“For 30 years, I represented banks and financial institutions in private practice. I left the profession in 2000, and when the financial crisis hit in 2008 I wanted to see if there was some way I could use my legal skills to help people who were suffering. I ended up volunteering with Pine Tree Legal Assistance in Maine, and helped organize what became the Maine Attorneys Saving Homes (MASH) project.
A deposition I took in one case uncovered what became known as the robo-signing scandal in 2010. GMAC stopped their foreclosures nationwide as a result of that case, followed by all of the other major banks — Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America — because they had the same robo-signing problem.
Since then, I’ve been before the Maine Supreme Court in 25 foreclosure cases, and we have so profoundly shaped the law in Maine that we now have the most protective set of foreclosure decisions in the country. We’re winning these cases with astonishing frequency, and the fact that we’ve impacted the lives of thousands of Maine homeowners is one of the highlights of my career. This all came out of the chance decision to join Pine Tree Legal, and there’s no way I could have had this kind of impact without the support of that office.
I’ve spoken at a number of law schools around the country, and I always urge students to think about a career in consumer law. I love being a lawyer and enjoyed private practice for most of my career, but there’s nothing like this kind of work. I get to be the guy with the white hat, protecting the little guys against the corporate and financial monsters who try to take advantage of people. That’s the highest calling of the legal profession, in my opinion.”