2017 Fall Conference Schedule

Wednesday, November 15

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM               Executive Committee Meeting

2:00 PM – 6:00 PM                Registration

5:30 PM – 6:00 PM               Reception for New Members/First-Time Attendees

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM                Welcome Reception (hors d’oeuvres, host bar) Business Casual*                 

Thursday, November 16

7:30 AM – 12:15 PM             Registration

7:30 AM – 12:15 PM             Vendor Exhibits and Coffee

8:45 AM – 9:00 AM               Welcome Remarks  | Rita Batz Cobb, NCPJ President

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM            Educational Session | Speaker: Steven Mignogna, Esq., Archer & Greiner, Haddonfield, New Jersey

Topic: Seven Deadly Claims

As estate and trust litigation intensifies around the country, a wave of novel claims has been evolving.  Most trust and estate courts and professionals need to be educated about these claims — yet may not know of them at all.  This program will survey the seven most significant causes of action.

10:30 AM – 10:45 AM           Vendor Exhibits and Coffee Break

10:45 AM – 12:15 AM           Educational Session | Speaker: Terry Hammond

Topic: Legislative Trends Affecting Probate Courts:

Balancing the Need for and Impact of “Right to Association” Legislation for the Protection of Vulnerable Persons

Attendees will learn the circumstances that gave rise to the efforts by certain advocates to promote and seek passage of “Right to Association” legislation that regulates Courts and fiduciaries with respect to visitation and interaction between family/friends and individuals subject to guardianship and conservatorship.  Attendees also will learn of ongoing enactment efforts by advocates of “Right to Association” legislation in state legislature, and the impact of such legislation on the Courts, guardians and conservators, and those they protect.  Attendees will learn the importance of the adoption of Standards of Practice and a Code of Ethics for guardians and conservators to ensure ethical decision-making practices by lay and professional guardians and conservators.

Beginning at 1:00 PM            Golf at The Ocean Course

Friday, November 17

7:30 AM – 8:15 AM               Continental Breakfast

7:30 AM – 12:15 PM             Vendor Exhibits and Coffee

8:15 AM – 8:45 AM                Annual Business Meeting

8:50 AM – 9:00 AM               Presentations by Exhibitors

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM             Educational Session | Speaker:  Michael Mackniak, Esq., MNMP CBIS, COO, Guardian Ad

Litem Services, Inc., Naugatuck, Connecticut

Topic: Melissa’s Project & The 7C’s:  Successful Treatment for People Living with Mental Illness

The speaker will demonstrate how the Melissa’s Project works as the principle professional constant in the lives of their mentally ill clients. They collaborate among disparate systems and in concert with a network of interrelated agencies to develop detailed planning and oversight for individuals with mental illness. The eye-opening result is that the re-hospitalization/recidivism rates along with associated trauma and crisis are significantly diminished in an efficient and effective manner.

10:30 AM – 10:45 AM           Vendor Exhibits and Coffee Break

10:45 AM – 12:15 PM            Educational Session

Speakers:  Dominic J. Campisi, Evans, Latham and Campisi,

San Francisco, California

Topic: Vulnerability to Undue Influence and Elder Abuse—Insights from recent scientific analyses of decision making and cognitive aging

This program will contrast traditional analyses of undue influence with the results of modern scientific investigations of how decisions are actually made and the vulnerability of our aging population to tactics of persuasion.  While most case law focuses on free will issues, modern medical and psychological studies show that most of our decisions are not traditional conscious evaluations of known quantities but rather the product of unconscious and often automatic decisions.  These analyses will focus on the vulnerabilities of elders, using recent studies of Cognitive Aging as well as analyses of the highly developed tactics of persuasion.  The insights of Nobelists Daniel Kahnneman (“Thinking Fast and Slow”), George Ackerloff and Robert Shiller (“Phishing for Phools”) and psychologist Robert Cialdini (“Influence: the Psychology of Persuasion”) will be explored as well as recent neurobiological investigations into how our aging population become more vulnerable to predation.

12:30 PM -4:00 PM               Executive Committee Meeting

6:00 PM – 7:00 PM               Reception

7:00 PM – 9:00 PM                Banquet Dinner, Business Casual*        (Sponsored by AARP)

Saturday, November 18

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM                State Representatives Meeting

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM             Educational Session | Speaker:  Rebecca C. Morgan, Co-Director, Center for Excellence in Elder Law, Stetson University College of Law

Topic: Access and Justice for All: Making Your Courts Elder-Friendly.

With the number of Baby Boomers turning 65 each day, the number of cases that will be filed in probate courts is likely to increase commensurately.   As people attain old age, they may experience physical or cognitive decline.  There are various steps the court may take to make the courtroom accessible to everyone. Whether it is physical modification, color schemes, furniture placement or communication style, judges and court personnel can implement features to make the courts more accessible.  This interactive session will cover the various steps a court may take to make the courtroom more accessible, offer examples from Stetson’s elder-friendly, barrier free model courtroom, and engage the judges in sharing ideas on how to accommodate an aging population.

10:30 AM – 10:45 AM            Break

10:45 AM – 11:30 AM           Educational Session | Moderator:  Diana H. Noel, Senior Legislative Representative, AARP | Speakers: Hon. Christine Butts, Harris County Probate Court 4, Houston, Texas and Texas AARP Representative

Topic: Bringing Fiduciary Guides to Your State

Tens of thousands of Texans are currently acting as fiduciaries, meaning they manage money or property for someone else. On March 8, 2017 AARP Texas released a set of state-specific Managing Someone Else’s Money guides. AARP and Texas Appleseed collaborated to produce five guides in both English and Spanish to help financial caregivers, particularly those who handle the finances of older Texans, carry out their duties and responsibilities in managing someone else’s money. This session will highlight the year-long collaborative process to create the guides, as well as provide participants and the tools they need if they wish to duplicate the effort in their states.

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM            Educational Session | Speakers: TBD

Topic: Hot Topics in Probate

Join your colleagues for a lively discussion of topics of interest to you!  This will be an open discussion led by NCPJ members, so bring your ideas and suggestions.



*No jacket or tie required; no jeans.