SPEAKING UP FOR A VETERAN

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Jordan Burke’s client, a Vietnam-era vet, had been homeless at times.  Let’s call him Bobby.  In the last year, things had gotten better for Bobby.  The Veteran’s Administration had helped him rent an apartment and provided transportation for his medical appointments.  Neighbors took him to get his groceries.  So what was the problem?  Bobby had recently landed in the hospital after some heavy drinking.  The hospital wanted him declared incompetent, and so it filed a court case seeking
guardianship.”

Jordan was court-appointed to represent Bobby.  What was the legal issue?  It was whether he was able to “manage” his affairs.  Jordan interviewed him, his psychiatrist, a hospital social worker, and his neighbors.  She reviewed his medical records and requested that Bobby be re-evaluated.  As a result of her advocacy, Jordan was able to demonstrate that his support system and his mental ability showed he could, in fact, manage his affairs.  The case against Bobby was dismissed, and he returned home.

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