Vanitzian’s untimely death likely the result of domestic violence
By Deborah Goonan, Independent American Communities
Updated Jan. 7, 2018 12:41 p.m.
It is with shock and sadness that I write today’s post.
The L.A. Times reports that Donie Vanitzian, 67, died on December 28, 2017, from a single gunshot wound. Los Angeles police acknowledge a note written by Vanitzian’s husband, 75-year old Thomas Foster, allegedly explaining his intent to kill his wife and commit suicide.
Upon conducting a welfare check at the couple’s home, L.A. District Attorney reports that Vanitzian was found dead at the scene, while her spouse of 35 years, Foster, was found nearly unconscious. He has been charged with first degree murder with a handgun, his bail set at $3 million.
For 16 years, Vanitzian, a Mediator and Arbitrator, was a popular weekly columnist with the L.A.Times. Her Q & A Column, co-written by Zachary Levine of Levine & Wolk since 2013, has addressed various legal quagmires faced by owners and residents of association-governed common interest communities in the state of California.
Vanitzian’s final column addressed an important and common conflict of interest in association-governed communities — the fact that some community association attorneys often represent both the Owners Association and the Manager of the Association simultaneously.
Q&A It’s far better for an HOA to have its own attorney than one with a conflict
QUESTION: I am a board director and was shocked to discover that the association’s attorney and his firm represented our management company in a recent lawsuit. When I asked about this I was told that the management company also has a current retainer with this same attorney and his firm.
During her legal career, Vanitzian also published three important books on common interest communities, Villa Appalling! Destroying the Myth of Affordable Community Living and California Common Interest Developments–Homeowners Guide 2007-2008 (Expert Series), and California Common Interest Development: Homeowner’s Guide (2006).
Dozens of homeowners have contacted me since my original post on January 6, 2018, expressing their shock and sorrow and expressing how very thankful they are for the many hours of valuable personal assistance Vanitzian provided.
Donie Vanitzian’s dedicated advocacy will be sorely missed by housing consumers and housing rights advocates across the U.S.