Nina A. Kohn to Speak on “New Paradigms in Decision‐Making” at The Arc New York

Posted on Monday 11/6/2017

Nina A. Kohn, David M. Levy Professor of Law and Associate Dean for Research, will be a Plenary Session Speaker at The Arc New York 2017 Annual Guardianship Training Symposium in Bolton Landing, NY, Nov. 6‐8, 2017. Kohn will discuss “New Paradigms in Decision‐Making: Guardianship Reform and Supported Decision‐Making,” part of the symposium’s “Changing the Story: Guardianship and Evolving Alternatives” theme.

In Kohn’s session, participants will be introduced to a tool to help lawyers identify and consider decision‐making options for individuals with disabilities that are less restrictive than guardianship. Kohn, who was part of the team that developed the tool, will walk participants through the tool’s steps and give examples of how it might be used in practice.

Kohn also will introduce participants to the Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Protective Arrangements Act (UGCOPAA), which was adopted by the Uniform Law Commission in July 2017. UGCOPAA is an

updated version of the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act, originally promulgated in 1969 as part of the Uniform Probate Code. 

Kohn served as the Reporter (or primary drafter) of the Act. She will discuss how the new version aims to better protect the rights of individuals subject to a guardianship or conservatorship. Among other provisions, the Act includes a clear prohibition on imposing guardianship if less restrictive approaches, such as supported decision‐making, meet the person’s needs; new mechanisms for encouraging the use of limited guardianships over full ones; and improved approaches to monitoring guardians.

Other symposium speakers include Christy A. Coe, Principal Attorney, Mental Hygiene Legal Services, Third Judicial Department; Hon. David H. Guy, Surrogate, Broome County (NY) Surrogate's Court; Hon. John Hall Jr., Surrogate, Warren County (NY) Surrogate's Court; Tara Anne Pleat, Vice Chair, Elder Law and Special Needs Section, New York State Bar Association; and Hon. Ava S. Raphael, Onondaga County Surrogate’s Court, Syracuse, NY. 

The keynote speaker will be Stephen “Dr. Bird” Birchak, Ed.D., a nationally renowned motivational speaker, author, professor, counseling psychologist, and former college wrestling coach of the year.