Posts Tagged ‘watchdog’

Elderly Legal Professionals Vulnerable as Other Elders

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Regular readers of this blog are aware that my interest in Elder Law issues lead to The Empowered Paralegal: Working with the Elder Clientrather than the reverse. Of special importance to me is the unique role the legal team has in spotting elder abuse. Relating this particularly to paralegals I’ve noted their unique position to intervene especially when that abuse is caused by an attorney. Today’s post relates, however, to the vulnerability of the elderly that exists even when the elderly person is an attorney.

I have no information in that regard that a paralegal could have noticed or done anything to prevent the events on which this post focuses, but I include it today nevertheless primarily because it illustrates the point that members of the legal team are not exempt from the vulnerability that comes with aging:

Man Gets 46 Years in Elderly Ex-Lawyer’s Slaying, Expected to Testify Against Ex-Client Co-Defendant

Keith Allen said he held Carl Kuhn’s wrist until he could no longer feel the 82-year-old man’s pulse as a trusted ex-client, Terry Bratcher, allegedly held a pillow over the former Illinois criminal defense attorney’s face in his suburban Chicago home one day in 2009.

That was enough to support the 22-year-old Allen’s first-degree murder plea earlier this year, for which he was sentenced Monday to 46 years in prison, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Allen is expected to cooperate and potentially testify in the state’s case against Bratcher, 44, who is awaiting trial. Authorities say he and Bratcher went to Kuhn’s home near Barlett to steal firearms from his gun collection, but suffocated him to death when he refused to give them the code for his locked safe.

Earlier coverage: “Ex-Client Charged With Killing Lawyer; Death At First Thought Natural”

Fair warning to students in my fall class, “Law and Aging:” you will benefit from reading all posts in the “Elder Clients and Elder Law” category!