Melissa was chosen from a select group of attorneys based on her extensive guardianship experience, dedication to her clients and results-driven advocacy skills.
“As the eyes and ears of the Court, my responsibilities are to protect the rights of those who are incapacitated,” explains Melissa. “After handling hundreds of guardianship cases as an elder law attorney, I understand the guardian’s role and how to evaluate their performance.”
As a Court Examiner, Melissa will review guardians’ required annual reports to determine the condition and care of the incapacitated person, the finances and the manner in which the guardian has carried out his or her duties. The Court Examiner has the power to examine the guardian and other witnesses under oath.
Following the completion of a certified training program and series of seminars providing an overview of all aspects of the court examiner’s role under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law, court examiners are required to attend various continuing legal education programs.
At Cona Elder Law, Melissa manages the government benefits department, concentrating her practice in Medicaid planning, asset protection planning, disability matters, guardianships, estate planning and Veterans benefits. Melissa is a State Certified Court Evaluator, Counsel to Guardian and incapacitated persons and is also accredited by the Department of Veteran’s Affairs. With Advanced Elder Law Mediator certification, she is now serving as a Mediator on the Nassau County Bar Association's Alternative Dispute Resolution Panel.
Melissa has received many awards including Long Island Business News’ “Top 50 Most Influential Women in Business” as well as the prestigious “Leadership in the Law” award. She received the “40 Under 40 Rising Stars on Long Island” award and the Outstanding Pro Bono Attorney award from Touro Law School. Melissa currently serves as co-chair of the Healthcare Committee of the Hauppauge Industrial Association of Long Island (HIA-LI). She is the immediate past President of the Suffolk County Women’s Bar Association. Melissa is a frequent lecturer at professional organizations, assisted living facilities and senior citizen groups.
Recognized for her expertise, Melissa has been featured and quoted in legal publications, including Newsday’s Ask the Expert column, Kiplingers, the Chicago Tribune and others. She has also appeared as a guest on WABC TV, WLNY TV, FIOS and Queens Public Television and many radio programs. She has authored numerous articles for The Suffolk Lawyer, Nassau Lawyer, New York Law Journal and the HIA Hauppauge Reporter.
Ms. Negrin-Wiener is a member of the Suffolk County Bar Association’s Elder Law Committee, the New York State Bar Association, the Nassau County Bar Association, the Suffolk County Women’s Bar Association and the Advanced Elder Law Focus Group. She is also a member of the Hauppauge Industrial Association (HIA) and serves as the Charities Coordinator for 100 Women Who Care about Long Island. Melissa received her Juris Doctor from Hofstra University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy, Politics and Law from Binghamton University.
Cona Elder Law is recognized as a leading elder law and estate planning firm on Long Island. The firm was ranked the #1 Elder Law firm by Long Island Business News for 4 consecutive years and was a finalist in the HIA Business Achievement Awards. Cona Elder Law is also recognized for its charitable works and has received the Outstanding Corporation Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals. The firm provides creative advocacy and cutting edge planning strategies and has been featured in many publications including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Newsday, L.I. Business News, Investor’s News Daily, USA Today, The Daily News, The New York Post, Kiplinger’s, Reader's Digest and many others. Cona Elder Law attorneys have appeared as guests on WNBC-TV, WABC-TV, CNN-fn, News 12, WLNY News 55 and many radio stations including WOR, WCBS AM, WBAB and WFAN.