HAPPY GRANDPARENTS DAY
SEPTEMBER 10, 2023
Grandparents play a crucial role in our families' lives. Thanks to Marian McQuade's advocacy, in 1977 Grandparents Day became a national holiday to honor their love and wisdom every first Sunday after Labor Day. Ms. McQuade also sought to remedy broader issues facing the elderly--neglect, abuse, and loneliness. Almost a half-century later, we still have a lot of work to do.
At De Vries Law, we specialize in prosecuting civil elder abuse, civil rights violations, and contested conservatorship, trust and estate, and probate cases. Our committed and passionate focus this year resulted in ending abusive isolation and neglect of elders, ensuring adults with disabilities enjoy the grace of autonomy and safety, and establishing persuasive law to protect foster children's civil rights. And we recovered millions for our clients.
CASE STUDY: After seven years of hard-fought litigation, in J.P. v. County of Alameda, with co-counsel and nine non-profit amici, we championed a foster child's civil rights in three federal courts including the Northern District, Ninth Circuit, and United States Supreme Court. J.P. was five years old when his then-three-year-old sister first ingested methamphetamine in foster care. Nothing was done to protect either sibling, for weeks. We discovered this was a result of a series of flawed systems. Tragically, J.P.'s sister then ingested a lethal dose and died in his arms. On the eve of the trial, we settled the matter for $3.5 million dollars. While we rejoice in our client's financial security and the closure this settlement brings, the litigation uncovered flawed systems that had to change. This case history has the potential to protect countless foster children, nationwide.
COMMUNITY SERVICE: We believe that sharing best practices and tips from the trenches creates community and safety for those who cannot speak for themselves.
This year, the Bar Association of San Francisco requested Liza and the J.P. team share with the dependency attorney panel practical and legal strategies to deter and if needed prosecute those who violate foster children's civil rights.
Liza also had the privilege of being invited to serve on the first pilot California Lawyers Association Trusts & Estates Section Panel at UC Law San Francisco to introduce law-school students to a meaningful career protecting vulnerable individuals including elders, adults with disabilities, and children or adults with special needs by considering a civil-rights or probate practice.
At the statewide annual Professional Fiduciaries of California conference, Liza was invited to share litigation rules of engagement for fiduciaries to litigate ethically. Sharing songs, case stories, and the law, Liza encouraged all fiduciaries to closely supervise their attorneys to ensure their litigation decisions and conduct were consistent with each professional's personal moral compass and duty to always act in the best interests of their wards.
CELEBRATING OUR BELOVED ELDERS' WISDOM AND CONTRIBUTIONS: Ms. McQuade wisely chose September for Grandparents' Day to celebrate the "Autumn years of life" with loved ones. We wish you and all the grandparents in your world -- biological and chosen -- a healthy and joyful Fall 2023.
NOTE: We have a new address. Please update us in your contacts.
De Vries Law, 1388 Sutter Street, Suite 715, San Francisco, CA 94109