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We help our clients preserve their assets, lifestyle, public benefits and peace of mind.

Awards & Affiliations

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Legal Team PDF Print E-mail

Our attorneys:

John “Jay” F. Kearns III
Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)

Jay Kearns (CELA) West Hartford CTJay holds the distinction of being Connecticut’s first attorney to be board certified as an elder law specialist by the National Elder Law Foundation under accreditation by the American Bar Association.

An inductee of The Phi Beta Kappa Society, the nation’s oldest and most widely known academic honor society, Jay earned a B.A. in History at Fordham University and his J.D. from the Syracuse University College of Law.

His commitment to public service extends well beyond his private practice. Jay has served on the Board of Directors of several organizations, including: the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), an association of 4,000 elder law attorneys (1995-2001); The National Elder Law Foundation, an organization which examines and qualifies certified elder law attorneys (1996-2002); HARC, a multi- service organization in Greater Hartford that serves people with intellectual disabilities and their families through support, education and advocacy (2004-2007), and the Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association (2006-2011). Jay has also served on the Advisory Board of General Electric Center for Financial Learning (1999-2005).

Additionally, Jay is a founding member and past president (2005-2006) of the Special Needs Alliance, a national network of disability lawyers, and a past president of the Northern Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association (1997).

In 1999, Jay was inducted as a Fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, acknowledging his “exceptional contributions to meeting the needs of older Americans,” as well as being “recognized by peers as a model for others, and an exceptional lawyer and leader.” Only 76 attorneys have received this national honor since 1989; Jay is 1 of 2 Connecticut attorneys selected as Fellows of the Academy.

In 2007, Jay was named a Connecticut Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers magazine in cooperation with Connecticut magazine. Super Lawyers magazine names the top 5% of attorneys in each state, based on scores from their peers and through independent research.

In 2011, Jay was recognized among Greater Hartford’s Top Attorneys – “the most effective and competent attorneys in our region” – by Hartford Magazine in the category of Elder Law, based on his having achieved the highest level of Peer Review Rating available.

Also in 2011, Jay was appointed to Connecticut’s independent Division of Autism Spectrum Services Advisory Council (DASSAC) by the Commissioner of the Department of Developmental Services (DDS). The purpose of the DASSAC is to make recommendations on how Connecticut can best anticipate and provide the array of necessary developmental, educational, mental health, housing and employment support services to all its current and future residents with an autism spectrum disorder. The Council also submits reports to the Commissioner, Governor and General Assembly with regard to legislative and funding requirements for these services. Additionally, Jay serves on the Council’s Bylaws/Governance Committee.

Jay has authored and coauthored several articles that have been published in Connecticut Lawyer, the magazine of the Connecticut Bar Association, including “Protecting the Money of Your Client with Disabilities” (October 2011), “Why Trial Lawyers Should Use §468B Settlement Funds” (November 2008), and “Preserving Your Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Settlement After Saunders” (March 2000). Jay has been quoted in Modern Maturity, Business Week, Money and Kiplinger, and has appeared on CNNfn, NBC, CNN Radio, and The Wall Street Journal Radio Network for his insight into long-term care issues.

 


 

Rebecca A. Hajosy

Rebecca’s ability to provide sound legal counsel comes from her variety and depth of experience: as an attorney, educator and author.

After graduating with multiple honors and a B.A. in Psychology from Southwest Texas State University, Rebecca earned her J.D. from the University of Denver.

A member of the State Bar Associations of both Connecticut and Utah, Rebecca concentrates her practice on all aspects of Elder Law, Disability/Special Needs Law and Estate Planning. She is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association’s Estates and Probates Section and serves on the Executive Committee of the Elder Law Section. In 2011, Rebecca was Chair of the By-Laws Committee. She has been an Accredited Veterans Claims Attorney since 2009.

Prior to joining Kearns & Kearns, Rebecca served for several years as an attorney with Elder Law and general practice firms in the area. Before coming to Connecticut, she gained general counsel and legal research experience in Michigan and as far away as Grenada, West Indies, under the supervision of the President of the Grenada Bar Association.

Since 2009 and in her “spare time,” Rebecca has been an Adjunct Professor at the University of Hartford in the Paralegal Studies Department, teaching Elder Law and Probate Practice. Since 2010, she has served as the University’s organizer and lead attorney for their Estate Document Clinic for Low Income Seniors conducted in collaboration with Greater Hartford Legal Aid. She is also a frequent presenter at professional seminars on the topics of Elder Law, Disability/Special Needs Law, Estate Planning, and Veterans Benefits.

Since 2010, Rebecca has sat on the Board of Directors for the Spina Bifida Association of Connecticut, serving as its Treasurer.

Among Rebecca’s numerous legal presentations and publications, she authored the chapter on Special Needs Trusts for the Connecticut Bar Association’s “A Practical Guide to Issues in Connecticut Elder Law” (November 2012).

 


 

Lisa Vozzella Courser

A graduate of Fairfield University and Western New England College of Law, Lisa is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Connecticut Bar Association’s Elder Law and Estate Planning Sections, the Greater Hartford Probate Forum, and the Greater Hartford Elder Network.

Lisa has served on the Executive Committee and as Secretary for the Alzheimer’s Coalition of Connecticut, Inc. She has also served as Director and Chair of the Communications Committee for the Northern Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.

 


 

Ben Kiniry

A graduate of Keene State College and The University of Connecticut School of Law, Ben is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Connecticut Bar Association’s Elder Law and Estate Planning Sections.

Ben has conducted research regarding taxation, Social Security, Medicaid; special needs trusts and numerous additional topics affecting our practice areas. He has also protected our clients’ rights in conservatorship, commitment, probate and Medicaid hearings.

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Kearns & Kearns
1121 New Britain Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06110
Phone: 860.233.1281
Fax: 860.523.5774
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