Dementia: Diminished Capacity vs. Lack of Capacity – Which Is It?

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SPEAKERS – Paula A. Jacobus, M.D., M.P.H, and Helen Stauffer Esq.

Rule 1.14 of the Rules of Professional Conduct guides lawyers representing a client with diminished capacity.  But, if a client suffers from dementia, how do you know whether the client has sufficient capacity to proceed with the representation?

Dr. Paula A. Jacobus will provide an overview of the various types of dementia, the tests used to diagnose dementia, the criteria used by doctors to determine capacity, and why the client’s primary care physician may not be in the best position to determine capacity.

Attorney Stauffer will join Dr. Jacobus to discuss these concerns: How do lawyers determine whether a client has the capacity to make a will, or enter into a contract for the sale of a home? What steps can lawyers take to make this determination? Is it sufficient that the client appears oriented times 3 and knows the name of the President of the United States? What do doctors want lawyers to know about dementia? The criteria used by doctors will be compared to the criteria used by lawyers to determine capacity to make a will versus entering into a contract to sell a home. 

CLE Credit Hours:

  • Ethics: 1

Fee List:

$ 25 – NCBA Members admitted to practice before 11/1/14 & all BALC Members

$ 20 – NCBA Members admitted to practice after 11/1/14

$ 40 –All Other Attorneys


Registration is required and may be completed online at the Northampton County Bar Association Website:

Materials, Online CLE Attendance Form and login information will be emailed to you the morning of the program.