Stetson University

2012 Special Needs Trusts Conference - Speakers

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

Thomas 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 1999-2000 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, Brink 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 titled Interviewing, Counseling and Negotiation.


William "Bill" J. Browning, CELA
Attorney at Law
Browning, Meyer, & Ball Co. LPA
Columbus, Ohio

Attorney William J. Browning is a partner in the Columbus, Ohio law firm of Browning, Meyer & Ball Co. LPA. Browning is a certified elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation and a Martindale-Hubbell AV rated attorney. Browning has served as the former president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys from 2003-2004. Browning also served as a fellow with the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He has served as the former chair of the Ohio State Bar Association Disability Law Committee and Elder Law Committees. Browning is a guest lecturer for The Ohio State University College of Law and Capital University Law School.

Browning has presented at several NAELA national conventions, presented on Medicaid reform at the 1992 Joint Conference on Law and Aging in Washington, D.C., participated in a debate in 2002 at the LTC Inc. Conference in St. Louis, and participated in presentations at the 2003 Conference on Law and Aging in Washington, D.C. and numerous state-level legal conferences throughout the United States. Browning's articles have been published in the Ohio Lawyer, Estate Planning Magazine, and Ohio Bar Briefs. He has been quoted in USA Today, LA Times, AP articles, Columbus Monthly, Columbus CEO, and Columbus Dispatch.


Stephen W. Dale
Attorney at Law
The Dale Law Center
Pacheco, Calif.

Stephen W. 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-right's organizations. His outreach and level of commitment to the disabled community has received national recognition, and he is the recipient of the prestigious 2010 Theresa Foundation Award and 2007 NAELA Powley Award. Additionally, Dale is a 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 is a frequent speaker on a variety of disability related topics across the country. He regularly teaches courses to the public, financial and service professionals, and other attorneys on special needs trusts and trust administration. Additionally, Dale provides free information, referrals and support in understanding the various issues surrounding special needs benefits, services and care through his public service website www.achievingindependence.com.


Dr. Susan Demers
Dean of the College of Policy, Ethics and Legal Studies
St. Petersburg College
Clearwater, Fla.

Dr. Demers' undergraduate degree in speech and drama and her law degree from the University of Florida were just the beginning of her education. As the child of teachers who were themselves life long learners, Dr. Demers is a trained bibliophile as well as a news junkie. Dr. Demers is also what the marketers refer to as an early adopter; her first personal computer was the TRS 80 and her first hand-held device was Apple's Newton. This doesn't mean that she knows it all or that she has conquered technology. On the contrary, Dr. Demers freely admits that the more she learns the more she has to learn, and what she really knows is that technology should be respected at all costs.

Four years ago, Dr. Demers served as president of the Clearwater Bar Association and she has spent at least part of the intervening years working towards integrating technology into the practice of more lawyers. Dr. Demers also teaches the Technology in Litigation course at Stetson University College of Law, which has given her the opportunity to help students develop organizational, story-telling and persuasive techniques that include technology in all phases of litigation.

Thanks to her participation in the Clearwater Bar Association, Dr. Demers served as commissioner on the Florida Bar President's Special Commission on Paralegal Regulation, which resulted in the proposed Rule 20 scheme of voluntary regulation for paralegals. When the rule was adopted, there was much skepticism about the interest of paralegals in the State of Florida in voluntarily submitting themselves to the regulation of The Florida Bar. A huge number of paralegals throughout the state have embraced this program, proving their interest in professionalism and the seriousness of their commitment to the profession. Dr. Demers believes that this is a watershed moment in the development of the paralegal profession. Dr. Demers looks forward to seeing what the next years bring to this challenging and rewarding profession.


David English
Professor of Law
University of Missouri School of Law
Columbia, Mo.

Professor English joined the University of Missouri law faculty in 1999, following a career as an estate planning and tax partner with the Chicago law firm of D'Ancona & Pflaum and teaching at the Universities of South Dakota and Santa Clara.

Professor English, who was the reporter for the Uniform Trust Code, is a uniform law commissioner, a former member of the Supervisory Council of the ABA Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law, and a commissioner of the ABA Commission on Legal Problems of the Elderly.

Professor English is co-author of a three-volume treatise, Tax, Estate & Financial Planning for the Elderly, and has published numerous articles on tax, estate planning, elder law and related topics in law reviews and professional publications. He teaches Estates and Trusts, Will and Trust Drafting, Estate Planning and Taxation, Elder Law and Basic Federal Income Taxation.


Heidi Flatt
Associate Executive Director for Trust Services
NYSARC Inc.
Delmar, N.Y.

Heidi J. Flatt, CPA, is the associate executive director for Trust Services for NYSARC Inc., located in Delmar, N.Y. Flatt has been the administrator of NYSARC's 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, 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.

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, as well as to understand the needs of those with varying disabilities.


 

Robert B. Fleming, CELA
Attorney at Law
Fleming & Curti P.L.C.
Tucson, Ariz.

Robert B. Fleming is a partner in the Tucson law firm of Fleming & Curti P.L.C., with a practice limited to trust (and special needs trust) administration, guardianship, conservatorship, estate planning, and probate. Fleming is a co-author (with Lisa Davis) of The Elder Law Answer Book, and (with Prof. Kenney Hegland) of New Times, New Challenges: Law and Advice for Savvy Seniors and Their Families. He 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). He is a founding member of the Special Needs Alliance (www.specialneedsalliance.com). Perhaps more importantly, he is a husband, father, scuba diver, pilot and martial arts practitioner.


Roberta Flowers
Professor of Law
Stetson University College of Law
Gulfport, Fla.

Roberta K. Flowers is a professor of law at Stetson University College of Law. Professor Flowers teaches Ethics in an Elder Law Practice in the Elder Law LL.M. program. She also teaches Evidence, Criminal Procedure, and Professional Responsibility. She has lectured throughout the United States and internationally in the area of ethics. Her research interests revolve around the issues of ethics and professionalism. Her articles have appeared in such journals as the Fordham Law Review, the Boston College Law Review, Missouri Law Review, the Nebraska Law Review, the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, the Stetson Law Review, and the NAELA Journal.

Before coming to Stetson, Professor Flowers worked as a prosecutor both in the state and federal system. She graduated magna cum laude from Baylor University in 1979 with a B.A. in Psychology. She received her J.D. from the University of Colorado in 1984, where she was selected to be a member of the Order of the Coif. Professor Flowers is active in several professional associations. She has served on numerous committees of The Florida Bar including the Professional Ethics Committee, the Evidence Committee and the Standing Committee on Professionalism. She is currently the chair of the Professionalism Sub-Committee of the Litigation Section's Ethics and Professionalism Committee of the American Bar Association.


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

Bradley J. Frigon is in private practice in Denver, Colo. He received his J.D. in 1981 from Washburn University, and his Master of Laws Degree in Taxation in 1982 from the University of Denver. He is a certified elder law attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation and a member of the Counsel of Advanced Practitioners (CAP) of NAELA. Frigon is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the Colorado Bar Association, the Special Needs Trust Alliance and is a fellow in the Kansas Bar Association. Currently, Frigon is an officer of the NAELA and is treasurer of the Special Needs Alliance. He served as program chair of the 2008 Advanced Elder Law Institute in Kansas City, Mo., and is the current chair of the Programs and Education Committee for NAELA. He is also an adjunct professor of Law at Stetson University College of Law.

In addition to his practice, Frigon is a frequent presenter to attorneys, certified public accountants and financial planners on elder law, estate planning, special needs trusts, individual tax planning, and public benefit and tax issues related to workers' compensation and personal injury settlements. He also has been quoted in numerous national publications including the Wall Street Journal and the Kiplinger's Retirement Letter. He is the author of many published articles, including: "Tax Rules Relating to the Sale of a Principal Residence," Elder's Advisor, The Journal of Elder Law and Post-Retirement Planning, Marquette University Law School, Spring 2002; "New Case Limits Government Recovery under the Medicare Secondary Payer Statute," NAELA E-Bulletin, March 4, 2003; "Another Arrow in the Quiver: Understanding the New Tax Rules That Apply to Capital Gains and Qualifying Dividends," NAELA Quarterly, Fall 2004; "Amendments to Medicare Secondary Payer Statute Broader Authority for Government Recovery," Colorado Lawyer, March 2005; "Special Needs Trusts and Individual Retirement Accounts," Elder Law Advisor, June 2007; "Which Special Needs Trust, When and Why," NAELA Journal, Spring 2009; "Are You Ready for Carryover Basis Rules?" Elder Law Answers, August 2009; and "Fundamentals of Special Needs Trusts," by Stuart D. Zimring, Rebecca C. Morgan and Bradley J. Frigon, (Matthew Bender 2009).


Michael Gilfix
Attorney at Law
Gilfix & La Poll Associates LLP
Palo Alto, Calif.

Michael Gilfix is a nationally known authority in the field of law, aging and estate planning. A 1973 graduate of Stanford Law School, he is a fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), a co-founder of NAELA, and a certified legal specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law. Gilfix regularly addresses professional audiences, including attorneys, physicians, certified public accountants, and financial planners, nationally as well as locally.

An entrepreneur in the legal field, Gilfix created the first legal aid program for elders in 1973. He served as executive director of that program, Senior Adults Legal Assistance (SALA) of Santa Clara County, for 10 years. In 1983 he created the law firm that is today known as Gilfix & La Poll Associates LLP .

Gilfix has been a principal speaker for numerous trust and tax symposia at the national level, including the Center for Judicial Education, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) the New York University Tax Institute, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

Gilfix is a California legal advisor to Partnership For Caring, the national organization devoted to rights of individuals to make their own health care decisions.

A highly respected practitioner and a prolific author, Gilfix is co-author of Tax, Estate & Financial Planning for the Elderly: Forms and Practice (Matthew Bender) and is the principal author of Medi-Cal and Asset Preservation, a book- length set of materials for practicing attorneys. He regularly contributes to a wide variety of legal journals such as Trusts and Estates magazine, where his writings have discussed the role of personal values in estate planning, life care communities, and asset preservation planning.

Gilfix appears regularly on KGO's "LawTalk" with host Len Tillem. Michael Gilfix and Len Tillem team up to present lively and informative seminars at many San Francisco Bay Area locations.

Gilfix holds an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, as judged by his peers in the legal profession. This rating, the highest given "... reflects an attorney who has reached the heights of professional excellence, ... has practiced law for many years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity."


Barbara Helm
Executive Director
ARCare Inc
Overland Park, Kan.

Barb Helm is the executive director of ARCare Inc., which is a non-profit corporation offering future planning services and financial services to individuals with disabilities and their families. She was instrumental in the development of the ARCare Pooled Trust Program and has been administering the trust since its inception in 1996. The trust serves beneficiaries in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri and Oklahoma and currently has more than 800 participants. Helm is a frequent speaker at community and continuing legal education events speaking on the topics of special needs planning and the ARCare Trust Program.


Ronald S. Honberg
National Director for Policy and Legal Affairs
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Arlington, Va.

Ron Honberg, J.D., serves as the national director for Policy and Legal Affairs at NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Honberg oversees NAMI's federal advocacy agenda and the NAMI Law and Criminal Justice Action Center. In recent years, he has worked on issues affecting people with mental illnesses involved with criminal justice systems, and more. 

Honberg has drafted amicus curiae briefs in precedent setting litigation affecting people with mental illnesses and has provided technical assistance to attorneys and NAMI affiliates on legal and public policy issues.  He also monitors a clearinghouse of important cases in disability and health law and is a frequent resource for print and broadcast media on legal and policy issues. 

Before joining NAMI in 1988, Honberg worked as a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the State of Maryland and in a variety of direct service positions in the mental illness and developmental disabilities fields. 

Honberg has a J.D. from the University of Maryland School of Law and a master's degree in education from the University of Maryland.


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

Mary Alice Jackson is a partner in the firm of Boyer & Jackson P.A. with offices in Sarasota, Fla., and Austin, Texas. She is a Florida Bar board certified elder law attorney and a fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Her practice focuses on special needs trusts, long term care public benefits planning, estate planning, probate and end-of-life issues. She 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. Jackson is a co-author of Planning for the Elderly in Florida, a Lexis Nexis publication. 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 also serves as chair of the Government Assistance Programs Committee for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She is a past chair of the Florida Bar Elder Law Section and served as president of the Sarasota County Bar Association in 2005. She is an adjunct professor in the Stetson University College of Law Elder 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.


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

Howard S. Krooks is a partner of Elder Law Associates PA and of counsel to Amoruso & Amoruso LLP in Westchester County, N.Y. He is admitted to practice law in Florida and New York.

Krooks' professional practice is devoted to elder law and trusts and estates matters, including representing seniors and persons with special needs and their families in connection with asset preservation planning, supplemental needs trusts, Medicaid, planning for disability, estate planning, guardianship, wills, trusts and advance directives.

As a member of the Joint Public Policy Task Force of The Florida Bar Elder Law Section and the Academy of Florida Elder Law Attorneys, Krooks works to protect the rights of the state's most vulnerable citizens. He was invited to join a special sub-task force to review policies of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) that may not be in compliance with federal law. The special task force will also determine whether DCF policies have followed proper rule-making procedures.

Krooks is certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation and is a member of the Council for Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). He is a member of the NAELA board of directors, where he serves as president. He was honored with the designation of NAELA Fellow in 2009. He serves on the Executive Council of the Elder Law Section of The Florida Bar as the NAELA liaison. He is a past chair of the Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA), where he continues to serve on the Executive Committee. Krooks was named The Florida Bar Elder Law Section "Member of the Year" in 2010. He was chosen as a Florida Super Lawyer from 2007- 2012, a Metro New York Super Lawyer from 2008 to 2011, named to Florida Trend magazine's Florida Legal Elite in 2007, 2010 and 2011, recognized as a 2011 Top Attorney in Palm Beach & Martin Counties by Palm Beach Illustrated, and has an AV® Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell. He received a Superb Rating from Avvo among a select few recognized by the legal community for his superb professional conduct and experience in 2012.

Krooks received the 2006 Outstanding Achievement Award from the New York Chapter of NAELA for serving as co-chair of a special committee on Medicaid legislation formed by the NYSBA Elder Law Section to oppose New York Governor George Pataki's budget bills containing numerous restrictive Medicaid eligibility provisions that, if enacted, would severely impact the frail elderly and disabled populations. He was also recognized for serving as co-chair of the NYSBA Elder Law Section Compact Working Group, which is receiving national attention for developing alternative methods of financing long-term care. Additionally, Krooks served as chair of a special committee created by the NYSBA Elder Law Section to address the Statewide Commission on Fiduciary Appointments formed by Chief Justice Judith Kaye.

Krooks has written widely on elder law topics and co-authored a chapter of Guardianship Practice in New York State, published by the NYSBA. He was an adjunct assistant professor at NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies and was an instructor for the N.Y. Certified Guardian and Court Evaluator program. As a frequent lecturer on a variety of elder law topics, Krooks has addressed many local, regional and national organizations. He has been quoted in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Marketplace on National Public Radio, Prism Money (Reuters), U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger's Retirement Report, USA Today, The New York Post, The Journal News and the Boca Raton News. He has appeared on PBS, the CBS Early Morning Show and local cable television programs focusing on elder law.

Krooks is a founding principal of ElderCounsel LLC, the premier elder law and special needs planning document drafting solution for attorneys. He received his undergraduate degree summa cum laude from SUNY Albany, and his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Krooks and his wife have four children and reside in Parkland, Fla.


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.


Andrew Lee is an attorney with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of General Counsel, Assisted Housing Division. Lee joined HUD in 2006 and, as program counsel, his core practice areas are admission and occupancy issues related to the Section 8 Tenant-Based Vouchers, Section 8 Project-Based, Public Housing, Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly and Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities programs. Lee is also lead counsel on all aspects of the Section 202 and 811 programs, often opining on the programs' competition process, appeals of application denials, project development, and asset management matters. Prior to joining HUD, he worked six years in the non-profit sector. His non-profit experience includes representing persons with physical, developmental, and psychiatric disabilities in employment, public accommodations, fair housing, special education and abuse and neglect in institutionalized setting cases. Additionally, his non-profit background includes representing HUD-assisted low-income families in eviction complaints and administrative hearings regarding terminations of their section 8 and public housing assistance.


Renee C. Lovelace, CELA
Attorney at Law
The Lovelace Law Firm, P.C.
Austin, Texas

Renée Lovelace has a J.D. from the University of Texas, M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and B.A. in psychology from Oral Roberts University.

She has written more than 100 articles on special needs trusts, special needs planning, caregiving, caregivers, and other elder law and special needs topics. She is a frequent lecturer to attorneys, financial advisors, CPAs, trustees, family members, and persons with disabilities, and is a long-time advocate who has devoted thousands of hours to disability projects. Lovelace is the author of Pooled Trust Options: A Guidebook, published in 2010, which was a project of the National Plan Alliance Inc. In 2011, she received the Theresa Award for community service.

Board and committee service includes the Texas Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), where she served as president, NAMI Dallas, Advocacy Incorporated (now Disability Rights Texas), the State Bar of Texas Disability Issues Committee, the NAELA Special Needs Law Committee, and the NAELA Professionalism and Ethics Committee.

In 1997, she was certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. She has been a member of the American Bar Association and the Special Needs Alliance, an organization of attorneys who focus on special needs trusts and special needs planning. She has been named a Texas Super Lawyer in elder law each year since 2007.

Renée worked in the investment banking section of a Chicago bank and the corporate section of a Dallas law firm before opening her own law firm to focus on special needs planning and elder law. After college and during graduate school, she worked as a flight attendant for American Airlines, based in New York, Washington, D.C., and Chicago. She and her husband, Joe, a long-time mental health advocate, live in Dripping Springs, Texas, and have three children, three goats, three cats, two daughters-in-law, one dog, one donkey, and one very talkative (and interesting) 2½ year old grandson.


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

Janet L. Lowder has devoted her career to defining, promoting and protecting the legal rights of the elderly and of persons with mental and physical disabilities. Her activities have encompassed individual representation, litigation on a local and state-wide scale, representation of agencies and county programs serving people with disabilities and the elderly, legislation, and publication in professional journals. She received her law degree, summa cum laude, from Cleveland Marshall College of Law.

Lowder is a recognized authority on Medicaid issues and estate planning for families with special needs. She is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is a certified elder law attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation. She is one of the founders of, and counsel to, Community Fund Management Foundation, a non-profit organization that provides the Master Trust and the Pooled Medicaid Payback Trust for individuals with disabilities. She was the recipient of the Foundation's 1999 Amicus Award as well as the Cuyahoga County Board of MR/DD's 2000 Top Hat Award. She is consistently chosen as an Ohio Super Lawyer, and is included in Best Lawyers in America for elder law and estate planning. Lowder is president-elect of the Special Needs Alliance, an invitation only national network of lawyers dedicated to disability and public benefits law and special needs planning.


Nancy Mashberg, M.A.
Regional Coordinator
FAAST
Tampa, Fla.

Nancy Mashberg received her master's degree in clinical and community psychology from the University of South Florida in Tampa. She has been employed as the FAAST Central Regional Coordinator since 1997, and has her certificate in School Psychology Assistive Technology Applications from NASDSE (National Association of State Directors of Special Education). She has served on a number of state and regional assistive technology committees and workgroups.

At the 2012 SNT conference, Mashberg will provide information about assistive technology (AT) devices, and the programs and services available through Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST), Florida's Assistive Technology Program. Examples of AT to promote independence and quality of life, particularly for use with the populations we serve, will be highlighted.


Pi-Yi Mayo CELA
Attorney at Law
Pi-Yi Mayo
Baytown, Texas

Pi-Yi G. Mayo is certified as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. He received his bachelor's degree in finance, magna cum laude, from the University of Houston in 1980 and his J. D. from the Bates College of Law at University of Houston in 1983. He is a member of the American Bar Association, State Bar of Texas, Houston Bar Association, and National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He is the past chairman of the Houston Bar Association Elder Law Committee and past vice chairman of the American Bar Association's Elder Law Committee. He is currently on the board of directors for the Special Needs Alliance. He has served as administrator for more than 75 QSFs in the last several years, including several multi-district litigation cases. Mayo is an active member in his local Optimist Club.


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 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 has held leadership roles in a number of organizations. She is a past president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.  She served as the reporter for the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act. 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 & 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, a partner in Frank, Frank & Scherr LLC, graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law, is a member of the Order of the Coif, and earned an MBA from the University of North Carolina. She received her bachelor's degree from Yale University. Her practice focuses on special needs planning, as well as elder law and estate planning. She teaches on these topics for the Maryland Institute for Continuing Professional Education of Lawyers and other state and national educational forums. In her prior career, O'Byrne worked for more than 10 years in the health insurance and HMO industries, concentrating on strategic planning and information systems. Admitted to the Maryland bar, she is a member of the Elder Law and Estates and Trusts Sections of the Maryland Bar Association, as well as the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Special Needs Alliance. O'Byrne is also the executive director of First Maryland Disability Trust, a pooled asset special needs trust.


Bryn Poland
Attorney at Law
Pi-Yi Mayo
Baytown, Texas

Bryn Poland is an associate attorney at the Law Office of Pi-Yi Mayo. She graduated from Kansas State University in 2004 and received her J.D. from Washburn University School of Law in Topeka, Kan., in 2007. She is currently serving as the chair of the Houston Bar Association Elder Law committee. She is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Special Needs Alliance, and the Houston Bar Association. She has been involved in all facets of Qualified Settlement Funds, including drafting, administration, and closing.  Poland often presents and writes about special needs trusts, qualified settlement funds, and public benefits issues. When she isn't working, she loves browsing Pinterest for recipes and craft projects (which she has yet to make).


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

Craig C. Reaves, CELA, is an attorney with Reaves Law Firm P.C., in Kansas City, Mo. He practices law in Kansas and Missouri with major emphasis in the areas of estate planning, elder law, special needs trusts and planning for persons who have a disability. Reaves was one of the first attorneys to become a certified elder law attorney (CELA) by the National Elder Law Foundation, and has continued to be certified since 1995. He is listed in Who's Who In American Law and Who's Who in America. He is included in the current editions of The Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers. He is an adjunct professor of law and teaches an elder law course at both the University of Kansas School of Law and the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law. Reaves is admitted to practice law in the federal and state courts in Kansas, Missouri (Western District-Federal), and the United States Tax Court. He received his B.S. in Business Administration and his J.D. from the University of Kansas. He also holds the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designations from The American College in Bryn Mawr, Penn.

Reaves is a past president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). He is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), a fellow of NAELA and a charter member of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of NAELA. Reaves is a founding board member and past president of the Missouri Chapter of NAELA and a member of the Kansas Chapter of NAELA. He is also a member of the Special Needs Alliance, WealthCounsel, the USB Attorney Network, the Kansas City Metropolitan, Kansas, Missouri and American Bar Associations. Reaves is past president of the Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City, and president of LifeCare Planning Inc.


Vincent J. Russo, CELA
Attorney at Law
Vincent J. Russo & Associates P.C.
Westbury, N.Y.

Vincent J. Russo & Associates P.C., Long Island's signature elder law, special needs and estate planning law firm with offices in Westbury, Islandia, Lido Beach, and Manhattan has championed the rights of seniors and people with special needs since 1985.

Russo is a founding member, fellow and fifth president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and is a founding member and first president of the New York Chapter of NAELA (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys). He is founding chair of the NAELA Foundation. He is the only NAELA member to receive the prestigious President's Award twice. He is also a member of the invitation only, NAELA Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP). Russo is a certified elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. He is a founding member and past chair of the Elder Law Section and co-chair of the Special Needs Section of the New York State Bar Association (NYSBA).

Russo is a co-founder of the Academy of Special Needs Planners and past board member and president of the Guardianship Corporation of United Cerebral Palsy of Nassau County and a co-founder and officer of The Theresa Alessandra Russo Foundation for children with special needs.
He is also co-founder and chairman of the Board of ElderCounsel LLC.

He is admitted to the New York, Massachusetts and Florida state bars and is the co-author of New York Elder Law and Special Needs Practice (Thomson Reuters).


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

Dennis Sandoval broke his neck and back in a car accident in 1992. As a result of his injuries, he was left paralyzed. The experiences he gained as the result of his injuries are invaluable in his work with the disabled and senior communities. He has first-hand experience in dealing with the physical and emotional aspects of having a disability and how the system works for those requiring care.

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 and he became a certified elder law attorney (CELA) in 2004, after passing all the requirements established by the National Elder Law Foundation. Sandoval also recently received the accredited estate planner (AEP) designation from the national Association of Estate Planners and Councils.  In addition to these four certifications, he also has a Master of Law Degree (LL.M.) in Taxation Law, which he received cum laude from Golden Gate University College of Law. He received his J.D. cum laude from Western State University College of Law and his B.A. in Business Administration from California State University at Fullerton.

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

In addition to overseeing his estate planning, elder law and tax law practice in Riverside, Calif., Sandoval serves as the director of education for the American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys (AAEPA), a nationwide membership organization of attorneys specializing in estate planning. 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), the non-profit organization that administers the CELA designation. He is the 2008-2009 president of the Southern California Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

Sandoval is one of only six California members of the Special Needs Alliance, a nationwide membership organization of attorneys interested in advancing the care of special needs persons through proper planning.  He is also a member of the Riverside County Bar Association (he was the 2003-2004 chair of its Estate Planning Section), the California Bar Association (where he is a member of the Estate Planning and Taxation Law Sections) and the American Bar Association (where he is a member of its Probate, Trust and Real Property and Taxation Law Sections).  Sandoval is also a member of the Riverside County Estate Planning Council. He formerly served as chair of NAELA's Advanced Education Committee and sat on the steering committee for NAELA's Tax Law Special Interest Group.

Dennis M. Sandoval, a professional law corporation, is also a charter member of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association (LCPLFA). The LCPLFA is a nationwide membership organization of law firms that employ social workers and geriatric care managers as part of a holistic team of professionals to assist frail elders and disabled persons get the highest quality of care. Dennis M. Sandoval, a PLC, is the only law firm in the Inland Empire with a social worker on its staff.  The law firm was also a charter member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

Sandoval is an adjunct professor at Chapman University College of Law, where he teaches various classes for their Master of Tax Law (LL.M.) program. He previously taught various classes at Western State University College of Law, the Wills and Trust class at California Southern Law School and various attorney legal education courses for the University of California at Riverside Extension. Sandoval frequently conducts educational seminars for the general public.  He also conducts continuing education seminars for financial and health care professionals. His classes for professionals and the general public consistently get high praise from the attendees.

Sandoval grew up in Riverside, Calif., where he attended Our Lady of Perpetual Help grade school and Notre Dame High School. He was active in many sports, lettering in football and wrestling. His hobbies include building wooden model ships, photography (above ground and underwater), maintaining saltwater aquariums, sailing and scuba diving. He lives in Norco, Calif., with his wife and three girls, along with their menagerie of pets.


Eric R. Skidmore
Office of Social Security Administration
Office of Income Security Programs
Baltimore, Md.


Eric Skidmore is a supervisor in the Office of SSI and Representative Payee Policy at SSA. His team is responsible for implementing Supplemental Security Income (SSI) policies pertaining deeming, income, resources, and state supplementation. Prior to coming to SSA headquarters, he spent eight years as a claims representative in an SSA field office. 


Jerry R. Sullenberger, MCSE
Practice Management Advisor
The Florida Bar's LOMAS
Tallahassee, Fla.

Jerry R. Sullenberger is the senior practice management advisor with The Florida Bar's Law Office Management Assistance Service (LOMAS). Sullenberger has more than 24 years of experience as a law firm administrator, corporate manager, technical consultant and trainer. He assists solo attorneys, law firms, corporate legal departments and government law offices with all aspects of office and practice management.

Before joining LOMAS, Sullenberger was president of On Point Training Inc., a computer consulting and training company. He is a certified technical trainer, Microsoft certified system engineer and a certified Novell engineer.

Sullenberger worked as a legal administrator in Florida for more than seven years. In addition, he was an operations manager and a human resource manager in a Fortune 500 corporation, and a regional general manager in a smaller organization, following more than 12 years as an active-duty Army officer. He has a B.S. in News-Editorial Journalism from the University of Florida.


Kerry Tedford-Coles
Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of CT
PLAN of Connecticut Inc.
West Hartford, Conn.

Kerry Tedford-Coles is the outreach and pooled trust coordinator for Planned Lifetime Assistance Network of CT Inc. (PLAN of CT). Tedford-Coles 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 two 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.


Lee-Ford Tritt
Professor of Law
Director, Center for Estate Planning and Estates & Trusts Practice Certificate Program &
Associate Director, Center of Children and Families
University of Florida Levin College of Law
Gainesville, Fla.

Lee-Ford Tritt (J.D., LL.M., New York University School of Law) is a professor at the University of Florida College of Law and director of the Center for Estate Planning. He also serves as vice chair of the Trusts and Estates Division of the Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section of the American Bar Association. Before joining the University of Florida in 2005, Professor Tritt spent eight years in the New York City trusts and estates departments of Davis, Polk & Wardwell and Milbank, Tweed. Professor Tritt's strong commitment to students and the practice of law has helped earn him the College of Law's Life Team Achievement Award in 2012 and professor of the year for the academic years 2008-2009, 2009-2010, 2010-2011, and 2011-2012. In addition, he received the University of Florida's Presidential Award for Excellence in Education in 2011 and the Impact Award in 2012.


Jason L. Turner
Attorney at Law
Keller, Turner, Ruth, Andrews, Ghanem & Heller PLLC
Nashville, Tenn.

Turner has worked extensively within the entertainment industry since the mid 1990s. His experience spans nearly all aspects of the music industry including artist management, record label promotions and operations, performing as a professional musician, and representing various artists, music industry executives, professional athletes and sports teams in his capacity as a lawyer. Turner co-founded the entertainment firm of Keller Turner Ruth Andrews Ghanem & Heller, PLLC in June 2011.

Turner's current clients include Grammy and Emmy Award-winning artists, songwriters and producers who have collectively sold over 100 million records, record companies, record label executives and music publishers in the country, pop, and Christian industries, as well as professional athletes and sports organizations. He was named one of Billboard magazine's "Power Players: 30 Under 30" in 2007, and was named to Super Lawyers' 2012 Mid-South Rising Stars list. Turner's practice focuses on the representation of clients in the negotiation of various entertainment contracts, protection of intellectual property rights for professional sports entities, and representation in federal copyright and trademark infringement litigation, which recently resulted in a landmark ruling in favor of the heirs of the author of "I'll Fly Away" in a federal court copyright termination case.

Turner is a frequent guest speaker on entertainment and legal issues. He is a former adjunct professor at Belmont University's Curb College of Entertainment and Music Business and is a current adjunct professor of law at Stetson University College of Law. He also serves on the Stetson University Lawyers Association Advisory Council.


Shirley B. Whitenack, CAP
Attorney at Law
Schenck, Price, Smith & King, LLP
Florham Park, N.J.

Shirley B. Whitenack co-chairs the Elder and Special Needs Law and Estate and Trust Litigation practice groups. She focuses her practice on elder law, special needs planning and advocacy, probate, estate and trust litigation, and estate planning. Whitenack is also a member of Schenck, Price, Smith & King's Management Committee.

Whitenack is nationally recognized in her areas of concentration. She currently serves as secretary of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and is a NAELA fellow.

In Fall 2011,  Whitenack received the Ann Klein Advocate Award from Community Health Law Project, a not-for-profit legal services corporation serving the indigent, those with disabilities, and the frail elderly.  She was also recognized by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey in a Joint Resolution for service to those with special needs.

Whitenack is listed on the Superior Court of New Jersey's Civil Roster of Mediators and serves as a court-appointed and private mediator in probate and guardianship matters.  She also often serves as a court-appointed attorney and guardian ad litem in such matters.


Edward V. Wilcenski
Attorney at Law
Wilcenski & Pleat, PLLC
Clifton Park, N.Y.

Edward Wilcenski is a co-owner and co-manager of the law firm of Wilcenski & Pleat PLLC. He practices in the areas of special needs estate planning, trust and estate administration and elder law and long term care planning.

Wilcenski holds the highest rating for both expertise and ethics awarded by Martindale Hubbel, the independent rating service of legal professionals. He is a graduate of Albany Law School, and received his B.S. in economics, magna cum laude, from Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y.

Wilcenski is past vice chair of the Medicaid Committee of the New York State Bar Association's Elder Law Section. He is a trustee of the NYSARC (formerly the New York State Association for Retarded Children) Pooled Trust, serves as a trustee of the Wildwood Programs Third Party Pooled Supplemental Needs Trust, and serves on the board of directors of the Living Resources Home Health Agency, an organization which provides home care services for the elderly and disabled. In 2009, he received the Marie Ivancich Award from the Brain Injury Association of New York State for professional commitment to the organization's mission of advocacy for individuals living with brain injuries.

His professional affiliations include membership in the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the New York State Bar Association Elder Law Section, and its Committee on Issues Affecting Persons Under a Disability. He is a member and past president of the Special Needs Alliance, an invitation-only, national network of leading disability attorneys who practice in the areas of special needs trusts and public benefits. The Special Needs Alliance provides support for individuals with disabilities and their families, for attorneys involved in personal injury and medical malpractice litigation, and for trustees of Special Needs Trusts.

He is a contributing author to various publications of the New York State Bar Association, including Representing People with Disabilities, and Planning for Incapacity, and Guardianship Practice in New York State, and has co-authored a quarterly article entitled "Regulation News" for the NYS Bar Association Elder Law Section Newsletter.


Neal A. Winston
Attorney at Law
Moschella & Winston LLP
Somerville, Mass.

Neal A. Winston is a partner of Moschella & Winston LLP, a law firm specializing in estate and disability planning and asset protection. Practicing public benefits law for more than 30 years, in 1975, Mr. 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. He is a graduate of Utica College of Syracuse University and received his J.D. at Suffolk University Law School.

Winston is 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. 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 also a founder and president of the Belmont Land Trust.


Jefferey M. Yussman
Attorney at Law
Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs LLP
Louisville, Ky.

Jeff Yussman is a member of Wyatt, Tarrant & Combs' Trusts, Estates & Personal Planning Service Team. He concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning and administration, business succession planning and charitable planning. Yussman has a passion for planning for individuals with special needs and has extensive experience in the preparation and administration of special needs trusts for people with physical and mental illness. He chairs the firm's government benefits and special needs practice division of his service team.

Yussman writes and lectures nationally on topics of estate, special needs, business succession and charitable planning and has served as an adjunct professor of law at the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and at Stetson University College of Law.


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

Stuart D. Zimring was born in Los Angeles, Calif., on Dec. 12, 1946. He graduated from the University of California Los Angeles with a B.A. in 1968, from the UCLA School of Law with a J.D. in 1971, and was admitted to the Bar in 1972. He is admitted to practice in California, the U.S. District Court, Central and Northern Districts of California, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Zimring lectured in law for the Los Angeles Community College District from 1973-1983.

Zimring is a member of the Los Angeles Superior Court Probate Volunteer Panel and Mediation Panel. He is a fellow of both the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and the American College of Trusts and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and is certified as a specialist in estate planning, probate and trust Law by the Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California. Zimring serves on the board of directors for a number of non-profit organizations and is the immediate past-president of the Organization for the Needs of the Elderly (O.N.E.) in the San Fernando Valley. He is also a member of the Beverly Hills Estate Counselors Forum, San Fernando Valley Estate Counselors Forum, San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles County Bar Associations, State Bar of California, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and Southern California Council of Elder Law Attorneys.

He has published articles and been quoted in a number of newspapers and journals including the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Daily Journal and the NAELA Quarterly. He is the co-author of Tax, Estate and Financial Planning for the Elderly-California Guide, published by Matthew Bender, and has contributed to the Journal of the American Medical Director's Associations, and served as a guest editor for the Journal of the National Geriatric Care Managers Association. He is a frequent speaker on elder law related topics. Zimring has spoken at the University of Southern California Probate and Trusts Conference, the Southern California Tax Institute, the Law Education Annual Institution, and the Stetson University College of Law Special Needs Trust Conference.

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