Robert has been practicing law in Arizona for 44 years with a focus on planning for families with members who are significantly impaired.
Robert grew up in San Diego. He received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola Marymount University of Los Angeles (Summa Cum Laude). After college, Robert entered Vista Volunteers of America where he served as a legal assistant in a legal aid office in Waterloo, Iowa. Robert then attended Georgetown University Law Center, receiving his juris doctor in 1974.
Robert and his wife moved to Phoenix in 1974 and Robert received his license to practice law in Arizona in 1975. His first employment was with the Arc-Arizona (an organization for persons with developmental disabilities) where he was the legal services director of a project for persons with developmental disabilities. Then, from 1978 to the present, Robert has been in private practice focused on assisting families with members who are substantially impaired – issues covering estate planning, special needs trusts, guardianship, conservatorship, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Arizona Long Term Care System, Arizona Department of Economic Security – Division of Developmental Disabilities.
Robert also enjoys working with small businesses and non-profit corporations.
Robert currently serves as treasurer and director of 3LPlace, Inc., a non-profit corporation serving adults with developmental disabilities. He is a past director of the Arc-US and past president of the Arc-Az. He has consulted at no charge with many non-profit organizations serving persons with significant impairments. Robert was the attorney in a landmark Arizona case which established the rights of residents of the Arizona Training Program at Coolidge to live, be cared for, and receive habilitation services in an appropriate, safe and least restrictive environment.
Robert is a former pro-tempore judge for the Superior Court of Arizona, County of Maricopa serving as a judge in mental health hearings.
Robert served as a board member of a Kansas bank for 18 years.
Robert and his spouse, Laurie Gibson, have two adult children: Thomas who has Down Syndrome and lives with his parents; and Anne who is a physician.
Professional Associations & Memberships
- State Bar of Arizona, Probate and Trust Section and Mental Health Section
Presentations and Publications
Regular speaker and writer in the area of special needs trust planning, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income and the Arizona Long Term Care System.Recent presentations to 1) Arizona Chapter National Academy of Elder Law (topic: First Party and Third Party Special Needs Trusts); 2) Arc-Az Conference and Raising Special Kids (Topic: Functional and Medical Eligibility for Arizona Long Term Care System).
Professional Recognitions & Awards
- A-V Rated Martindale Hubbell (highest rating)
- J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., 1974
- B.A., Loyola Marymount University of Los Angeles, 1970
- United States District Court, District of Arizona