Wednesday, May 25, 2011

San Diego Foreclosure Lawyer Jailed

Pines in shackles

The ABAJournal reported, yesterday, via the San Diego Union Tribune website the story of the real estate lawyer who is charged with felony stalking following his disciplinary suspension for advising foreclosure clients to break and enter their former residences.  Here is reporter Lily Leung's story from SignOnSanDiego (the Union Tribune's website:) 

"A North County attorney whose [law] license was suspended in April for telling clients to break into their foreclosed homes and retake possession of them was arraigned Tuesday on several felony and misdemeanor charges related to stalking, filing false crime reports and practicing law with a suspended license, authorities said.

The District Attorney’s office, in a San Diego Superior Court case, filed the charges against Michael T. Pines in the Vista courthouse. Pines, who has made national headlines for his unconventional tactics, is being held on a $227,000 bail. He has decided to represent himself in court.

Prosecutors charge that the 59-year-old for roughly two months had been advising an evicted family to retake possession of their home, and during that process, stalked and harassed the current occupants — Phillip Ladman and his family — as well as Ladman’s business partner, Ronald Bamberger.

The District Attorney’s Office has filed a total of eight counts against Pines.   Of those, four are related to felony stalking in the Ladman-Bamberger incidents. Two of those stalking charges allege Pines violated a temporary restraining order, which was granted Feb. 23.

James Romo, the prosecutor assigned to the case, said the complaint against Pines lists one misdemeanor count of falsely reporting a crime to a 911 operator on Feb. 24 when he said the Ladman residence was being burglarized.   The remaining charges include: placing a 911 call for purposes of harassment, falsely reporting a crime to a police officer and continuing to practice law despite a suspended license.

Pines’ [law] license [is] 'involuntarily inactive' pending a hearing, after a State Bar Court hearing in late April.  State Bar Court Judge Richard Honn, in his ruling, said: 'Legal decisions are to be made by the courts, not the litigant. (Pines’) unwillingness or inability to obey court orders and follow the law of this state has tarnished the reputation of other attorneys and the legal community as a whole.'"
It's always interesting to see a lawyer sitting in the dock, especially as with this case, the lawyer still thinks he is the best qualified person to represent him in court.  As I've said many times--fool for a lawyer, fool for a client.


  1. What kind of foreclosure lawyer is that. I guess he is the bank's lawyer.

  2. Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced the arrests of 101 leaders and members of two transnational gangs
    operating violent criminal enterprises in the Central Valley cities of Madera, Los Banos, Livingston, Merced,
    Atwater and Dos Palos.