THE STATE OF ARIZONA BAR WHICH OVERSEES ATTORNEYS IS BROKEN – PART ONE
Written by: Mark and Carol Fairall
August 14, 2016
Protected by Copyright
ACCORDING TO OUR RESEARCH CALIFORNIA HAS THE WORST STATE BAR REGULATING LAWYERS
ARIZONA IS NUMBER TWO
We agree with our state lawmakers that the State Bar of Arizona’s Mandatory Membership should be changed to a Voluntary Membership. The State Bar of Arizona is simply an expensive attorneys’ quasi-union which fails to protect Arizonans who have been harmed by bad and corrupt attorneys. We have discovered that you do have to fight corrupt lawyers and lazy governmental agencies to possibly obtain justice. We have found the State Bar of Arizona has a massive amount of power, but to us it has been absolutely worthless. The only help we have received was to recover 33% of the funds we paid an attorney in a recent Fee Arbitration Hearing. We experienced a lawyer who substituted a new contract lawyer (not an employee but part-time help) to represent us. This is commonly called “Bait and Switch.” This new lawyer was just out of law school less than a year and said he did not have the training or supervision from the attorney owner of the law firm. The law firm failed to disclose the new attorney’s lower salary and charged the inflated experienced attorney’s salary rate.
We were robbed by our attorney Mark Tucker who stole $740 from our bank account and failed to appear at our 2009 trial. Tucker was a repeat ethics violator and had been disciplined by the Bar twice, but the Bar declined our 2010 complaint. We were scammed by attorney Scott E. Williams helping a convicted 2005 Medicare Fraud felon, Scott Green, defraud the elderly at our senior living facility, but the Bar declined our 2010 complaint. Another attorney, Clint Goodman, violated Federal Debit Collection Practices Act (FDCPA) laws with illegal debt collection activities against us, but the Bar declined our 2016 complaint. The Goodman complaint is under appeal which we have been told will take weeks to decide. Not a bad delay for the Bar’s chief counsel, Maret Vessella, who is paid $175,000 annually. This is nearly a $20,000 decision just to open our complaint at the Bar. We filed the Bar complaint 05/18/2016 and received the decline letter on 07/27/2016. From start to finish, it will take the Bar nearly four months to decide if it will just open our Bar complaint. We recently disagreed with the Bar’s decision just to require classes for an attorney that lied to the Superior Court Judge. In our 2015 Bar complaint, our bad lawyer refused our monthly payment and lied to the judge wrongly stating we breached the contract, which in fact he breached the contract. The Bar charges high fees for those required classes rather than requiring attorney probation. Any attorney who refuses to pay the high Bar class fees is determined to have mental problems, and the Bar disbars that attorney. This is a money raising scam by the Bar. What was surprising was we could not even attend our own Appeal Hearing. Justice? NO!
The California Bar has tremendous problems which are being investigated by its state lawmakers. It may soon be changed to a Voluntary Membership. The California Bar appointed a new CEO to address the problems. She just completed the Bar Audit which documented that it was failing to protect the public. The results were shocking, so major changes to improve the Bar’s performance are in process with the Bar’s hopes to keep the California State Bar a Mandatory Membership. The Arizona Bar is much like the California Bar, with its: excessive delays, working in secrecy, failing to post attorney complaints, and failing to discipline many attorneys.
Please read the book SHAMING JUSTICE by Bartus Trust about the Arizona Bar corruption. Our only comfort is that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has promised to take our Goodman complaint concerning his FDCPA violations to the United States Department of Justice (DOJ).
Source: Audit: State Bar Failed to Protect Public From Some Bad Lawyers
The California State Bar is supposed to protect consumers, but a recent state audit found the agency put people at ‘significant risk’ after failing to keep watch over
A NEW BASELINE PROCEDURE IS REQUIRED FOR ATTORNEYS TO VERIFY DEBTS BEFORE LEGAL ACTION
We were sued and did not know about it until just before the Default Judgment Hearing date where we would have lost our home to foreclosure. This is illegal by the 2014 case law Haddad v. Alexander which requires the attorney to send a written notice of collection activity to verify the debt and allow the consumer to dispute it before legal action. Clint Goodman filed the lawsuit for Hoazilla LLC, Sun Grove Resort Village (SGRV) new owner, against us on 07/30/2015. This was a nearly six-year old disputed debt that Fannie Mae, SGRV’s previous owner, told us they would not pursue.
The reason this was disputed was because SGRV’s original lawyer, Scott E. Williams, sued Carol twice in 2009 and 2010 for a $2,600 rent that she tried to pay, but SGRV refused her regular rent payment. Williams ballooned the already partially extorted $2,600 disputed debt to over $30,000 in Justice Court which was approved by the incompetent judge Melanie Deforest, who was later forced off the bench. The previously fired and convicted SGRV manager, Scott Green, was found out to be a 2005 Medicare Fraud felon who scammed the government and elderly with 2,678 false claims for services not provided. Scott E. Williams aided and was an accomplice to the crooked Scott Green’s elderly scams, but the Bar declined our 2010 complaint against Williams. Scott E. Williams emailed that he would get even with us and that we could “pound sand” if we filed complaints against SGRV and him. This was all documented in our report THE SUN GROVE RESORT VILLAGE ELDER (SGRV) ABUSE STORY that we sent to the US Senate – Special Committee on Aging. The US Senate asked us to posted the SGRV elder abuse report online at:
Scott E. Williams did get even with our filing complaints by filing four baseless and frivolous lawsuits against us. His last attempt of a retaliatory harassment lawsuit was on 04/01/2015. Williams had his 2010 SGRV judgment reinstated and gave the illegal judgment to Clint Goodman, which was their last illegal 07/30/2015 home foreclosure lawsuit against us in their attempt to make us homeless. We first became aware of this new lawsuit on 02/19/2016, which was only 33 days before the foreclosure Default Hearing. We were never properly served nor did we receive any written notice about this lawsuit. We only became aware of it by a phone call from our reverse mortgage lender’s attorney who was also being sued. This was a bogus lawsuit against my wife, Carol Buck, that was for a $2,600 debt which was ballooned into a $30,000+ illegal lien on my home. The debt was incurred before our marriage and Carol is not a deeded owner on our house. We and the reverse mortgage lender submitted Motions to Dismiss the lawsuit, but the Court failed to rule before the scheduled 03/23/2016 Default Hearing. Our only recourse was to Stay (block) the foreclosure with our forced bankruptcy filing.
We filed a CFPB complaint because of Mr. Goodman’s violation of the FDPCA. Before filing the bogus lawsuit, Mr. Goodman failed to: verify the validity of the debt with the 30-day required verification process, understand that the reverse mortgage was used to pay off a mortgage, and properly perform a Title Search which would have verified the Deeded Ownership. Mr. Goodman used deception to the Court of his bill collecting tactics by not advising us of his lawsuit with the hopes of getting a default judgment against us including his costs for our lack of response. The CFPB told us to file Bar and Arizona Attorney General complaints about the attorney’s illegal activities. Mr. Goodman has been found guilty of FDPCA violations in the past because of his lax attitude and lack of due diligence efforts resulting in his aggressive filing of baseless lawsuits.
The State Bar of Arizona just declined our complaint and saw no problem with the attorney’s scam. That was not a surprise because we have found the Arizona Bar favors attorneys and looks for ways to deny complaints and consumer payment relief. The CFPB had us present the Haddad v. Alexander case law in our Bar appeal which is now in progress. If the Arizona Bar fails to open our attorney complaint, we have been assured by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) that it will go to the United States DOJ.
Source: Sixth Circuit Broadens FDCPA Verification Requirements for Debt Collectors: Dykema
Last week, in Haddad v. Alexander, Zelmanski, Danner & Fioritto, PLLC, — F. 3d — (6th Cir. 2014),
STATE LAWMAKERS ARE LOOKING TO GUT THE ARIZONA STATE BAR
House Bill 2221, which would change the way the State Bar of Arizona regulates attorneys, passed the state house last session but it did not pass the state senate because of the Bar’s opposition and heavy lobbyist efforts. This would eliminate the requirement for all attorneys to pay monies to this quasi-union. The argument was that the Bar charges too much for required classes used for discipline. The bill would end the “private club” of special treatment given to some attorneys who are never disciplined. This would eliminate the Bar’s grandstanding and taking political stances. We have been in conversation with our state lawmakers, and this bill will be presented again by lawmakers Anthony Kern and Eddie Farnsworth.
The Bar protects its own. Our troubles were caused by the attorney Scott E. Williams who aided a felon, Scott Green, defraud and abuse the elderly at SGRV. Williams voluntarily teaches at the State Bar and brags that the politicians and judges favor him because Williams is their elections attorney who helps them keep their jobs. Williams is Arizona’s leading evictions attorney for slumlords (handles 10% of all evictions filed) with over 100,000 evictions in 20 years. Scott E. Williams said he would get even if we filed a complaint, and he did with four baseless lawsuits against us. He has no worries because he has the State Bar and judges in his back pocket. In 2010, the Bar ignored his 20 violations of Rules of Professional Conduct and his three Criminal Actions.
So far out of the 66 SGRV elder abuse cases that we and our private detective, Jacob Mueller, have documented, two-thirds (44) abused elderly residents of SGRV have died with no justice, which includes killing our 93-year old aunt, Catherine Reinertson. Ms. Reinertson was forced to move because of SGRV’s landlord retaliation of: refusing to repair her broken air conditioning unit, refusing to renew her lease, scamming her out of $3,000 plus losing $4,000 in her apartment upgrades, and threatening her with jail. SGRV’s landlord retaliation against Ms. Reinertson and us was the result of our protecting our fair housing rights and the fair housing rights of others.
We have just received a decline from the Arizona Attorney General on our 06/05/2016 Elder Abuse and FDCPA violations complaint on 08/12/2016. The Arizona Attorney General states in his decline letter that our civil rights discrimination complaint did not violate discriminatory treatment because no violations were found for race, color, national origin, religion, sex, or disability. We are appealing that decision because the Arizona Attorney General has failed to consider the complete Civil Right Act (Public Law #90-284, 82 Stat. 73 – Discrimination #4) which makes it illegal to discriminate against any person fighting for theirs and/or the fair housing rights of others. That is exactly what SGRV and Scott E. Williams did with their threat to get even and their actions of four lawsuits against us if we filed a complaint.
SGRV’s and Scott E. Williams’s illegal activities were coercing, threatening, intimidating, and interfering with our fair housing rights because we fought for our fair housing rights and we aided other seniors to exercise their fair housing rights. SGRV’s and Williams’s criminal activities violated the Federal Fair Housing Act (1968 Civil Rights Act) which is enforced by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). These fair housing rights violations are federal felonies with possible jail time. It was especially egregious since it included elder abuse and fraud. Our HUD complaint failed because Mr. Williams submitted forged documents to HUD and misled HUD into wrongfully closing our complaint. SGRV and Scott E. Williams continue to misuse the legal system as a vexatious litigation weapon because we filed complaints about criminal activities with HUD, the Arizona Attorney General, the Maricopa County Attorney, State of Arizona Bar, and Peoria Police. Under Attorney General Tom Horne, on 09/07/2011 Nancy Anger wrote in her two-sentence decline letter to us, “I find no evidence of criminal activity.” Yet only nine months later, we uncovered the fact that Scott Green, manager of SGRV, was a convicted 2005 Medicare Fraud felon and he was fired and reapprehended for parole violations.
We have already filed federal complaints to the US Department of Justice – Civil Rights Division in anticipation of the Arizona Attorney General’s failure to enforce the Civil Rights Law. Scott E. Williams should be held responsible for his illegal activities. Williams should be disbarred by the Arizona State Bar and jailed for his criminal activities.
HB 2221 is not a “Revenge Bill,” but it is a bill to “Eliminate the Good-O-Boy Club” protection racket.
Source: New “Andrew Thomas Revenge Bill” Aims to Gut State Bar of Arizona
Whether lawyers should be required to join and pay dues to the State Bar of Arizona is a fair subject for debate, certainly. But if anyone’s confused about whether a bill…
PHOENIXNEWTIMES.COM|BY RAY STERN
EXAMPLES OF THE INJUSTICES AT THE ARIZONA STATE BAR
This is an in depth article published in the newspaper TOWNHALL on 07/05/2016 by reporter Rachel Alexander. Ms. Alexander reports that the State of Arizona Bar is one of the most corrupt state bars in the United States. She reports examples of unfair favoritism or punishments by the Arizona Bar’s paid Disciplinary Judge William O’Neil. Ms. Alexander reports that Governor Ducey was ready to sign HB 2221 if the Bar lobbyists had not blocked the bill from the state senate’s approval. The bill had already passed the house vote for law passage. It is time to end the “Good-Old-Boy” expensive and mandatory attorney quasi-union fees which fail both attorneys and the public. Specific examples of misguided Arizona State Bar decisions are:
Jeffrey Moffat – A California lawyer was disbarred in Arizona for allegedly asking for a nude picture of someone. This is a misdemeanor crime that was never proven in a trial and the incident occurred past the statute of limitations. The State Bar ignored Moffatt’s Rights of Due Process.
Ted Abrams – O’Neil just suspended his attorney/judge friend’s license for two years after verified problems of 28 sexual harassment voicemails and 85 text messages against a public defender. Ted Abrams is barred from being a judge, but he is about to be reinstated to a lawyer by the Arizona Bar.
Fred Ackel – This judge totally escaped any punishment when a woman on trial recorded his vulgar remarks. Ackel had six prior complaints of similar sexual misconduct, but he was not disciplined because of an “absence of a prior disciplinary record.”
Charna Johnson – Is an attorney who had sex with a client and spoke to the dead for her clients. She had been found guilty prior for similar wrongful conduct, but she was just suspended for one year.
Matthew Schuktz – admitted he had sex with a client and was only suspended for one year.
Robert Standage – This attorney did send sexual images and videos to a client when he was on probation for a previous incident. O’Neil just suspended Standage for two years.
The newspaper writer states that this abuse of equal treatment laws has to stop. We recommend to eliminate the Arizona State Bar’s draconian and favoritism rulings by making it a voluntary attorney quasi-union.
Source: TOWNHALL.COM|BY RACHEL ALEXANDER
State bars across the country have become havens for the left in recent years, increasingly used to target conservative attorneys.
BAD RATING FOR STATE OF ARIZONA BAR CHIEF COUNSEL – MARET VESSELLA
We requested an appeal of a decline of our Bar Complaint #16-1633 against Clint Goodman for FDCPA violations. We were referred to the Chief Bar Counsel Maret Vessella. The CFPB tells us Goodman failed to verify the debt and failed to properly notify us of a foreclosure lawsuit. We nearly lost our home to his scam. Goodman has a prior FDCPA violation judgment. We filed the bar complaint 5/18/2016, and it was declined on 07/27/2016. We are told it will take Ms. Vessella many weeks to make her decision just to open our Bar complaint. Ms. Vessella was hired in 2009, and is paid $175,000 a year.
We are concerned because LAWYER RATINGZ has Maret Vessella rated as POOR, with the following comments:
1. She drags out Bar complaints.
2. She sets attorney disciplines as light as possible.
3. She is accused of being a scuzzy operator.
4. She protects unethical and dishonest lawyers.
5. She is an enemy of the people.
6. She allows evil lawyer behavior to go on year after year.
7. That you should not expect much from her.
Our only salvation is the promise from the CFPB that it will refer this FDCPA violations Bar complaint to the Department of Justice if the Arizona Bar continues to do nothing. Maybe that is what is needed to clean up the Arizona State Bar by the feds.
The public needs to know how bad the Arizona State Bar is as reported by internet complaints. The Arizona State Bar has no need to improve service because it is a mandatory membership quasi-union for attorneys with no oversight. It is time to overhaul the State of Arizona Bar and make it more responsive. It is time to make membership optional in this attorney quasi-union as 18 other states have already done.
SOURCE: LAWYER RATINGZ
PROS AND CONS OF A MANDATORY VS. VOLUNTARY STATE BAR
This article about the Pros and Cons of Mandatory and Voluntary State Bars was printed by the AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION, which is the national voluntary attorney association.
Bar associations focus on public service works, attorney discipline, and attorney information. Bar memberships started nearly 100 years ago with the goal to regulate the legal profession while providing legal service. Currently there are 32 states that have Mandatory (required membership) State Bars and 18 states that have Voluntary State Bars. The trend is towards Voluntary State Bars because it is reported that they are more responsive to both the attorneys and public.
Mandatory State Bars are looked at by many attorneys as a tax for a bureaucratic quasi-union which is detrimental to economic freedoms. It is argued that Mandatory State Bars have more money and perform more public works. Voluntary State Bars have less money, are more frugal, and are more responsive in order to retain attorney memberships. It is argued that the Voluntary State Bars are more efficient and are more accountable to their members and the public. The bottom line is money and which gives the most “bang for the buck.”
We believe the best choice is the Voluntary State Bar because more Mandatory Memberships create the opportunity of excesses and poor performances. The State Bar of Arizona’s income is nearly $15 million from dues and discipline costs. The State Bar of Arizona has the second highest annual dues at $490 a lawyer and has 25,000 dues paying members. This has led to excesses of: bloated salaries, a fancy-owned headquarters, and unnecessary programs. More importantly it has led to corruption of playing favorites because membership is required, it is unregulated, and it is feared as all powerful.
A Voluntary State Bar has the final result of keeping everyone honest by properly performing its functions in order to maintain membership. This Voluntary State Bar program would end: corruption, abuse of power, conflicts of interest, excessively high salaries, and favoritism.
It is our hope the HB 2221 is reintroduced next year at the state legislative session in order to end the Mandatory Arizona Bar. The Arizona Voluntary Bar would end another required tax to do business while increasing public benefits of a more honest and frugal method of attorney oversight.
STATE OF ARIZONA BAR BULLIES: PHELPS, FURLONG, O’NEIL, AND VESSELLA
Bar CEO: John Phelps – Salary: $225,000 a year
Bar General Counsel and Deputy Director: John Furlong – Salary: $175,000 a year
Judge: William O’Neil – Salary: approximately $175,000 a year
Chief Bar Counsel: Maret Vessella – Salary: $175,000 a year
Source: AZ BAR WATCH
NEW YORK IS THE LARGEST VOLUNTARY STATE BAR AND IT IS VERY SUCCESSFUL
The State Bar of New York is three times larger than the State Bar of Arizona with 75,000 members (Arizona has 25,000 members). The New York State Bar has 125 employees compared to the Arizona State Bar’s 100 employees. Its budget of $24 million is only 60% higher than Arizona Bar’s $15 million budget. It disciplines eight times more lawyers than the Arizona Bar per year. It has over 60 committees putting on conferences and seminars while the Arizona Bar has 12 public/lawyer activities.
The annual cost to be a member of the New York State Bar is a sliding scale, which is:
New Lawyer: Free
Two-year Lawyer: $125
Four-year Lawyer: $185
Six-years and more Lawyer: $275
The highest level of the yearly dues for a lawyer at the New York State Bar is much lower than the lawyer dues of $490, soon to jump to $690, at the State of Arizona Bar. That is a shocking 41% increase of dues at the Arizona State Bar which will make it the most expensive Bar in the nation.
The salaries of the State Bar of New York, according to their 2014 tax return, is much less that the Arizona Bar salaries, which are:
Executive Director – David R. Watson: $107,770
Associate Director – Jean Nelson: $136,818
General Counsel – Kathy Baxter: $128,320
The State Bar of New York is located in five 19th Century row houses linked having 37,000 square feet of office space. The Arizona Bar is located in a fancy newly owned $8.4 million building that has 68,000 square feet of lavish office space (nicknamed: “Splurge Mahal.”)
The Voluntary Membership Bar in New York is much more frugal than the Mandatory Membership Bar in Arizona. The New York State Bar is a model of success that many state bars emulate across the nation. The Mandatory Membership Bar in Arizona receives many complaints. One of the severest COMPLAINTS was posted to internet site RIPOFF REVIEW on 05/18/2010 which states:
“State Bar of Arizona fails to protect consumers, shields criminal attorney conduct, and ignores consumer complaints.” “I suggest you guys spend less money on color magazine, plush-fancy offices and lavish conferences at five star resorts and more money and time on hiring the necessary staff to quickly discipline and remove every single bad attorney. That is your first job and responsibility.”
It is interesting that the Arizona Bar did not respond to the RIPOFF REVIEW complaint made over six years ago. It is time for the Arizona lawmakers to pass HB 2221 and fix the State of Arizona Bar by making it a Voluntary Membership Attorney Organization. The Arizona Bar RETALIATES with special Bar investigations against lawyers and Bar complaint declines to the public who want a Voluntary Bar. Please read this shocking article how the Bar keeps control by being a bully and breaking the law. This is posted on the internet at:
It is time for Arizona leaders and lawmakers to require the Arizona Attorney General to follow the whole 1968 Civil Rights Law and not just enforce parts of the law. It is time for the Arizona leaders and lawmakers to change the State Bar of Arizona to a Voluntary Membership that does not show favoritism to friends of the Bar.
Source: NYSBA | Vital Statistics