By Carolyn Zellander
Following is an interview Michael T. Pines, a Carlsbad attorney who made national headlines for advising clients to “occupy” foreclosed homes. Back in 2011 he was charged with 18 counts of misconduct stemming from his representation of the former owners of three foreclosed homes — in Carlsbad, Newport Beach and Simi Valley. He was released from jail three months ago and will probably be booted out of the legal profession according to a decision by a State Bar Court judge public Thursday. Although he has been scorned by the legal profession, he is a hero to many activists fighting to save homeowners from the perils of the foreclosure crisis.
As a member of the San Diego Foreclosure Strategists Group (SDFSG), I first met Michael at a planning meeting on March 1st, 2012. The primary objectives of SDFSG include educating stressed homeowners and finding solutions and/or alternatives to foreclosure. Michael was an invited guest of a planning session for an action directed toward District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis. Several homeowners with documented incidences of fraud, which when presented to the District Attorney‘s office, had fallen on deaf ears. We did carry out that action at a public function. The action was effective, but Michael paid a price, two days later, he was in jail again. Violation of bail, I believe was the reason given.