Elder Law celebrates two decades of service

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Honorees at the Second Annual Joe D. Sutton Call to Justice awards included (seated, left to right) honoree State Sen. Martha G. Scott and master of ceremonies Frank Kelly; along with (standing, left to right) honoree Olivia Maynard, speaker Lauretta K. Murphy, honoree John Schneider, State Bar of Michigan president Charles Toy, honorees Julie Donovan Darlow and John Martin, Jr.; and (back row) award winner David L. Shaltz.


By Roberta M. Gubbins

Legal News

Elder Law of Michigan recently celebrated its second annual Joe D. Sutton Call to Justice awards and marked the organization’s 20 years of service at a ceremony held at the Country Club of Lansing.
Charles Toy, president of the State Bar of Michigan, opened the event. Frank J. Kelly, attorney general emeritus was master of ceremonies.
David L. Shaltz received the Joe D. Sutton Call to Justice award, which pays tribute to those who bring a passion and exuberance to senior causes.
He was honored for his 20 years of service on the Board of Directors and as general counsel for Elder Law of Michigan, as an expert on Michigan’s Medicaid program and as a trainer on elder law topics for community groups, nonprofit organizations that serve older and disabled persons and professional organizations.
Shaltz is a member of the SBM Elder Law and Disability Rights and the Probate and Estate Planning Sections and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.
A frequent contributor to the Institute of Continuing Legal Education publications on the topics of elder and disability law, his most recent publication is the 2010 edition of the Primer on Michigan’s Medicaid Program. 
Those receiving the “Vanguard Awards for Contributions in Law and Aging” were:
• Julia Donovan Darlow, served as president of the State Bar of Michigan, and promoted the Legal Hotline for Michigan Seniors while endorsing legal hotlines as a way to assist low income older women, the primary users of the hotline. She is currently in private practice and has been a University of Michigan Regent since 2006.
• John W. Martin, Jr., retired vice president and general counsel of Ford Motor Co., was honored for his role in forming a successful pro bono program that served as model for similar programs at other large corporations.
The Legal Hotline for Michigan Seniors was one of the projects he helped create.
His endorsement of the Legal Hotline helped build credibility for the use of the “hotline model” for legal services and the vital role volunteers play in augmenting advice and counsel at the local level.
He now lives in Florida where he volunteers as a pro bono attorney, helping Haitian Refugees resolve immigration issues.
• Oliva (Libby) Maynard is the president of the Michigan Prospect for Renewed Citizenships and serves as regent of the University of Michigan.
She served as director of the Michigan Office of Services to the Aging from 1983 to 1990. In that role, she endorsed the creation of the Legal Hotline for Michigan Seniors as a way to extend and expand legal services to vulnerable and rural older Michigan adults.
• State Sen. Martha G. Scott, 2nd District who began her political career in 1972 as a precinct delegate.
She serves on the Senate Appropriations Committee, championing important programs for the health and well-being of older adults — like MICAFE.
• State Sen. Bill Hardiman, 29th District, has served west Michigan for 18 years as mayor of Kentwood and state senator. He served on such boards of directors as The Grand Rapids Transit Authority, the Gerald R. Ford Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Grand Valley State University Foundation.
He has championed funding for MICAFE and is committed to fair and safe housing.
The Inaugural Vanguard Media Award for Contributions in Law and Aging was awarded to John Schneider, columnist, Lansing State Journal.
Schneider joined the Lansing State Journal in 1977 and began writing his daily column in 1988. His widely read and sometimes provocative column has stimulated thought and action at the state capitol and throughout the region.
He has won journalism awards for his work exposing injustice experienced by people with mental health concerns and racial inequality.
Sponsors for the event were Sutton Advisors, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, the Michigan Assisted Living Association, Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Michigan, Abrams Law Firm, Consumer’s Energy, Foster Swift law firm,  and Women Lawyers Association of Michigan.
Other sponsors included Paul Sturgul, Paul A. Sturgul Law Offices, Kelly Cawthorne, George Hamilton Foley PC; Sanford Mall, Mall, Malisow, & Cooney PC; Maureen Leugers; Dennis & Thais Mishler; and Chalgian & Tripp Law Offices.
Elder Law of Michigan also offers a variety of programs and services that benefit the fields of law and aging and further their mission. For more information on any of their programs, click on www.elderlawofmi.org or call 877-200-4945.

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