ADA Educational Materials Sent to Missouri Courts

An annotated bibliography prepared by Spectrum Institute for the Alternatives to Guardianship Project was sent on December 1, 2022 to ADA Coordinators at the Supreme Court, State Courts Administrator, and circuit courts throughout the State of Missouri.  A copy was also sent to The Missouri Bar.  The document is titled “How the ADA Applies to Guardianship Proceedings: A Primer for Missouri’s Judges, Attorneys, and Guardians.”  The letter transmitting the document invites bench officers, administrators, and court staff to review current policies and practices in adult guardianship proceedings through the lens of what the Americans with Disabilities Act actually requires.  Another […]

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Alameda Post News Story: Probate Conservatorship Cries Out for Reform

The Alameda Post has published a story citing the grand jury report calling for major reforms to the way that conservatorship cases are processed by the local court.  The article credits Spectrum Institute for getting the grand jury to act and quotes its legal director on the need for major changes in legal defense services.  Local reform activist, Venus Gist, is quoted extensively in the article.  To listen to an interview of Andie Judson and Tom Coleman on the NPR radio station in Sacramento, click here and scroll down to “conservatorship investigation.”

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ABC10-Sacramento to Air Series on Conservatorship Abuses

Britney Spears’ legal battle to regain her freedom put conservatorships in the spotlight, but this legal tool impacts thousands of Californians, especially those with disabilities. Investigative reporter Andie Judson takes a look at limited conservatorships and the state agency failing the people it has promised to protect — adults with developmental disabilities. And what is funding this? Your tax dollars.  Season two of “Price of Care: Taken by the State” is an ABC10 Originals five-part investigation.  Spectrum Institute’s legal director Thomas F. Coleman and board member Barbara Imle were interviewed extensively by Andie Judson and will appear on screen during […]

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PROBATE CONSERVATORSHIP CRIES OUT FOR REFORM

In response to a request from Spectrum Institute arising from our 2021 report on legal defense services in probate conservatorship proceedings, the Alameda County Civil Grand Jury initiated an investigation into such legal services in that county. The grand jury’s annual report was released today.  A major section of it pertains to conservatorship legal defense services funded by Alameda County.  The grand jury found major deficiencies in the delivery of legal services by the Alameda County Department of Public Defender.  Several recommendations are made to correct these deficiencies.  One recommendation encourages the Board of Supervisors to consider removing this function […]

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“Gatekeepers” to Mental Health Care Asked to Remove Barriers, Make Improvements

A report released today by Spectrum Institute calls attention to the consequences to adults with developmental disabilities when they do not receive needed mental health services in a timely manner. It is being sent to those who control access to such services for this vulnerable population – “gatekeepers” – with a recommendation that they examine any policies and procedures that may impair prompt and equal access to effective therapies for these adults. “Consequences: A Report on the Adverse Effects of Delayed or Denied Mental Health Services to Adults with Developmental Disabilities,” is being distributed to parents, primary care physicians, guardians, […]

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The Route to Conservatorship Reform

For the past eight years, Spectrum Institute has been showing judges, lawmakers, administrators, disability rights advocates, and conservatorship reform activists the way forward. The sign markers we have placed along the route have included conference materials, administrative complaints, public meeting presentations, policy reports, guidebooks, legal commentaries, amicus curiae briefs, letters, and webinars. We have identified the flaws and fixes. We have matched the solutions with the officials who have the jurisdiction to adopt and implement them. We have literally handed conservatorship reform advocates a template for change titled “A Path Forward.” Yet, although we have led people to the refreshing water […]

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Register Now for March 30 Legal History Webinar

The presentation focuses on research, education, advocacy, and community service activities by gay law students in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Minneapolis, Madison, Buffalo, and New York City in 1972 and related legal activism occurring that year in Ohio, Colorado and Kentucky. A PowerPoint slide show is narrated by attorney Thomas F. Coleman, founding president of the first gay law student association in the nation and who graduated from Loyola Law School in 1973.   It also provides a preview from LLS student Maria Reyes Olmedo about a presentation they are working on for LGBTQ History Month in October regarding the emergence […]

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Noontime Webinar on May 4

Benefits for Clients and Risks to Attorneys in Probate Conservatorship Proceedings. AB 1194 became effective in 2022 and SB 602 is likely to become effective in 2023. Both measures have significant implications for clients and attorneys in probate conservatorship proceedings. This webinar will explain those implications – not only for conservatees and proposed conservatees but for their public defenders or court-appointed attorneys. It will provide information valuable to conservators, temporary conservators, and public guardians, as well as the lawyers who represent them. It also will identify potential ramifications for the public entities that appoint or fund lawyers in conservatorship proceedings. […]

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