With increasing attention focused on abuse and neglect of the elderly in
domestic and institutional settings, nearly every state has passed legislation to
protect these vulnerable adults. While the legal system has become involved at
the trial court level, the appellate courts have not yet been very active. Only
ten reported cases in the United States during 1981-1993 were appealed to a
higher court. This article documents these few cases and explores the reasons
for their ultimate dispositions.