Sixth Letter to Robert K. Bolt

Samuel H. Sloan
2420 Atherton St., Suite 6
Berkeley CA 94704
(415) 673-7123
FAX (415) 929-7500

October 13, 1994

Robert K. Bolt, Esq.
2700 Ygnacio Valley Road, #200
Walnut Creek CA 94598

Re: In re Doris M. Rich, Case No. P34215

Dear Mr. Bolt,

I wish to advise you that both Arden Van Upp and her mother, Doris M. Rich, are extremely incensed and upset at the letter and enclosures of John D. O'Hara dated October 4, 1994, in which he demands payment for his services in total amount of $5,591.00, this entire amount to be paid by Doris M. Rich, his adversary.

It is outrageous that Mr. O'Hara would demand that Mrs. Rich pay this amount. Mr. O'Hara was hired by Neel Rich to pursue this frivolous and malicious litigation against his own mother. Not only is Neel Rich responsible for the payment of the attorney's fees of his own attorney, but Neel Rich should also reimburse Doris M. Rich for the $1,500 which she paid you to defend this action, plus he should reimburse Arden Van Upp for the $2,500 which Arden Van Upp paid to Mr. Lavezzo to defend this meritless litigation.

It is particularly outrageous that Mr. O'Hara says at the bottom of his statement: "Amount owing to Neel Rich ... $ 500", indicating that Neel expects to be reimbursed by his own mother for the legal expenses he incurred in suing her.

But that is only the beginning. In addition, Mr. O'Hara intends to take an end run around Doris M. Rich, his adversary, and asks that the bill be presented directly to her accountant, Mr. Carmichael. As Arden Van Upp and I have always understood it, Mr. Carmichael's function was to act as a check on Myrna Rich, who had previously usurped effective control over all of her mother's bank accounts, by insuring that Myrna could not withdraw any more funds from her mother's bank accounts without Mr. Carmichael, Mrs. Rich and the other family members knowing about it. Mrs. Doris Rich herself has told me many times that her major concern is that she does not want Ralph Finley, Myrna's unemployed boyfriend, to be getting any of her money. It is worth noting that Ralph Finley is a diagnosed schizophrenic and is receiving $350 per month general assistance, while living in Myrna's building, which was deeded to her by Doris Rich, where, according to Myrna, he is paying her $400 per month rent in cash. It is perfectly obvious that Ralph Finley is living off of Myrna and that Myrna, in turn, is living off of her mother, as both Ralph and Myrna are unemployed, while living a high life style.

I have also recently learned that the incident which started this entire litigation was that Ralph and Myrna had planned to sell the house at 733 York Street in Vallejo, in which Doris M. Rich is now living, and use the money to buy a new home in Benecia, thereby depriving Doris Rich of the home in which she has lived for many years. When Arden Van Upp found out about this plan, she told her mother, who immediately stopped all plans to sell the house, thereby bringing on this lawsuit.

I note that the October 4th letter of Mr. O'Hara states:

"Normally, [the payment of his total fee of $5,591] would be performed by virtue of a petition for the approval of fees, however since a conservatorship has not been officially established I don't know if that is necessary, and would result in further costs."

The simple fact, as I am sure you recognize, is that Mr. O'Hara has no right to petition the court for the payment of his fees, for the reason that his petition for the appointment of a conservator has not been granted. In short, Mr. O'Hara did not prevail, and yet he wants his fees to be paid by his adversary anyway. I believe that Mr. O'Hara should be reported to the disciplinary committee of the California State Bar Association and be deprived of his license to practice law, for such an obviously unethical attempt to extort money out of his 89-year-old adversary.

The statement of account by Mr. O'Hara contains a number of revealing and disturbing items. It states that $1,700 has already been paid to him on account by Doris M. Rich. Arden immediately called her mother about this. Mrs. Rich states that she has no knowledge of $1,700 of her funds being paid to Mr. O'Hara, Neel's attorney. Both Arden and her mother want to know by what authority has this amount been paid, if even indeed it has been paid.

It is also noteworthy that the statement of Mr. O'Hara reveals a letter dated July 26, 1994 by him to Continental Pacific Bank. Arden, of course, has never received a copy of this letter and this date corresponds with the wrongful act of the bank in depriving Doris M. Rich of her check signing authority. Arden and her mother both want to know the extent of Mr. O'Hara's involvement in this illegal act.

Finally, I am constrained to mention that the reason for this and other letters by me to you is that Arden Van Upp thus far has not been receiving satisfactory services from her own lawyer, Albert M. Lavezzo. For example, Arden Van Upp still to this date has never received from her lawyer a copy of the stipulation of settlement which was signed and entered by the Solano County Superior Court. A further prime example of this is that although Mr. O'Hara's letter is dated October 4, 1994 and is date stamped received by Mr. Lavezzo's office on October 5, 1994, Mr. Lavezzo did not forward this important letter to Arden until October 11, 1994, and then only by regular first class mail rather than by Fax. As a result, Arden has only just now received this letter and both she and her mother greatly fear that Mr. Carmichael may have already paid the demanded $5,591.00 to Mr. O'Hara.

Unfortunately, Mr. Lavezzo, who was originally hired by Ms. Van Upp vigorously to defend this action, immediately thereafter wanted to capitulate and tried to coerce Arden into agreeing to the appointment of a third party conservator. When Ms. Van Upp refused to agree, Mr. Lavezzo filed a motion to withdraw as counsel (needless to say without offering to reimburse Arden Van Upp for the $2,500 which she had already paid him.)

Ever since, Mr. Lavezzo has stated that if Arden has any questions regarding these matters, she should contact you directly and not go through him. However, Arden recognizes that you are not her lawyer. Rather, you are the attorney for Doris Rich, Arden's mother. Under these circumstances, Arden feels uncomfortable about attempting to contact you. Therefore, she has requested that I write this and the previous letter to you (to which I have received no response, incidentally).

I trust that you will vigorously oppose the payment of Mr. O'Hara's legal fees by Doris M. Rich and/or her accountant, Mr. Carmichael. Frankly, Arden and I now believe that this case is headed back to the courtroom, in view of these developments plus the developments set forth in my letter to you dated October 1, 1994.

Very Truly Yours,

Samuel H. Sloan

VIA FAX: (510) 947-4921

Copy to: Albert M. Lavezzo
John D. O'Hara
Beth Rhea

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