Amos Goodall Receives Powley Award

SNA member H. Amos Goodall, Jr.,CELA, State College, Pennsylvania, has been recognized with the prestigious Powley Elder Law Award by the Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA). The Powley is given annually to a NAELA member who has fostered greater understanding of the role of elder law attorneys in advocating for the rights of seniors and individuals with special needs.

“I began practicing in 1974 as a general litigator and bankruptcy attorney but have focused on special needs and elder law since the early 1990s,” explains Goodall. “In my work, I help a great many deserving families, and that’s both rewarding and fun. Public service is my way of paying back, and it’s gratifying to be recognized for it.”

Long an activist, Goodall has most recently turned his attention to federal legislation, working with both NAELA and SNA to garner support for the Disabled Military Child Protection Act and the Special Needs Trust Fairness Act. The first, with broad support from a number of constituencies and passed in late 2014, enables military survivor benefits to be paid into a special needs trust (SNT) for the benefit of a child with disabilities. The second, introduced by Goodall’s congressional representative, Glenn Thompson, and still pending in Congress, would enable competent individuals with disabilities to establish their own first party SNTs.

Currently board chair for the Centre County Community Foundation, Goodall has provided pro bono legal services to a wide array of nonprofits unable to afford counsel. His support has spanned special needs, elder care, youth services and environmental preservation. His efforts have been recognized with the Pennsylvania Bar Association Governors Pro Bono Service Award, 1991; Center For Alternatives in Community Justice, Wilkinson Community Service Award, 2003; and Clearwater Conservancy, Community Conservation Commendation, 2012.

He has also taught estate planning, special needs and elder law for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and has conducted seminars for social workers and retirement community administrators. Goodall is a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) through the National Elder Law Foundation and has been named a Fellow by both NAELA and the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).