The Catholic University of America
   Print Friendly and PDF

 

Rev. Raymond O’Brien, a professor at Catholic University’s Columbus School of Law, is the co-author of The Fundamentals of Elder Law, Cases and Materials (Foundation Press; 1st edition, Oct. 25, 2014), the first casebook of its kind to be published in the U.S. 

The 922-page volume tackles an area of the law that grows in importance with each passing year. Statistics indicate that by 2030 almost one-fifth of all Americans will be 65 or older. Among the legal issues addressed in the new casebook are estate planning objectives in the context of possible incapacity, integrating non probate and probate transfers, asset protection planning, philanthropy and dynasty options, and beneficial tax planning.
 
O’Brien’s co-author is a former student of his: Michael T. Flannery, CUA Law Class of 1991, who now holds a chair at the University of Arkansas Law School, Little Rock.
 
“The Fundamentals of Elder Law, Cases and Materials” is described by Professor O’Brien this way:
 
“This is the first casebook in elder law in the United States. There are a few other books out there containing statutes and commentary, but this book weaves together cases to illustrate issues that are pertinent to a growing section of the population. The book places the issue of elder law in perspective by using the case of an older person, alone and in need of assistance. The book then progresses through defining competency and the appointment of guardians and conservators.
 
There is a chapter on health care decision making and the issue of assisted suicide and the ability to refuse medical treatment. Chapters on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid address the major issues contained in each statutory provision; there are many references to the 2010 Affordable Care Act. Housing options are expanding and the contractual elements and options available are discussed, together with the tax ramifications and zoning regulations. It would all be rather dry but for the facts contained in the cases, the central feature of the casebook. Finally, the book address discrimination and abuse of elders. Most think of institutional abuse, but there are many cases of private abuse by family or caregivers. Again, the cases illustrate the law and the changes that are occurring in the population.”