July 20, 1994
Re: In re Doris M. Rich, Case No. PO34215
Dear Mr. Lavezzo,
I am in receipt of your letter and enclosures dated July 14 and 15, 1994.
I strenuously object to your statement that "my professional relationship with Ms. Van Upp has deteriorated making it unreasonably difficult for me to carry our my employment effectively."
In fact, what has really happened is that you have taken my $2500 retainer fee, and then you have refused to follow my instructions as to the handling of this case.
I have made it clear from the beginning that I am in complete support of my mother in her objections to the appointment of a conservator. I would, however, agree to the appointment of a property manager, as it is clear that my mother's assets are not being well handled by Myrna, who is acting as her property manager at the present time. For example, about a dozen rental units belonging to my mother have gone unrented for more than two years, because Myrna does not take the trouble to show them to prospective tenants, even though she publishes an ad in the daily newspapers.
On the other hand, my mother and I would never agree to the appointment of a conservator of her person, as this would result in restrictions being placed or my mother's freedom of movement and action. I never agreed to any such thing in my meetings with you. My mother is now extremely anxious that I resume my overnight visits to her house and is upset that the judge restricted such visits.
You have advised me that you simply want to capitulate and allow the opponents to win this case. If I were to agree to such a thing, then why would I bother to hire you as my attorney and pay you a retainer fee?
Regarding the "OBJECTIONS TO PETITION" that you prepared for my signature, my only request is that you delete paragraphs 3 and 4 of the main text and that the "wherefore" clause include a demand for a jury trial. It will be a simple task for your secretary to make these modifications. I will then sign the objections and you may file them with the court.
At the same time, I have absolutely no objection to your withdrawal, provided only that you refund in full the retainer fee of $2500 that I have paid you. However, I will not sign the "consent to withdrawal" until I have your check in hand for $2500.
You will recall that in open court the judge stated that every attorney has an ethical obligation to represent his or her client in the way that the client wishes to be represented. I explained to you the details of this case prior to retaining you and made it clear that my mother and I were strenuously opposed to the appointment of a conservator on her behalf. I find it unfortunate that you are unable to carry out this fairly simple instruction and that therefore I may be constrained again to expend time and effort to search for an attorney willing to represent me.
Very Truly Yours,
Arden Van Upp