The Life of a Contested Guardianship (Online Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 6.0
Ethics Credits Included: 1.0 (GAL Incap: 6.0)

MCLE Credit: 6.0 (Ethics: 1.0; GAL Incap: 6.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
Price: $295 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 4/30/2017


A pre-recorded streaming VIDEO replay of the entire April 2014 live seminar, The Life of a Contested Guardianship.

GAL Continuing Credits: 6.0

Note: Your GAL certificate may be found at the front of your written materials.

Guardianship/conservatorship proceedings have become increasingly contentious, with challenges often coming from other family members or Adult Protective Services, in addition to those from the person alleged to be incapacitated.


Learn about procedural and substantive issues unique to contested guardianship/conservatorship actions, and how others have managed them, including:

  • How an attorney is hired by a person alleged to be incapacitated
  • Preparing a petition when a challenge is likely
  • How to raise a challenge or become a party — motion to intervene, objection, answer
  • The role (and authority) of the guardian ad litem when there is a challenge
  • Discovery and presentation of evidence
  • Drafting final orders and preserving rights on appeal
  • The ethics involved at each stage of the proceeding
  • The judge’s perspective

Purchase an 8- or 12-credit Online Bundle, and save up to 40% on your choice of webcasts and/or online seminars. No need to make all of your selections immediately — take up to 365 days to choose the programs you want.

Government Attorney? Receive a 50% discount on this and most seminars, and a 30% discount on publications.
New Virginia Lawyer? (less than three years) Receive a 25% discount on this and most seminars and publications.




Jonathan M Apgar, Judge (Ret.) / Salem

Jonathan M Apgar was a circuit court judge for the 23rd Judicial Circuit in Virginia.  He served as a judge on the court from 1997 until his retirement in 2013.  Apgar received both his undergraduate degree and his J.D. from the University of Richmond.  Before he became a judge, Apgar practiced law for twenty years and has served as a prosecutor, public defender, and a defense attorney.

 Jean Galloway Ball, Hale Ball / Fairfax

Jean Galloway Ball is an honors graduate of the National Law Center, George Washington University.  She did her undergraduate work at the University of California at Berkeley, graduating Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in history.

Mrs. Ball is certified in Elder Law by the National Elder Law Foundation.  This certification is predicated on demonstrated knowledge and experience in numerous areas of law relevant to senior citizens and disabled persons.  She is a member of the Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and a member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.  She has been elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

Mrs. Ball is admitted to practice in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia and serves clients in all three jurisdictions.  She has an "AV" peer review rating by Martindale-Hubbell.  For the years 2007 through 2014 she was selected as a SuperLawyer in the field of Elder Law for Virginia and the Washington, D.C. metro area.

Mrs. Ball has served as a member of the Medical Ethics Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, on the Board of Directors of Collington Episcopal Life Care Community, a continuing care retirement community in Maryland and as a member and President of the Board of Directors of the Alzheimer's Family Day Center, a non-profit organization providing day care for victims of Alzheimer's disease and support to their families and caregivers in Northern Virginia.  She is a past two term President of the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorney, a chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys ("NAELA"), and chair of the Program Committee for the Council of Advance Practitioners of the NAELA.

Mrs. Ball's practice focus on life-care and estate planning for all ages, elder law, special needs planning for disabled adults, guardianship/conservator proceedings, probate, trust administration and related fiduciary litigation.

John D. Eure, Johnson, Ayers & Matthews, P.L.C. / Roanoke

John D. Eure is a member of the Roanoke law firm of Johnson, Ayers & Matthews, P.L.C.  He is a member of the Virginia State bar, the Virginia Bar Association, the Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, and the American Bar Association.  He chairs the Board of Editors of the Journal of Civil Litigation, a quarterly journal published by the VADA.  He is an editor of A Guide to Legal Research in Virginia, published by VaCLE.   Mr. Eure has lectured in continuing legal education seminars on appellate practice, legal writing, and insurance coverage matters, and has lectured in the Roanoke City Public Schools on Shakespeare and Restoration and Eighteenth Century British literature.  He earned a B.A., magna cum laude, from Yale University and an M.A. and J.D. from the University of Virginia. 

 Matthew M. Farley, Armstrong Bristow Farley & Schwarzschild / Richmond

Matthew Farley is a member of Armstrong Bristow Farley & Schwarzschild PLC, in Richmond, Virginia, a firm specializing in all aspects of trust and estate planning, administration, and litigation.  Mr. Farley's estate planning practice includes a wide variety of tax and non-tax planning, charitable planning, advising clients regarding closely-held assets, and planning for individuals with special needs.  Mr. Farley's fiduciary litigation practice involves will contests, actions for breach of trust and trustee removal, guardian and conservator proceedings, disputes between family members regarding trusts and estates, advising corporate fiduciaries on risk management and litigation options, and other trust and estate related cases. 

Prior to joining Armstrong Bristow Farley & Schwarzschild PLC, Mr. Farley was an attorney with Mays & Valentine LLP and Troutman Sanders LLP. 

Mr. Farley graduated the University of Richmond School of Law magna cum laude, where he was a member of the Law Review, The Order of the Coif, and the Moot Court Board.  Mr. Farley earned his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

Mr. Farley has spoken on such topics as Virginia's Uniform Trust Code, guardianship litigation, will contests, and planning with irrevocable trusts.  In addition, Mr. Farley has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America in the category of Trusts and Estates since 2008 and in the category of Litigation/Trusts and Estates since 2012; in the Law & Politics Journal and Richmond magazine, Virginia Super Lawyers since 2007; and in Virginia Business magazine, Legal Elite in the category of Taxes, Trusts and Estates since 2005. 

Mr. Farley serves on the Planned Giving Council for St. Christopher's School and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Little Sisters of the Poor in Richmond.  Mr. Farley is a member of the Trust Administrators Council of Richmond and the Estate Planning Council of Richmond. 

Mr. Farley is admitted to practice in Virginia and is a member of the Virginia State Bar and the Virginia Bar Association.

Elizabeth L. Gray, Matsen, Miller, Cossa, & Gray, PLLC / Fairfax

Elizabeth Gray has been practicing law since 1996. She is a member of the bar of the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Elizabeth focuses her practice in the areas of estate planning, elder law, long-term care planning, special needs planning, guardianships, and the administration of estates.

Certified as an Elder Law Attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), Elizabeth has demonstrated her expertise in elder law and special needs law. In addition, Elizabeth is a member of the Special Needs Alliance - an invitation-only nationwide attorney organization.  She is a Past-President and the 2011 recipient of the "Outstanding Member" award of the Virginia chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA); a member of NAELA's invitation-only Council of Advanced Practitioners; and former co-chair of three different sections of the Fairfax County Bar Association. She is a current member of the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association and sits on the Board of Directors of Brain Injury Services.

 Anne Marie Heishman, Dingman Labowitz, P.C. / Alexandria

Anne Heishman has been an attorney since 2003 and focuses her practice on guardianship and conservatorship, estate and trust administration, and fiduciary litigation.  She has served as a Guardian ad Litem for incapacitated adults on many occasions, including contested cases.  She is admitted to practice in Virginia

Ms. Heishman clerked for the Honorable Michael P. McWeeny of the Fairfax County Circuit Court immediately after law school and practiced as a domestic relations attorney for several years before joining Dingman Labowitz. She has extensive courtroom experience, now focused primarily on guardianship and fiduciary litigation.  Ms. Heishman was named partner to the firm in 2014.

Ms. Heishman has lectured about incapacity and guardianship at many continuing legal education seminars sponsored by the Alexandria Bar Association, Fairfax Bar Association, Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the Virginia Trial Lawyers' Association. 

Ms. Heishman is a 2003 cum laude graduate of George Mason University School of Law and received her bachelor's degree from James Madison University.  She is actively involved with George Mason law school, including serving on the board of Alumni Association and mentoring law students.  She is a member of the Fairfax and Alexandria Bar Associations.

Rhona Levine, Coleman & Massey, P.C. / Roanoke

Rhona Levine concentrates her legal practice on Elder Law, Estate Planning and Administration, and small business organization and administration.  After graduating from Antioch University, she received her J.D. With Honors from George Mason University School of Law in 1981, where she was selected for Law Review.  She practiced with Robert W. Annand, P.C. in Washington, D.C. for two years prior to returning to her hometown of Roanoke, Virginia, where she served as Business Manager for WROV Broadcasters, Inc. (her family's business) for several years.  Ms. Levine returned to the practice of law in 1990 and is now with Coleman & Massey, P.C. in Roanoke.

Ms. Levine states:  "I take a holistic approach to the practice of Elder Law, helping find realistic solutions to address legal and other needs of our aging community.  Drawing on almost thirty years of substantive legal experience, firmly rooted in traditional estate and incapacity planning (handling both taxable and non-taxable estates), and utilizing personal experiences in dealing with many of the same issues within my own family, I have learned how to advocate for the elderly, their families, and their caregivers.  Whether planning proactively or planning in crisis, my knowledge and experience provide me with the tools needed to help clients ‘navigate the maze' of elder care and Elder Law challenges." 

Ms. Levine currently serves on the boards of the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Roanoke Bar Association, the Guardian Angel Panel of the Family Service of the Roanoke Valley, and The Adult Care Center of the Roanoke Valley.  She is also a member of the Roanoke Valley Estate Planning Council and the Virginia Guardianship Association, and of the Roanoke Chapter of the Virginia Women Attorneys Association (having served as Treasurer of that Chapter for several years).  She has also served as Chair of the Board of Community School and as a Board Member of Beth Israel Synagogue, both in Roanoke.



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