Update: CA State Bar v. Michael T. Pines. SHARK ATTACK!

Last October I wrote about a local attorney by the name of Michael T. Pines who was making quite a name for himself in local real estate circles. (Another Real Estate Scam to beware of.) Counselor Pines was making the evening news by advising clients who had been foreclosed on and evicted to break back into their former homes under the theory that since the debt had been satisfied through foreclosure, they could now own their former home free and clear.

To say this hadn’t worked would be an understatement. Clients who actually followed his advice were summarily re-evicted if they were lucky and arrested if they were not. After all, the homes were now the property of the bank and in some cases had already been resold so charges of breaking and entering and other minor misdeeds were alleged.

Turns out Mr. Pines himself was in foreclosure on some homes he owned and lost his own law office building to foreclosure (he didn’t try to break into his own building). At that time a judge had also slapped him with a $16,000 fine for filing frivolous lawsuits and for wasting his time and not acting in the best interest of his clients.  He also had a couple restraining orders against him for civil harassment after a trial and had been cited for contempt at least once.


Today attorneys for the State Bar of California asked a judge to suspend the law license of Mr. Pines. According to the state bar, Pines behavior had become ‘so
egregious’ that it filed to have his license suspended on an interim basis while it seeks a permanent removal. Jeez, that’s like watching sharks attack another shark – gruesome yet exciting, and as rare in legal circles as it is in nature.

Chief Trial Counsel James Towery was quoted in a written statement as saying “To remove a lawyer from active practice before formal charges are filed is a drastic remedy. In this case, that remedy is justified by the established misconduct of Michael T. Pines, who has shown complete disrespect for the law, the courts and especially the best interest of his clients.” Duh.

Never to be outdone, Pines has filed his own lawsuit against the state bar. “I’m sure the charges are going to be thrown out,” says Pines. “They’re going to be really embarrassed when they find out the truth.”

Hmm, attorneys vs. attorney. I’m guessing the truth might be a rare commodity in this v enue. Of course that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Meanwhile people who have already suffered through a legal foreclosure in Southern California will not have the opportunity to be further victimized by this predator – at least until he teaches the state bar a lesson and gets his dorsal fin back.


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The opinions in this commentary are strictly Gene Wunderlich’s personal opinions. While any reasonable and/or rational indivdual should agree wholeheartedly, the opinons reflected herein may not necessarily be those of the Southwest Riverside County AOR, or any local or state government or other mental institution.
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  • JWpugh

    Pines has been busy with the LA company called CFLA : http://www.prlog.org/11333593-michael-pines-esq-joins-certified-forensic-loan-auditors-llc-on-the-seminar-circuit.html

    Looks like the old ‘birds of a feather flocking together’ as Pines is also on CFLA’s Executive Committee even though CFLA tries to present to the public some distance after Pines’ CA Bar bust.

    Look a little closer–CFLA does forensic audits and puts on ‘seminars’ with or without Pines without being registere with the CA Attorney Gen office. CFLA’s press release says they comply with the California Forensic Audit Law, AB 2325 CHAP 596: http://www.prlog.org/11191599-certified-forensic-loan-auditors-llc-issues-its-corporate-statement-of-compliance-with-ab-2325.html


    CFLA has people sign ‘waivers’ at the seminars. Here is what their info page says:
    •Disclaimer for California Civil Code 2924.1, (CA State Assembly Bill No. 2325), including preparation of waiver form disclaimer for each student.

    Inquire with the Attorney General’s office about the registration and and you’ll find that CFLA has not registered.

    As is said at this site so often, WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  • Your comments have been posted anonymously along with some others at another website. Thank you.

  • BMAN

    I just had a trial against Pines in Beverly Hills Courthouse. Loser didn’t show up. Judge dismissed with prejudice and invited me to file my motion for fees, costs, and sanctions.
    His client had lost her duplex through foreclosure, and while under his representation, his client rented one unit out without disclosing the fact that she no longer owned the property. He had his client file a frivolous unlawful detainer against the renters for paying their rent to actual owner.
    Now he is facing a motion for sanction, fees and costs which I assume he will blow off like he did every other hearing along the way. What a loser!
    I can only imagine what he is telling his client. She is going to get hit hard with costs, and if she doesn’t know what’s going on, she is going to find out soon!
    When I returned to my office from the trial, I had an email from Mr. Pines with attached letter threatening that he has decided that there is more money in suing my firm then my client, and that he was going to be filing a class action lawsuit against my firm for violation of the fair debt collection act! This guy is out to lunch! Of course, that letter is right in front for the judge to read when he reviews our motion for fees/sanctions.

  • James Dawson

    The state bar going after their own people. Wow, these attorneys are something else. We know all lawyers are lyers and stealers. Now all of a sudden these attorneys are becoming ethical? The state bar is probably trying to hide the fact that the banks are finally being caught red handed and someone is paying this guy to make it seem as if Michael Pines is a crook and no one should believe him! It’s hard to trust anyone no a day. Let’s trust the attorneys from the state bar now. They have just turned ethical!!! Yeah right they are all crooks!

  • Foreclosures can’t be stopped when you’ve already wipe out the person. They were screwed from the start.

  • rescalade

    I have an Audit company and Pines screwed a lead that we had. We had to tell her to contact the AG’s office. Somehow she found a FBI agent that cared.

    email me reschke132 at yahoo

  • Terrilyn Lawlor

    Invaluable article – I learned a lot from the facts , Does someone know
    where I could possibly acquire a blank 2014 CA CH-100 version to fill in