Ethics and Elder Law

Teresa Stanton Collett
Professor of Law, University of St. Thomas School of Law, Minneapolis, MN

Oct. 2004

The following list is not a comprehensive bibliography of all writing on professional ethics and elder law, but merely a selection of writings that may be helpful as a starting point for any research in this area.



ABA, Annotated Model Rules of Professional Conduct (5th ed., American Bar Association (NBN) 2004).

ABA/BNA, Lawyer's Manual on Professional Conduct (Bureau of National Affairs),

ACTEC, ACTEC Commentaries on the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (3rd ed., ACTEC 1999).

ALI, Restatement (Third) of Law Governing Lawyers (ALI 2000).

Ronald D. Rotunda, Rotunda's Professional Responsibility: Student Guide, 2002-2003 (2nd ed., West Publishing Co. 2002).

Geoffrey C. Hazard & W. William Hodes, The Law of Lawyering (3rd ed., Aspen Publishers 2000) (loose-leaf format updated annually).

Ronald E. Mallen & Jeffrey M. Smith, Legal Malpractice (5th ed., West Publishing Co. 2000).

Thomas Shaffer & Robert Cochran, Lawyers, Clients and Moral Responsibility (West Publishing Co. 1994).

Charles Wolfram, Modern Legal Ethics (West Publishing Co. 1986).

Lawrence A. Frolik & Richard L. Kaplan, Elder Law in a Nutshell (3d ed., West Publishing Co. 2002).

Joan M. Krauskopf, Allan D. Bogutz et al., Elderlaw: Advocacy for the Aging (2nd ed., West Publishing Co. 1993).

Louis A. Mezzullo et al., Advising the Elderly Client (Clark Boardman Callaghan (West Publishing Co. 1992) (updated annually).



Symposium, Wingspan--The Second National Guardianship Conference, 31 Stetson L. Rev. 573 (2002)

Symposium, Joint Conference on Legal/Ethical Issues in the Progression of Dementia, 35 Ga. L. Rev. 391 (2001)  

Symposium, “Should the Family be Represented as an Entity?”  Reexamining the Family Values of Legal Ethics, 22 Seattle U. L. Rev. 1 (1998)

Symposium, Legal Issues of the Elderly and Access to Justice, 32 Wake Forest L. Rev. No. 2 (1997)

Symposium, The Lawyer's Duties and Liabilities to Third Parties, 37 S. Tex. L. Rev. No. 4 (1996)

Symposium, Ethical Issues in Representing Older Clients, 62 Fordham L. Rev. No. 5 (1994)



ABA Special Committee on Professional Responsibility, Comments and Recommendations on the Lawyer's Duties in Representing Husband and Wife, 28 Real Prop., Prob. & Trust J. 765 (1994)

ABA Special Committee on Professional Responsibility, Preparation of Wills and Trusts that Name Drafting Lawyer as Fiduciary, 28 Real Prop., Prob. & Trust J. 803 (1994)

ABA Special Committee on Professional Responsibility, Counseling the Fiduciary, 28 Real Prop., Prob. & Trust J. 825 (1994)

William E. Adams & Rebecca C. Morgan, Representing the Client Who is Older in the Law Office and in the Courtroom, 2 Elder L.J. 1 (1994)

Jacqueline Allee, Representing Older Persons: Ethical Dilemmas, 2 Prob. & Prop. 36 (Jan./Feb. 1988)

Joseph Allegretti, The Role of a Lawyer’s Morals and Religion when Counseling Clients in Bioethics, 30 Fordham Urb. L.J. 9 (2002)   

Ray Ryden Anderson & Walter W. Steele, Jr., Fiduciary Duty, Tort and Contract: A Primer on the Legal Malpractice Puzzle, 47 SMU L. Rev. 235 (1994)

Alison Barnes, An Assessment of Medicaid Planning, 3 Hous. J. Health L. & Policy 265 (2003)     

Patricia M. Batt, The Family Unit as Client: A Means to Address the Ethical Dilemmas Confronting Elder Law Attorneys, 6 Geo. J. Leg. Ethics 319, 341 (1992)

Martin Begleiter, The Gambler Breaks Even:  Legal Malpractice In Complicated Estate Planning Cases, 20 Ga. St. U. L. Rev. 277 (2003)

Martin Begleiter, First Let’s Sue All the Lawyers – What We’ll Get:  Damages for Estate Planning Malpractice, 51 Hastings L.J. 325 (2000)

Martin Begleiter, Estate Planning in the Nineties: Friday the Thirteen, Chapter 14: Jason Goes to Washington – Part 2, 47 DePaul L. Rev. 1 (1997)

Martin Begleiter, Estate Planning in the Nineties: Friday the Thirteen, Chapter 14: Jason Goes to Washington – Part 1, 81 Ky. L.J. 535 (1992/93)

Martin Begleiter, Article II of the Uniform Probate Code and Malpractice Revolution, 59 Tenn. L. Rev. 101 (1991)

Martin Begleiter, Attorney Malpractice in Estate Planning -- You've Got to Know When to Hold Up, Know When to Fold Up, 38 U. Kan. L. Rev. 193 (1990)

Sissela Bok, Lying to Enemies: Lawyer's Moral Choice, N.Y. St. Bus. J. 552 (Nov. 1980)

Ralph M. Cagle, The Legal Ethics of Elder Law Practice: Five Key Issues. 64 Wis. Law. 38 (Aug. 1991)

Teresa S. Collett, Disclosure, Discretion, Deception: The Estate Planner's Ethical Dilemma from a Unilateral Confidence, 28 Real Prop., Prob. & Trust J. 683 (1993)

Teresa S. Collett, And the Two Shall Become As One ... Until the Lawyers Are Done, 7 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub. Policy 101 (1993)

[A current bibliography of writings by Teresa Collett is available at the St. Thomas University School of Law at  ] 

Counseling Older Clients, 64 Wis. L. Rev. 26 (August 1991)

Aimee Danielson, Case Comment, A. v. B. v. Hill Wallack: Disclosure of Illegitimate Children in Estate Planning, 15 Quinnipiac Prob. L.J. 335 (2001).

Maria M. das Neves, Note, The Role of Counsel in Guardianship Proceedings of the Elderly, 4 Geo. J. Leg. Ethics 855 (1990-91)

Joseph W. de Furia, Jr., Testamentary Gifts From Client to the Attorney-Draftsman: From Probate Presumption to Ethical Prohibition, 66 Neb. L. Rev. 695 (1987)

Developments in the Law -- Lawyers' Responsibilities and Lawyers' Responses, 197 Harv. L. Rev. 1547 (1994)

Joel Dobris, Ethical Problems for Lawyers Upon Trust Terminations: Conflicts of Interest, 38 U. Miami L. Rev. 1 (1983)

Stephen Doherty, Comment Joint Representation Conflicts of Interest: Toward a More Balanced Approach, 65 Temp. L. Rev. 561 (1992)

John E. Donaldson, Ethical Consideratins of Representing the Elderly, 130 Trusts and Estates 18 (1991)

John S. Dzienkowski, Lawyers as Intermediaries: The Representation of Multiple Clients in the Model Legal Profession, 1992 U. Ill. L. Rev. 741

John S. Dzienkowski, Positional Conflicts of Interest, 71 Tex. L. Rev. 457 (1993)

Howard B. Eisenberg, Durable Power of Attorney v. Living Will: Counseling Older Clients, 79 Ill. Bus. J. 384 (1991)

Richard A. Epstein, The Legal Regulation of Lawyers' Conflicts of Interest, 60 Fordham L. Rev. 579 (1992)

Robert B. Fleming, & Rebecca C. Morgan, Lawyers' Ethical Dilemmas: A "Normal" Relationship when Representing Demented Clients and Their Families. 35 Ga. L. Rev. 735 (2001).

Frederick R. Franke, Jr., Perfect Ambiguity: The Role of the Attorney in Maryland Guardianships, 7 Md. J. Contemp. Leg. Issues 223 (1995-96)

Lawrence A. Frolik, Plenary Guardianship: An Analysis, a Critique and a Proposal for Reform, 23 Ariz. L. Rev. 599, 633-37 (1981)

Lawrence A. Frolik, The Biological Roots of the Undue Influence Doctrine: What's Love Got To Do With It?, 57 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 841 (1996)

Paula Galowitz, Collaboration Between Lawyers and Social Workers:  Re-examining the Nature and Potential of the Relationship, 67 Fordham L. Rev. 2123 (1999)  

Michael Gilfix, Representing the Elderly Client: Problems and Solutions for Attorneys, 30 Trial 80 (Nov. 1994)

Myra Gerson Gilfix, Client Health Care Decisionmaking: The Role of the Elder Law Attorney, PLI Order No. D4-5249 (Jan.-Apr. 1994)

Theresa Glennon, Lawyers and Caring: Building a Ethic of Care into Professional Responsibility, 43 Hastings L.J. 1175, 1178-85 (1992)

Vicki Gottlich, The Role of the Attorney for the Defendant in Adult Guardianship Cases: An Advocate's Perspective, 7 Md. J. Contemp. Leg. Issues 191 (1995-96)

Kimberly A. Gough, The Conflict Between Confidentiality and Disclosure When a Client Announce Suicidal Intentions: A Proposed Amendment to the Model Ethics Codes, 40 Wayne L. Rev. 1629 (1994)

Geoffrey Hazard, Triangular Relationships: An Exploratory Analysis, 1 Geo. J. Leg. Ethics 15 (1987)

Geoffrey Hazard, Conflicts of Interest in Estate Planning for Husband and Wife, 20 Prob. Law. (Joseph Trachtman Lecture) (1994)

Stanley S. Herr, Representation of Clients with Disabilities: Issues of Ethics and Control, 17 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change 609 (1989/1990)

A. Frank Johns, Older Clients with Diminishing Capacity and Their Advance Directives, 39 Real Prop., Prob. & Trust J. 107 (2004)

A. Frank Johns, Legal Ethics Applied to Initial Client-Lawyer Engagements in Which Lawyers Develop special Needs Pooled Trusts, 29 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 47 (2002)

A. Frank Johns, Three Rights Make Strong Advocacy for the Elderly in Guardianship: Right to Counsel, Right to Plan, and Right to Die. 45 San Diego L. Rev. 492 (2000)

A. Frank Johns, Fickett's Thicket: The Lawyer's Expanding Fiduciary and Ethical Boundaries When Serving Older Americans of Moderate Wealth, 32 Wake Forest L. Rev. 445 (1997).

Gerald P. Johnston, Legal Malpractice in Estate Planning -- Perilous Times Ahead for the Practitioner, 67 Iowa L. Rev. 629 (1982)

Gerald P. Johnston, An Ethical Analysis of Common Estate Planning Practices -- Is Good Business Bad Ethics?, 45 Ohio St. L.J. 57 (1984)

Naomi Karp & Erica Wood, Incapacitated and Alone:  Healthcare Decision Making for Unbefriended Older People, 31-SPG Hum. Rts. 20 (2004)

Judith Kilpatrick, Note, Ethical Issues in Representing Clients with Diminished Capacities, 2003 Ark. L. Notes 57  (2003)

Nancy J. Knauer, Defining Capacity: Balancing the Competing Interests of Autonomy and Need, 12 Temp. Pol. & Civ. Rights L. Rev. 321 (2003)  

Peggy Sheahan Knee, Preventive Lawyering for Elder Law Attorneys: How to Please the Client Yet Stay On the Ethical High Road, 164-Oct. N.J. Law. 11 (Oct. 1994)

Clifton B. Kruse, Jr., Contracts to Devise or Gift Property in Exchange for Lifetime Home Care -- Latent and Insidious Abuse of Older Persons, 12 Prob. L.J. 1 (1994)

Clifton B. Kruse, Jr., The Elder Law Attorney: Working with Grief, 3 Elder L.J. 99 (1995)

Clifton B. Kruse, Jr., The Elder Law Practitioner: Working with Grief, 23 Colo. Law. 2111 (1994)

Clifton B. Kruse, Jr., Ethical Obligations of Petitioners' Counsel in Guardianship and Conservatorship Cases, 24 Colo. Law. 2565 (1995)

Elizabeth Laffitte, Model Rule 1.14: The Well-Intended Rule Still Leaves Some Questions, 17 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 313 (2004)

Ronald Link, et al., Developments Regarding the Professional Responsibility of the Esate Planning Lawyer: The Effect of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, 22 Real Prop., Prob. & Trust J. 1 (1987)

Ronald Link, et al., Developments Regarding the Professional Responsibility of the Esate Administration Lawyer: The Effect of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct, 26 Real Prop., Prob. & Trust J. 1 (1991)

John Leubsdorf, Legal Malpractice and Professional Malpractice, 48 Rutgers L. Rev. 101 (1995)

Suzanne J. Levitt & Rebecca J. O'Neill, A Call for a Functional Multidisciplinary Approach to Intervention in Cases of Elder Abuse, Neglect, and Exploitation: One Legal Clinic's Experience, 5 Elder L.J. 195 (1997)

Terrie Lewis, Fifty Ways to Exploit Your Grandmother: the Status of Financial Abuse of the Elderly in Minnesota, 28 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 911 (2001).

Terrie Lewis, Pain Management for the Elderly, 29 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 223 (2002).

Patrick E. Longan, Middle-Class Lawyering in the Age of Alzheimer's: The Lawyer's Duties in Representing a Fiduciary. 70 Fordham L. Rev. 901 (2001).

Ray D. Madoff, Unmasking Undue Influence, 81 Minn. L. Rev. 571 (1997)

William G. McGovern, Jr., Undue Influence and Professional Responsibility, 28 Real Prop., Prob. & Trust J. 643 (1994)

Kevin McMunigal, Rethinking Attorney Conflict of Interest Doctrine, 5 Geo. J. Leg. Ethics 823 (1992)

Mary Helen McNeal, Redefining Attorney-Client Roles: Unbundling and Moderate-Income Elderly Clients, 32 Wake Forest L. Rev. 295 (1997)

Paula A. Monopoli, Fiduciary Duty: New Ethical Paradigm for Lawyer/Fiduciaries, 67 Mo. L. Rev. 309 (2002) 

Nancy J. Moore, Conflicts of Interest in the Simultaneous Representation of Multiple Clients: A Proposed Solution to the Current Confusion and Controversy, 61 Tex. L. Rev. 211 (1982)

Nancy J. Moore, Expanding Duties of Attorneys to "Non-Clients": Reconceptualizing the Attorney-Client Relationship in Entity Representation and Other Inherently Ambiguous Situations, 45 S.C. L. Rev. 659

Shelby Moore & Jeanette Schaefer, Remembering the Forgotten Ones: Protecting the Elderly from Financial Abuse, 41 San Diego L. Rev. 505 (2004)

Rebecca C. Morgan, Who Is the Client? Ethical Issues in an Elder Law Practice. 16 J. Am. Acad. Matrimonial Law 463 (2000).

Michael J. Myers, “Elder-Comp., L.L.C.” A Multi-Disciplinary Prototype for Tomorrow’s Elder Law Practice, 45 San Diego L. Rev. 540 (2000)

Nancy C. Nawrocki, Ethical Challenges in Serving the Elderly Client, 37-May Advocate (Idaho) 16 (May 1994)

Nancy C. Nawrocki, Ethical Challenges in Serving the Elderly Client, 72 Mich. Bus. J. 24 (1993)

Janice Cooper Pasaba & Alison Barnes, Public-Private Partnerships and Long-Term Care: Time for a Re-Examination?, 26 Stetson L. Rev. 529 (1996)

L. Ray Patterson, An Analysis of Conflicts of Interest Problems, 37 Mercer L. Rev. 569 (1986)

Anne K. Pecora, The Constitutional Right to Court-Appointed Adversary Counsel for Defendants in Guardianship Proceedings, 43 Ark. L. Rev. 345 (1990)

Anne K. Pecora, Representing Defendants in Guardianship Proceedings: The Attorney's Dilemma of Conflicting Responsibilities, 1 Elder L.J. 139 (1993)

Jeffrey N. Pennell, Ethics, Professionalism, and Malpractice Issues in Estate Planning and Administration, ALI-ABA CLEW (June 20-25, 2004)

Lee A. Pizzimenti, The Lawyer's Duty to Warn Clients About the Limits on Confidentiality, 39 Cath. U. L. Rev. 441 (1990)

John Price, Duties of Estate Planners to Nonclients: Identifying, Anticipating and Avoiding the Problems, 37 S. Tex. L. Rev. 1063 (1996)

Jan Ellen Rein, Ethics and the Questionably Competent Client:  What the Model Rules Say and Don’t Day, 9 Stan. L. & Policy Rev. 241 (1998)

Jan Ellen Rein, Clients With Destructive and Socially Harmful Choices -- What's an Attorney to Do?: Within and Beyond the Competency Construct, 62 Fordham L. Rev. 1101 (1994).

Hanson S. Reynolds, The Impact of Probate Litigation, CA39 A.L.I.-A.B.A. 735 (Sept.7, 1995)

Joseph A. Rosenberg, Adapting Unitary Principles of Professional Responsibility to Unique Practice Contexts: A Reflective Model for Resolving Ethical Dilemmas in Elder Law, 31 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 403 (2000)

Randall W. Roth, Current Ethical Problems in Estate Planning, Advanced Estate Planning Techniques, SB32 A.L.I.-A.B.A. 615 (Feb. 20, 1997)

Ronald Rotunda, The Notice of Withdrawal and the New Model Rules of Professional Conduct: Blowing the Whistle and Waving the Red Flag, 63 Or. L. Rev. 455 (1984)

Robert Rubinson, Constructions of Client Competence and Theories of Practice. 31 Ariz. St. L.J. 121 (1999).

Patricia B. Rumore, Elder Law: Pitfalls for the UnWary: Malpractice Criminal Penalties Code Violations, 58 Ala. L. Rev. 160 (1997)

Charles P. Sabatino, Representing a Client with Diminished Capacity: How Do You Know It and What Do You Do About It? 16 J. Am. Acad. Matrimonial Law. 481 (Winter 2000).

Jay J. Sangerman, Ethical Issues in Elder Law, N.Y. St. Bus. J., Sept.-Oct. 1993, at 35.

Jay J. Sangerman & Jerome T. Levy, The Attorney's Role in the Hospital Discharge Planning Process for the Elderly, 65 N.Y. St. Bus. J., Feb. 1993, at 22

Stephanie L. Schneider, Planning Options for the Elderly and Disabled, 10- Jun. Prob. & Prop. 8 (May/June 1996)

Thomas Shaffer, The Legal Ethics of Radical Individualism, 65 Tex. L. Rev. 963 (1987)

Linda F. Smith, Representing the Elderly Client and Addressing the Question of Competence, 14 J. Contemp. L. 61 (1988)

Edward D. Spurgeon & Mary Jane Ciccarello, Lawyers Acting as Guardians: Policy and Ethical Considerations, 31 Stetson L. Rev. 791 (2002)

Marc I. Steinberg & Timothy U. Sharpe, Attorney Conflicts of Interest: The Need for a Coherent Framework, 66 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1 (1990)

Lisa Stewart et al., The InterDisciplinary Team Focus: A Strategy for Developing a Successful Practice of Elder Law, 19 Nova L. Rev. 647 (1995)

Holten D. Summers, Competency and Undue Influence: Issues for Elder Estate Planning, 84 Ill. Bus. J. 18 (1996)

Timothy L. Takacs & David L. McGuffey, Medicaid Planning: Can it be Justified?  Legal and Ethical Implications of Medicaid Planning, 29 Wm. Mitchell L. Rev. 111 (2002)   

Evelyn Betts Thomason, How Estate Planners Can Cope with the Increasing Risk of Malpractice Claims, 12 Est. Plan. 130 (1985)

Paul R. Tremblay, Counseling Clients Who Weren't Born Yesterday: Age and the Attorney-Client Relationship. 16 Fam. Advoc. 24 (Summer 1993)

Robert Whitman, Exoneration Clauses in Wills and Trust Instruments, 4 Hofstra Prop. L.J. 123 (1992)

Linda S. Whitton, Durable Powers As a Hedge Against Guardianship: Should the Attorney-at-Law Accept Appointment as Attorney-in-Fact?, 2 Elder L.J. 39 (1994)

Bruce J. Winick, Advance Directive Instruments for Those with Mental Illness, 51 U. Miami L. Rev. 57 (1996)

Nancy Stanger Wood, Selection of Fiduciaries and the Role of the Attorney Draftsperson, Ethical Considerations, Administrative Powers, Simultaneous Death and Tax Apportionment, PLI Order No. D4-5236 (Oct. 21, 1992)

Marie A. Yoakum, Representing the Older Client: Ethical Considerations. 12 J. Am. Acad. Matrimonial Law. 75 (Summer 1994)

Fred C. Zacharias, Reconceptualizing Ethical Roles, 65 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 169 (1997)


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