A family-based organization for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities

Session 3

Guardianship Through the Ages: Guardianship Reform and Decision-Making Supports

November 5                   
11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m

Watch the Recording


One of two Guardianship legislations in New York State, Article 17-A SCPA celebrated a 50th year milestone last year, since its enactment in 1969,  and it has been the subject of both support as well as criticism by families,  corporate Guardianship Programs, Judges, disability and constitutional  rights attorneys, as well as advocates, academicians and interested others. This panel presentation will review a brief history and the passage of both Guardianship Statutes, Article 17-A and Article 81 MHL, and their different approaches to supporting individuals with their decision making. 

Efforts to reform Article 17-A will also be addressed as well as other strategic visioning for alternative decision-making options in a full continuum of less restrictive supports and strategies that focus on the self-directed lives of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.


Paul R. Kietzman, Esq.
Counsel, Barclay Damon LLP


Lawrence R. Faulkner, Esq.
General Counsel and Director of Corporate Compliance, The Arc Westchester

Rose Mary Bailly, Esq.
Gvernment Law Center

Sheila E. Shea, Esq.
Director for Mental Hygiene Legal Services, Third Dept.

Kathryn E. Jerian, Esq.
Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel, The Arc New York



Paul R. Kietzman, Esq. graduated from Syracuse University in 1967, served in the US Navy on the USS Hugh Purvis in Vietnam from 1967 to 1969, and graduated from Albany Law School in 1972.  Thereafter, he became an associate and later partner in the Albany law firm of Rosenblum, Leventhal and  Kietzman. Mr. Kietzman’s career in public service began in 1978 when he became Deputy Counsel for Medicaid Cost Containment Litigation for the NYS Department of Social Services. In addition to federal and state litigation, he was responsible for the state’s  Title XIX (Medicaid) State Plan. In 1981, Mr. Kietzman was appointed the first General Counsel to the NYS Office of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities and participated in several trials that shaped the final entitlements of the Willowbrook class and all New Yorkers needing development services thereafter. He wrote portions of the Mental Hygiene Law, including Article 16, thereof, which describe the agency’s authority over providers of services and the safety of those supported and served in our facilities.  He has served three Governors and five OMRDD Commissioners in that position.  In January of 2007, Mr. Kietzman retired from State service and joined NYSARC, Inc., the largest private provider of services to persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in New York and the original plaintiff in the Willowbrook litigation.

Lawrence Faulkner, Esq. retired as the General Counsel and Director of Corporate Compliance at The Arc Westchester. In addition to acting as General Counsel, he provided legal and legislative advocacy for the agency and the families and individuals it serves, coordinated special efforts concerning emerging issues and provided training to agency staff.  Mr. Faulkner has provided educational programs for families and attorneys in such areas as health care decision-making, guardianship, supported decision making and end of life health care decision making.  He is the past chair of the New York State Bar Association Health Law Section and is currently the Co-Chair of the section’s Committee on Ethical Issues in the Provision of Health Care.  He is also a member of the Committee on Disability Rights.  Mr. Faulkner was instrumental in the drafting and passage of the New York Health Care Decisions Act for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities which gives the guardians of individuals with developmental disabilities the authority to make health care decisions, and guardians and family members the authority to make health care decisions concerned with end of life care.  Mr. Faulkner has been actively involved for more than 20 years in efforts to reform guardianship in New York State.  Along with Hunter College and the New York Alliance for Inclusion and Innovation, The Arc Westchester piloted a project on supported decision-making.  Mr. Faulkner has a BS from Cornell University and a MS and JD from the State University of New York at Buffalo.  Before coming to The Arc Westchester, he served as Deputy General Counsel at the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and prior to that served as Director of Legal Services for the Elderly (now Elder Law and Justice Center) in Buffalo, NY.

Rose Mary Bailly, Esq. oversees the Aging and Disabilities Law Program Government Law Center of Albany Law School.  She is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Albany Law School.  She is the co-author of Financial Exploitation of the Elderly (Civic research Institute 2007) and author of Thomson West’s Practice Commentaries for several New York statutes and articles on guardianship law and elder abuse.  Ms. Bailly is a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, and a Fellow of the Brookdale Center on Aging of Hunter College.  A graduate of Fordham University School of Law, she served as a Commentary Editor for the Fordham Law Review.

Sheila E. Shea, Esq. is a graduate of the University of Vermont and the Albany Law School of Union University. She joined the Mental Hygiene Legal Service, Third Judicial Department in 1987 and in 2007 was appointed as its director. She is the recipient of the 2013 Hodgson/Jacobs Law Award presented by NYSARC, Inc. for demonstrating outstanding commitment and dedication to improving the lives of people who have intellectual and other developmental disabilities and the 2014 Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York Public Service Award. Sheila Shea is admitted to practice law in the State of New York.

Kathryn E. Jerian, Esq. is the Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel for The Arc New York.  She practices law in the areas of disability, guardianship, and non-profit corporations.  Prior to her work at The Arc New York, Ms. Jerian worked for a number of years litigating toxic tort matters on behalf of injured children.  She has worked extensively in the area of advising The Arc New York and its Chapters on a variety of legal matters involving 17-A guardianships, including counseling on a regular basis regarding the application of the law to matters of end-of-life decision-making for individuals with developmental disabilities, as well as other general matters.  She is a member of the New York State Bar Association. Ms. Jerian earned her J.D. in 2007 from Albany Law School, magna cum laude, and her B.A., summa cum laude, in 2000 from the University at Albany.  She was the 2006 recipient of the Judge Bernard S. Meyer Scholarship.  She is admitted to practice in all New York State Courts and the United States District Court for the Northern District of New York.