Legal Ethics

As Chief Judges Agree Law Firm Can't Simply Quit, One Sets Hearings for 9,000 Abandoned Cases

Throughout the state of Florida, chief judges apparently are in agreement that attorney David J. Stern and his law firm can’t simply abandon as many as 100,000 mortgage foreclosure cases.

But that’s what reportedly has happened, as Stern notified the courts in lengthy letters earlier this month listing the cases from which his collapsing law firm, he says, doesn’t have the manpower to move to withdraw.

After taking time to consider the situation, one chief judge has not only written back to protest the unorthodox move but is scheduling case management conferences for the 9,000 foreclosure cases that have been abandoned in his county alone, reports the Palm Beach Post.

If the banks servicing the loans don’t send someone to the hearings, the complaints will probably be dismissed. However, Chief Judge Peter Blanc of Palm Beach County is still pondering how to handle the situation if neither the homeowner nor the bank is represented, the newspaper says.

Related coverage: “Law Firm of Fla. ‘Foreclosure King’ to Close; It and Affiliated Company Once Had 1,200 Workers” “Foreclosure Firm Collapse Creates Court Chaos; Stern Lacks Staff to Move to Withdraw from Cases” “What to Do with 9,000 Abandoned Cases in One County? Chief Judge Isn’t Sure, Researches Options” “Chase Sues Its Former Foreclosure Counsel, Seeks Turnover of Files in $400M Worth of Cases”

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