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Elder Law & Advocacy: Stay Involved!

ELDER LAW & ADVOCACY PROVIDES MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT INCLUDING PRO BONO WORK WITH SENIOR CLIENTS. San Diego’s legal community has donated thousands of hours, providing our clients with world-class legal services, free of charge,” according to Executive Director and Supervising Attorney Carolyn Reilly.  “Many of these clients would not have received any assistance due to Elder Law & Advocacy’s limited resources.  When an elderly client comes in and all of that person’s money has been taken – the classic financial elder abuse case – there is no money left to hire an attorney.  That’s where the partnership between Elder Law & Advocacy and San Diego’s legal community comes in to change the balance of the equation.”  Volunteers include attorneys, retired judges, law students and paralegals. This relationship truly benefits the client, according to Reilly.  “San Diego has the legal talent and resources to help us help these vulnerable and destitute victims of fraud.  This type of collaborative effort between the private bar, law schools and legal services...

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Tony Chicotel: The Inappropriate Use of Chemical Restraints in Nursing Homes

Nursing homes are using dangerous drugs “off label” to keep patients and residents docile. The FDA has warned against this but it continues to be a common practice. In some instances, this practice constitutes elder abuse. Attorney Tony Chicotel has been working to end this terrible practice. In this video, he discusses why it is happening, just how widespread it has become, and what we can all do to stop it. Links mentioned in the video: CANHR Campaign to Stop Drugging Toxic Medicine Guidebook CANHR.org Facility-Specific Drugging Data Stop Drugging Our Elders Blog Tony Chicotel on Chemical Restraints in Nursing Homes Posted by Jaime...

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Elder Law & Advocacy Participates in the “Know Your Rights” Workshop

On October 29, 2012, Elder Law & Advocacy was represented by staff attorney, Bob Martin, at the “Know Your Rights” workshop. This session was held in the City Heights neighborhood of San Diego and was assembled to promote healing of residents from trauma suffered due to recent heinous criminal activity. The City of San Diego Human Relations Commission sponsored the workshop. The purpose of the workshop was to gather knowledgeable individuals to speak to traumatized neighbors about issues that are most pressing to their community at this time. Among the issues discussed were immigration, contact with the police, reentry, expungement of criminal records, managing the criminal justice system, fair housing, and landlord-tenant issues. Mr. Martin’s presentation focused on elder abuse. He also addressed numerous other relevant topics. In the elder abuse segment of his presentation, Mr. Martin described to the audience the different types of elder abuse, including physical abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, neglect by a caregiver, and financial elder abuse.  Mr. Martin then discussed victim’s options for remedying and...

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Pilot Program: Client Interviews Via Online Video Conferencing

The Senior Legal Services program of Elder Law & Advocacy will be offering a video conference option to clients with certain case types on a trial basis. “We want to make our services as convenient as possible for our clients,” said Director of Legal Services Jaime Levine. “Some of our elderly clients would like to see an attorney, but traveling, even to a local senior center, can be...

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Scam Alert: “Grandma, I was just in a terrible accident. Send money now! (embedded video)

I received a phone call yesterday from Miami Herald Reporter Anna Edgerton. Ms. Edgerton had come across a scam and was asking if I had any experience with a similar situation. In fact, I have seen variations on this scam numerous times. The basic facts are as follows: An elderly individual receives a phone call from a young man or woman who addresses them as grandma or grandpa and is frantic: “I’m traveling in Canada… I was just in a terrible accident. I need money immediately. Please help me, grandma!”  When someone receives a call like this from a desperate loved one, the first inclination is to do everything to help. Unfortunately, this is a common scam – and it remains popular because it is so successful. What can you do to protect yourself? If you receive a call similar to this one, make a few phone calls to family members and verify that your relative is traveling in Canada or wherever else they may claim to be. You...

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“Protected Party” Statutes Provide Extra Protection to California Seniors

California has very strong laws protecting seniors – both in the civil realm and in the criminal realm. As soon as any California resident reaches the age of 65, he or she is considered to be a “protected party”. Jaime Levine, Directing Attorney for Elder Law & Advocacy’s Senior Legal Services program explains what this means for seniors, and describes one statue that gives seniors and their advocates access to heightened damages and lower thresholds in terms of what constitutes a wrong against a victim. One statute Levine describes as particularly effective in assisting seniors who have been taken advantage of is Civil Code §3345b. This statute establishes that any “protected party” who would be successful in a civil cause of action, is eligible to receive significantly elevated damages if a judge believes that the senior was targeted due to their vulnerability. Says Levine, “It is a very effective tool for any attorney who represents victimized seniors. When I write a demand letter, for example, I often structure it in such...

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