Sunday, February 26, 2012

Scandal in the world of Oregon Elder Law Lawyers, Professional Fiduciaries, and the Courts

Steve Duin, a columnist for the Oregonian has published an article about the case of Benjamin Alfano. The case involves a prominent professional fiduciary, Chris Farley of Farley, Piazza & Associates, a prominent elder law lawyer, Richard Pagnano, of the Elder Law Firm, the Oregon Department of Veterans Affairs, and Judge Rita Cobb, the Probate Judge in Washington County.

Despite being represented by a top notch lawyer, poor Mr. Alfano came to a very unfortunate end. Sometimes court proceedings designed to protect elders turn out well for all involved. More commonly the results are mixed. Sometimes they turn out to be a disaster for everybody. Mr. Alfano's case is an example of one of the disasters.


  1. I'm sorry for Mr. Alfaro and his loved ones who worked lovingly to protect and save him. I have yet to read about an elderly or disabled person in a guardianship where there is money and or excellent health insurance where a court appointed guardian is not an abuser and financial exploiter. Loving families do not place their loved ones under guardianships: it is however a cottage industry run by lawlessness and corruption under the noses and concent of our courts. Mary G. Sykes is still alive but held hostage by Carolyn Toerpe and three attorneys Adam Stern, Cynthia Farenga, and the law firm og Fischel and Kahn. they hire doctors like Gefforey Shaw who never met or talked to my mother and report that she is incompetent. Then these people pauperism her, take her home and attack ev Rey person who stands up for justice. Toerpe was just found in criminal contempt of court for not complying with court orders: I haven't seen or talked to my mother in 18 months. I pray for Mr. Alfanos family as I curse the lawlessness a nd corrupt w ho ca re nothing about protecting the elderly or disable d. And only about the great financial be befits of guar dianships.

  2. Michigan Advocacy ProjectJuly 17, 2012 at 7:59 AM

    The only true thing that my mother's court-appointed guardian and conservator said to me was, "You're all typical," meaning the families of adult incapacitated wards. While most of us represent families in conflict over a loved one's care, the only 'typical' thing about us is the grief we share when a probate court misuses its unique life and death authority over our helpless relations, through ignorance or for personal gain. Miserable over the inexcusable martyrdom of people like Mr. Alfano, we've become an extended family and we will not back down in our mission to reform guardianship practices everywhere.

  3. Mr. Onken, you will find my Elder Abuse and fraudulent deprivatin of my assets under "Oregon Trust betrayal" by Estate of Denial, and "Don't let the Oregon Courts silence the press" by under Boldt v Newton on the Internet, as well as under their NASGA web site. However, most of all, a lawyer who posts good advise and the failures of the system, you yourself, Mr. Onken, refused to look into the case of an 85 year old who was bilked by "fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, conversion, constructive trust and financial elder abuse". In a California Law suit, under the same damages, it is worth 32 million. How much is my lawsuit worth in Oregon, if someone takes the time to file it????? Erna Boldt, Sandy, Oregon

  4. Richard Pagnano has, according to records, 9 misconduct complaints to his credit. The ELDERLAW FIRM has about 22 for it's associates. Richard Pagnano is also an "expert witness" in probate cases according the the Oregon State Bar web site.

    Richard Pagnano is ALSO on the BOARD of DIRECTORS of the Oregon GUARDIANS AND CONSERVATORS ASSOCIATION. Needless to say, Mr. Pagnano is in the PERFECT position to squash ALL complaints against Farley, Piazza and Associates.

    In 2010 he represented Patricia Piazza in the Estate of VEVA LURSEN. She was called on to represent ROBERT LURSEN, BUT the property WAS STILL IN VEVA'S NAME. They left ROBERT without representation for about a year, despite Doctor's recommendations.

    Documents also suggest that Patricia Piazza FAILED to notify the Social Security Administration within 30 days, when they sold the half million dollar property for $300,000.00, resulting in a very large claim by SSA against Robert's estate. As of a few weeks ago, Farley, Piazza and Associates HAS STILL NOT SUBMITTED a FINAL ACCOUNTING IN EITHER ESTATE CASE. The SSA had to FILE A CLAIM FOR OVER-PAYMENT in the Robert Lursen case.

    There is more to THE ELDERLAW FIRM and FARLEY, PIAZZA and ASSOCIATES misconduct allegations than I can write here, yet NO ONE HAS BEEN HELD ACCOUNTABLE...yet. For anyone defending these people, CHECK YOUR FACTS first. You may be surprised at how much goes on in probate courts you may not be aware of...

    1. Thank you for your comments. Piazza and associates and Pagnano are feasting at my fathers table. Afraid and declined private visits with our father is the direct result of advice for another attorney who recommended and also represented Piazza and associates. The court system is broken and now my father and the family are broken further. Elders who depend on family are blocked from relationships . There should be put into place a medation for families before appointment by the courts. Unfortunately most of the families who are at wits end have no representation that is honest. The court system turns away and those who are on the boards have self interest and the members are feeding on the public. Where is the justice? Who really cares? The rich get richer and there is no sense of remorse. Greed,greed. There must be no God in their minds or they justify in their shallow minds they only did what is right. If there are good conservators where are they and are they still so small that they have not grown up and learned how to ruin good families that are dealing with the passing of someone that raised them. The laws need to change. If doctors were doing needless surgeries as they do someone would speak up somewhere and hopefuly that would stop. This is not the case. Who is listening? How many times have we called an elder law attorney to be told they dont compete with the accused attorney. I have called and been told this numerous times. Big shots with no balls. Only the mouth. In the mean time If I say anything I'm afraid my parent will be over drugged and continue to be isolated from the family. People make mistakes and society makes mistakes but why can't this be corrected?Does anybody hear me or care? I am telling the truth and I feel for others who and in the same boat without a paddle.

  5. You mean they don't compete with Richard Pagnano, because of his reputation and powerful connections within the government and the OSBAR, that protect him with their influence.

    07-00090, 1/12/2007, Gerhardt, Helen
    Attorney - Pagnano, Richard A
    2/27/2007 Referred to discipline, Credible Evidence

    EVEN WHEN CREDIBLE EVIDENCE WAS HEARD, Richard Pagnano's disciplinary reports are NOT posted by the OSBAR. Meanwhile, otherwise good attorneys are humiliated and posted by the OSBAR for nothing more than paying their OSBAR fees late.

    No wonder Pagnano is so arrogant! He can afford to be...

  6. Probably not such a "coincidence" that 2 lawyers from Pagnano etal's firm have been disiplined...Pagnano appears to be involved in several of the high profile cases of guardian abuse in Oregon lately?? Just coincidence...I think not. And by the way...each story of abuse surfacing centers around some horrible abuse Pagnano assisted with...and no attorney "in the know" seems to have the courage or the integrity to speak out....Mr. Onken???

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. This comment has been removed by the author.