Legal Ethics

Top Md. Court to Review Ethics Case Against Lawyer Who Didn't Personally Sign Foreclosure Affidavits


A Maryland judge has found that a Hunt Valley lawyer violated attorney ethics rules when he authorized employees to sign his name to foreclosure affidavits.

Judge Justin King of Baltimore County found violations of three ethics rules by the lawyer, Thomas Dore of Covahey, Boozer, Devan & Dore, the Baltimore Sun reports. The case now goes to Maryland’s highest court for review.

Dore’s firm was handling more than 1,000 new foreclosure cases a month at the time. Dore had testified he did not want his employees’ names on the documents because he feared they would be targeted by angry homeowners.

King wrote in a decision last week that Dore “directed that his name appear on all documents filed in foreclosure cases, despite the fact that the volume was increasing exponentially and it would have been impossible for him to review and sign every document.”

King found that the contents of the affidavits were correct, however. He said Dore’s law firm spent between $120,000 and $180,000 to correct the documents with improper signatures.

According to the Sun, the Maryland Attorney Grievance Commission has filed a series of petitions against lawyers who “cut corners in thousands of foreclosure cases in order to manage overwhelming workloads.” One lawyer has been reprimanded and the cases against others are pending.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “6 Law Firm Notaries Lose Office, Suit Filed in Probe of Fake Lawyer Signatures on Foreclosure Docs”

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