Following is the text of another wonderful essay written by a pro-se advocate. Every time I go to court, I’m going to print up this essay, and the prior one and leave a few copies around the courtroom, leaving a copy for the Judge. As the essay hints at, the judges here in the Sixth Circuit of Florida “get it”. If you walk into their courtrooms (whether you are defense counsel or plaintiff’s counsel) you’d better have your case in order, your facts straight and you had better not be playing games. Despite the crushing dockets faced by the judges, they read the cases, they know the facts….they’re not just rubber stamping cases, even those ones that are unrepresented. This is unfortunately not the case across the state, but this too will change at some point in time.
I WANT EVERY ATTORNEY READING THIS BLOG TO READ CAREFULLY THE OATH AND THE CREED AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE.
I admit I haven’t read them in a long, long time. But I am going to make it a point of reading and reflecting on these things each day. Oaths and Creeds mean something. We advocates on both sides of this foreclosure battle should take heed of those words that we are both bound by and start incorporating them into our practice. As for the silence from the Florida Bar? Well, they’ve been Missing in Action from real estate law and practitioners for as long as anyone can remember…..I have no hope this will change. One of the most disturbing and disappointing elements of this whole crisis is the Florida Bar has missed out on the opportunity to use this foreclosure crisis to show consumers that attorneys can be valuable advocates and the key components in securing and protecting the rights of citizens. Instead, the Bar remains captive to the big money interests with all the corruption and dirty politics that comes with that captivity. I will be at the Florida Bar meeting in June. I will try to wake the sleeping dinosaur…but I frankly don’t have much hope of any positive outcome.
Foreclosure fraud ““ Where is the Florida Bar?
Here is the Creed of Professionalism and Oath of Admission to the Florida Bar. Are they passÃ©? Are they outdated? With each passing day, it is becoming more and more evident that many of the attorneys, also known as ” Officers of the Court”, from major foreclosure mills such as the Florida Default Law Group, P.L., David J. Sterns, P.A., Marshall C. Watson, P.A., and Shapiro seem to think so. Every day, in case after case, it is coming to light that fraudsters from these firms are violating these creeds and oaths and practice law as if they are just meaningless words on a document which does not apply to them. Are the Creed and Oath of the Florida Bar just for ” show”? Are they merely meaningless, toothless, ink splotches on a piece of paper?
Anyone that follows and studies the current issues at hand in the world of foreclosure litigation in Florida is aware that more and more evidence is coming to light, in case after case, that the foreclosure mill fraudsters will use any ” means” they can to obtain the ” ends” they desire, a default or a premature summary judgment. They do not want these cases to proceed to trial because in many cases, they cannot meet the burden of proof and they risk the exposure of the fraud they have perpetrated on the defendant and the Court. Their modus operandi is to do anything and everything to sever the defendant’s Constitutional right to due process prior to trial. They will literally do ” whatever it takes” to reach this end.
In concert, conspiring with the plaintiffs they represent, they will lie to the Court, manufacture and file legally insufficient and even fraudulent documents and affidavits, create documents after the fact, file documents with the Court without noticing the defendant, schedule hearings without noticing the defendant, and use every other trick in the book to deny the defendant due process. They will refuse to litigate the case, refuse to answer requests for admission, refuse to produce documents, refuse to answer interrogatives, engage in ex parte communications with the Court, acting as if the defendant is not even there and has no right to be heard or to due process. Even when these egregious violations of law and the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure, are pointed out to the Court, many Judges often simply ignore this unethical conduct, intentional fraud on the Court, perjury, and even criminal acts, perpetuated in an attempt to deny the defendant due process.
Don’t believe this is happening? Go down to the courthouse and look through a few foreclosure files. Sit in on some foreclosure hearings. Read some of the decisions that are coming from the few Judges that are starting to ” get it”. Read some of the recent decisions coming from states like New York and Ohio and right in our backyard in Pinellas and Pasco counties. The problem is, thousands of individuals have already lost their homes based on this type of fraud and hundreds more are losing them every day. It has to stop. Thankfully, there is a core of professional foreclosure defense Attorneys such as Matthew Weidner, Mike Wasylik, Carol Ashbury and many others unnamed, as well as tireless advocates like Lisa Epstein and others fighting to bring this fraud to light. We are forever grateful for their tireless efforts. We are also thankful, that some, not all of the Judges that preside over these foreclosure actions are beginning to take the fraudsters and their plaintiffs to task. I still ask why is the Florida Bar ” absent without leave”?
Please read the following Creed of Professionalism and the Oath of Admission to the Florida Bar, paying special attention to the parts I underlined. As you read them, reflect on all of the fraud that is coming to light and someone, please explain to me, where is the Florida Bar? Why are these violations of the Creed of Professionalism and the Oath of Admission to the Florida Bar off their radar? Are they that locked up in their ivory tower that they are oblivious to what is occurring or are the members of the Florida Bar, above the Law?
Creed of Professionalism
I revere the law, the judicial system, and the legal profession and will at all times in my professional and private lives uphold the dignity and esteem of each.
I will further my profession’s devotion to public service and to the public good.
I will strictly adhere to the spirit as well as the letter of my profession’s code of ethics, to the extent that the law permits and will at all times be guided by a fundamental sense of honor, integrity, and fair play.
I will not knowingly misstate, distort, or improperly exaggerate any fact or opinion and will not improperly permit my silence or inaction to mislead anyone.
I will conduct myself to assure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action and resolution of every controversy.
I will abstain from all rude, disruptive, disrespectful, and abusive behavior and will at all times act with dignity, decency, and courtesy.
I will respect the time and commitments of others.
I will be diligent and punctual in communicating with others and in fulfilling commitments.
I will exercise independent judgment and will not be governed by a client’s ill will or deceit.
My word is my bond.
Oath of Admission to The Florida Bar
The general principles which should ever control the lawyer in the practice of the legal profession are clearly set forth in the following oath of admission to the Bar, which the lawyer is sworn on admission to obey and for the willful violation to which disbarment may be had.
” I do solemnly swear:
” I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Florida;
” I will maintain the respect due to courts of justice and judicial officers;
” I will not counsel or maintain any suit or proceedings which shall appear to me to be unjust, nor any defense except such as I believe to be honestly debatable under the law of the land;
” I will employ for the purpose of maintaining the causes confided to me such means only as are consistent with truth and honor, and will never seek to mislead the judge or jury by any artifice or false statement of fact or law;
” I will maintain the confidence and preserve inviolate the secrets of my clients, and will accept no compensation in connection with their business except from them or with their knowledge and approval;
” I will abstain from all offensive personality and advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which I am charged;
” I will never reject, from any consideration personal to myself, the cause of the defenseless or oppressed, or delay anyone’s cause for lucre or malice. So help me God.”
Finally, I pose a question to the defendants in foreclosure actions and the brave cadre of foreclosure defense Attorneys, the warriors that are bravely defending their clients. Having read this creed and oath and reflecting on the proceedings and the fraudsters” conduct in your individual cases, my question is this. Does anyone still have a straight face or are you on the floor laughing?
Where is the Florida Bar? Where is their oversight? Why are they not out-front, leading the charge against this fraud?