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In Defense of Richard Rinella



To the editors:

As one of Richard A. Rinella's clients, I find it necessary to comment on the biased article by Rob Warden and James Tuohy titled "Legally Screwed: Women v. Rinella and the Case Against Lawyer-Client Sex" (October 1) which unjustly employed grossly sensationalistic measures in an attempt to damage the credibility and fine reputation that Richard Rinella and his law firm, Rinella and Rinella, Ltd., have earned for many years.

I take great exception to every unsubstantiated statement and/or unduly illogical comment made by Jeanne Metzger and "the unidentified, short blond woman" for my experience as a client of Richard Rinella completely contradicts every questionable allegation they make. In regards to his legal representation, I have had the utmost confidence, trust and respect in my attorney, Richard Rinella, from the onset of my divorce proceedings in the fall of 1992, throughout the legal procedure, up to and including the prove-up of my case in late July of 1993, and the completion of all settlement matters thereafter. Although having worked in the legal profession for many years, and therefore, familiar with general legal procedures, I still found Richard Rinella to be informative and appropriately supportive in every aspect of my divorce. He discussed with me all relevant details pertaining to the possibility of reconciliation with my now former spouse; financial, tax and property considerations; child custody issues and attorneys' fees. Furthermore, I was always kept up-to-date on every matter involving my case and Richard Rinella could always be reached whenever I had questions and/or comments of my own. I was pleased with the dignified approach he took with regards to my case.

Following Richard Rinella's unblemished reputation for the past 28 years as a top family law attorney in Chicago, I have to seriously question the validity of Jeanne Metzger's allegations such as "(Richard Rinella's) memory was not at its best at this time. He was not doing what he should." This comment and the one in which she alleges that Richard Rinella kept her waiting for three hours for the prove-up seem highly unlikely. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to acknowledge that, if true, such poor conduct and disrespect for one's client would certainly jeopardize the attorney and the firm's reputation. Considering his highly regarded reputation within the legal community, I seriously doubt that these allegations hold any truth.

It seems absolutely incredible that Jeanne Metzger and "the unidentified, short blond" are willing to maliciously embarrass and slander Richard Rinella, and at the same time, sacrificing their own obvious lack of self-esteem in what appears to be merely a chance to jump on the gravy train of high hopes of financial reward. It's just a shame that with all the personal and professional choices women have today (and certainly have had for at least the last decade) there are those women who still argue that they don't have these same choices regarding their actions. If any of Ms. Metzger's and/or "the unidentified, short blond woman's" allegations are true, then as adult women, they should personally accept any emotional consequence(s) that might develop from such chosen actions, just as any individual (man or woman) would be expected to do likewise.

In regards to Ms. Metzger's allegations, her reasoning sharply contradicts her actions as she states that she submitted to Richard Rinella's alleged sexual wishes because she believed that this is " . . . what I have to do nowadays to fight for my children and myself for support." This is, after all, the same woman who has currently filed a petition to relinquish custody of her two younger sons to her former husband. And, once again, the same woman who poses for a photograph surrounded by these same two younger sons (on pp. 12), with her definite holier-than-thou aura prevailing. It's a shame that Ms. Metzger's children have become involved in such a public display for the benefit of their mother, the one who is currently attempting to relinquish custody of them. This certainly doesn't sound like a woman who submits to the sexual wishes of her attorney out of fear of losing her children. Not quite.

As for the "unidentified, short blond woman," her allegations of sexual deportment are rather ridiculous. If any of her allegations are true, then one would have to question why it was not until February of 1989, when she learned of Jeanne Metzger's case, that she thought she might have a sexual harassment case against Richard Rinella, too. Furthermore, it seems highly unlikely that she was merely granting him "sexual favors" in her own home, complete with souvenir photographs of Richard Rinella for her own benefit, no less, an alleged situation so obviously characterized as consensual.

In consideration of the above allegations which greatly contradict with Richard Rinella's proven excellent personal and professional reputation and unquestionable decorum, I am hoping that the ARDC will dismiss all charges against him. I would not hesitate to assume that virtually all of his clients of the past 28 years would surely share in these beliefs.

Name withheld

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