The Minnesota Supreme Court issued it’s long awaited opinion in the Tschumy case today, affirming the Court of Appeals decision that the power of a guardian to consent to necessary medical treatment for a ward under Minn. Stat. 524.5-313(c) (4)(i), inclues the power to consent to the removal of a ward from life support, without a separate court order/proceeding, if all interested parties agree that removal is in the ward’s best interest.
When I started to share with clients, friends and colleagues the news about my move from Buffalo to Minnetonka, I was met with numerous questions: I thought you loved Buffalo, why are you leaving? Will you still practice law in Wright County? Why Minnetonka? Will you continue to do contested guardianships and conservatorships throughout the State of Minnesota?
Here is a little bit more insight into why I decided to move the physical office of Spence Legal Services to Minnetonka. If anyone has further questions, please feel free to give me a call or shoot me an email.
Why I Moved to Minnetonka (and Why I Still Love Buffalo!)
I originally started practicing law in Buffalo because I obtained a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Bruce Douglas in Buffalo. I enjoyed working in Buffalo so applied for an opening as an associate with a local firm and have remained in Buffalo ever since. I love Buffalo and Wright County. I plan to continue to remain active in Buffalo and Wright County. I will still be a member of the Rotary Club of Buffalo and attend their weekly meetings, as well as mentor a high school student through the Rotary STRIVE program. I have made arrangements with a couple of local businesses to use conference room space and will schedule appointments with clients in Buffalo by request.
I decided to move Spence Legal Services’ office to Minnetonka because it will allow me to focus my practice on conservatorship and guardianship work, and to expand the reach of my guardianship practice to serve clients throughout the metro area (as well as continue to represent individuals in Wright County and greater Minnesota).
New Office to Better Serve Clients
The location of the office – in the Carlson Towers in Minnetonka – is central and convenient for most individuals in the West and North metro areas, as well as many of the people that I serve in the outlying communities, who work in the metro area. In addition, I will be able to better serve my clients because my office has meeting locations throughout the Twin Cities metro, allowing me to meet with clients at locations and times that are convenient for them. I will continue to have appointments available in Buffalo, upon request, for those clients who are not able to meet in my Minnetonka office. I will also have meeting rooms available in the following cities, to serve clients throughout the entire metro area: Bloomington, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Lake Elmo, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Roseville, St. Louis Park, St. Paul.
The office itself will allow me to serve clients better because I have access to more complete services, including staffing and conference facilities.
As always, I will continue to take on cases, particularly contested guardianship litigation, throughout the state of Minnesota, as most of my clients are able to meet and provide the requested information electronically and, when in person meetings are necessary, I charge a reduced hourly rate for travel time.
Greater Focus on Guardianship and Conservatorship Law
With this move to the new Minnetonka location, my intent is to focus more on guardianship and conservatorship law. Although I currently do some family law (dissolutions), my hope is that within the next couple of years 100% of my practice will be doing guardianship and conservatorship work.
I am passionate about helping individuals and families in this area. I became interested in this area as a result of a contested guardianship case that I had when I was only a few years out of law school. I represented a man who was trying to obtain guardianship and conservatorship for his 90+ year old father, who was being financially and emotionally exploited by his 50-something “care giver”. I successfully obtained a guardianship and conservatorship and the Attorney General’s office, which had been monitoring the status of my case, then prosecuted the “care giver” for financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. It felt good to have helped the elderly gentleman, as well as his family, by having a role in removing someone who was financially exploiting this man. Since that case, my passion for this area of law – and helping individuals and families in need – has grown.
Since then I have represented individuals in guardianship and conservatorship cases, contested and uncontested, throughout the state of Minnesota. Given the location of my office in Buffalo, my practice in this area has been limited to some extent. With the move of Spence Legal Services to Minnetonka, and the opportunity to meet clients through the entire metro area, I believe that I will be in a better position to help families throughout the metro. I will also continue to participate in contested guardianship litigation throughout Minnesota (I offer reduced hourly fee for travel time).
Guardianship proceedings often start out fairly routine and then become contested. For attorneys who find themselves involved in guardianship proceedings that have become contested, I offer consulting and/or contract attorney services, which allows local counsel to continue to represent their client, with my assistance at whatever level they, or their clients, desire.
A big “Thank You” to my clients, friends and colleagues who have supported my work in this area over the years. As always, I appreciate your confidence in my legal abilities and appreciate the opportunity to represent and educate people about guardianships and conservatorships and the rights of incapacitated individuals.