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AARP Foundation Legal Advocacy

AARP Foundation conducts legal advocacy through its litigating arm, AARP Foundation Litigation (AFL).  AFL advocates for systemic change in federal and state courts nationwide to advance the legal rights and interests of people 50 and older, particularly low-income and vulnerable individuals.  Through representation in significant cases and participation as amicus curiae (“friend of the court”), AFL takes on harmful, widespread practices or policies of industry, business, or government. AFL helps older people stay connected to their communities by tearing down barriers and establishing pathways to economic opportunity and social stability.

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Current Priorities

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ECONOMIC  OPPORTUNITY - AARP Foundation attorneys litigate on behalf of older adults to secure opportunities to generate income and to protect their assets. 

Earning - Create opportunities to earn a living

AFL defends the rights of older adults in cases involving hiring, promoting, and terminating in the workplace.

Saving - Protect savings and assets

AFL protects savers, investors, and consumers through legal advocacy concerning employee health and welfare benefits; pension benefits; and fraudulent, predatory, and discriminatory commercial practices (financial exploitation).


SOCIAL CONNECTEDNESS - AARP Foundation attorneys litigate to keep older adults connected with their loved ones, safe in their homes, and engaged in their communities.

Connecting - Promote elder justice

AFL combats the causes and consequences of social isolation, including protecting older adults from physical and emotional abuse, neglect, and exploitation. 

Housing - Improve the ability to age in place

AFL expands access to affordable, accessible, and healthy housing.

Other impactful efforts on behalf of vulnerable older adults

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Supreme Court Preview cover

How Might a Supreme Court Decision Affect You?

AARP Foundation Litigation discusses cases before the Court during the upcoming term in the Preview, highlighting those of significance for many people age 50 and older. The "What's at Stake," section in each case explains its specific impact.

Map 2018 AFL Amicus and Litigation Cases

On the Docket: Active in the Courts for You

Explore recent cases (in reverse chronological order of activity) in which AARP Foundation attorneys have filed, or that have been decided by the court.

Active Litigation Cases

Follow cases in which attorneys with AARP Foundation are engaged.

Recent Amicus Cases

Read recently filed amicus briefs.

In the News

Housing Discrimination Against LGBT Residents

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, by overturning the district courts ruling, places accountability for the "harassment, discrimination and violence," endured by Marsha Wetzel squarely with Glen St. Andrew Living Facility. Explore the case with questions and answers from AARP Foundation attorneys Smith and Silverstein.

Louisiana Legislation on Nursing Facility Camera Installation

A lawsuit initiated by AARP Foundation, Graff v. Heritage Manor, was instrumental in the enactment of the Louisiana legislation on the placement of video cameras in the rooms of nursing facility residents.

School District Charged with Violating Age Discrimination in Employment Act

Foundation attorneys Smith and McCann are co-counsel in an age discrimination lawsuit against Montgomery County Public Schools. The suit charges that the school district's pension plan violates the federal ADEA by mandating disability benefits that differ by a participants age.

Court Strikes Down Medicaid Work Requirement for Kentucky

AARP Foundation's brief noted some of the chronic problems that are common among Medicaid recipients, and why implementation of the proposed waiver would be detrimental and impede Medicaid's objectives. The court preserved the status quo and continuity of coverage.

"Experience" and "Overqualified" as Subtle Age Discrimination

AARP Foundation attorneys McCann and Smith weigh in on age-based hiring practices as currently under review in the Kleber v. CareFusion case. Reporter, Elejalde-Ruiz (Chicago Tribune), quotes age discrimination expert McCann, "Specifying a maximum number of years of experience has a clear disparate impact on older applicants." At a time when more older applicants are attempting to enter the labor force, this masked discrimination against applicants can be devastating.

Attorney Bagby Interviewed Regarding Patient Dumping

"Patient dumping" is a serious issue that can confront vulnerable residents of nursing facilities. Attorney Kelly Bagby discusses ongoing litigation regarding one case of this practice with KSRF-FM's Mary Lou Cooper.

In the Spotlight

Dental Hygienists Will Continue to Provide Life-Saving Dental Care

AARP Foundation attorneys helped win a case against the California Department of Health Care Services to continue providing life-saving dental care for developmentally disabled and elderly people in care facilities.

Discrimination Against Tenants with Disabilities

AARP Foundation attorneys and co-counsel filed suit in U.S. District Court alleging practices and policies that force tenants with disabilities to move out of their homes.

Fifty Years of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA)

In the article (33 A.B.A. J. Lab. & Emp. L. 89 (2018)), AARP Foundation's age discrimination expert Laurie McCann discusses the enactment of the ADEA fifty years ago. Unfortunately, although changes have been achieved and the landscape has evolved regarding this social ill, age discrimination remains a pervasive and prevalent problem that the attorneys with AARP regularly confront and challenge.

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AARP Foundation earns a high rating for accountability from a leading charity evaluator. 

Eighty-one cents of every dollar we spend goes toward programs and services that help low-income older adults. We have met every one of the Better Business Bureau’s 20 Standards for Charity Accountability.