In Memoriam: Ron M. Landsman, Elder Law and SNT Pioneer, Dies

Ron Landsman.A charter member of ElderLawAnswers and longtime advocate for seniors and people with disabilities, Ronald “Ron” Mark Landsman of Rockville, Maryland, lost his battle with acute myeloid leukemia on March 4, 2023, at the age of 74, due to complications from a bone marrow transplant.

Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Landsman had practiced law since 1974, including elder law since 1984. Known to many as “Mr. Maryland Medicaid,” Landsman founded a solo practice — one of the first elder law firms in the country — in 1991. It is now known as Landsman Law Group, an elder law and disability firm focused on Medicaid planning.

Over the course of his career, Landsman initiated and won numerous cases involving Medicaid rights and benefits, including Smith v. Colmers, a landmark 2010 Medicaid class action in which the state of Maryland agreed to contribute $16 million to reimburse nursing homes for unpaid resident bills while protecting nursing home residents from pre-eligibility medical expenses (PEMEs). It was among one of the first such lawsuits brought in the United States.

His expertise spanned elder law, estate trust planning, special needs trusts, nursing home care, guardianships and conservatorships, and more. He also filed many amicus briefs, including in Draper v. Colvin, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene v. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and Saccone v. Board of Trustees.

“He was a titan in the field of elder law and generously shared his vast knowledge with others,” the Landsman Law Group stated in an announcement about Landsman’s passing on its website.

Landsman completed his bachelor of arts degree in history at the University of Michigan in 1970, where he also managed the daily student newspaper. He earned his JD from the University of Michigan Law School in 1974.

Early in his career, he served as a clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the former Fifth Circuit, an aide and spokesperson for Ralph Nader, and as an attorney in the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, where his work included handling appeals related to the 1974 antitrust case United States v. AT&T Inc.

In addition to being a longtime member of ElderLawAnswers and serving as a founding member and fellow of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), Landsman had fulfilled many other roles throughout his professional life, including as a member of the NAELA Journal Editorial Board, president of the First Maryland Disability Trust, and chairman of the elder law section of the Maryland State Bar Association. He also had been recognized by Best Lawyers® since 2008, and in 2023, the U.S. News Best Lawyers in America named Landsman Law Group among its honorees.

Predeceased by his first spouse, Susan, he leaves behind his second wife, Irene, and two children.

Messages may be posted in his memory on his obituary page.

Learn more about some of Landsman’s past work in previously published ElderLawAnswers stories: