All requests for funding advocacy efforts regarding regulatory matters are reviewed by NAELA’s Public Policy Steering Committee. Following review, a recommendation is made to the NAELA Foundation Board of Trustees for consideration. During review, either the NAELA Public Policy Steering Committee or the NAELA Foundation Board of Trustees may request additional information or clarification as needed. All requests for funding advocacy efforts regarding litigation are reviewed by NAELA’s Litigation Committee. Following review, a recommendation is made to the NAELA Foundation Board of Trustees for consideration.
When reviewing requests for Foundation grants for litigation or regulatory advocacy, the Board of Trustees will consider, in addition to the resources available, the following criteria:
- Concerns issues of national significance or can serve as precedent in many states, as opposed to matters turning on particular fact patterns or which only affect one state.
- Involves important issues of access to the courts, such as abstention or the availability of relief under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (whether in state or federal court).
- Has potential to favorably reform the law or regulation in an area affecting the elderly and people with special needs and to impact on their legal rights in a significant way.
- Integrates closely with NAELA’s larger public policy priorities and current legislative and regulatory activities.
- Affects the Elder Law Bar, as well as Elder Law and Special Needs clients.
- A NAELA Chapter or allied organization will be involved in the matter.
- The individuals or entities seeking the grant have the necessary qualifications to pursue the matter to a successful conclusion.
A grant cannot exceed more than 50% of the current litigation or regulatory advocacy funds available.
The grant may be used for attorney fees and costs, including attorney hourly work; out-of-pocket expenses; travel expenses to meetings with agency lawyers or agents; discovery (couriers, copies, cataloguing, public records requests, subpoenas, request for production and admissions, interrogatories); preparation of correspondence and pleadings (letters, fair hearing motions, rule challenges and memorandums of law); research (state and national fair hearing and case law precedent); expert witness fees both pre-suit and post-suit including fee for service, fee for participating in discovery, and fee for testifying at hearings; and post-judgment work including agency enforcement, collection and appeals. Before funds are released, a draft budget or actual expenses must be provided to the Foundation in order to show how the grant will be spent.