Why is The State Bar of CA So Afraid of Erin Baldwin?
February 4, 2012 § Leave a comment
At the beginning of 2009, Erin Baldwin began to write about the State Bar of California in connection with loan modification fraud. Why? Because back then lawyers could take fees in advance of services rendered. In August of 2009 SB 94 came around and changed everything – at least temporaily … until January of 2013.
So, what happened is the lawyers at the State Bar began making nice with the real estate and mortgage brokers over at the Dept. of Real Estate and vice versa to earn a little “passive income.” Here’s how it went down. The attorneys who COULD take advanced fees teamed up with the real estate and mortgage guys and gals who COULD NOT take advanced fees. Together they opened up pretend “law firms” with no attorneys, called “attorney-based” law firms.
The clients thought an attorney was working on their file so they paid around $3500 a person to have their “loan modified,” by a kid whose last job was making lattes at Starbucks. No joke. Miss Baldwin blew this wide open. She had the balls to call them on it.
Of course, the State Bar and DRE knew what was going on. In fact, the DRE helped things along with their “Advanced Fee Agreement” list they published on their website. They held out to the public that the people on that list had been “screened” by the DRE as safe to use for loan modifications and that those listed were legally able to take advanced fees.
The criteria for being on the list? Cashola, lots of it. Anyway, everything was just great until a nosy little blond from Newport Beach began to help consumers avoid this sham. She wrote about it and wrote about it and guess what … here comes SB 94 in late August 2009. And then, not even attorneys could take fees in advance. But by then Baldwin’s blog had been shut down by Orange County Superior Court Judge Franz E. Miller who was appointed to the bench thanks to Tom Layton at the State Bar —- so we guess Miller knews what side his bread was buttered.
But what happens in 10 months — on January 1, 2013? SB 94 expires and the whole “anyone can take fees in advance thing” will start all over again just in time for the 3-year interest only loans to mature. How clever, don’t you think? And 3 years is a long time. A lot of people have forgotten all about the loan mod fraud rip-offs of days gone by. You know what this past 3 years was supposed to be right? It was supposed to be enough time for the State Bar, DRE, California Attorney General, etc., to get their act together and put in place some consumer safeguards. Well —the State Bar claims they’re at “Zero” but won’t tell us what that means.
Anyway, as you know, Miss Baldwin sued the State Bar for all the vicious things they did to get her to shut her pie hole. It’s going very well – her case is in the United States Court of Appeals in San Francisco. But we thought it might be interesting to take a trip down memory lane and post some of those old articles Erin Baldwin wrote back then and see how things turned out.
The first one is about Holly Fujie, who was the President of the State Bar in 2009. She left that position in disgrace. But guess what? She just got appointed to be a Superior Court Judge in Los Angeles!!!!! Yay. Wait. No, not yay. She is responsible for the mayhem in 2009 – her and Scott Drexel and Russell Weiner and Tom Girardi and a whole host of people that got rich.
And what about the DRE? Oh, that’s Jeff Davi – he hasn’t been seen around the DRE for over a year – and his position as Commissioner remains empty. That’s why Governor Brown wants to merge the DRE with Consumer Affairs. But we’re thinking no, let’s sort out all the fraud before we starting merging things to hide the fraud.
Holly Fujie Leaves State Bar in Disgrace – Let’s See What Howard Miller Can Do
Posted on May 26, 2009
On May 15, 2008, Holly Fujie, began her Presidency of the State Bar of California with an open letter. The first paragraph read:
“California is a land of plenty – plenty of poor people with legal needs. The wealth of this state is balanced – or overbalanced – by families in need, veterans cut adrift, a graying population with increasing needs for support and protection, and children at risk of falling through the cracks of a system pushed to the breaking point.”
Well, despite our best efforts in writing voluminous amounts of emails, letters, posts, and so on directed specifically toward Holly Fujie and Scott Drexel to wake them up to the fact that their attorney members were in large part responsible for this devastation, California consumers are a lot worse off today then they were in May of 2008. Do you want to know why?
Because Holly Fujie and Scott Drexel refuse to shut down their attorney members that are committing crimes against consumers every day in the loan modification debacle in California. The California Foreclosure Consultant Act exempts attorneys from the rule prohibiting advanced fees. So, attorneys saw a way to cash in big and formed thousands of loan mod scams (mostly internet-based) to capitalize on this loophole.
Drexel chose to focus all his efforts on shutting down legal document preparation services that compete with their attorney members, instead of prosecuting attorneys that are using their law license to form illegal loan modification scams.
We even received an email from Holly Fujie several months ago indicating that she and Scott “were well aware” of their member participation in the loan modification crisis – but guess what, THEY HAVEN’T SHUT DOWN ONE SINGLE ATTORNEY.
Not only that but we’ve got a guy over at United Law Group, Richard Stinstrom, that embezzled half a million from his parent’s estate, the State Bar opened a case to review it ONE YEAR AGO, and the guy is still practicing law! Same with James Parsa who was charged in 2000 of 8 counts of statutory rape, pled guilty to 2 counts, and the State Bar didn’t even know about it until last month!
Now, we’ve got Howard B. Miller coming into office and here’s the press release on him. He “says” one of his focus areas is going to be on “public protection,” but he doesn’t state from whom. HOWARD – START WITH YOUR ATTORNEY MEMBERS!!!!!! Do you want a list? We’ve got one choked with evidence.
San Francisco, May 15, 2009 — Howard B. Miller, a partner at Girardi Keese in Los Angeles, former president of the Los Angeles Board of Education and a regular on Super Lawyer lists, today was elected 2009-2010 president of The State Bar of California.
Miller, 71, ran unopposed and was elected by acclamation on a unanimous vote. He will be sworn in as the 85th president of the 222,000-member organization at the State Bar’s September annual meeting in San Diego.
The other third-year members of the Board of Governors who were eligible to run chose not to. They are Bonnie Dumanis, San Diego District Attorney; John Dutton, Auburn solo practitioner; Richard Frankel, partner in the San Ramon firm of Frankel & Goldware, and John Peterson, of counsel in the Fresno office of Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud and Romo.
Miller said his focus would be on service to members, public protection and legal services. “The main thing for the board is to make sure . . . that every dollar of every member’s dues is spent in the most efficient way,” he said.
A graduate of Pepperdine University and University of Chicago Law School who clerked for California Supreme Court Justice Roger Traynor, Miller specializes in patent and other intellectual property litigation, anti-trust and general complex commercial litigation. He also does appellate work for the firm.
His wide experience includes two years as executive editor of the Los Angeles Daily Journal as well as a leading role on the 1969-1973 PBS weekly television show, “The Advocates,” in which public issues were put on trial with unrehearsed examination of leading public figures. He also has a Los Angeles radio program, “Champions of Justice,” with his law partner, Thomas Girardi.
Since 2004, Miller has been listed annually as a “Southern California Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine. He has been named among the 500 leading litigators in America, was president of the Los Angeles chapter of the American Jewish Committee and was a law professor at the University of Southern California. He was president of the Los Angeles Board of Education from 1977-1979 and chief operating officer of the district from 1999-2000.
Miller and his wife of 51 years, Shirley, have three sons and seven grandchildren. Two sons and a daughter-in-law are California attorneys.
We’re going to be watching you Howard.
Bad Biz Finder
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