Tuesday, November 29, 2011

California High Court Passes On Hearing Attorney Gripe That State Bar Illegally Shut Down 'Mass Joinder' Lawsuit-Peddling Operation

The San Diego Union Tribune reports:

  • The California Supreme Court on Tuesday said it will not hear the case of a Calabasas-based attorney who says the State Bar of California illegally shut down his law practice in August in connection to mortgage fraud.

  • Authorities from the State Bar and the California Department of Justice sued Philip Kramer, other attorneys, and their marketers for allegedly defrauding thousands of U.S. homeowners who thought they were getting mortgage relief but instead lost money, and in some cases, their homes. Among the "non-attorney defendants" in the lawsuit is Clarence John Butt, a 44-year-old Oceanside man.

  • Kramer, whose firm was placed into receivership in August, had his petition refused on Tuesday. "This decision reinforces the State Bar’s determination to aggressively pursue attorneys who mean to take advantage of vulnerable consumers in foreclosure distress," said State Bar Assistant General Counsel Mark Torres-Gil, in a statement.

  • State Bar officials said Kramer’s practice was taken over for "abdicating his professional responsibilities with false advertising and by using non-lawyers to bring in clients, set fees, provide legal advice and evaluate cases."

  • The lawsuit against Kramer and others says the defendants mailed what looked like official materials to homeowners facing foreclosure in California and other states that said they could take part in a mass joinder lawsuit against mortgage lenders or loan servicers. Troubled borrowers paid $3,500 to $10,000 to take part in the lawsuits, State Bar officials said, but they ultimately received no mortgage relief.

Source: Calif. Supreme Court won't hear case of attorney tied to mortgage-fraud lawsuit.

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