By Bob Negele
The guardian in one of Washington state's largest personal bankruptcies, that of former real estate developer Michael R. Mastro, seeks to replace Mastro's bankruptcy attorney.
Former state Supreme Court justice Faith Ireland was appointed as Mastro's guardian after the 85-year-old sustained head injuries in a fall that his neurologist said made him unable to manage his personal affairs, according to the Seattle Times.
Now, Ireland wants to replace Mastro's bankruptcy attorney with the attorney's own consent. According to the report, they say there is a conflict of interest between the two of them, as Ireland is entrusted with representing Mastro's best interests while the attorney is entrusted with following wishes his client expressed before the fall. The two sets of instructions are not the same, Ireland and Mastro's bankruptcy attorney say.
The news source reports that it is rare for a guardian to be appointed in a personal bankruptcy case, and it is rarer still for the guardian to make this kind of request. According to University of Washington law professor Rafael Pardo and the bankruptcy attorney Ireland wishes to use instead of Mastro's current one, there is no legal precedent for what Ireland is asking the bankruptcy court to do.