Although colleagues and attorneys were shocked that a justice on Houston’s First Court of Appeals resigned this week after it became public she has Alzheimer’s disease, experts say the problem of dementia in the legal profession is more common than many think.

Justice Laura Carter Higley retired only two weeks after her sons, who are seeking guardianship over her, told a Houston probate court about her dementia diagnosis. Because it’s a growing problem as the population of older attorneys increases—17% of Texas’ 103,300 attorneys are 65 or older—the State Bar of Texas in recent years has been teaching about what to do when attorneys face cognitive impairment.


Read more: Appellate Attorneys Shocked at Justice’s Alzheimer’s Diagnosis, Resignation


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