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Appeals court says Mass AG can investigate foreclosure law firm over claimed unfair, deceptive acts

Posted Jul 9, 2013 8:05 AM CDT
By Martha Neil

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The Massachusetts attorney general has the power to investigate a law firm over claimed "unfair and deceptive acts" concerning its handling of mortgage foreclosure cases for lenders, as well as evictions in tenant-occupied properties, a state appeals court has ruled.

“This strong ruling upholds this office’s investigatory power,’’ said AG Martha Coakley in a written statement on Monday. “Harmon Law Offices had a vital obligation to follow Massachusetts law and court orders. Our office will continue to fully investigate this case and take action if appropriate.”

Mark P. Harmon, who had argued that an attorney-client litigation privilege should preclude the AG's office from obtaining the documents it is seeking, said he is disappointed with the June 28 decision and is considering his options, according to the Boston Globe.

His law firm is one of the largest foreclosure specialists in the state.

"While we agree with Harmon that the touchstone of the attorney-client relationship is the trust placed by clients in their attorneys, we disagree that production of the requested documents will have insurmountable adverse consequences," says the Appeals Court in its written opinion. It can be accessed by clicking on slip opinions, and the appeals court opinion tab on the massreports.com site.

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