A Minnesota appeals court holds that county officials were not liable for negligent misrepresentation for incorrectly telling a medical assistance applicant that his property would not be subject to a lien because the information was readily attainable from other sources. Benigni v. St. Louis County (Minn. Ct. App., No. A15-1154, June 13, 2016).
Kenneth Benigni applied for medical assistance benefits from the state. According to Mr. Benigni, the application did not include information that the state had a right to place a lien on his property in order to recoup medical assistance benefits paid on his behalf. In 2005 and 2007, Mr. Benigni received renewal forms that included information about the lien. He asked two county officials about the lien and they told him he would not be subject to a lien. In 2007, after requesting further information, Mr. Benigni discovered that he would be subject to a lien and he cancelled his medical assistance.
Mr. Benigni sued the county for negligent misrepresentation, arguing that the county officials supplied false information to him about whether a lien could be placed on his property. The trial court granted summary judgment to the county, and Mr. Benigni appealed.
The Minnesota Court of Appeals affirms, holding that the county was entitled to summary judgment. The court notes that government officials are not liable for negligent misrepresentation if the information is readily attainable by the public unless the officials are learned in the field or have a fiduciary relationship with the person they are giving information to. The court rules that in this case, Mr. Benigni did not have a fiduciary relationship with the county officials and he could have found out the information by seeking legal advice from an attorney.
Randy F. Boggio, Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks Shareholder, attended the 10th annual meeting of the Academy of Special Needs Planners, held in Tucson, Arizona, March 10 – 12. The 235-member Academy is the nation’s leading organization of special needs planning professionals. Members of the Academy devote a significant part of their practices to working with individuals with special needs and their families to plan for the future and ensure that children with special needs receive ample financial protection.
The Academy’s annual meeting featured presentations by some of the nation’s leading experts in special needs planning, who kept attendees current on the latest regulatory changes and legal decisions and shared strategies for better serving clients and their families in this fast-growing legal field. Meeting sessions included “An Update on SSI Rules,” “Special Needs Trusts and Retirement Benefits,” “Recent Trends in Special Needs Planning,” “Identifying and Handling ‘Tricky Issues’ in SNT Administration,” as well as an “Ask the Experts” panel discussion. Perhaps most importantly, the meeting afforded the chance for attendees to exchange planning ideas and strategies with fellow members working in special needs planning around the nation.
This year’s meeting was held concurrently with the Society of Settlement Planners, giving attendees invaluable insights into how to best work with these key players in the special needs arena.
Kris Maser was recently featured in the Richfield Chamber of Commerce Member Spotlight.
“Our firm is interested in being a part of the community in which we work. The Chamber has helped all of us learn about Richfield and the vibrant people who live and work in this community,” said Kris.
Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks will be a part of the “In America” segments to air on PBS. The segment features Attorney Kris Maser explaining the field of elder law through discussions with clients and providers. Kris gives the viewer a general idea of how our firm addresses issues facing our clients around the difficult decisions which need to be made with legal guidance and genuine concern and caring.
“In America” is narrated by James Earl Jones and “is developed alongside groundbreaking organizations and forward industry experts.” PBS developed this “collaboration of thought leaders” and “created a strong foundation for their innovative programming lineup.”
We are proud of the segment on Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks and honored to be part of the PBS “In America” project:
Attorney Kate Graham, as a board member of the Collaborative Community Law Initiative (CCLI), was part of a panel presentation at the MSBA New Lawyers Section. The presentation was entitled “Fit to Practice: Cultural Competency in Law Practice.” CCLI’s motto is “Mentoring New Lawyers to Serve Community Needs.”
We are proud of Kate and her contribution to guiding new lawyers.
Fit to Practice: Cultural Competency in Law Practice
CCLI Board Members Present at MSBA New Lawyers Section
CCLI Board members (from left to right above) Camille Bryant, Nelson L. Peralta, Sophia Vuelo and Kate Graham presented a one hour panel discussion on overcoming barriers created by social and cultural differences at the MSBA’s New Lawyer Section December meeting. Kate moderated the discussion, and Camille, Nelson and Sophia, all skilled attorneys, shared their experiences and stories of working with clients and colleagues of diverse backgrounds.
According to one audience member, “I wish everyone could have heard this, not just lawyers….The panel gave concrete examples of how to work with clients and colleagues with different backgrounds.”
Our firm is proud to announce Alison Godfrey Brandel has been elected as the 2016 President of the Minnesota Paralegal Association (MPA). Alison works as a paralegal in our elder law department in the areas of Special Needs Trust administration, Guardianships, Conservatorships and Probate administration. She has been a paralegal for 9 years. She joined Garvey, Boggio & Hendricks, P.A. in 2011 which merged with Maser Amundson, P.A. in 2013 to become Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, P.A. Alison is a Minnesota Certified Paralegal. She is passionate about being a paralegal and is excited to be the President of an association that works towards the advancement of the paralegal profession, emphasizes excellence in the profession and recognizes the importance of Continuing Legal Education.
I am the caregiver and personal representative for three individuals in my family. I came to Maser, Amundson, Boggio and Hendricks ten years ago because I needed guidance, direction and a plan to make sure my loved ones are cared for, financially and medically. I simply don’t have enough words to describe how great it’s been to work with Randy…