The complaint by the Florida Bar against rogue lawyer Mark Payne lists practically all the rule violations that the Burkes filed in their Fl. Bar complaint against Goodwin Procter lawyer Catalina Azuero.
In short, whether its creditor rights lawyers or foreclosure defense lawyers, the damaged parties are the citizens. It’s time the people take back the judiciary and make them honest again as they are not representing the people, they are representing themselves, banks, non-banks and corporations who fund their extravagant lifestyles.
Mark Payne, 9040 Town Center Pkwy., Lakewood Ranch, disbarred by Florida Supreme Court order effective 30 days following a December 10, 2020 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1985). The detailed referee report is available here.
Payne and his wife own Real Estate Services Group, Inc., a Florida corporation that buys and sells real estate. Payne purchased a home after final judgment in a foreclosure action. After the purchase, Payne contacted the homeowners, offering to represent them in the foreclosure action brought by their mortgage lender.
Payne did not enter into a written agreement with the homeowner clients, nor explain or seek their consent for his simultaneous ownership interest in and legal representation of Real Estate Services Group.
In addition to the conflict of interest, Payne failed to make the necessary and proper disclosures to the lender and made misrepresentations to all parties. (Case No: SC18-680)
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA
THE FLORIDA BAR,
D. MARK PAYNE,
Supreme Court Case No. SC-
The Florida Bar File No. 2018-10,106 (12B)
The Florida Bar, Complainant, files this Complaint against D. Mark Payne, Respondent, pursuant to the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar and alleges:
Respondent was admitted to The Florida Bar on December 5, 1985 and is subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Florida.
The Twelfth Judicial Circuit Grievance Committee “B” found probable cause to file this Complaint pursuant to Rule 3-7.4, of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, and this Complaint has been approved by the presiding member of that committee.
Respondent is a co-owner and the attorney for a Florida corporation named Real Estate Services Group, Inc., which is in the business of buying and selling real estate for profit.
In July 2015, Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., instituted foreclosure proceedings against Armando and Nicole Gilkes for the property located at 13226 Graham Yarden Drive in Riverview, Fl.
In August 2015, the homeowner’s association (HOA) for the subject property instituted a lien foreclosure action.
On or about August 18, 2015, Mr. and Mrs. Gilkes filed pro se Motions for Extension of Time to respond to the complaints in both the foreclosure action by Wells Fargo and the HOA action.
Final judgement of foreclosure in the HOA action was filed on June 29, 2016, and a foreclosure sale was set for August 19, 2016.
On August 19, 2016, Respondent’s company Real Estate Services Group, Inc., purchased the subject property at the HOA’s foreclosure sale, and obtained titled via the issuance of a certificate of title on August 30, 2016.
Shortly after his company’s purchase of the subject property, Respondent contacted Mr. and Mrs. Gilkes stating his company had purchased the property at the HOA foreclosure sale and he wanted to assist them in their foreclosure action with Wells Fargo.
Respondent did not enter into a written retainer agreement with Mr. and Mrs. Gilkes.
On or about August 25, 2016, Respondent filed a Motion to Compel Right of Redemption-Reinstatement on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Gilkes in the Wells Fargo action.
On or about September 15, 2016, Mr. and Mrs. Gilkes sent a pro se letter to the court advising the judge that Respondent was not their counsel and he was improperly filing documents on their behalf.
On or about November 21, 2016, Respondent filed an Answer and Affirmative defenses on behalf of the Gilkes.
Counsel for Wells Fargo responded by filing a Motion to Strike the Answer and Affirmative Defenses of Armando Gilkes and Nicole T. Gilkes based upon the September letter the Gilkes sent to the court.
In May 2017, Mr. and Mrs. Gilkes sent another pro se letter to the court advising that Respondent was in fact their counsel.
In July 2017, the Gilkes filed an Affidavit of Legal Representation stating that Respondent had been their counsel continuously from August 2016.
On or about August 16, 2017, after hearing the arguments of counsel on the Motion to Strike, the court entered an order striking all of the Gilkes’ pleadings Respondent filed on their behalf.
Throughout the course of Respondent’s representation of the Gilkes, Respondent had filed multiple short sale applications on their behalf with Wells Fargo. These short sale applications listed the Gilkes as the seller of the subject property and Respondent’s company as the buyer of the subject property. At the time Respondent submitted these short sale applications to Wells Fargo, his company, Real Estate Services Group, Inc., was the lawful owner of the property.
On or about September 1, 2017, Real Estate Services Group, Inc., executed a quit claim deed giving title to the subject property back to the Gilkes.
Until the quit claim deed was executed, Mr. and Mrs. Gilkes did not have title to the property and had no authority to complete a short sale with Wells Fargo.
Respondent knew or should have known that the short sale applications he filed on behalf of the Gilkes were misleading as to the ownership of the subject property.
Additionally, Respondent was advised by counsel for Wells Fargo that a short sale could not be completed unless it was an arms-length transaction.
Respondent knew or should have known that by virtue of his interest in Real Estate Services Group, Inc., and his representation of the Gilkes, the proposed short sale for the property was not an arms-length transaction.
Respondent’s actions with respect to the short sale applications constituted conduct that is contrary to honesty and justice.
Respondent failed to maintain adequate communication with the Gilkes by failing to consult with them about the means by which their objectives were to be completed and failing to keep them reasonably informed about the status of the matter.
By acting as both the Gilkes’ legal counsel in the foreclosure action and as counsel for Real Estate Services Group, Inc., Respondent engaged in a conflict of interest, as the interests of both parties were directly adverse.
Respondent also engaged in a conflict of interest by obtaining a pecuniary interest in the subject property directly adverse to the interest of the Gilkes.
Respondent failed to advise the Gilkes or Real Estate Services Group, Inc., of these conflicts of interest or obtain their written informed consent.
Respondent improperly solicited the Gilkes by directly contacting them and offering to represent them in the Wells Fargo action.
Respondent engaged in conduct involving misrepresentation by filing short sale applications with Wells Fargo on behalf of the Gilkes when they were not the owners of the subject property and had no legal right to sell the subject property.
By filing unauthorized pleadings solely to delay the foreclosing lender and by attempting to mislead Wells Fargo in the short sale applications Respondent engaged in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice.
By reason of the foregoing, Respondent has violated the following Rules Regulating The Florida Bar:
Rule 3-4.3 (Misconduct and Minor Misconduct);
Rule 4-1.4 (Communication);
Rule 4-1.7 (Conflict of Interest; Current Clients);
Rule 4-1.8 (Conflict of Interest; Prohibited and Other Transactions);
Rule 4-7.18 (Direct Contact with Prospective Clients);
Rule 4- 8.4(a) (Misconduct: A lawyer shall not violate or attempt to violate the Rules of Professional Conduct, knowingly assist or induce another to do so, or do so through the acts of another);
Rule 4-8.4(c) (Misconduct: A lawyer shall not engage in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation); and,
Rule 4-8.4(d) (Misconduct: A lawyer shall not engage in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice).
WHEREFORE, The Florida Bar prays Respondent will be appropriately disciplined in accordance with the provisions of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar as amended.
Matthew Ian Flicker Bar Counsel
The Florida Bar – Tampa Branch Office 4200 George J. Bean Parkway, Suite 2580
Tampa, Florida 33607-1496
ADRIA E. QUINTELA
Staff Counsel The Florida Bar
Lakeshore Plaza II, Suite 130 1300 Concord Terrace
Sunrise, Florida 33323
Florida Bar No. 897000 firstname.lastname@example.org
CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE
I hereby certify that the foregoing Complaint has been electronically filed with The Honorable John A. Tomasino, Clerk of the Supreme Court of Florida, through the e-Portal system; and that true and correct copies have been furnished by regular U.S. Mail and by Certified U.S. Mail No. INSERT 7017 0190 0000 0892 3883, Return Receipt Requested, to D. Mark Payne, c/o Kevin P. Tynan, Counsel for Respondent, Richardson & Tynan PLC, 8142 North University Drive, Tamarac, FL 33321-1708 and by electronic mail to his designated email addresses of email@example.com; and by electronic mail to Matthew Ian Flicker, Bar Counsel, to his designated email addresses of firstname.lastname@example.org (primary); email@example.com (secondary); and firstname.lastname@example.org (secondary); and by electronic mail to F. Scott Westheimer, Designated Reviewer, to his official Bar email address of email@example.com; all on this 7th day of May, 2018.
ADRIA E. QUINTELA
NOTICE OF TRIAL COUNSEL AND DESIGNATION OF PRIMARY EMAIL ADDRESS
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE that the trial counsel in this matter is Matthew Ian Flicker, Bar Counsel, whose address and telephone number are The Florida Bar, Tampa Branch Office, 4200 George J. Bean Parkway, Suite 2580, Tampa, Florida 33607-1496, (813) 875-9821, and whose primary email is firstname.lastname@example.org, and secondary emails are email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Respondent need not address pleadings, correspondence, etc. in this matter to anyone other than trial counsel and to Adria E. Quintela, Staff Counsel, The Florida Bar, 1300 Concord Terrace, Suite 130, Sunrise, Florida 33323, email@example.com.
MANDATORY ANSWER NOTICE
RULE 3-7.6(h)(2), RULES OF DISCIPLINE, EFFECTIVE MAY 20, 2004, PROVIDES THAT A RESPONDENT SHALL ANSWER A COMPLAINT.
Goodwin Procter LLP, now rebranded to Goodwin Law is a creditor rights law firm, defending Banks e.g. Bank of America and Non-Banks, e.g. Ocwen Financial et al. This Big Law firm continually violates professional ethical codes of conduct when litigating cases. This post highlights a few examples; The Goodwin Law Hall of Shame.