On Demand Audio

Introduction to Contested Guardianships in Virginia

(205 reviews)

Produced on October 01, 2019

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Course Information

Time 1h 2m
Difficulty Beginner
Topics covered in this course: Wills, Trusts, & Estates Elder

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

After completing this course, Lawline will report your attendance information to {{ accredMasterState.state.name }}. Please ensure your license number is filled out in your profile to ensure timely reporting. For more information, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements page . After completing this course, {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} attorneys self-report their attendance and CLE compliance. For more information on how to report your CLE courses, see our {{ accredMasterState.state.name }} CLE Requirements FAQ .


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 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. 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 Steering/Program Committee for the Council of Advance Practitioners of NAELA.

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 2019 she has been selected as a SuperLawyer in the field of Elder Law for Virginia and the Washington, D.C. metro area and has been named one of the tope 50 woman attorneys in Virginia for the last few years.

Mrs. Ball’s practice focuses 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, including contested guardianships, protection of vulnerable adults from financial exploitation, will and trust contests, requests for accountings from agents and trustees, and elective share claims.


Senna A.

Interesting presentation from practioners - this is a booming area right now so good timing.

Anett V.


Douglas M.

Superior presentation

Andrew B.

Very good CLE. .

Karen W.

Both presenters were very knowledgeable, and it was a lot of material presented within an hour's time.

Kevin W.

Very clear and concise. Thank you.

Deborah H.

excellent presentation

Paul S.

Outstanding presentation!

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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