This Article examines the ethical dilemmas faced by attorneys who represent clients suffering from Alzheimer's disease. To do so, this Article raises three (3) hypothetical case studies,and applies the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, and the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel ("ACTEC") Commentaries, where appropriate, to those hypothetical case studies. Additionally, this Article proposes initiatives to ameliorate the lack of awareness and discussion of Alzheimer's disease in the law school curriculum, and finally, modest initiatives that the practicing bar can embrace to further a discussion and awareness among practicing attorneys about the ethical dilemma attorneys face in their daily interaction with actual and potential clients suffering from Alzheimer's disease.
This article's objectives are twofold. First, the intention is to use this Article as a vehicle to expose law students, legal educators, practicing attorneys, policymakers, and layperson observers to the impact, medical symptoms and manifestations of Alzheimer's disease in accessible and easy to understand terms. Second, to use this Article as a tool for teaching, raising understanding, and providing guidance on a multitude of ethical considerations that law students (who will soon be lawyers) and practicing members of the bar should consider while being exposed to actual or potential clients who suffer from Alzheimer's disease.
Joseph Karl Grant, Running Past Landmines--The Estate Attorney's Dilemma: Ethically Counseling the Client With Alzheimer's Disease, 24 Elder L. J. 101 (2016)