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Elder Financial Exploitation

Speaker(s): Dani Kaiserman, Mary Joy Quinn, Prescott Cole, Shawna Reeves, Vivianne Mbaku
Recorded on: Jun. 27, 2019
PLI Program #: 272415

Dani Kaiserman is a Staff Attorney in the Elder Justice Unit at Bet Tzedek Legal Services. Dani represents low-income clients seeking elder abuse restraining orders, conservatorships, and advanced planning documents. She specializes in financial elder abuse, assisting victims and educating consumers about financial scams. In October 2017, Dani co-founded the Bet Tzedek elder abuse restraining order clinic at Stanley Mosk courthouse, where she advises self-help litigants petitioning for and responding to restraining orders.  Dani graduated from UCLA School of Law in May 2015 as a member of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy.  Prior to law school, Dani worked as the program manager at the National Academy on an Aging Society, a non-profit in Washington DC that focuses on aging policy.

Mary Joy Quinn, R.N., M.A., is the retired Director of the Probate Department for the San Francisco Superior Court. As Director, she supervised probate court investigators and examiners and coordinated activities of the Probate Department. She also conducted over 5000 conservatorship investigations, many with undue influence as an allegation. Prior to joining the Probate Court, Mary Joy served as a public health nurse and directed a psychiatric day center for older adults. Mary Joy has conducted extensive research on guardianships, undue influence, elder abuse and neglect. She has authored or co-authored several significant reports, articles, book chapters and books, including, Guardianship of Adults: Achieving Justice, Autonomy and Safety (Springer Publishing Company, 2005), Elder Abuse and Neglect: Causes, Diagnosis and Intervention Strategies (Springer Publishing Company, 1997), and the Handbook for Conservators (California Judicial Council, 2002). Mary Joy has served as a member of the California Judicial Council on Probate, a commissioner with the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, and a board member of the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse. She also served as the president of the National College of Probate Judges.

Prescott Cole has been Senior Staff attorney for California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform (CANHR) for the past twenty-four years. At CANHR, Mr. Cole counsels consumers and family members about elder abuse and long-term care. He assists in the development and implementation of CANHR’s various training programs and provides continuing education to law enforcement agencies, legal services programs, private-bar attorneys, long-term care ombudsman, and consumers. Cole serves on the National Adult Protective Services Association Advisory Board and the Services State Bar Coordination Committee. Prescott Cole has written many pieces of legislation that have become California law. In 2010, he received the California Lawyer Magazine Elder Law Attorney of the Year Award, and in 2013, Governor Jerry Brown appointed Cole to the Professional Fiduciaries Advisory Committee.

Shawna Reeves, MSW, is director of elder abuse prevention at the Institute on Aging in San Francisco. Previously, she was director of financial education and advocacy at Council on Aging Silicon Valley. Shawna has published numerous articles on elder financial abuse and has presented throughout the country on consumer issues and innovative ways to prevent elder financial abuse. Shawna received her MSW from Smith College School for Social Work.

Vivianne Mbaku is a staff attorney in the Los Angeles office working on Elder Abuse issues. Before joining Justice in Aging, Vivianne was a Staff Attorney for the Utah State Courts Self Help Center and practiced consumer and public benefits law with Utah Legal Services. Vivianne was also a member of the Utah State Bar Modest Means Committee which aimed to make affordable legal representation more widely available. Vivianne also completed an appellate clerkship with the Honorable Senior Justice Petra Jimenez-Maes of the New Mexico Supreme Court. After her clerkship, Vivianne moved to Los Angeles to practice public benefits law at Inner City Law Center in Los Angeles. Vivianne is a 2012 graduate of the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law and earned a B.A. in Politics and Latin American Studies from Scripps College.