On Demand Audio

Introduction to Contested Guardianships in Virginia

(87 reviews)

Produced on October 01, 2019

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Course Information

Time 62 minutes
Difficulty Beginner

Course Description

Contested guardianships are not a new phenomenon, but demographics are resulting in an increase in the number of guardianships filed as well as the complexity of the cases. By 2030, everyone in the baby boomer generation will be older than age 65; older people will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. Though dementia rates are falling generally, increases in longevity mean that the number of persons over age 85, who are at the highest risk for dementia, will increase. Couple this data with the fact that during the next thirty to forty years, $30 trillion in assets will pass from the baby boomer generation to their heirs, litigation over the person and property of the elderly is going to boom. 

This course, presented by Jean Galloway Ball and Kimberley Ann Murphy, Co-Leaders of Contested Guardianship Litigation at Hale Ball in Virginia, will provide an introductory guide to representing a party in a guardianship case, including petitioners, intervening parties, and respondents. The focus will be on how to frame the issues in contested guardianships, from initiating the case through trial, including what should be included in the petition beyond what the statute requires. The program will also explore the role of the guardian ad Litem and their potential effect on your case, the use of traditional civil discovery tools, as well as limits on discovery unique to cases involving persons with diminished capacity. Finally, the presenters will touch on alternatives to going to trial, as well as best practices for trying the case if issues cannot be resolved.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss the fundamentals of Virginia Civil Procedure and how those rules interplay with the framework of guardianships and conservatorships
  2. Analyze the roles of the different parties and how best to advocate for your client when in one of those roles
  3. Handle a contested guardianship proceeding

Credit Information

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Kimberley Murphy

Hale Ball

Kimberley Ann Murphy, Esq., has been a partner and principal attorney of the law firm of Hale Ball Carlson Baumgartner Murphy, PLC, in Fairfax, Virginia, since 2005. She had been an Associate with the firm since being admitted to the Virginia State Bar in October 2000. Attorney Murphy concentrates her practice in the areas of Administrative Law (professional license compliance), Estates and Trusts (administration and litigation) and Business/Civil litigation). She has appeared on numerous occasions before many circuit courts throughout the Commonwealth, in addition to the Court of Appeals of Virginia and the Supreme Court of Virginia, as well as the Virginia Department of Health Professions and Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control. In 2007, Attorney Murphy was admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States.

Attorney Kimberley Murphy has published an article with the Virginia Bar Association's Wills, Trusts & Estates section as well as presented a seminar for funeral professionals for the International Order of the Golden Rule. She has presented CLE's for the Fairfax Bar Association and National Business Institute. She was named to Best Lawyers in America for 2014 for Trusts and Estates – Litigation, and for 2015 for Trusts and Estates and Trusts and Estates – Litigation. She attained an AV-rated peer review in 2014, and has been named to Super Lawyers since 2007.

Jean Galloway Ball

Hale Ball

Jean Galloway Ball has established herself as a respected practitioner in northern Virginia over the past twenty-two years. In 1991, seeking to balance her family life with her professional life, Jean began practicing law in the areas of Estate and Trust Planning and Elder Law with her mother Jean Galloway.

She brought critical experience to the newly emerging practice of Elder Law from her prior thirteen years in government contracts law: analytical skills developed in dealing with complex government regulation; and litigation skills honed in numerous judicial hearings and court appearances. This expertise has proven to be invaluable to her clients and to the body of knowledge in the practice of Elder Law.

Jean 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.

Jean is certified in Elder Law by the Nation Elder Law Foundation. She is a member of the Council of Advance Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and a member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.

Jean 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. She has been selected as a Super Lawyer in the field of Elder Law in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 in both the Washington, D.C. metro area and Virginia.

In 2010, Jean was named a fellow of the National Academy of the Elder Law Attorneys, the highest honor bestowed by the organization. In 2011, Jean was honored by Virginia Lawyers Media as being in the Class of 2011 of "Influential Women in Virginia."

For a number of years, Jean served on the Board of Directors and was President 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. For two years she served as president of the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Virginia state chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. She is a member of the Program Committee of the Council of Advance Practitioners of NAELA and a member of the steering committee of the Council.

Jean is married and has two adult children who are the delight of her life. When she is not practicing law she enjoys gourmet cooking, gardening, bicycling and reading, with the occasional round of golf with her husband.

Focusing on Elder Law and Estate and Trust Planning has allowed Jean to engage in a family-centered law practice; bringing families together in addressing their legal needs or helping families negotiate with each other through the shoals of their legal crises. It is a practice she has found personally satisfying and often filled with hugs from grateful clients.


Donna A.

Good summary

Jo M.

Beautifully organized and coordinated between the two speakers, and chock-full of necessary information. Thank you!

Marie W.

This was an informative class, very practical.

Jordana K.

Very Good program.

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