Montco Bar President to Stress Leadership, Senior Rights

, The Legal Intelligencer

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Michael F. Rogers
Michael F. Rogers

The bar association is working in conjunction with the Montgomery County Orphans' Court and the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office to not only enhance seniors' access to justice, but also increase their knowledge of legal remedies to difficulties they commonly face.

"There are a lot of areas in which this might arise," Rogers noted. "You might have a senior who is in an institution who is not being treated fairly, or is being bullied by a family, or is subject to physical abuse."

Rogers added that oftentimes, seniors are hesitant to invoke their rights and may feel intimidated by the legal process.

To offset that intimidation, part of the initiative could include giving courthouse tours to county seniors in order to provide them with insight into the inner workings of the judicial system.

Rogers said the bar association is in the midst of soliciting attorneys who would be available to educate seniors on their rights.

"We're not encouraging litigation, to say the least, but we don't want people to miss the advantages they could have had by not understanding," Rogers said.

"There may not always be a legal answer, but we can educate folks," Rogers added. "The problem is that people are not raising issues at the right time, they're either missing the opportunity to bring it to court or are bringing it too late into the system when nothing can be done."

In addition to the leadership and senior initiatives, Rogers mentioned that the bar association plans to continue its efforts to promote diversity in the county's legal community.

"For four or five years we've had a diversity initiative. We take first-year law students in Montgomery County firms for eight weeks in the summer," Rogers said. "It gives firms a chance to experience those students and gives the students a chance to experience firms" in locations they may not be familiar with in order to gain perspective.

Currently, two graduates of the program work at Montgomery County firms, Rogers said.

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