McGeorge School of Law

Elder and Health Law Clinic Expands To Fill Growing Need

March 15, 2013

The 2013 Elder & Health Law Clinic participants

2013 Elder & Health Law Clinic participants: First row, from left, Professor Melissa Brown, Matt Nemerson, Elizabeth Patterson and Katie Roe; Second row, Emma Siverson, Alec Kershisnik, Anna Kulik, Liz Graham, Andrew Hsieh and Maryn Oyoung. Not pictured, Alexandra Koloskus and Shari Worthington.

McGeorge's Elder and Health Law Clinic, now in its fifth year of operation out of the Muddox Building, continues to score administrative hearing successes and expand its outreach to a growing senior population in need of pro bono services.

Lauren Foust, '13, won a victory for a Medicare Part C beneficiary who wished to obtain an out-of-network second opinion because his physicians failed to fully inform him about his medical condition. Foust argued that because the physicians abrogated the required HMO physician-patient relationship, the care was not adequate and deprived her client of due process of law. An administrative law judge found in her client's favor and ordered the HMO to authorize an out-of-network second opinion. The client was able to consult an out-of-network physician and resume a healthy course of treatment.

Megan Beaver, '13, co-team leader with Foust, was successful in an eviction proceeding involving elder abuse. The court ordered removal of the abusers from her client's home, who could not return home from a skilled nursing facility due to their presence.

Current Clinic students Maryn Oyoung, '13, and Shari Worthington, '13, won victories for clients involving the cancellation of a hearing aid contract and an auto purchase refund, respectively.

Matt Nemerson, '13, submitted a discharge application for total and permanent disability with a doctor's statement to the Department of Education that allowed his client to discharge student loan debt that was being collected through garnishment from the client's Social Security payments.

"There are so many people who need our services," Professor Melissa Brown, the supervising attorney of the Elder & Health Law Clinic said. "Our students are doing meaningful legal work for people baffled by complexities of the legal system, and we are expanding our outreach to that community."

Clinic students have held more than a dozen financial safety, end-of-life planning, and a power-of-attorney abuse and restraining order community presentations during this current academic year. Katie Roe, '12, is serving as a clinic fellow this year to help Professor Brown with the expansion of cases and outreach activities.

The outreach culminates with the Clinic's free inaugural Senior Financial and Health Safety Fair from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 6, 2013, in the Gary V. Schaber Student Center. The event will provide seniors with a one-stop opportunity to obtain materials, financial safety education and free health screenings from the UCD School of Medicine, Department of Public Health Sciences. McGeorge law students, alumni and faculty will answer questions about advance health care directives and powers of attorney. They also will be on hand to provide consumer/debtor information to attendees.