About the Authors — Volume II
Maren Beermann concentrates her work in the elder law fields of guardianships, advance directives, mental health, consumer protection, and protective placement and services. She graduated in 2008 from Chicago–Kent College of Law and received her undergraduate degree in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 2005. Maren is a member of the Wisconsin Chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and has had articles published in the Wisconsin Lawyer and the Elder Law Journal of Wisconsin. Maren also coauthored the third edition of Guardianship and Protective Placement for the Elderly in Wisconsin, a PINNACLE publication, and has presented on many elder law topics to a variety of audiences statewide.
Mitchell Hagopian is an attorney with Disability Rights Wisconsin (DRW), Wisconsin’s protection and advocacy agency for people with disabilities or mental illnesses. Before joining DRW he worked at the Elder Law Center, the Center for Public Representation, and Western Wisconsin Legal Services. He is a 1985 graduate of the University of Wisconsin Law School. He received his undergraduate degree in history from the University of Illinois Urbana–Champaign (1981, Phi Beta Kappa). His areas of practice include community-based long-term care services and supports for people with disabilities, guardianship and protective placement, and prevention of abuse and neglect.
Brenda Haskins is a Veterans Administration-certified attorney. She practices in the areas of estate planning, Medicaid planning, elder law, and probate. She frequently teaches in these areas for lawyers, as well as other professionals and care providers. She is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and the Dane County Bar Association. A Madison native, Brenda received her law degree with honors from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1999. She also has a bachelor’s degree in geography and a master’s degree in urban and regional planning from the University of Wisconsin–Madison. Brenda serves on the board of Deaf Unity, Inc., and the Natural Heritage Land Trust.
Margaret W. Hickey practices in the areas of divorce, family law, and elder law, including trusts for disabled persons, Title 19, and guardianships. She is a shareholder with Becker, Hickey & Poster, S.C., Milwaukee, and received her B.A. from Marquette University (1982, summa cum laude), where she was Phi Beta Kappa, and her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School (1986, cum laude). Margaret served on the State Bar of Wisconsin Board of Governors (2005–15; Chair, 2006–07, Treasurer, 2009–11) and has been chair of the Elder Law Section and Family Law Section boards. She is a past president of the Milwaukee Bar Association. Margaret lectures frequently on elder law and family law at local, state, and national bar meetings and to community groups. Margaret is a member of the American Bar Association, the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Bar Association, the Waukesha Bar Association, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and the Association for Women Lawyers and is a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.
Mary M. Hogue is a sole practitioner in Wausau, concentrating her practice in the areas of estate planning, elder law, and probate. She received her B.B.A. from the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire and her J.D. from Marquette University. Ms. Hogue is a certified public accountant and a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
Ann S. Jacobs is the founder of Jacobs Injury Law, S.C. She received her B.A. with distinction in 1989 from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and graduated from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 1992 (cum laude). She began her legal career as a public defender before changing her emphasis to personal-injury litigation. Her practice includes personal injury, medical malpractice, and nursing home abuse and neglect cases on behalf of injured persons. She is a frequent speaker on the topics of litigation, brain injuries, and ethics. She is president of the Wisconsin Association for Justice and a founding member of their Women’s Caucus, and a board member for the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund. She is a member of the board of the Milwaukee Bar Association and chair of its LRIS committee.
Mark T. Johnson is a partner with the Christenson Law Office, LLC, Fitchburg, where he practices in the areas of elder and special-needs law, estate planning, and estate and trust administration. He received his undergraduate degree from St. Olaf College, his graduate degree from the University of Notre Dame, and his law degree, cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin. He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin (including its Elder Law and Real Property, Probate and Trust sections), the American Bar Association, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
John Kivisaari is a former benefits specialist supervising attorney with the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources. John received a B.A. in economics from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School. He is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin and the State Bar of Michigan.
Kyle D. Lawrence is an attorney with the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources. He received his B.A. in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin–Parkside and his J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School in 2014. Kyle currently provides legal assistance to the Elder Benefit Specialist program as an elder health-care advocate and State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counselor.
Dayna J. Lefebvre is an associate with Becker, Hickey & Poster, S.C., Milwaukee, and practices elder law, estate planning, trusts for disabled persons, Title 19 planning, guardianship, and probate. She received her undergraduate degree in accounting and operations and supply chain management from Marquette University in 2011 (cum laude), and her J.D. from Marquette University Law School in 2013 (cum laude). Dayna is co-chair of the Milwaukee Bar Association Elder Law Section and a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Bar Association, and the Association for Women Lawyers. She also volunteers with the Wills for Heroes program.
Robert J. Lightfoot, II is a shareholder in the health-care group at the Madison office of Reinhart, Boerner, Van Deuren s.c. He is also a registered nurse. Robert’s practice focuses on the representation of owners and operators of health-care companies and facilities, such as assisted-living and skilled-nursing facilities, and in the areas of regulatory compliance and appeals, health-care facility operations and employee matters, risk management, contracts, and in the acquisition and sales of such facilities. He also represents licensed health-care professionals in matters before the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services. He is a former board member and past president of the Wisconsin Assisted Living Association and serves on the Reinhart health-care team as general counsel for LeadingAge Wisconsin. He is also a past board member of the State Bar of Wisconsin Health Law Section and is a member of the Assisted Living Federation of America and the American Health Lawyers Association (long-term care, senior housing section). Robert is a frequent speaker in Wisconsin and nationally on issues facing assisted-living and skilled-nursing facilities.
Rosa Plasencia is a policy analyst at the Department of Health Services, where she manages the Disability Benefits Specialist program. Previously, she worked with the Elder Law and Advocacy Center at the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources. Rosa received her B.A. from the University of California Santa Cruz and her J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Heather B. Poster is a shareholder with Becker, Hickey & Poster, S.C., Milwaukee, and practices family law, estate planning, and elder law, including trusts for disabled persons, Title 19 planning, and guardianship. She received her B.A. in behavioral science from the University of Wisconsin in 1999 (with distinction) and her J.D. from Marquette Law School in 2002. Ms. Poster is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin Elder Law Section board. She is the past chair (2007, 2012) of the board for WisPACT, Inc., the nonprofit organization that oversees pooled and community trusts for elderly and disabled persons, and is a frequent contributor to the Elder Law Journal of Wisconsin. Ms. Poster is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Milwaukee Bar Association, the Association for Women Lawyers, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorney’s Steering Committee on Trusts and Special Needs Trusts. She lectures extensively on Title 19 (Medicaid) planning for disabled and elderly persons, special-needs and pooled trusts, and guardianships.
Amy M. Risseeuw practices in the personal-injury section of Peterson, Berk & Cross, S.C., in Appleton and Green Bay. She has tried many cases to verdict in multiple areas of personal-injury law, including automobile accidents, dog attacks, premises liability, and medical malpractice. Ms. Risseeuw has also handled numerous appellate matters, appearing in the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, the Wisconsin Supreme Court, and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin, the Outagamie County Bar Association, and the Wisconsin Association for Justice. Ms. Risseeuw received her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Wisconsin Law School.
Kate Schilling is the legal services manager at the Greater Wisconsin Agency on Aging Resources, where she oversees the Guardianship Support Center and the Elder Benefit Specialist Supervising Attorney program. She works predominantly in the areas of elder law, public benefits, and consumer law. Previously, she was in private practice in New Richmond, Wisconsin, where she practiced in estate planning, Medicaid benefits, guardianship, and general civil litigation. Kate is a member of the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Elder and Public Interest Law Sections, as well as the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Before attending law school, Kate coordinated supports for adults with developmental disabilities, and she remains an active volunteer guardian for a woman with a disability living in Madison. She is also a volunteer at high school mock-trial events, local free legal clinics, and Wills for Heroes.
Gretchen Viney is a clinical professor at the University of Wisconsin Law School, where she is the director of the Lawyering Skills program (formerly General Practice), and is a partner in the firm of Viney & Viney, Baraboo. She received her B.A. with highest honors from the University of Wyoming and her J.D. with honors from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Ms. Viney is author of chapter 6 (Guardianship: Chapter 54) in the Guardian ad Litem Handbook and coauthor of Guardianship and Protective Placement for the Elderly in Wisconsin. She is a frequent speaker at continuing legal education seminars, generally focusing on guardian ad litem work. Among her other duties at the law school, Professor Viney teaches Guardian ad Litem Practice in Wisconsin so that her students are eligible to take guardian ad litem appointments upon graduation and licensure.
Carol J. Wessels has been practicing elder and disability law since 1991 and is the owner of Wessels Law Office LLC in Mequon, Wisconsin. In addition to traditional elder law, she handles contested litigation cases including financial abuse, guardianship, trust, and probate issues, and appeals in Medicaid and Family Care cases. Before entering private practice, she was director of the SeniorLAW program at Legal Action of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and was a staff attorney at the Elder Law Center of the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups. Carol lectures and writes frequently on elder and disability law issues. She appeared on The Dr. Phil Show in 2005 as an expert on legal issues involving people with mental illness, and was featured with her dog Jake on WISN news in 2012, in a segment on Estate Planning for Pets. Carol is a former chair of both the State Bar of Wisconsin Elder Law Section board and the Wisconsin National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Chapter board.
The following authors have contributed to this book in the past:
Richard H. Betz
Margaret S. DeWind
C. Frederick Geilfuss, II
Rachelle R. Hart
Daniel P. Hayes
Joyce Littlejohn Kiel
Michael R. Luttig
Patricia J. Nelson
Sarah J. Orr
Paul A. Sturgul
Susan S. Ten Pas
Julie E. Walsh
Updated June 2015
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