Guardianship A to Z


Join the MSBA for an all new presentation of Guardianship A to Z on Wednesday, January 24, 2024 at 9 a.m. at  the DoubleTree by Hilton Columbia.

Looking to include guardianship in your practice, enhance your current knowledge, or become eligible to represent minors and adults in guardianship proceedings? Whether you are simply looking to refresh or elevate your practice to the next level, Guardianship A-Z is for you.  Seasoned Maryland attorneys will cover everything attorneys need to know about the guardianship process, from the basics to more advanced aspects and what to expect in the courtroom.  This course will include a comprehensive overview of guardianship, what it is, when its appropriate, practical considerations, alternatives (including supported decision making), and ethical considerations.  We will hear from all sides – court appointed counsel, the bench, attorneys who represent the petitioner, and those who aid their clients in avoiding guardianship altogether.  In addition to being a valuable resource and refresher, this program conforms with the training requirements set forth in the Maryland Guidelines for Attorneys Representing Minors and Alleged Disabled Persons in Guardianship Proceedings (Md. Rule 10-106(b)(1)(C)).

Six hours of CLE credit including one hour of ethics will be offered for the surrounding MCLE states. If you miss the live event, it will be available on the MSBA CLE catalog for purchase and viewing on-demand, approximately one week after the live event.


The MSBA is committed to providing accessibility to its programs, events and services to all potential attendees. If you need accommodations for this event please email


COVID Guidelines & Protocols

The MSBA is committed to holding a safe event for all participants, and is following all CDC, Federal, State, and Local regulations, as well as venue requirements.

In accordance with CDC guidelines, faculty or attendees that have tested positive for COVID within 5 days of their in-person presentation, are experiencing any symptoms consistent with COVID, including fever, cough, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, or shortness of breath, should not attend the in-person event.

Course Level
Professional Area of Focus
Elder Law
Disability Law
CLE Field of Study
Continuing Education Legal Credit
Regulatory Ethics
DoubleTree by Hilton Columbia
5485 Twin Knolls Rd
Columbia, MD 21045 US
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Event Information
Jan 24, 2024
9:00 am - 4:00 pm EST
DoubleTree by Hilton Columbia
5485 Twin Knolls Rd
Columbia, MD 21045 US
Total CLE Credits


Day 1

8:30 am

8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.              Check-in and continental breakfast

9:00 a.m. – 9:05 a.m.              Welcome & Introductions

Lindsay Moss, Esq., Elville and Associates

9:05 a.m. – 10:20 a.m.            Role of Counsel – Rights of a Disabled Adult – Ethical Considerations

The Honorable Patrick L. Woodward, Court of Special Appeals

Thomas DeGonia, Esq.

Megan Rusciano, Esq.

Key Points:                                         

  • Role of Counsel
  • Ethical Considerations
  • Guidelines & In re Sonny E. Lee
  • Effective representation of client with diminished capacity (changes to 1.14 and related rules)
  • Other rules: 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.6, 1.7
  • Supports and accommodations (ABA’s Bill of Rights and national movement towards guardian reform and ensuring adults subject to guardianship retain rights.)

10:20 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.          BREAK

10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.          Alternatives to Guardianship of the Person

Megan Rusciano, Esq.

Key Points:

  •  Surrogate & Supportive Decision Making
  •  Informal Support and Resources available to clients with disabilities or diminished capacity.

Alternatives to Guardianship of the Person

Advance Directives, Powers of Attorney, and Authorization of Specific Transactions

Alexander J. Zarzecki, Esq., Frank, Frank & Scherr, LLC                                  

Key Points:

  •  Advance Medical Directives
  •  Powers of Attorney
  •  Authorization of Specific Transaction

Special Needs Planning, ABLE Accounts, and Construction of Powers of Attorney

Jennifer Brandi, Esq.

Key Points:

  •  Special Needs Planning
  •  ABLE Accounts
  •  Construction of Powers of Attorney

Alternatives to Guardianship of the Person – Surrogate Decision Making, Supportive Decision Making, and Informal Support and Resources Available

Megan Rusciano, Esq.

Key Points:

  •  Surrogate & Supportive Decision Making
  •  Informal Support and Resources available to clients with disabilities or diminished capacity.

12:00 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.          LUNCH

12:30 p.m. – 1:45 p.m.            Overview of Guardianship Law in Maryland

Angela B. Grau, Esq., Davis, Agnor, Rapaport & Skalny, LLC                                 

Key Points:

  • Filing the Petition
  • Alternatives to guardianship (overview of law vs. options covered later)
  • Items between filing petition and the hearing (court appointed attorneys, orientation, etc.)
  • The hearing and what may occur
  • General role, responsibilities, limitations, and basic competencies required fo guardians (Guideline 2(b))
  • Orientation & training required of a guardian
  • Reports, Accountings/Inventory
  • Bond vs. restricted accounts, etc.
  • When to terminate the guardianship
  • Fees – Guideline 2(e)
  • How guardianship of minors differs – grounds, safeguards/considerations, termination 

1:45 p.m. -2:45 p.m.               Understanding Disabilities and Diminished Capacity

Carole Giunta, Ph.D., Licensed Psychologist

Key Points:

  • (Guideline 2(b))
  • Identifying diminished capacity
  • Clinical versus legal assessments

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.              BREAK

3:00 p.m. – 4:15 p.m.              Representing the  “Alleged Disabled Person”

Barrett King, Esq., King Hall

Key Points:

  • Meeting with the client and interested persons
  • Assessing capacity assessments (certificates)
  • Answer, motions, waivers
  • Assessing the appropriateness of a proposed guardians
  • Identification of assets
  • Less restrictive alternatives (as a defense)
  • Ethics, Abuse & Neglect -Types, Signs, what to do, and ethical considerations

4:15 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.              Q&A & Discussion


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Guardianship A to Z