Steve Dibert, MFI-Miami
“What are you, people? On dope?”-Mr. Hand
About a month ago, I wrote a blog about how most homeowner advocacy sites are nothing more than marketing tools for law firms or are illegally soliciting money claiming to be non-profits. This article generated some interesting results.
Richard Zombeck linked to it in an article he wrote for the Huffington Post and on Shame the Banks. The blog was also picked up by Aaron Krowne at ML-Implode. This in itself is not unusual because Aaron, Richard and I tend to link to each other’s articles when there is something the other has written that fits into one of our blogs. What was baffling is the fact that the same activist websites that I criticized in my article reposted Richard’s article with the link to my article in it. So either these activists don’t read what they post, are blinded by monomania or are too busy enjoying the kilos of the various drugs that wash up on the shores of the beaches of South Florida on a daily basis to care.
Two days after I posted my blog, Florida attorney, Christopher Forrest posted video depositions he took from infamous robo-signers, Crystal Moore, Bryan Bly and Dhurata Doko from Nationwide Title Clearing on YouTube. These videos soon went viral and appeared on sites like the Huffington Post.
I refused to post them on MFI-Miami for a plethora of reasons. Mainly because doing so would have jeopardized several cases my staff was investigating involving NTC. I also felt that it was it was reckless and unnecessary. Written depositions from Crystal Moore and Bryan Bly from other cases had already been plastered on the internet saying essentially the same thing.
Why plaster their faces on the web and put their lives and the lives of their children in danger? Especially, when you have people like Bruce Marks from NACA who brag daily about being a “banking terrorist” and who openly brags about how he and his people routinely harass the school age children of banking executives on playgrounds or as they’re waiting for the school bus.
What happens if Crystal Moore, Bryan Bly or Dhurata Doko are injured or killed by an irate homeowner or become victims of mob justice? What about the thousands of other cases being filed against or involve NTC nationally that may require their depositions? What happens to them? Is Christopher Forrest willing to accept responsibility for that?
I find it hard to believe that an attorney who brags about being a member of MENSA doesn’t have the common sense to think about these consequences before he did this? It is apparent Christopher Forrest did this solely as a selfish public relations stunt to promote his law firm and to publicize his client’s case by putting political pressure on the judge to rule against Deutsche Bank.
Much like the arrogance of the banks, this incident shows the arrogant and short sighted attitude shared by the majority of people in the foreclosure activist community in Florida.
Matt Weidner, a Sarasota foreclosure defense attorney known for his paranoid and histrionic blogs and videos talking about homeowners being rounded up and put in concentration camps due to government and judicial conspiracies, recently went on both ABC News in Australia and the CBC News in Canada to share his histrionics with Australians and Canadians in order to scare them away from buying Florida real estate.
On October 27, 2010, he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation,
He then did an encore performance on the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on November 3, 2010,
Making statements like these in international markets is like getting drunk at a family wedding and announcing to everyone how the bride contracted genital warts as a result of a out of control drunken backseat grope fest in Cancun with a Royal Marine. Everyone may already know about it but they don’t have to be reminded of it.
America needs foreign investment of capital right now and making comments like this from an attorney in the U.S. only scares it away. These statements also show Matt Weidner’s lack of understanding or lack of caring about geopolitics and international finance. China, Russia and the European Union want to replace the U.S. Dollar as the benchmark currency for the world with a global currency and are using the American housing crisis and the recession to support their arguments.
America bashing is at an all time high in European and Asian finance publications and comments by Matt Weidner make great fodder to re-enforce anti-American opinions. Especially comments from the wacky ones like Matt Weidner.
The movement inspired by Neil Garfield has become filled with competing self delusional Spartaci like Matt Weidner and Christopher Forrest who base their actions on histrionics and paranoia. Then market this fear as a way to attract potential clients.
These activists are so hell bent on glory that they’ve lost all sense of logic. Their diarrhetic internet rants and lack of victories in the courtroom show they also lack the basic fundamentals of strategy.
It’s apparent these people have never read Machiavelli, Sun Tzu or any other books on military or political strategy. They have no idea how to strategize. Several months ago I wrote about why the attorneys MFI-Miami work with are successful while others like Weidner whine, whimper and complain in the blogosphere.
“MFI-Miami attorneys win because they are not afraid to create strategies that position themselves to win. For example, MFI-Miami attorneys may purposely sacrifice a motion hearing in order to set up opposing counsel for a smack down at a future hearing.
Successful attorneys will tell you they succeed because they have memorized, The Art of War by Sun Tzu and they treat every case as if they are playing Chess. When trying to predict an outcome, they don’t simply add A plus B to equal C, they add C to D to find out what equals E. My experience has been most Florida attorneys want to stop at C and call it a day.
Foreclosure mills across Florida keep winning in court not because of corrupt judges or because of the “Rocket Dockets” but because foreclosure defense attorneys either want to argue legal theories dreamt up by Neil Garfield or foreclosure activists with no training in finance or lending or they just want to milk fees from the homeowner. Rocket dockets and corrupt judges offer a convenient excuses by attorneys to justify why they were unable to defeat a punk kid who is at most five weeks out of law school or to justify their fees for doing nothing.”
Not to say NTC, foreclosure mills or their attorneys are better or smarter. The sad truth is they’re equally as bad in Florida.
NTC’s response to Christopher Forrest was equally impulsive, predictable and lacked any strategic thinking. Within a week after the videos were post on YouTube, NTC filed for and received an injunction against The Forrest Law Firm to remove the videos from their channel. This turned out to be a futile demand because within hours of when the videos were posted, they had already gone viral and had been picked up by several major media outlets.
Had NTC bothered to do any research on Christopher Forrest prior to requesting an injunction, they would have discovered Forrest has written several novels and has entertainment lawyers at his disposal who understand media law and legal matters involving Free Speech.
What NTC didn’t anticipate by filing the request for an injunction is that these types of suits become expensive very quickly and the vast majority of these cases end up being lost in federal court. It is also impossible to put the proverbial genie back in the bottle once these videos go viral on the internet. NTC also didn’t anticipate the involvement of the ACLU, again, due to their lack of due diligence. The ACLU filed suit on behalf of the Forrest Law Firm against NTC’s client, Deutsche Bank.
This creates a serious dilemma for NTC because this legal battle not only drives a wedge between them and one of their major clients. It also creates a public relations nightmare for Deutsche Bank in Germany where the American housing crisis and Deutsche Bank’s involvement in it are subjects of daily conversation in the German media. There is a lot of sympathy for the American homeowners in Germany and a lot of distrust toward Deutsche Bank. Obviously, NTC’s lawyers failed to do MFI-Miami attorney math of A+B+C+D=E before filing this lawsuit. It’s also apparent their attorneys also failed to read, The Art of War by Sun Tzu or The Prince by Machiavelli.
This incompetence will not only cost NTC a client but more than likely set precedence by allowing attorneys to distribute depositions to the public in matters before the court from both sides of a fight. What better way to discredit homeowners than to visually record and distribute how they explain how they failed to read their mortgage documents or the look on their face if they get caught lying about their income on their stated income loan.
Had Deutsche Bank’s attorneys at Shapiro & Fishman been smart, they would have filed a complaint with the Florida Bar against Christopher Forrest under Rule 4-3.6A which reads:
“A lawyer shall not make an extrajudicial statement that a reasonable person would expect to be disseminated by means of public communication if the lawyer knows or reasonably should know that it will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding due to its creation of an imminent and substantial detrimental effect on that proceeding.”
An investigation by the Florida Bar may not be as glamorous as an injunction but it is more effective and has the potential to inflict a hell of a lot more pain.
Several weeks ago, NTC filed a libel and slander suit against foreclosure defense attorney Matt Weidner. According to the St. Petersburg Times,
“The “gist” of statements on Weidner’s blog, the suit says, is that Nationwide Title is an “unethical company” that manufactures false evidence used to foreclose. The statements have permanently damaged the company’s reputation and subjected it to “public hatred, scorn and ridicule,””
NTC’s case against Weidner is nothing more than a SLAPP (Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation) lawsuit to in order to scare their critics. Although I dislike his alarmist and diarrhetic diatribes about government conspiracies, judicial conspiracies and his other rants that make Glenn Beck sound sane, his claims about NTC are accurate. They do assist in the manufacture of false evidence used to foreclose on homeowners and it goes beyond anything the three infamous robo-signers admit to in their depositions.
This lawsuit is futile and desperate attempt by NTC to save face that will back fire on them just like the injunction against the Forrest Law Firm is backfiring on them.
Maybe the Florida Bar needs a lunatic like one of my bosses who used to jam his finger into his head screaming, “Think, people, think!” at our sales meetings to teach these lawyers coming out of Florida law schools how to think because it appears the vast majority of them need to learn A+B+C+D=E.