On Thursday, February 4, 2014, I, along with amicus counsel, argued before the New Jersey Supreme Court on behalf of Thomas Saccone, a retired Newark fireman with a disabled adult child named Anthony. Anthony, now 40 years old, has received public benefits based on need, specifically SSI and Medicaid benefits, since he was age 18. Tom filed a lawsuit against his pension provider, the Police & Firemen’s Retirement System (PFRS), after PFRS refused to pay Anthony’s survivor’s death benefit to a special needs trust so he could maintain his eligibility for public benefits. Tom, who is devoted to his son, continually appealed the repeated denials he received from the pension board and the courts. The Supreme Court will now decide whether public employees should be allowed to direct their pensions’ death benefits to special needs trusts for their disabled children.

Saccone TeamThis is the entire Team Saccone: From left to right, Ron Landsman, attorney from Maryland, amicus counsel for the Special Needs Alliance; Don Vanarelli and Whitney Bremer, counsel for appellant Thomas Saccone; and Dan Jurkovic and Bob Brogan, amicus counsel for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) and the Guardianship Association of New Jersey, Inc. Missing is John Callanan, amicus counsel for the New Jersey Chapter of NAELA. Great argument, gentlemen. Thanks for all your hard work.

Thomas Saccone's counsel

 

Whitney Bremer and Don Vanarelli, counsel for Thomas Saccone. Wonderful work Whitney. Thank you for your commitment and effort in the years we worked on this case.    Saccone Counsel and Amicus Counsel

 

 

 

Don Vanarelli, second from left, along with amicus counsel Ron Landsman, Bob Brogan and Dan Jurkovic.

 

 

 

 

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Saccone CounselVanarelli

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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