There's been an enlightening e-discussion going on over the last couple of days among Michigan probate and elder law lawyers from throughout the state about guns, prompted by a story from Forbes, "Should Your Aging Parents Still Have A Gun In Their Home?" The discussion offers a good illustration of the kind of things that lawyers must grapple with in the real world but that never get talked about in law school and aren't covered on the bar exam. In this case, guns. For example:
- whether there are special rules for dealing with guns that are part of an estate
- how to transfer gun ownership
- a family's obligations/limitations with respect to gun ownership
- gun ownership and dementia
- standing of a party to petition the court for an order to remove guns from someone
- how to handle the issue of gun ownership in the context of a protective proceeding
Michigan has a remarkable community of probate and elder law lawyers. The discussion on this topic has been passionate, compassionate, informed, and intense. One story offered, for example, was about an gentlemen who was persuaded to give up his revolver for reasons of self-protection. Years later he committed suicide by falling on a ceremonial sword. The point is this. Anyone who thinks being a good lawyer is just about knowing the law and applying it to the facts doesn't understand what the practice of law is really about.