Newsletter

Administrator’s Sentence For Medicare Fraud Not Reduced

FEBRUARY 10, 2003 VOLUME 10, NUMBER 32 Medicare, the federal health care program for seniors and the disabled, has very clear rules prohibiting providers from paying referral fees. The rules are in place to help prevent fraud and abuse of the giant Medicare program and its funding. Over the four decades the program has existed, …

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Attorney Managing Estate Sued For Malicious Prosecution

FEBRUARY 3, 2003 VOLUME 10, NUMBER 31 Non-lawyers often think of legal proceedings as a sort of chess game played with legal theories. Lawyers, unfortunately, sometimes fall into the same pattern of thinking. Pleadings can be filed and arguments made not on the basis of the evidence, but in pursuit of tactical advantage or improved …

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State Must Formally Adopt Its Medicaid Estate Recovery Rules

JANUARY 27, 2003 VOLUME 10, NUMBER 30 In our American system of government the legislature is in charge of making law and policy, and the administrative branch’s job is to interpret and implement those laws without imposing the bureaucrats’ own ideas on the legislature’s programs. That ideal conception, however, runs afoul of the reality of …

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Court Looks To Exact Words Of Trust To Settle Trustee Dispute

JANUARY 20, 2003 VOLUME 10, NUMBER 29 The Montana Supreme court has words to the wise for drafting and following a trust’s terms in upholding a lower court denial of a request to remove a corporate trustee. In the Matter of the Estate of Mildred I. Berthot, December 5, 2002. The Berthot case demonstrates the …

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Adoption By Grandparents Set Aside Years Later As Fraudulent

JANUARY 13, 2003 VOLUME 10, NUMBER 28 As American families become more mobile and previously unusual family relationships become more common, grandparents are increasingly likely to be involved in raising their grandchildren. This has led to an increase in the legal problems faced by seniors, especially when family members become less cooperative with one another. …

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Claim Against Estate Offset By Tobacco Company Litigation

JANUARY 6, 2003 VOLUME 10, NUMBER 27 Beginning in the mid-1990s many states filed litigation against major tobacco companies (or joined existing litigation) seeking reimbursement for the some of the costs of treating smokers. After those lawsuits resulted in recovery of $1.3 billion for the states, a number of smokers (and the families of deceased …

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Wrongful Death Claim Not Available to Decedent’s Estate

DECEMBER 30, 2002 VOLUME 10, NUMBER 26 Doctors decided they needed to implant a pacemaker in Yaeko Otani, age 81. Had the surgery been successful, she would have had a life expectancy of another eight years. Tragically, surgeon David Broudy accidentally punctured her aorta during the surgery, and she died without ever regaining consciousness. Ms. …

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Juvenile Court Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem Reversed

DECEMBER 23, 2002 VOLUME 10, NUMBER 25 When someone appearing in a court proceeding is unable to make decisions for himself or herself, the court may sometimes appoint a guardian ad litem. Lawyers usually shorten the appointee’s title to GAL. The need for a GAL and the GAL’s proper role have been topics of controversy …

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Bankruptcy Court Discharges Trustee’s Liability for Breach

DECEMBER 16, 2002 VOLUME 10, NUMBER 24 Antonia Quevillon, then age 70 and in poor health, consulted attorney Carl Baylis about her estate plan. Mr. Baylis prepared a living trust for her, and arranged transfer of apartment buildings she owned into the trust’s name. The trust named Mr. Baylis himself as co-trustee—to serve along with …

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Fund Earmarked For Nursing Homes Frozen In Budget Crisis

DECEMBER 9, 2002 VOLUME 10, NUMBER 23 Nursing home operators, often joined by advocates of better care for seniors and the disabled, have maintained that government-set payment rates for nursing homes are inadequate to ensure quality care. Most of the focus of those complaints falls on Medicaid reimbursement rates and, to a lesser extent, Medicare …

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