“One of Watson’s attorneys was paid $1 for each Affidavit of Reasonable Fees, which purported to attest, under oath, to the truth and accuracy of information contained in the document.
But an unknown number of 150,000 affidavits signed by this attorney were not completed in the presence of a notary as required. Also, “in numerous instances”, the attorney was given only the last page of the affidavit to sign meaning he likely did not review the supporting information.”
Foreclosure mill head faces Florida Bar discipline
by Kim Miller
The owner of the Fort Lauderdale-based Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson has agreed to plead guilty in a proposed Florida Bar consent judgment that accuses him failing to supervise or train his employees in foreclosure-related work.
The judgment, which still requires final approval by the Supreme Court of Florida, is believed to be the first punitive action taken against the owner of one of Florida’s large law firms that represent banks in foreclosure cases.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi closed her office’s foreclosure investigations last year after a Florida Supreme Court decision upheld a ban preventing the state from subpoenaing documents from the firms. Watson’s firm was the only one of those investigated that agreed to a settlement with Bondi’s office, paying $2 million while admitting no wrongdoing.
According to the December agreement between the Florida Bar and attorney Marshall Watson, he will be suspended for 91 days and required to pay $30,000 for a record-keeping analysis by the Bar plus $5,931 for its investigation.
All suspensions of 91 days or greater require proof of rehabilitation and approval of the Supreme Court before a lawyer may be reinstated to the practice of law.
The 12-page agreement states that, if approved by the court, Watson will have to close down the Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson.
Consent Judgement below…
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