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A Frank Johns:
A. Frank Johns, JD, CELA, RG, is a nationally recognized legal authority in Elder Law, Guardianship, Disability Rights, Special Needs Trusts and Legal Ethics. Mr. Johns, BS '68 and JD '71 Florida State University, is a charter partner in Booth Harrington & Johns, LLP with offices in Charlotte and Greensboro, North Carolina. He is past President of and a Fellow in the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and currently sits as chair of NAELA's Council of Advanced Practitioners. He is Board Certified in Elder Law by the National Elder Law Foundation and a Registered Guardian. He was a charter Board member of the National Guardianship Association, and is also a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC); charter chair of the North Carolina Bar Association Elder Law Section; and charter associate of the Society of Settlement Planners. He created and co-chaired Wingspan - the Second National Guardianship Conference (2001). He is a frequent speaker on Guardianship, Elder Law, Special Needs Trusts and legal ethics, presenting on local, state and national levels, including four annual lectures at the NYU Tax Institute, and at the Duke University Estate Planning Conference. He is a well-published author, most recently co-author of the second edition of Counseling Older Clients (ALI/ABA 2005). He has also written numerous law review articles, articles for national legal publications, including Trial Magazine and Trust&Estates; he is past editor of the NAELA Quarterly and currently on the NAELA Journal Editorial Board. He currently serves on the Boards of the Western Carolina Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association (current sitting president), Senior Resources of Guilford, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Seniors Centers, Tristan's Quest – Advocacy for Children with Mental Illness and the Corporation of Guardianship, Inc. Mr. Johns has recently been named Chair of the Advisory Committee of the New Masters of Gerontology/MBA Dual Degree Program at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro where he is a visiting associate professor.
Mr. Wiesner is a nationally recognized elder law attorney. He is a former President of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Having a legal practice rooted in 17 years of traditional estate and tax planning, Mr. Wiesner, who is Florida Bar Board Certified in Taxation and Elder Law, devotes a significant portion of his practice to sophisticated estate planning. However, the principal commitment and focus of his practice is on resolving the legal needs of the elderly and their families.
He is one of a select group of attorneys nationwide who has been honored as a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys in recognition of his work in advancing the legal needs of seniors. His involvement ranges from counseling on planning for incapacity, asset preservation and guardianship, to redressing abuse, exploitation and resident's rights issues.
Mr. Wiesner was an invitee to the 1995 White House Conference on Aging and has consulted with the Florida Department of Health and Rehabilitative Services and the Agency for health care Administration on legislative matters. In addition to devoting a significant portion of his law practice to the legal needs of the elderly, Mr. Wiesner assists families with planning for the needs and protection of disabled and dysfunctional children.
Michael Gilfix is a nationally known authority in the field of law, aging and estate planning. A 1973 graduate of Stanford Law School, he is a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), a co-founder of NAELA, and a Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law. Mr. Gilfix regularly addresses professional audiences, including attorneys, physicians, certified public accountants, and financial planners, nationally as well as locally.
An entrepreneur in the legal field, Mr. Gilfix created the first legal aid program for elders in 1973. He served as Executive Director of that program, Senior Adults Legal Assistance (SALA) of Santa Clara County, for ten years. In 1983 he created the law firm that is today known as Gilfix & La Poll Associates LLP .
Mr. Gilfix is a California legal advisor to Partnership For Caring, the national organization devoted to rights of individuals to make their own health care decisions.
Mr. Gilfix holds an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell, as judged by his peers in the legal profession. This rating, the highest given "... reflects an attorney who has reached the heights of professional excellence, ... has practiced law for many years, and is recognized for the highest levels of skill and integrity."
Tim has combined decades of clinical social work experience and legal expertise to develop an insightful, innovative and people-friendly approach to assisting his clients. He is the founding President of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and was recognized in 1992 as a Fellow of the Academy.
Tim is a past President of the Oregon Gerontological Association, past Chair and founding member of the Elder Law Section of the Oregon State Bar and past President of the Oregon Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association. He is past Chair, Amicus Brief Committee-National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (2003-2006) and also a member of the Medicaid Task Force-National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (2003-present).
He is a founding member and past secretary of the National Alliance of Medicare Set Aside Professionals. Tim is a member of the Oregon State Bar and the Washington State Bar Association. He is also a member of the Advisory Boards of the Academy of Special Needs Planners and the Society of Settlement Planners. Tim was the recipient of the 2007 Unaward of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.
Cynthia Sharp Myers:
Cynthia practices estate planning and elder law at her law offices located in Haddon Heights and Lawrenceville, New Jersey. She is admitted to the bar in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia. Cynthia is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the New Jersey State Bar Association and its Elder Law Section, where she serves as Secretary, the Camden County Bar Association and its Committee on Elderly; she is also Secretary of the Estate and Financial Planning Council of South Jersey. She has served as the Legislative Coordinator and Co-editor of the newsletter for the New Jersey State Bar Association's Elder Law Section and the Borough of Haddon Heights Coordinator of the Camden County Office of Aging. She is immediate past President of the Alzheimer's Association South Jersey Chapter and is now Chair of the Development Committee. She was a staff member of the U.S. Senate Finance Committee under Senator Robert Dole from 1980 to 1981. Ms. Myers received her B.A. degree, magna cum laude, from Ball State University, her J.D. degree, cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center and her LL.M. degree in taxation from New York University School of Law.
David J. Lillesand is the principal of Lillesand & Wolasky PL, attorneys with offices in North and South Florida, in Gainesville and in Miami, Florida. The firm represents disabled children, adults and their families in Social Security/SSI disability claims, Medicaid, Special Needs Trusts, Guardianship and Estate Planning matters.
David graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1966 with a degree in Political Behavior, and the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1972, and began representing individuals with SSI disability claims in 1974. He has been a Peace Corps Volunteer in Colombia, South America, a domestic volunteer in the VISTA program working with migrant farm-worker families in Laredo, Texas, and spent seven years in Legal Services programs in New Jersey and Florida, including two years as Executive Director of Florida Rural Legal Services.
Since beginning private practice in 1979, he has been a frequent lecturer for state and national Continuing Legal Education programs in the areas of Social Security disability, SSI, special needs trusts, guardianship, and legal and financial planning for disabled children and adults. He received the ARC's Plotkin Outstanding Legal Service Award for service to mentally retarded citizens, is a three-time recipient of the Pro Bono Volunteer of the Year Award from the South-Miami Kendall Bar Association, and received the Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award for the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. He has been President of his two local bar associations, chairman of the South Florida Council on Divorce Mediation, and President of Guardianship and Case Management Services, Inc.
David is trilingual, speaking English, Spanish and POMS. He has been married for 36 years to Dr. Diane V. Lillesand, a recently retired clinical and forensic psychologist and now fulltime Ph.D. graduate student in Tibetan Buddhism at the University of Florida, Gainesville. They have one daughter, Jessica, a graduate of Duke University and a recent graduate of the University of Florida Law School.
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