By Rob Abruzzese, Legal Editor Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The Brooklyn Bar Association held its final continuing legal education seminar before it takes a break for the summer on guardianship cases. The two-hour seminar was titled “Multi-State Guardianships: Dos and Don’ts of Article 81 Guardianship Proceedings” and it featured a panel of attorneys including Anthony J. Lamberti, co-chair of the Elder Law Committee.
The program was split into two parts — the first with attorney Ira Salzman covered multi-state guardianships, and the second included a panel with Lamberti and attorneys Ira Miller and Julie Stoil-Fernandez, during which the three discussed what their experience handling guardianship cases has taught them.
“We are lucky to have some expert speakers to enlighten you a little bit, particularly on Article 83 of the mental hygiene law that is new and so many of us are wrangling with,” Lamberti said.
“Ira Salzman is one of the leading practitioners in Article 81 in all of elder law,” Lamberti continued. “We’re very fortunate to have him present. For the second part of our program, Julie will be speaking on the petitioners role in guardianship cases, Ira Miller will talk about the role of court evaluator, and I will be presenting on the role of counsel.”
In Salzman’s discussion of Article 83 cases, which is the Uniform Adult Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Jurisdiction Act, focused on jurisdiction.
“The keyword there is jurisdiction because that’s a change for us,” Salzman said. “We’re used to being in the court of general jurisdiction where judges could do anything. This statue limits the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court in interstate cases. If you take away anything from this proceeding tonight, the single most important suggestion I would make is to get in the habit of pleading jurisdiction in all of your guardianship cases.”
Salzman then discussed two cases, one in Maine and another from Connecticut, where cases fell apart in the end over jurisdictional issues.
“Get in the habit of pleading jurisdiction in all of your guardianship cases,” he stressed. “You don’t want this coming back to bite you in an extremely inconvenient moment.”
In the second part of the seminar, the trio of attorneys shared some of their experiences. Stoil-Fernandez’s remarks stood out and even drew some chuckles from various attorneys.
“When I started, I was extremely fierce and jealous. I’m still fierce and zealous, but hopefully not as hostile,” she joked. “We can be fierce, competent and make a huge impression without being uncivil to our colleagues. This is a small community of elder law attorneys and we need to be able to interact with each other again and again.”
The Brooklyn Bar’s next event will be a reception for Brooklyn Law School president and dean Nicholas Allard, who is set to resign from his position at the end of the month. That will take place on Monday, June 18 at 5:30 p.m. on Remsen Street.
The Brooklyn Bar will also host its annual induction of officers and trustees on Wednesday, June 20, where David Chidekel will be sworn in as the next president.