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Social and Civic Whirl

Social and Civic Whirl: SHRBA Hosted Seniors Law Day

With the support of Norfolk State University, School of Social Work at Norfolk State University and the Urban League Guild of Hampton Roads, the South Hampton Roads Bar Association (SHRBA) presented a forum, on legal issues, for senior citizens on Norfolk State University’s campus/New Student Center. This free and open to the public affair began with registration and a continental breakfast at 9 a,n,. Each attendee was given a Senior Citizens Handbook/Laws & Programs Affecting Senior Citizens in Virginia which is a project of the Senior Lawyers Conference of Virginia.

Professor Carrie Waites/Associate Dean The Ethelyn R. Strong School of Social Work welcomed the audience to Norfolk State and the Senior Citizens Law Day Program. The Honorable Jerrauld C. Jones/Norfolk Circuit Court Judge brought greetings to the guests and gave a brief overview of the history of the SHRBA which had its beginning in October 1923 as the Tidewater Bar Association with Walter L. Davis as the president. Later it was renamed the Twin City Bar Association led by Attorneys Hilary H. Jones and W. T. Mason, Jr. who worked with the Minority State Bar Association to champion justice in the local community which included getting African-Americans appointed to judgeships, city council, and other city and state appointments. Deborah Gilliam, member of the Urban League Guild introduced the moderator Bernard Holmes, Esq., a labor arbitrator, mediator and pastor, who introduced the members of the panels.

Sandra Smith, Esq. is an attorney with the law firm of Oast & Taylor PLC discussed what Medicaid is, eligibility requirements, how to apply for, and non-financial and financial requirements associated with Medicaid. Attorney William A. Shackleford, Jr. discussed various types of fraud – including telemarketing, door to door home improvement, fake check scam and prizes/sweepstakes. He stated that you should not make immediate decisions; call numbers back; check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and never pay final cost until work is completed. Veronica E. Williams, an estate planning and advocate for the elderly and infirm lawyer, passed out information and discussed pertinent information on estate planning and life care planning. She also discussed frequently asked questions about advance directives and do not resuscitate (DNR); who is responsible for debts deceased family members; and rights of surviving spouses.

Panel II presenters discussed elder abuse/mental health; guardianship; funeral planning; and hospice. Cathy Dickey, MSW and Ashlee Reesman, MSW representing Norfolk Adult Protective Services talked about issues surrounding elder abuse and mental health cases. Pamela Wallace an elder law attorney and associate attorney at Trust Builders Law Group discussed the importance of guardian ad litem for incapacitated adults. Tommy Graves, III, a sponsor of this wonderful event and President of Graves Funeral Home discussed the importance of planning for the Celebration of Life. Dr. Marcia Galicia-Castillor/Glennan Center of EVMS was very informative in her presentation about hospice. Ashley N. Richard, Esq. and Kendra Johnson, Esq. were responsible for the audience’s question and answer participation.

A highlight of the day was the keynote speaker the Honorable Ralph Northam/Lieutenant Governor of Virginia. He was introduced by Angelia Williams-Graves, Vice Mayor/City of Norfolk. Prior to the Lieutenant Governor’s speech, each attendee was provided a box lunch and Dr. Deborah Fontaine, Interim Vice President for Advancement/Norfolk State University brought greetings from Eddie N. Moore, Interim President of Norfolk State and the Norfolk State family. The Honorable Ralph Norton, who is a pediatric doctor, spoke briefly, but emphasized, the importance of mental health concerns and the Affordable Health Care Program.

Closing remarks were made by the president of the SHRBA Lenard Myers, II, Esq. Thanks to Attorneys W. Marcus Scriven/Chair for his vision for this important program, Ashley N. Richard/Vice Chair and Dr. Martha Sawyer/School of Social Work at Norfolk State for their logistic work. Other committee members were Pamela Wallace, Deborah Gilliam, Kendra Johnson, William T. Mason, Jr. Natasha Johnson, Amelia Coppage, Bernard Holmes, Sonya Phillips, Veronica Williams, Sean Mitchell and Angelina Moyo. Special thanks to Oast & Taylor Law Firm, Regent University School of Law, Scriven Law Offices, and Regent University Black Law Students Association.

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