Monday, March 2, 2015

Word of the Month for March 2015: Abuse of the Elderly

Elder Abuse
Don't know if you know but did you know that elder abuse is on the rise?  While Black's Law Dictionary defines Abuse of the Elderly as abuse of a senior citizen (generally those at least 60-65 years old) by a caregiver or relative; examples include deprivation of food, or medication, beatings, oral assaults, and isolation, I'm thinking that that should be broadened to include salespeople who take advantage of lonely old people or legislators who tax social security.

Anyway, I bring this up because the other day this "lady" comes in. Seems a while back "lady" was living with her dad. Apparently "lady" made dad's daily life a living hell what with the occasional beating. I say made because "lady" got arrested and was charged with violating California Penal Code 368 which deals with crimes against elder or dependent adults.  Fast forward a few years.  Dad dies and his estate goes to probate.  This is where "lady" comes in. Seems "lady" made a claim on dad's estate.  Because "lady" had been convicted of Penal Code 368, however, she is not able to get any money out of Dad's estate.  Mad as all get out is "lady."  Can you say wet hen?  

Anyway, "lady" says her criminal attorney "convinced" her to plead guilty to the Penal Code 368 charge.  Because of that advice, "lady" can't collect on Dad's estate so now "lady" wants to go after her former attorney for his "bad" advice. Being the neutral law Librarian that I am (in that I help most anybody who walks through our doors), I suggest she take a look at California Practice Guide: Professional Responsibility (West) and Legal Malpractice (West).

Thing is, law Librarians get a whole lot of people who come in their front doors.  Regardless of what they've done (or done to people) law Librarians are always open to help anyone and everyone.  Yeah, we're like that.