Trials & Litigation

Judge Calls Heads of 2 Foreclosure Firms on Carpet, Revokes Their Phone-Appearance Privileges


Fed-up with mistakes and missed appearances, a judge on the west coast of Florida called the heads of two east coast foreclosure law firms into court to explain themselves.

Roy Diaz of Smith Hiatt & Diaz and Marshall Watson, who operates a law firm under his own name, appeared today in front of Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Pamela Campbell, reports the Tampa Tribune. Both law firms are based in Ft. Lauderdale, several hours away.

The judge said she was tired of seeing cases sit in her court, year after year, and wasting time on hearings attended by unprepared junior lawyers.

Both firm chiefs promised to do better in the future, the newspaper recounts. “I appreciate the seriousness of this and sincerely apologize,” said Diaz.

Although the judge’s written guidelines for attorneys (PDF) permit telephone hearings for non-evidentiary matters, she has now revoked those privileges as far as the two law firms are concerned, the Tribune reports.

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