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Valerie A Powers Smith

Valerie A Powers Smith

also known as Valerie Powers, vaps

Practice areas:

Health Insurance, Estate Planning, Trusts, Guardianship, Probate

About Me

Valerie A. Powers Smith is Of Counsel to Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney, LLP (SBEMP) with offices in Palm Springs, San Diego, and Orange County, CA; and Princeton, NJ.  SBEMP is a full-service civil law firm handling both transactional and litigation matters.


Valerie A. Powers Smith has over eighteen years of experience in the field of special needs and disability law including the following highly specialized practice areas: health care insurance, short-term and long-term disability insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, special needs trusts, trust administration, estate planning & administration, guardianships, and accessing federal and state government disability-based benefits.

Over the years, Valerie has concentrated her legal work in the area of health care law and has vigorously advocated for families and people with disabilities to gain medically necessary care from private insurance companies, Medicaid, Medicare, and other health insurance providers.


She has additionally focused her practice in the areas of special needs trusts and estate planning and routinely advise families, executors, and corporate trustees on the area of special needs law and the administration of the same.

Valerie has written extensively on a variety of disability law topics, has co-authored several publications on accessing adult services, Medicaid, and health insurance; and is a regular contributor to several newsletters of disability-based advocacy organizations throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She has also lectured for disability-related groups throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and D.C since 1997.

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Photos and Videos

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Practice Areas

Licensed since 1998

  1. Probate: 20%
    18 years
  2. Guardianship: 20%
    18 years
  3. Trusts: 20%
    18 years
  4. Estate Planning: 20%
    18 years
  5. Health Insurance: 20%

Payment

Fees:

Hourly ($395/hour)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

6 total 

  • Katelyn Kathleen Empey

    Valerie is an incredibly talented, hardworking and dedicated attorney, whose experience and outcomes speak for themselves. I am extremely honored to work with and learn from her. She is a mentor both in her personal and professional life, and I recommend her without hesitation. No one better to serve your estate planning needs.

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    Katelyn Empey Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

  • Ioana Emanuela Tala

    Valerie is an exceptional attorney. She is smart, hard working, and a dedicated and committed advocate for her clients. I consider Valerie to be my mentor, and cannot speak highly enough of her knowledge, expertise, and work ethic.

    More 

    Ioana Tala Litigation Attorney
    Relationship: Co-worker

Contact Info

Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney, LLP

1800 E Tahquitz Canyon Way
Palm Springs, CA, 92262

Slovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney, LLP

103 Carnegie Center Blvd.
Suite 300
Princeton, NJ, 08540

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Resume

License
StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
CAActive201105/25/2015
NYCurrently registered 201103/13/2015
NJActive199805/29/2015
PAActive199805/31/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Awards
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
CA State Assembly Certificate of RecognitionCalifornia State Legislature, Chad Mayes, 42nd Assembly District2015
CA State Assembly Certificate of RecognitionCalifornia State Legislature, Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, 56th Assembly District2015
President's CouncilEaster Seals of SE PA2015
Certificate of Congressional RecognitionU.S. House of Representatives, Rep. Raul Ruiz, M.D.2015
Certificate of RecognitionCity of Indio, Mayor Lupe Ramos Watson2015
Certificate of RecognitionCity of Palm Desert2015
Certificate of RecognitionCathedral City, Mayor Stanley Henry2015
Certificate of RecognitionCounty of Riverside, John J. Benoit, 4th District Supervisor2015
U.S. Senate Certificate of RecognitionState of California, Senate, Sen. Jeff Stone2015
Certificate of RecognitionCity of La Quinta, Mayor Linda Evans2015
Class Speaker, Class of 2015Leadership Coachella Valley2015
Top LawyerPalm Springs Life Magazine2015
Certificate of Appreciation - Lecturer, "Creditor's Claims"LSI2014
President's CouncilEaster Seals of SE PA2014
Certificate of AppreciationLegal Secretaries, Inc.2014
Appreciation for Service -Medical Assistance Advisory CouncilState of New Jersey2014
Certificate of Appreciation - Mentor ProgramWomen's Leadership Forum2014
Top LawyerPalm Springs Life2014
Appreciation for Fundraising - Powers Smith FoundationDesert AIDS Project2013
Woman LeaderCV Weekly2013
President's CouncilEaster Seals of SE PA2013
Appreciation for Fundraising - Powers Smith FoundationDesert Arc2012
President's CouncilEaster Seals of SE PA2012
Certificate of Appreciation - Assisting 911 VictimsNew Jersey State Bar Association2011
President's CouncilEaster Seals of SE PA2011
Appreciation for Fundraising - Powers Smith FoundationDesert Arc2011
President's CouncilEaster Seals of SE PA2010
Appreciation for Generous SupportDFDD2010
Dean's ListWidener University School of Law1997
Dean's ListWidener University School of Law1996
Dean's ListWidener University School of Law1995
Dean's ListRider University1994
Homecoming CourtRider University1994
President's Award NomineeRider University1994
Baccalaureate HonorsRider University1994
Dean's ListRider University1993
Dean's ListRider University1992
Dean's ListRider University1991

Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
Of CounselSlovak Baron Empey Murphy & Pinkney, LLP2010 - Present
Senior AssociateHinkle, Fingles & Prior2004 - 2010
Managing AttorneyNew Jersey Protection & Advocacy, Inc.1998 - 2004
In-house CounselMetlife & The New England Co.1997 - 1998
Certified Legal InternWidener University School Of Law Clinic1996 - 1997
Law ClerkPhiladelphia Court of Common Pleas1996 - 1996
Research AssistantWidener University School Of Law1995 - 1997
In-house counsel internGrand View Hospital1995 - 1995
Summer intern (in connection with GVH)Grim, Biehn, Thatcher & Helf1995 - 1995
Political Science InternNew Jersey Common Cause1993 - 1993

Associations
Association NamePosition NameDuration
Leadership Coachella ValleyBoard of Directors2015 - Present
Desert AIDS ProjectSteering/Advisory Committee2015 - Present
Variety of the DesertExecutive Committee Member2015 - Present
Variety of the DesertBoard of Directors2015 - Present
National Academy of Elder Law AttorneysChair, Litigation Committee2015 - Present
College of the Desert - Planned Giving CouncilAdvisory Board Member2014 - Present
Desert ARCChair, Fund Development Committee2014 - Present
Leadership Coachella ValleyClass of 20152014 - Present
Easter Seals of SE PAChair, Audit Committee2013 - Present
Desert ArcBoard of Directors2013 - Present
Desert AIDS Project100 Women2013 - Present
Easter Seals of SE PennsylvaniaExecutive Committee Member2013 - Present
Women's Leadership Forum of the Coachella ValleyMember2012 - Present
Desert Estate Planning CouncilMember2011 - Present
Desert Bar AssociationMember2011 - Present
CA State Bar AssociationMember2011 - Present
New York State Bar AssociationMember2011 - Present
National Association of Elder Law AttorneysMember & on Steering Committee2011 - Present
Warren-Slaughter-Richard Roemer Inns of CourtMember2010 - 2013
Easter Seals of SE PABoard of Directors2009 - Present
Family Autism Services Network of NJAdvisory Board2009 - 2011
NJ Turner Syndrome FoundationLegal Consultant2009 - Present
MITO ActionLegal Consultant2008 - Present
Caregiver's of NJAdvisory Board2008 - 2012
NJ SPAN's Family Voices councilAdvisory Board2008 - Present
American Bar AssociationMember1998 - Present
Pennsylvania Bar AssociationMember1998 - Present
New Jersey State Bar AssociationMember1998 - Present
NJ Medical Assistance Advisory CouncilGovernor appointed Board Member1997 - 2013

Legal Cases
Case NameOutcome
Minor Pediatric Day Care clients v. State of New JerseyVictory for all 53 clients to continue to receive their medically necessary care in the pediatric day care setting

See all Legal Cases 

Publications
Publication NameTitleDate
Valerie A. Powers Smith; NJ ICLEInterplay of NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities & Medicaid2015
Valerie A. Powers SmithCA Trust Accountings2014
Valerie A. Powers SmithEstate, Trusts, Probate & Litigation Practice2012
Valerie A. Powers SmithSupreme Court Holds the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is Constitutional: So What Does That Mean?2012
Valerie A. Powers SmithUnderstanding the Health Insurance System: What You & Special Needs Families Should Know2011
Valerie A. Powers SmithFederal Health Insurance Reform2011
Valerie A. Powers SmithThe Many Faces of New Jersey Medicaid2011
Valerie A. Powers SmithNew Jersey Medicaid Managed Care: Mandatory Enrollment2011
Valerie A. Powers SmithServices Available Under the N.J. Medicaid State Plan2011
Valerie A. Powers SmithThe New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities2011
Valerie A. Powers SmithThe New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities' Amended Community Care Waiver2011
Autism Family Services of NJSocial Security Administration Benefits Available for People with Disabilities2011
Valerie A. Powers SmithEstate Planning & Guardianship for Families with Special Needs2011
The Public RecordSpecial Needs Trusts: Special legal considerations for the family and personal injury & divorce attorneys when there is an individual with disabilities2011
Valerie A. Powers SmithCalifornia Autism Insurance Reform Law2011
Turner Syndrome FoundationA Lifetime of Advocacy: What Individuals and Families Living with Turner Syndrome Need to Know2010
Valerie A. Powers SmithFederal Health Insurance Reform: A Preliminary Overview2010
News from Autism Family Srvs. of NJSocial Security Administration Benefits Available for People with Disabilities"2010
The Arc of NJ, Healthy TimesThe New Jersey Division of Developmental Disabilities' Amended Community Care Waiver2010
Easter Seals of Southeastern PennsylvaniaEstate Planning & Guardianship for Families with Special Needs2010
Autism New JerseyHealth Care Resources: Access & Funding for Autism, An Informational Guide for Families2010
Desert Friends of the Developmentally DisabledGuardianship & Estate Planning2010
Autism Family Services of NJWhat is a "Developmental Disability" Under the Recent NJ Health Insurance Mandate for the Treatment of Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities?2010
Spina Bifida Resource NetworkGuardianship2010
Valerie A. Powers SmithFuture Planning Considerations for Families with Special Needs2010
Autism Family Services of NJAn Update on The New Jersey Insurance Reform Act2010
Valerie A. Powers SmithThe Insurance Reform Act2010
Disability & the LawTrust Administration: A Vital Consideration2009
Disability & the LawMajor Changes to the Real Life Choices Program2009
Disability & the LawExploring Benefits from the Social Security Administration for People with Disabilities2009
Family Voices of New JerseyHealth Care Advocacy Across the Lifespan: What Parents of Children with Disabilities Need to KNow2009
Healthy Times, The Arc of NJWhat Social Security Benefits are Available for People with Disabilities?2008
Disability & the LawCoverage of Autism-Related Services in Pennsylvania2008
Disability & the LawMaximize the Value of Your Special Needs Trust by Ensuring Professional Oversight2008
Healthy Times, The Arc of New JerseyHelping a Grandchild with a Disability2008
Valerie A. Powers SmithWhat Can Grandparents Do? How Proper Planning Can Help Your Grandchild with a Disability2008
COSACAdults with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Guide to Services in New Jersey2008
Valerie A. Powers SmithPlanning for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders: Legal Considerations for Siblings and Other Caregivers in Pennsylvania2008
Valerie A. Powers SmithRecent Appeal Won Against the State Health Benefits Commission2007
The Arc of New JerseyA Guide to Community-Based Services and Supports for Adults with Intellectual Disabilities2007
The Arc of NJ, Healthy TimesNew Jersey Medicaid2007
COSACAdults with Autism: The COSAC Guide to Services and Supports in New Jersey2006
The Arc of New Jersey, Healthy TimesTypes of Healthcare Coverage & Coordination of Coverage2006
Special Olympics of New JerseyUnderstanding Your Health Care Coverage Insurance & Appeal Rights: A Guide for Parents of Children with Intellectual Disabilities2005
Disability & the LawChanges in the Laws Governing Financial Liability & Institutional Liens for Persons Treated at State and County Psychiatric Facilities2005
Disability & the LawChanges in the Law for Mental Health Treatment: Who Can Authorize, Child or Parent?2005
PLAN-NJLegal Considerations in Planning for People with Special Needs: A Guide for Siblings and other Decision-Makers2005
Disability & the LawThe Role of Medicaid Funding for DDD Clients Residing at Home2005
The Arc of NJ, Healthy TimesMedicaid Home and Community-Based Services and Appeal Rights2005
Disability & the LawTermination of Life Sustaining Treatment2005
Disability & the LawChanges Involving SSI2005
Disability & the LawOverview of Health Care Issues2005
The Arc of NJ, Healthy TimesMedicaid's EPSDT Program2005
Disability & the LawReal Life Choices & The Medicaid-funded Community Care Waiver (CCW)2004
Managed Health Care Consumer Assistance ProgramTo Your Health: Your Consumer Rights in Managed Health Care2001
NJP&A's MCCAPGrievance and Appeal Rights: Medicaid Managed Care2001
NJP&A's MCCAPGrievance and Appeal Rights: Medicare Managed Care2001
NJP&A's MCCAPGrievance and Appeal Rights: Private Insurance2001
NJP&A's MCCAPOverview of Grievance and Appeal Rights2001
NJP&A's MCCAPOverview of Healthcare Issues2001
NJP&A's MCCAPMedicaid Managed Care & Due Process - 10 part series2001
NJP&A's MCCAPMedicare & Medigap Basics2001
NJP&A's MCCAPMedicare Appeal Rights2001
NJP&A's MCCAPAppeals & Complaints2001
NJP&A's MCCAPManaged Care: Overview of Grievance and Appeals Rights2000
NJ Common Cause magazineSavings & Loan1993
Autism New JerseyMedicaid and Its Important Role in Funding Services and Supports for Individuals with Autism Spectrum DisordersN/A

Education
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Widener Univ SOLLawJD - Juris Doctor1997
Rider UniversityEnglish-literature & Political ScienceBA - Bachelor of Arts1994
Pennridge High SchoolN/AH.S. diploma1990

Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
New Jersey State Bar Association, Elder and Disability Law SectionInterplay of NJ Division of Developmental Disabilities & Medicaid2015
LSI Annual ConferenceCA Trust Accountings2014
Difficult Conversations About (series)Estate Planning & Trusts2014
Desert Arc Parents' DinnerSpecial Needs Trust2014
Special Needs ConsiderationsSpecial Needs Trusts2013
Monthly radio appearanceEstate Planning2013
Estate Planning discussion with Steve KellyEstate Planning2013
Estate Planning discussion with Marshall GilbertEstate Planning2013
Estate Planning Considerations: Estate & Trusts, Tax and FinancialEstate Planning2013
Estate Planning Considerations for the Special Needs FamilyEstate Planning/Special Needs Trusts2013
Difficult Conversations About (series)Estate Planning, Trusts2013
Special Needs Trusts and Estate Planning for Special NeedsSpecial Needs Trusts/Estate Planning2012
Special Needs TrustsSpecial Needs Trusts2012
Special Needs TrustsSpecial Needs Trusts2012
Special Needs Trust and Estate PlanningSpecial Needs Trusts/Estate Planning2012
Special Considerations for the Family Law Attorney when Divorce Involves a Family Member with Special NeedsSpecial Needs Trusts2012
Navigating the Healthcare SystemHealthcare2012
Estate Planning Considerations for the Special Needs FamilyEstate Planning2012
Desert Estate Planning Council: 3/13/12Special Needs Trusts2012
Desert Arc Caregivers & Parents Luncheon: 4/11/12Special Needs Trusts2012
Caregivers and patients as informed advocates. Know your rights.Register now for my three-part telephonic series educating caregivers and patients with significant health issues and disabilities on healthcare insurance, Medicaid, SSA benefits, estate planning and special needs trusts, and guardianship.2012
Autism Mandate under New State Healthcare Insurance LawsHealthcare2012
The New Jersey Division of Developmental DisabilitiesSpecial Needs Trusts2011
Healthcare Advocacy Across the LifespanHealthcare2011
Health Care Advocacy Across the LifespanHealthcare2011
Estate Planning & Guardianship for Families with Special NeedsEstate Planning2011
Advocacy Across the Lifespan: What Caregivers Needs to KnowEstate Planning2011
A Lifetime of Advocacy: What Individuals and Families Living with Turner Syndrome Need to KnowTurner Syndrome2011
Robert Wood Johnson Health Care Lecture 21-part seriesSpecial Needs Trusts2010
NJ Healthcare Insurance Autism MandateHealthcare2010
National Caregivers Annual ConferenceHealthcare2010
Health Care Advocacy, 2-part lecture seriesHealthcare2010
Future Planning: Trust and Estate PlanningEstate Planning2010
Autism New Jersey Annual ConferenceEstate Planning2010
A Lifetime of Advocacy: What Individuals and Families Living with Turner Syndrome Need to KnowTurner Syndrome2010