Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, May. 7, 2009
Image for Community Services
Top left:
Patrick S. Tracey of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP of Boston.
Top right:
Patricia A. Gorman, Gorman & Greenberg of Canton.
Bottom left:
Jason M. Cotton, Peabody & Arnold LLP of Boston.
Bottom right:
From left to right: Anton Materna, veterans service officer of Rockland and John Hogan, veterans service officer of Mansfield.

Photos by Kelsey Sadoff.

Community Services Update

Recent Dial-A-Lawyer program answers veterans pressing legal concerns; Updated Elder Law Guide

In an effort to help veterans who are struggling with obtaining and holding onto their federal and local benefits in a deep recession, the Massachusetts Bar Association has offered a free Veterans Dial-A-Lawyer program since 2007 – a program that is devoted exclusively to addressing the legal needs of veterans. At the recent April 30 program, volunteer attorneys offered advice to more than 90 callers.

“The information we give helps direct people to the resources they need so that they can get detailed help,” said volunteer attorney Jason M. Cotton of Peabody & Arnold LLP in Boston. Many veterans and their family members called into the April 30 program will legal concerns revolving around the financial strains of bankruptcy, divorce and alimony.

The Veterans Dial-A-Lawyer is provided as a public service of the MBA with the financial support of the Massachusetts Bar Foundation, the philanthropic partner of the MBA. The MBA has partnered with the Massachusetts Department of Veterans’ Services on the program.

“From the sound of the people I have spoken to – they appreciate the assistance and deserve it,” said attorney Paul J. Carchidi, a sole practitioner in Brockton.

The date for the next Veterans Dial-A-Lawyer has not yet been determined. If you would like to participate in future Dial-A-Lawyer programming, look for notification on the Public and Community Services page at


Elder Law Cover 2009Elder Law Education Program updates Resource Guide

With the assistance of a group of volunteers from the MBA's Probate Law Section Council, the MBA has prepared a revised and expanded edition of "Taking Control of Your Future: A Legal Checkup," a resource guide that was distributed to all participating senior service related agencies and attorney volunteers this year. The guide contains information on a wide range of legal issues affecting the lives of seniors and is updated each year. Topics include:

  • Twenty commonly asked questions in elder law;
  • The rights of a nursing home resident;
  • Aid and Attendance Veterans Benefits;
  • Elder Abuse, Neglect, Financial Exploitation;
  • Reverse mortgages;
  • Medicare/Medicaid changes; and
  • Real Estate Tax Exemptions and Deferrals
Also, this guide is presented with the generous assistance of the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

Click here to view the updated resource guide.
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