Legal Ethics

Criticism of the Foreclosure Process Brought Bar Probe of Two Fla. Lawyers

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Two Florida lawyers who criticized mass foreclosures found themselves under investigation by the state bar for their comments.

The bar dropped one probe and was expected to drop the second after former ABA President Talbot “Sandy” D’Alemberte intervened on the lawyers’ behalf, the Daily Business Review reports. D’Alemberte is also a former president of Florida State University.

“We saw possible implications for free speech,” D’Alemberte told the publication.

One of the complaints stemmed from a CNN interview with foreclosure defense lawyer Chip Parker of Jacksonville, the story says. He told the network, “Foreclosure courts throughout the state of Florida have adopted a system of ramming foreclosure cases through the final judgments and sale—with very little regard to the rule of law.” He also complained of “an attack upon the citizens of the state of Florida by retired judges.”

The other foreclosure lawyer, Matthew Weidner of Tampa, was investigated for “exercising free speech in the courtroom,” the story says.

So far the Florida Bar has received 58 complaints against foreclosure defense lawyers and closed 29 without charges. The bar has received 272 complaints against foreclosure plaintiff lawyers and closed 46 without charges.

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