Law firms heavily involved in the “robo-signing” crisis of recent years are continuing to be held accountable for their actions, with a major Florida foreclosure firm closing its doors and a Maryland attorney facing severe sanctions.
According to a preliminary consent agreement with the Florida Bar Association, the Ft. Lauderdale-based Watson Firm, headed by Marshall C. Watson, has agreed to close its doors, and Watson will accept a 91-day suspension of his license to practice law.
The bar association accused Watson and his firm of improperly processing, signing and notarizing hundreds of thousands of foreclosure-related affidavits. At the height of the foreclosure crisis, the Watson Firm employed 71 attorneys, 597 support staff, and handled 66,000 foreclosure cases.
In a separate action, Maryland Attorney Thomas P. Dore is facing sanctions after a state court ruled that his firm violated the rules of professional conduct as a result of its “robo-signing” practices, according to local media reports. Dore was accused of having his employees sign his name to affidavits, which were then notarized by other employees.
These two cases follow other high-profile law firm closings, including that of Florida-based, self-proclaimed “Foreclosure King” David Stern, whose client list, prior to his fall from grace, included major Wall Street heavy hitters, many of which are parties to the National Mortgage Settlement.