Mark A. Sjoberg

Mark A. Sjoberg

Managing Partner since July 1, 1989
Location:
Warwick, Rhode Island
Phone:
(401) 737-9696
Fax:
(401) 737-9119
Email:

Despite Rhode Island's lack of a process for certification of specialization, Mr. Sjoberg has developed a reputation for expertise in the area of estate planning and administration, probate practice and procedure, and estate and trust litigation. By practical necessity, his practice is concentrated on this area of the law with special emphasis on protection of the elderly and disabled, fiduciary negligence and claims on bonds, and litigating complex estate issues.

Mr. Sjoberg is on the qualified lists of the probate, family and superior courts for appointment as independent fiduciary, master, custodian and/or guardian ad litem for those with legal disabilities. He investigates cases of self-neglect, exploitation and financial and physical abuse of the elderly and disabled and has initiated and prosecuted protective proceedings on their behalf at the instigation of families and State protective services. He has prosecuted actions to remove fiduciaries, has recovered embezzled and converted assets and prosecuted claims on fiduciary bonds.

Mr. Sjoberg is actively engaged in disability and medical assistance planning and other aspects of Elder Law. He has represented institutionalized and community spouses in fair hearing before the R.i. Department of Human Services. He has been commissioned in the family court to establish court-created disability trusts for asset protection of divorce litigants who are disabled and under age 65.

He has lectured extensively on estate, trust, probate and planning matters through the National Business Institute, Lorman Education Services, R.I. Association for Justice (formerly R.I, Trial Lawyers Association), R.I. Bar Association Annual Meeting and Continuing Legal Education Committees, and League of City and Town Clerks. His goal is to raise the level of competence of the bar in a rapidly evolving area of practice. He is particularly concerned and offended with publicized cases of misappropriation and fraud resulting in attorney discipline that tarnishes, by association, the reputation and integrity of competent practitioners. He has accepted appointments in the probate and superior courts to conduct forensic audits of such cases and to present findings, through the court, to the Rhode Island Disciplinary Counsel and the Supreme Court.

Anxiety and misinformation are the main obstacles in the public's understanding of the services available from the estate, trust and elder law bar. To remove the mystery and fear in the public, especially among the elderly and disabled, and to improve the public perception of attorneys, Mr. Sjoberg has regularly presented seminars and participated on panel discussions through the sponsorship of the Ask a Lawyer Program, Volunteer Lawyer Program, Council of Churches, Citizens Law School, as well as local church groups, other charitable organizations and nursing and assisted living facilities.

Areas of Practice

  • Estate Administration
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Litigation
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution Services
  • Litigation Services
  • Planning Services
  • Independent Fiduciary Services
  • Forensic Audits and Investigation Services

Litigation Percentage

  • 75% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Rhode Island, 1980
  • U.S. District Court District of Rhode Island, 1981

Education

  • Suffolk University Law School, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Juris Doctor - June, 1980
  • Suffolk University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Boston, Massachusetts
    • Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude - June, 1978
    • Major: History
    • Minor: Accounting

Published Works

  • "Administration of the Estate in Rhode Island", N.B.I., 1989
  • "Rhode Island Probate: Beyond the Basics", N.B.I., 1990
  • "Rhode Island Probate: Beyond the Basics", N.B.I., 1993
  • "Basic Drafting of Wills and Trusts in Rhode Island", N.B.I., 1991
  • "Basic Drafting of Wills and Trusts in Rhode Island", N.B.I., 2007
  • "Estate Planning & Probate in Rhode Island", N.B.I., 1992
  • "A Practical Guide to Estate Administration in Rhode Island", N.B.I., 1993
  • "A Practical Guide to Estate Administration in Rhode Island", N.B.I., 1995
  • "A Practical Guide to Estate Administration in Rhode Island", N.B.I., 2000
  • "Probate Beyond the Basics", N.B.I., 1993
  • "Guardianships, Conservatorships & the Alternative in Rhode Island", N.B.I., 1994
  • "Taking Control of the Planning Process", N.B.I., 1995
  • "A Practical Guide to Estate Administration", N.B.I., 1995
  • "A Practical Guide to Estate Administration", N.B.I., 2002
  • "Rhode Island Elder Law", N.B.I., 1996
  • "Advanced Estate Planning", N.B.I., 1996
  • "Advanced Estate Planning", N.B.I., 1998
  • "Basic Probate Procedures and Practices in Rhode Island", N.B.I., 1997
  • "Basic Probate Procedures and Practices in Rhode Island", N.B.I., 1999
  • "Advanced Estate Planning Techniques in Rhode Island", N.B.I., 1997
  • "Effective Estate Planning", N.B.I., 1998
  • "Effective Estate Planning", N.B.I., 2002
  • "Probate Process from Start to Finish", N.B.I., 2000
  • "Probate Process from Start to Finish", N.B.I., 2001
  • "Probate Process from Start to Finish", N.B.I., 2003
  • "Probate Process from Start to Finish", N.B.I., 2004
  • "Probate Process from Start to Finish", N.B.I., 2007
  • "Key Issues When Working with Elderly or Disabled Client", N.B.I., 2004

References

  • Hon. Jeremiah S. Jeremiah, Jr., Chief Judge, Family Court
  • Hon. Marvin Homonoff, Probate Judge, Barrington Probate Court and President of Probate - Judges Conference
  • Hon. Bruce D. Sawyer, Probate Judge, Central Falls Probate Court
  • Hon. Paula Cuculo, Probate Judge, North Providence Probate Court
  • Hon. Cristine McBurney, Probate Judge, Pawtucket Probate Court
  • Hon. John E. Martinelli, Probate Judge, Providence Probate Court
  • Hon. Stephen Isherwood, Probate Judge, Warwick Probate Court
  • Hon. Michael Ursillo, Probate Judge, West Greenwich Probate Court
  • Kathleen Heren, Alliance for Better Long Term Care
  • Representative Peter Lewiss, R.I. General Assembly, Chairman of Probate Commission

Classes/Seminars

  • Adjunct Faculty, "Wills, Trusts and Estates", Roger Williams Law School, 2001 - Present
  • Lecturer, "Basic Probate Practice & Procedure", R.I. Bar Association Annual Meeting, 1995
  • Lecturer, "Report on Current Developments in Probate Practice", R.I. Bar Association Annual Meeting, Annually, 1996 - Present
  • Lecturer, "Presentation of Omnibus Probate Reform Act", Conference of R.I. Probate Judges & Clerks, 1996
  • Lecturer, "Litigation Issues in Probate", R.I. Bar Association Annual Meeting, 1997
  • Lecturer, "Estate and Trust Practice", R.I. Bar Association Clerkship Program
  • Lecturer, "War Over Joint Bank Accounts", R.I. Bar Association Annual Meeting, 1998
  • Lecturer, "Jurisdictional Battle: Superior Court v. Probate Court", R.I. Bar Association Annual Meeting, 1998
  • Lecturer, "Medical Assistance Forum", R.I. Bar Association Annual Meeting, 1999
  • Lecturer, "Discovery in Probate Proceedings", CLE Program to R.I. Bar Association Membership, 1999
  • Lecturer, Planned Giving Council of Rhode Island, 2001
  • Lecturer, "Innovations in Guardianship Practice & Procedure", Alliance for Better Long Term Care, 2001
  • Lecturer, "Mental Capacity: Proving Your Case", CLE Program to R.I. Bar Association Membership, 2001
  • Lecturer, "Family Limited Partnerships", CLE, Program to R.I. Bar Association Membership, 2002
  • Lecturer, "Conference on Aging", R.I. Department of Elderly Affairs, 2002
  • Lecturer, "Probate Law for Real Estate Professionals", CATIC, 2002
  • Lecturer, "Probate Law for Real Estate Professionals", CATIC, 2003
  • Lecturer, "Probate Practice and Procedure", R.I. City & Town Clerks Association, 2005
  • Lecturer, "Probate Practice and Procedure", R.I. City & Town Clerks Association, 2006
  • Lecturer, "Guardianships for Adults", CLE Program to R.I. Bar Association Membership, 2005
  • Lecturer, "Issues in Contested Guardianship Cases", CLE Program to R.I. Bar Association Membership, 2007
  • Lecturer, "The Role of the Physician and Attorney in Guardianship Process", 2007
  • Lecturer, "Probate Court and Appeal Practice: Traps for the Unwary", CLE Program to R.I. Bar Association Membership, 2007
  • Lecturer, "Accounting for Estates and Trusts", Lorman Seminar, 2008
  • Lecturer, "Resolving Estate, Will and Trust Contents", NBI Seminar, 2009

Honors and Awards

  • Rated "AV" by Martindale-Hubbell
  • 1st Recipient of State Ombudsman's Justice Award, 2002
  • State Ombudsman's Justice Awards presented in his name annually since, 2002
  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • Top Lawyers - Estate Planning, Rhode Island Monthly Magazine, 2003
  • Top Lawyers - Estate & Trust Litigation, Rhode Island Monthly Magazine, 2007
  • New England Super Lawyers - Rhode Island - Trust & Estate Litigation, 2007

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Rhode Island Bar Association, Delegate, House of Delegates, 1994 - 1995
  • Rhode Island Bar Association, Delegate, House of Delegates, 1998 - 2002
  • Rhode Island Bar Association, Member, Probate and Trust Committee, 1982 - Present
  • Rhode Island Bar Association, Member, Annual Meeting Committee, 1994 - 2004
  • Rhode Island Bar Association, Member, Continuing Legal Education Committee, 1995 - 2003
  • Rhode Island Bar Association, Chair, Continuing Legal Education Committee, 1999 - 2003
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Fellow, 2000 - Present
  • American Bar Association, Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law, Member, 1982 - Present
  • Rhode Island Association for Justice (formerly R.I. Trial Lawyers Association), Member, 1987 - Present
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Member
  • R.I. General Assembly, House Commission to Study the Modernization of Probate Laws, R.I. Gen. Laws, Commissioner, 1996 - 2000
  • R.I. General Assembly, Legislative Commission to Study the Feasibility of Modernizing Probate Law and Procedure, R.I. Gen. Laws, Commissioner, Secretary, 2000 - Present

Past Employment Positions

  • Rhode Island Secretary of State, Chief Legal Counsel, 1993 - 1994
  • Lovett Schefrin Gallogly & Harnett, Ltd., Associate, October 31, 1980 - June 30, 1989
  • Roger Williams University School of Law, Adjunct Faculty (Wills, Trusts & Estates), 2001 - Present