Far and above the finest, most aggressive and most principled foreclosure lawyers in this state are the attorneys working at Ice Legal in West Palm Beach, Florida. Next to the nationally respected pioneer in foreclosure defense, April Charney from Jacksonville Legal Aid, no single group of lawyers has done more to advance the cause of foreclosure defense and to protect the core and substantive rights of consumers than Tom Ice and the fantastic lawyers he has working with him.
The members of the Ethical and Principled Foreclosure Defense Bar, consumers and indeed all across this state have benefited immeasurably because of the exceptional legal work they have produced. If you’ve had a chance to review any of their pleadings or taken the time to read any of the numerous depositions they’ve taken, you should appreciate the attention to detail, the crisp and clean nature of the pleadings and the precision of their application of the law to the unique facts of the case.
With all that being said, as a member of the Ethical and Principled Foreclosure Defense Bar, I am frankly deeply troubled by reports I hear on a regular basis that seem to suggest some courtrooms across this state are leaning too much in favor of “pushing through this foreclosure crisis” than carefully considering the important ethical, social and jurisprudential consequences of sloppy, inaccurate or fraudulent legal work. So called “Rocket Docket” or “Foreclosure Gas Chambers” that have been set up in circuits across the state are ratifying and confirming the development of institutionalized processes and procedures that encourage the production of sloppy, inaccurate and potentially fraudulent legal work product.
The bottom line is this, if the foreclosure mills know their cases and evidence submitted will not be subject to the kind of proper judicial scrutiny that cases involving the confiscation of a consumers home should be subject to, will they cut ethical and legal corners that they would not otherwise cut?
In my mind, the answer is clearly yes. I am quite certain that when the Millionaire Foreclosure Mills produce their work product, they pay particular attention to getting their facts right when submitting cases and evidence before the judges of the sixth, twelfth and thirteenth judicial circuit, courtrooms which are known to be presided over by judges who are tough, focused on details and facts and holding the lawyers that practice before them to the highest ethical and professional standards. There are certainly other circuits in this state of which the same can be said, but I know this about these circuits based on my first hand experience.
Which brings us back to the unusual and troubling circumstances we hear reported about in other areas of the state, particularly South Florida and particularly Palm Beach County. The dockets are particularly crushing in those areas, but we must remember that each case represents just one person or just one family. That 84 year old sick woman, or that illiterate migrant worker that is a defendant in a foreclosure case should not be affected by the “foreclosure crisis”. Indeed his or her Constitutional rights must be zealously protected the Court Sitting in Equity just as if this were the only case pending before the court.
Which brings us back to the comments about the detailed and exceptional work produced by Ice Legal. I attach here an example of the kind of work produced by them. I encourage all advocates, and especially members of the Bar and Bench, to read and consider the matters asserted in the motion carefully. I urge us all to consider that everytime we step into a courtroom, whether it be for a small claims case, a death penalty case or a terrorist trial, the same rules and principles apply. That imposing and awe-inspiring court shown above should be in each of our minds every time we step into a courtroom and we should all be asking ourselves, how would these learned judges sitting below view my conduct in this case? And with that in mind, I urge each to read the attached motion: