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2000-2001 Annual Report

Under the leadership of past chairs, Diane M. Kwitoski, Deann J. Lee-Kaniowski, and co-founder, Evan Zagoria, our newly formed section of the State Bar of Michigan has grown to over 300 members. This year, each member received a membership directory and a certificate of membership.

Besides the other people mentioned herein, thanks also goes out to the loyal and dedicated councilpersons, Mary Herr, Kerry Spencer Johnson, Stuart S. Johnson, Seymour Leon Muskowitz, Ilene A. Segar, and Mark W. Veil, and, of course, our Commissioner Liaison, Michael S. Hohouser. Desk folders, as tokens of appreciation, were presented to all officers and councilpersons for all their hard work.

The first seminar of the year, February 9, 2001, was chaired by Evan Zagoria, with an update on the law by our other co-founder, Clifford L. Weisburg, followed by a panel discussion in the morning made up of eight members of our council. Since October 1, 1999, when Social Security gave Michigan the dubious honor of being a prototype state, our group has become more close-knit. The tightness of the group of claimant's representatives during this time has been compared to the fable, Hansel and Gretel, but after the afternoon session of the seminar where executives of the Disability Determination Service and Administration explained the prototype procedure, we now better understand that it is not only we claimant's representatives who are sailing into uncharted waters, but the Social Security Administration itself, along with the State Agency. We are all dealing with issues, procedures, and rules that no claimant's representative has ever faced before.

Our secretary, Mr. Seward, has gone all-out to keep our Social Security Section not only informed of national Social Security matters, but our prototype issues and matters specific to our state and our dockets. He organized the May 11 seminar, which was nearly standing room only. In the morning we were introduced to the organization CAUSE, made up of members who work together to improve educational opportunities for students with disabilities. Members of our council then held a panel discussion on the State of the Law. In the afternoon, we were presented with the mental impairment rules, including the final childhood rules, which went into effect on January 2, 2001.

Our third seminar is August 10-11 at Shanty Creek. On Friday one of our speakers is Ronald C. Marshall, PhD. Dr. Marshall has a private practice with offices in Petoskey and Cheboygan. He also serves as an adjudicator for the Disability Determination Service. Joining Dr. Marshall in the presentation is neurologist, Barbara Jahnke, MD.

On Saturday, Mr. Seward and councilperson Kenneth F. Laritz, author of Attorney's Guide to Social Security Disability Claims, will discuss federal court practice.

The gavel will pass to Chair-elect Carl A. Anderson at the State Bar Annual Meeting in Lansing. He is already busy at work and has formed three standing committees: legislative, publications, and seminars. Mr. Anderson has been active in the legislative committee to try to put some restraints on charges by providers of medical care for providing copies of medical records. Councilperson David B. Newman chairs the Seminar Committee, along with Lewis M. Seward.

Jesse Brown, the Regional Chief ALJ in Kansas City, will be speaking at the State Bar Annual Meeting in Lansing. The meeting is set for 2:00 pm on September 13, 2001. On account of many of our clients having Workers' Compensation Claims, and the interaction of those benefits with our client's Social Security benefits, a joint cocktail reception will be held with the Workers' Compensation Section that evening after our seminar. There will be no charge to attend the seminar or cocktail reception. Our thanks go out to Richard G. Wood, chair of the Workers' Compensation Section for allowing us to co-host the cocktail reception with them.

I personally thank all our members for allowing me to work with you. It has been an honor.

Edward M. Waud, Chair

     

 

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