Our trial Courts may be too overwhelmed to catch and sanction all the improper, unethical and potentially criminal conduct that is occurring in their courtrooms all across the country. Let me be clear about this and not let there be any confusion:
OUR COURTROOMS HAVE BECOME INFECTED BY THE EVILS OF THE MORTGAGE AND FINANCE INDUSTRIES SUCH THAT IMPROPER, UNETHICAL, FRAUDULENT AND POTENTIALLY CRIMINAL ACTIONS ARE BEING TAKEN TENS OF THOUSANDS OF TIMES A DAY, UNDER THE SUPERVISION OF JUDGES WHO DO NOT FEEL COMPELLED TO STOP THIS BEHAVIOR
This represents a fundamental and impermissible erosion of the basic foundations of our government and our way of life. As ethical, committed and concerned attorneys, we had better double down our efforts to shine the light on this conduct”
1. Remove your financial interests from this equation, fight no matter what the actual cost to you.
2. Get retainers out of people that can pay, and work out whatever arrangements you can with those who cannot to make sure they do not go unrepresented.
3. Bring court reporters to every hearing, even if your client’s cannot pay.
4. Spend more time than you think you should preparing for every hearing. Do not let the foreclosure defense bar become lazy, unprepared and unaware like the Plaintff’s foreclosure bar has become.
5. Do not make unethical, delay for the sense of delay, agreements with your clients….demand that they make active, regular and aggressive attempts to resolve the case.
6. Respect your judges and their staff, show up to your hearings prepared, review the file ahead of time and have your facts nailed….don’t waste their time with garbage and nonsense.
7. Educate your judges….remember that most do not have real estate or title backgrounds….it is your job to educate the court on the critical title and procedural issues that confront the court.
Finally, take the time to review files in the courtrooms for your judges. Court files are public records. Most judges will provide advocates the opportunity to review open files and make notes to aid in their review later. As long as you are not representing any of the parties, there are no ex parte or ethical problems, it’s just pro bono service to the court. Ask your judge if he or she could use your assistance for a few hours a week to help go through the files. If you’re given the opportunity, be fair, ethical and practical….be an advocate for the court and for the larger good….not for one side or the other.
The defense bar needs to make sure we are putting our heart, soul and ethical principles to helping our courts get through this crisis. The crisis will end and foreclosures will level off. The foreclosure mills and their robot telephonic attorneys will be forgotten (or disbarred).
God willing, the good defense attorneys who have honorably served their clients, the bar as a whole and their courts will be practicing in front of these judges for the rest of our careers. Let’s give them something to remember us by!