Local Legal News 
Supreme Court Appoints Chaffee 10/24/14  10/24/14 9:52:59 AM Printer Friendly VersionPrinter Friendly Version

Supreme Court Appoints Chaffee as Director
Of Newly Created Office of Public Guardian

The Nebraska Supreme Court has appointed Nebraska attorney Michelle J. Chaffee as the director of the Office of Public Guardian.
Chaffee has been serving as legal counsel for the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee. In addition to working in state government, her professional career has also included private legal practice, working in non-profits and ten years’ experience in higher education administration.   Chaffee will be responsible for building the new statewide office and assisting in the establishment of guardian and conservator services throughout Nebraska in both urban and rural courts.
"Michelle’s skills in research, policy development, administration in higher education, and knowledge of issues involving social services have prepared her for recognizing the need for guardians and conservators within the Nebraska court system as well as the challenge of building a network of new services across the state.  I'm very pleased that she is joining us in this new venture," said State Court Administrator Corey Steel.
Chaffee remarked she is eager to continue her work in designing and implementing policies and programs to serve the most vulnerable citizens of Nebraska. “Throughout my career I have been fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with a wide array of professionals including state, local and county officials, the judiciary, county attorneys, private attorneys, provider networks, caregivers, social service advocates as well as individuals who provide care and support to children, juveniles, individuals with disabilities and the elderly.”
Chaffee graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1995 and is expected to begin her position in December 2014.
Nebraska’s Office of Public Guardian is under the administration of Nebraska State Court Administrator Corey Steel, who will directly supervise the establishment of the Office of Public Guardian.  Although Nebraska must continue to rely on volunteers to assist the elderly and others in need of guardianship, the Office will serve as a means of last resort as guardian or conservator for those situations where no family member or suitable individual is available.  Additionally, the Office of Public Guardian will provide education, training, and support to current and future guardians and conservators throughout Nebraska.
Referrals for guardianships and conservatorships will be accepted in 6-9 months, once the office has been fully staffed and administrative procedures are outlined within the rules of the Nebraska Supreme Court.
For more information regarding the Nebraska Judicial Branch, please go to www.supremecourt.nebraska.gov.

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