NAELA News. In addition, he is certified as an elder law attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation and is an accredited estate planner (AEP). He is a founding member and past president of the New York Chapter of NAELA. In 2008, he received the Chapter's Outstanding Achievement Award for his lifelong work on behalf of seniors and those with disabilities. In 2007, his firm received the NYSARC employer of the year award for employing people with disabilities. In 2011, his firm received the Family Friendly Employment Policy Award from the Westchester Women's Bar Association.

Krooks, a sought-after expert on elder law, special needs planning and estate planning matters, has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Newsweek, Forbes, Investment News, Financial Times, Money magazine, Smart Money, Worth magazine, Kiplinger's, Bloomberg, Consumer Reports, Wealth Manager, CBS Marketwatch.com, Lawyer's Weekly USA, Reader's Digest, Bottom Line, The Journal of Financial Planning, The New York Law Journal, The Daily News, New York Post and Newsday, among others. He has testified before the United States House of Representatives and the New York City Council on long-term care issues. He also has appeared on Good Morning America Now, National Public Radio, Sirius XM Radio, CNN, PBS, NBC, and CBS evening news, as well as numerous other cable television and radio shows. 

He is listed in the Best Lawyers in America, New York Super Lawyers, Who's Who in America, the New York Area's Best Lawyers, New York magazine and New York Times, and the Top 25 Westchester, New York Super Lawyers. 

Krooks is married and has four children. He is an AYSO certified soccer coach and an NYSCA certified baseball coach.


Howard S. Krooks, CELA, CPA
Attorney at Law
Elder Law Associates P.A.
Boca Raton, Fla.

Howard S. Krooks, a partner of Elder Law Associates P.A., is admitted to practice law in New York (1990) and Florida (2004). He is Of Counsel to Amoruso & Amoruso LLP in New York.
He splits his time between New York and Florida, where his practice is devoted to elder law and trusts and estates matters, representing seniors and persons with special needs and their families in connection with asset preservation planning, supplemental needs trusts, Medicaid, Medicare, planning for disability, guardianship, wills, trusts and health care planning with advance directives.

He is currently serving as NAELA president, past chair of the Elder Law Section of NYSBA, a Florida and New York Super Lawyer (2007-2012), a Top 25 Westchester County Attorney and is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Krooks taught a course on Asset Protection Planning at NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies and also served as an instructor for the NY Certified Guardian and Court Evaluator Training program. He is a founding principal of ElderCounsel LLC, the premier elder law and special needs planning document-drafting solution for attorneys.

Krooks is widely published and is also a frequent lecturer. He has addressed many organizations including NAELA, Stetson Special Needs Conference, ALI-ABA, the National Guardianship Association, the Florida Bar Association, AFELA, the NYSBA, and many others. He has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Kiplinger's, USA Today, The New York Post, Newsday, The Journal News and the Boca Raton News. He has appeared on PBS, CBS and elder law focused local cable television programs.


Chung-yiu "Andrew" Lee
Attorney at Law
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of General Counsel - Assisted Housing Division
Washington, D.C.

Chung-yiu "Andrew" Lee is an attorney with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of General Counsel. As program counsel, his practice areas are admissions and occupancy issues concerning Sections 8, 202, 811, Public Housing, and Senior Preservation Rental Assistance programs. Lee is also lead counsel on all aspects of the Sections 202 and 811 programs, often opining on the programs' competition process, project development, and asset management matters.

Prior to joining HUD, he worked at a non-profit representing low-income families in eviction complaints and appealing HUD-assisted rental subsidy application denials and program terminations. Dedicated to serving vulnerable populations, Lee's experience includes working at a disability rights organization where he handled public accommodations, fair housing, special education, and abuse and neglect cases. In that capacity, he favorably resolved cases against the Law School Admissions Council, U.S. Postal Service, N.J. Division of Developmental Disabilities and Department of Education.


David Lillesand
Attorney at Law
Lillesand, Wolansky & Waks P.L.
Clearwater, Fla.

David Lillesand is a bilingual Florida attorney representing individuals in Social Security/SSI disability claims, Special Needs Trusts and Medicaid planning. 

He has been lead counsel in more than 3,500 Social Security/SSI disability hearings and second chair in many more, including appeals before the SSA Appeals Council, the U.S. District Court and U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Lillesand lectures for the National Organization of Social Security Claimant Representatives (NOSSCR), the Academy of Special Needs Planners, state bars, and for judges attending the Florida Advanced Judicial College. He co-authored the 94-page chapter on "Special Needs Trusts" in the Lexis/Nexus publication Administration of Trusts in Florida. He is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell and his peers voted him one of the top elder law attorneys in Florida. He served three terms as chair of the Special Needs Trust Committee of the Florida Bar's Elder Law Section.


Janet L. Lowder, CELA
Attorney at Law
Hickman & Lowder Co. LPA
Cleveland, Ohio

Janet L. Lowder is a shareholder at Hickman & Lowder in Cleveland, Ohio. She is a recognized authority on Medicaid issues and estate planning for families with special needs. She is one of the founders of, and counsel to, Community Fund Management Foundation, the largest pooled trust in Ohio. Lowder is immediate past president of the Special Needs Alliance and is co-vice-chair of the Long Term Care, Medicaid and Special Needs Trust Committee of the RPTE Section of the ABA.

She is consistently chosen as an Ohio Super Lawyer, included in Best Lawyers in America for elder law and estate planning, and was chosen as the 2013 Cleveland Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers.


Joseph Lynch
Major General, USAF (Ret.)
General Counsel
Military Officers Association of America
Alexandria, Va.

Maj. Gen. Joseph Lynch is general counsel and corporate secretary of the Military Officers Association of America, the largest not-for-profit organization advocating on behalf of active duty, retired, and former military personnel and their families. He is a 1969 graduate of the Virginia Military Institute. He received his law degree from Emory University and an LL.M. from George Washington University. After 10 years of active duty, he served 24 years in the Air Force Reserve. While serving in the Air Force Reserve, Gen. Lynch's civilian position was assistant general counsel (Manpower and Reserve Affairs) for the Department of the Navy, a career senior executive service position (Level 5). He retired in 2003. As MOAA's general counsel, he advises the board of directors, president, and staff and directs MOAA's legal affairs.


Scott MacDonald, CSNA
Senior Vice President
Merrill Lynch, Fiduciary and Special Needs Group
Modesto, Calif.

Scott MacDonald is a senior vice president and certified special needs advisor. He has more than 25 years of industry experience, joining Merrill Lynch in 1987. MacDonald has been featured in a variety of publications on serving clients with disabilities, including the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, Oakland Tribune, The Street.com, AdvisorOne and a cover story in On Wall Street magazine. He was a consulting author and editor of the attorney training manual Special Needs Trusts: Planning, Drafting, and Administration through the California Continuing Education of the Bar as well as for the book Administrating the California Special Needs Trust.

He has been extensively involved with many disability organizations, including the PRIDE Institute and Foundation, Down Syndrome Information Alliance, Autism Speaks, Society for Handicapped Children and Adults, Parents Helping Parents, Support for Families, Legal Assistance for Seniors, and the ARC of San Francisco.


Rebecca C. Morgan
Boston Asset Management Faculty Chair in Elder Law
Professor of Law
Stetson University College of Law Gulfport, Fla.

Rebecca C. Morgan is the Boston Asset Management Faculty Chair in Elder Law, the director of the Center for Excellence in Elder Law at Stetson University College of Law and the director of Stetson's online LL.M. in Elder Law. Professor Morgan teaches a variety of elder law courses in the J.D. and LL.M. and oversees the elder law concentration program for J.D. students. She is the successor co-author of Matthew Bender's Tax, Estate and Financial Planning for the Elderly, and its companion forms book, and a co-author of Representing the Elderly in Florida and The Fundamentals of Special Needs Trusts. She is a member of the elder law editorial board for Matthew Bender.

Professor Morgan is a past president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, past president of the board of directors of the National Senior Citizens Law Center, past chair of the American Association of Law Schools Section on Aging and the Law and of the Florida Bar Elder Law Section, and was on the faculty of the National Judicial College. She served as the reporter for the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act. She served on the Florida Attorney General's Task Force on Elder Abuse and the Florida Legislative Guardianship Study Commission. She is a member of the American Law Institute, academic advisory board for the Borchard Center for Law and Aging, an academic fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel, a NAELA fellow, and a member of NAELA's Council of Advanced Practitioners. After a term on the board of the ABA Commission on Law and Aging, she now serves as a special advisor to the ABA Commission on Law and Aging.

Professor Morgan was the recipient of the 2003 Faculty Award on Professionalism from the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism. She received the NAELA Unaward in November 2004 from President Stu Zimring for her accomplishments in the field of elder law. Professor Morgan, along with Professor Roberta Flowers, received the 2005 Project Award on Professionalism from the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism for their video series on ethics in an elder law practice. She received the 2006 Rosalie Wolf Memorial Elder Abuse Prevention Award from the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. She received the Homer and Dolly Hand Award for Faculty Scholarship in May of 2008, and the NAELA President's Award from NAELA President Mark Shalloway in May of 2008. Professor Morgan was the 2009 recipient of the Treat award from the National College of Probate Judges.


Mary E. O'Byrne
Attorney at Law
Frank, Frank & Scherr LLC
Lutherville, Md.

Mary E. O'Byrne graduated from Yale University and the University of Maryland School of Law with a certificate in Health Care Law. She also holds an M.B.A. from the University of North Carolina. O'Byrne's practice concentrates in special needs and estate planning. She teaches at the Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers and other state and national educational forums.

Previously, she worked in the health insurance and HMO industries, concentrating on strategic planning and information systems. She is a member of the Special Needs Alliance, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the Elder Law and Estates and Trusts Sections of the Maryland State Bar Association. O'Byrne is the past executive director and trustee of First Maryland Disability Trust, a pooled asset special needs trust.


Craig C. Reaves, CELA
Attorney at Law
Reaves Law Firm P.C.
Kansas City, Mo.

Craig C. Reaves has been certified as an elder law attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation since the charter class of 1995. He is a past president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), a fellow of NAELA and a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).

Reaves is an adjunct professor of law at both the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law and also at the University of Kansas School of Law where he teaches an elder law course. Reaves is a past president of the Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City. In addition, he is the president of LifeCare Planning Inc., a non-profit organization assisting parents of persons who have a disability to plan for future care of their children. He also currently serves on the advisory board of The Mission Project. He previously served for nine years as a director and officer of the Arthritis Foundation-Western Missouri/Greater Kansas City Chapter. He was a founding director and officer for 11 years of Respite Care Services Inc., a non-profit organization that provided highly trained temporary home care. 


Nell Graham Sale
Attorney at Law
Pregenzer, Baysinger, Wideman & Sale P.C.
Albuquerque, N.M.

Nell Graham Sale is a partner of the law firm of Pregenzer, Baysinger, Wideman & Sale in Albuquerque, N.M. She is admitted to practice law in New Mexico, Delaware, Pennsylvania, U. S. Tax Court and the U. S. Supreme Court. Sale has an AV Preeminent rating from LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell and has been selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America for several years. She is a certified elder lawyer as designated by the National Foundation for Elder Law. She is a member and former board member of the Special Needs Alliance, a national network of disability trust lawyers, and is a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Sale received the 2012 award from the Albuquerque Community Foundation for Excellence in Charitable Gift Planning and the 2012 CLE Pinnacle award from the New Mexico Bar Association, receiving the highest ratings for speaking at CLE programs. Her law practice concentrates on taxation, estate planning, estate administration, business succession, disability planning and elder law.


Dennis M. Sandoval, CELA, AEP, EA
Attorney at Law
A Professional Law Corp.
Riverside, Calif.

Dennis M. Sandoval broke his neck and back in a car accident in 1992. He was paralyzed as a result of his injuries. The experiences he gained as the result of his injuries are invaluable in his work with the disabled and senior communities.

Sandoval is the only attorney in California that has certifications in the three areas of estate planning, elder law and taxation. He received his Certified Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Specialist designation from the California Bar Board of Legal Specialization in 1998. He received his Certified Taxation Law Specialist designation from the same organization in 2000, he became a certified elder law attorney (CELA) in 2004, and he recently received the accredited estate planner (AEP).

Before becoming an attorney, Sandoval owned a tax planning/preparation and financial planning firm in Orange, California. During that time he received his certified financial planner (CFP), registered financial consultant (RFC) and enrolled agent (EA) designations. The knowledge and experience he gained during this time is invaluable in assisting him with the planning of his client's estates.

Sandoval serves as the director of education for the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA). He was recently elected to the board of directors of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and is beginning the second year of his term as a member of the board of directors of the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF). He is the 2008-2009 president of the Southern California Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).


G. Mark Shalloway
Attorney at Law
Shalloway & Shalloway P.A.
West Palm Beach, Fla.

G. Mark Shalloway specializes in elder law in West Palm Beach, Fla. He is a certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation, and is board certified in elder law by The Florida Bar. He holds an AV rating with Martindale-Hubble.

Shalloway has served as president for and is a fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). He has also served as chair of the NAELA Advanced Educational Institute in Colorado and has received the Outstanding Achievement Award from NAELA. He lectures for Stetson University College of Law and in Las Vegas at the national Absolute Litigators Conference on Special Needs Trust. He has served as president of the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys, and as the chair of the Florida Bar Elder Law Section Medicaid Committee.

Shalloway is the founding chair of the Palm Beach County Bar Association's Elder Law Committee. In addition, the late Governor Lawton Chiles and Governor Jeb Bush have appointed Shalloway to serve as the attorney on the state's Long-Term Care Ombudsman Council, Palm Beach District.

He practices as president and shareholder with his father in the firm of Shalloway & Shalloway P.A.


Kerry Tedford-Coles
Vice President Trust Administration
Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of CT

PLAN of CT Inc.
West Hartford, Conn.

Kerry Tedford-Coles is the vice president of Trust Administration for Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of CT Inc. (PLAN of CT) and has spent her career serving those with disabilities through both special education and the non-profit sector. She has been with PLAN of CT since 2004 and has been instrumental in its exponential growth. During the past three years, her concentration has dominantly focused on the management of the organization's pooled trust. She is a frequent presenter regarding special needs trusts for community organizations, legal and financial professionals and disability providers. Tedford-Coles is a mother of two children, one of which is on the autism spectrum.


Neal A. Winston
Attorney at Law
Winston Law Group LLC
Somerville, Mass.

Neal A. Winston is the principal of Winston Law Group LLC, a law firm specializing in special needs counseling, estate and disability planning, probate, guardianships and conservatorships, and estate and trust administration. He serves as a professional trustee for special needs trusts and has practiced public benefits law for more than 35 years. In 1975, Winston wrote the first edition of the Social Security Manual for the Community Worker. A nationally recognized expert on special needs trusts and needs-based public benefit programs, he is frequently requested to lecture and train other attorneys and professionals that work in this field. An active client-oriented attorney, he has represented hundreds of claimants before state and federal courts and agencies.  He has also been named a Super Lawyer in Boston magazine since 2006 and is AV Preeminent rated by his peers for Martindale-Hubbell.

Winston is past president of the Special Needs Alliance, a national, nonprofit organization composed of attorneys who advise and represent individuals and their families to create and administer special needs trusts.  He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and has been certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. He serves on the public policy committee of NAELA and is a member of the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives and the American Bar Association Social Security Committee. He currently serves as a member of the Massachusetts Joint Bar Committee for Judicial Nominations and is a member of the board of delegates of the Massachusetts Bar Association. 

Winston is a member of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys and the American Association of Justice, and he is past president of the Massachusetts chapter of NAELA. Additionally, he is active in legislative issues affecting disabled and elder citizens on a state and federal level.

He is a graduate of Utica College of Syracuse University and received his J.D. at Suffolk University Law School. He is also a founder and president of the Belmont Land Trust.


Stuart D. Zimring, CAP
Attorney at Law
Law Offices of Stuart D. Zimring
North Hollywood, Calif.

Stuart D. Zimring is in private practice in North Hollywood, Calif., where he concentrates in the areas of elder law, estate and life planning, special needs trusts and probate, conservatorship and trust litigation matters. He is certified as a specialist in estate planning, probate and trust law by the board of certification of the State Bar of California, and is co-author (together with Donna Bashaw, CELA) of Tax, Estate & Financial Planning for the Elderly - California Guide and (together with Professor Rebecca Morgan, Bradley Frigon and Craig Reeves) Fundamentals of Special Needs Trusts, both published by Matthew-Bender. He is also a member of the Matthew-Bender/Lexis-Nexis Elder Law Editorial Board.

He graduated from the UCLA School of Law in 1971 with a J.D. degree and is admitted to practice in California, the U.S. District Court, Central and Northern Districts of California and the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Zimring is a fellow of both the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and the American College of Trust and Estate Counselors (ACTEC), a member of the Special Needs Alliance and is a past president of NAELA as well as charter member of CAP, NAELA's Council of Advanced Practioners. He also serves on the boards of directors of a number of non-profit organizations including the National Senior Citizens Law Center (NSCLC) and the Organization for the Needs of the Elderly (ONEgeneration), of which he is also a past president.

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