Shawn directs the firm’s Elder Law Section. The Section focuses on the legal aspects of mental and physical disability. Shawn is especially active in the voluntary and involuntary management of legal, medical and financial affairs of incapacitated adults. Shawn and the Section lawyers and staff employ trusts, powers of attorney, advance medical directives and, when necessary, guardianship proceedings to protect and preserve assets. Hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other corporate clients often consult Shawn for innovative, efficient solutions to discharge and Medicaid problems.
Shawn was the founding chairperson of the Virginia Bar Association Elder Law Section, serving in that position from 1993 to 1996. For many years Shawn has served as chair of that Section’s legislative affairs subcommittee, and a member the Section Council. Shawn also served as the chair of the Third District Disciplinary Committee of the Virginia State Bar.
Shawn has held numerous appointments to advisory commissions and task forces for the Virginia General Assembly and the Virginia Supreme Court. He assisted in drafting several current Virginia statutes relating to guardianship, conservatorship, and behavioral health, including revisions to the law of civil commitment, emergency medical consent, guardianship, and the prevention of financial abuse of incapacitated adults under durable powers of attorney.
Shawn teaches what he practices.
Since 1989, he has spoken frequently for the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Virginia Bar Association, the Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Special Needs Alliance (of which he is a long term member), the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College of Virginia (of which he is adjunct faculty, in the College of Legal Medicine), the University of Virginia School of Law, the National Geriatric Care Managers Association, the Virginia State Bar, local chapters of the Virginia Society of Public Accountants, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and many national legal, accounting and medical continuing education programs, including the National Academy, the Virginia and National Geriatric Care Managers Associations, the Virginia State Bar, the Virginia Bar Association, the Virginia Society of Public Accountant. Since 1991, Shawn has been an annual speaker for the Annual Elder Law Seminars sponsored by the Virginia Law Foundation, a leading purveyor of mandatory legal education for Virginia lawyers. He has written several articles for legal publications, including, commencing in 1998 and maintained since that date chapters addressing Virginia powers of attorney, long term care insurance and Medicaid for the standard Virginia treatises on wills and trust practice, Estate Planning in Virginia and Elder Law in Virginia.
- College of William and Mary, J.D., 1979
- University of Richmond, B.A., English and Economics, magna cum laude
- National Economics Honor Fraternity
- Editor, the Richmond College literary magazine
- 1976 Charles T. Norman Award in English (Endowed by Mr. Norman in 1922, the University awards two gold medals annually to the best Richmond College graduate in English and in Business Administration)
- AV Peer Review Rated in Martindale-Hubbell
- Awarded the Pioneers and Advocates for Guardianship Law and Public Guardianship from the Virginia Public Guardian and Conservator Program, 2014
- Affiliate Assistant Professor, VCU School of Medicine
- Virginia CLE Faculty Member, 2015
- Selected to the Super Lawyers Virginia list, 2006 – 2018 in the Elder Law category; Top 10 Lawyer in the State and Top 50 in Richmond, 2015
- Selected as “Lawyer of the Year” by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2012, 2013, and 2016 in the field of Elder Law (Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC)
- Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© in the field of Elder Law (Woodward/White, Inc., of Aiken, SC), 2007 – 2019
- Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite”, Taxes/Estates/Trusts/Elder Law category, 2009 – 2017
- Virginia Lawyer’s Weekly “Leader in the Law”, 2010
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Past Speaking Engagements
On November 25, 2015
R. Shawn Majette recently wrote an article for the Special Needs Alliance on this topic. You can read the full article here . . .
On June 4, 2012
A durable power of attorney and a health care proxy are two important but different estate planning documents. Both allow other people to make decisions for you in the event . . .
On December 22, 2011
This article strives to identify a manageable bit of a broad topic: the presumption of fraud in typical civil cases arising from criminal prosecution for financial exploitation against the elderly . . .
On August 23, 2010
Involuntary civil commitment is the only legal proceeding known to my grey hairs by which the state deprives a person of liberty without proof of a criminal act or a . . .
On November 23, 2009
Dangerous Elder Law Myths
1. Myth: Medicare and Private Insurance will cover the cost of long term care when I go into a nursing home.
Medicare only pays for limited . . .
- Virginia State Bar
- Virginia Bar Association
- Richmond Bar Association
- National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
- Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
- Special Needs Alliance
- Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, Chamberlayne Baptist Church.
- Lay Missionary to Haiti, 2011-2014.
- Amateur magician, ca. 1960 – present.