Leading Colorado Elder Law Attorney John J. Campbell, 62, Dies While Scuba Diving

John J. CampbellColorado lost one of its foremost elder law practitioners when John J. Campbell, CELA, died on April 1, 2017, while scuba diving at the Blue Hole in Santa Rosa, New Mexico.  The cause of death is still unknown. Campbell was 62. 

Regarded as the "dean" of elder law attorneys by his Colorado colleagues, Campbell was the owner of the Law Offices of John J. Campbell, P.C., and Of Counsel to the Hughes Law Firm, both in Denver.  According to his firm’s website, Campbell’s practice covered a wide range of areas, including “elder law, estate planning, probate law, guardianships and conservatorships, Social Security, SSDI, SSI, Medicare, Medicaid, Medicare set-aside trusts, disability trusts and special consultation in settlement of personal injury and worker’s compensation claims involving public benefits.”

Richard D. Hughes of the Hughes Law Firm said that distributing the Campbell firm’s cases and closing the practice is still in process.

Campbell was active in the elder law community both in Colorado and nationally. The National Elder Law Foundation awarded him the designation of Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA) and he was a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Campbell was Co-Chair of the Colorado Bar Association’s Elder Law Section for 2006-2008 and a Member of the Association's Board of Governors and its Executive Council for 2010-2012. 

Campbell was also a pioneer and noted expert in Medicare set-aside trusts, helping to create the first one ever used, in 1995, when he was with the Law Offices of Haines & Campbell, P.C.  Campbell later received the coveted designation of Medicare Set-Aside Consultant Certified (MSCC) and was a member of the National Alliance of Medicare Set-Aside Professionals.

Campbell’s website lists nearly 70 articles he authored, including several for ElderLawAnswers.

Campbell was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and received his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Missouri, Columbia, School of Law in 1986.  He moved to Denver to marry his wife, Ann (Annie) in 1996. 

According to a Legacy.com obituary, his loves were trout fishing and scuba diving, and he had had recently taken up painting.  Campbell was predeceased by three brothers and a sister. In addition to his wife, he is survived by a sister, Jane, and a step-grandson from a prior marriage, Brandon.

Fellow Colorado elder law attorney Kathleen Negri wrote of Campbell on the Legacy.com guestbook:  “John was a brilliant Medicaid attorney, always volunteering his time and answering questions for his colleagues. His generosity will survive him and inspire others in our close-knit elder law community.”