We have now reached the five year anniversary of the financial crisis. It seems a lot longer than that. I remember just before the collapse, stepping into a condo that had recently sold for over $400,000. It was so close to the train tracks that it shook when trains went by. I knew what so many thought was reality, was not real. The crash so many of us expected to happen seemed to take almost everyone by surprise. Wall Street, left naked in the tub after the drain got pulled on their giant, approximately 7-year long treasure bath, scrambled for towels to cover up. Instead, our leaders handed them heated silk robes, champagne, and caviar.
Pillars of our financial system came crumbing down. Lehman Brothers, AIG, Bear Stearns, WAMU, and many more were shuttered. According to the FDIC Failed Bank List, only 3 banks collapsed in 2007. In 2008, that number rose to 24. Throughout 2009, the FDIC shut down @ 140 financial institutions and in 2010, @ 160! It has slowed down but banks are still failing. Approximately 22 have failed in 2013 already. We are still a long way away from seeing the end of this.
Very often I find myself working harder than ever. Extremely late nights in the office, getting out of bed at 5 am thinking of some new wrinkle to an argument or a new fact I can elicit on cross examination at trial. My energy, passion and motivation seem almost never ending. Thankfully, I have a young family. A beautiful 4 and 1/2 year old little girl and a handsome 1 and 1/2 year old boy who both love their father so much, and an absolute angel of a wife, who does her best to care for us all. I see them far less than is healthy for any of us but I am doing the best I can. After all, I am an addict – addicted to fighting financial institutions.
This post came to me after a few nights in a row leaving the office @ 11pm, including this past Sunday night. Thankfully, I have recently hired some great new staff to add to the incredible crew we have, so hopefully these late nights will be less frequent and we can serve more people in need. Regardless of my workload, I can’t imagine that my passion and obsession will ever wane. Like so many others, I’ve been bitten by this bug years ago and it’s a really hard habit to break.
This is not an easy career path. Then again, anything worthwhile rarely is. Great accomplishments take great sacrifice and I have been and continue to sacrifice in my quest for greatness, as a civil justice lawyer, as a force for change and as a father, husband and fellow citizen. I’ve always been a fairly motivated person, one who strives to keep growing. However, the drive to help others in this cause, while fighting financial institutions is unlike any motivation I have ever known. I suppose this is only natural. The cause is unlike any other I or any one in our generation has ever known. We are witnessing the largest transfer of wealth in the history of the world, right before our very eyes. And, it seems all the levers of power in place that were designed to protect us are all pulled in the banks’ direction. The government and its regulatory mechanisms have failed us all. It seems foreclosure defense and consumer protection lawyers are the only hope left to hold banks accountable for the worldwide calamity they have created.
An anti-foreclosure fraud activist and good friend of mine regularly tells me this is the civil rights movement of our time. The color of one’s skin, religion, sex and other characteristics have all been used to divide and judge us. Now, economic status seems to be the largest wedge. Millions of Americans have been left impoverished by the crisis. The middle class is disappearing fast. However, if you are a large financial institution, you are the beneficiary of unequal protection under the law. The consequences of your reckless behavior is eliminated. You can produce nothing and offer nothing of any profound value to society and make millions doing it. You can gamble on everything from pork bellies to the exchange rate of a ruppee and not only is it legal, you are viewed as some kind of upper crust of our country’s finest minds.
The rest of us, not among the gambling class, must work for a living, provide meaningful goods or services, be held accountable if those goods or services cause someone an ounce of harm and most importantly, if we commit a crime, we go to jail. This is the way things should be. But, after an era of reckless behavior, fueled by greed and arrogance, those that are responsible for altering the course of world history for the worse, were rewarded AND got to skate away free and clear.
I can’t express how much this bothers me. Words cannot describe it. I find myself regularly spending almost every free moment I have reading new cases from around the country, great briefs, motions and memorandums written by fellow civil justice advocates, articles from Google news alerts and fascinating posts on websites such as 4closurefraud.org. (That site in particular and Michael Redman, the honorable person who runs it out of nothing but a passion for justice and a shoestring budget, is a testament to how just and compelling our cause is.) More than anything I channel my anger and frustration with the financial industry and the enablers that are our three branches of government, in my work, serving others in the fallout of this great injustice. I am not alone.
There are great teachers of civil justice. April Charney and Max Gardner, two pioneers in this field, have suffered serious physical illness undoubtedly not helped by the stress caused from taking a lead role in this charge. They have blazed a trail, training so many others in this fight. Aside from great teachers and litigators such as April and Max, there are countless other amazing advocates in Florida and around the country who would be superstars in any area of the law they choose.
In addition to fighting for homeowners, I am finding great satisfaction by training other lawyers in their trial practices. My ability as a trial lawyer has evolved over sixteen years of handling numerous jury and nonjury trials, mock trials, and mock voir dires. I’ve also trained under the rigid scrutiny of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), in both their intensive eight-day trial advocacy program and their depositions skills program. And perhaps most importantly, I have benefited from mentoring relationships with some extremely experienced litigators and judges over the years. Bottom line, there is no substitute for experience and, especially in our field, there is no greater advantage one can have at trial than by mastering the evidence code and trial procedure.
My approach, cross examination and voir dire outline, trial preparation checklist, trial binder, trial materials, legal library, litigation forms, and an extremely thorough deconstruction and reconstruction of the evidence code, applicable rules of civ pro and trial related case law is a sizable chunk of what I cover in detail during day one of my trial workshop. Day two borrows from NITA’s “learning by doing” approach, for which there is no better way. There are still a few spaces available, to learn, in great detail, what is working so well for us to have far more trial wins then losses. For more info, an agenda, and just a few of the overwhelmingly positive feedback responses I received from the last one, go to: https://www.evanmrosen.com/trial-workshop/.
If you are an attorney looking to improve your comfort level, trial skills, and mastery of the evidence code, in order to better serve and represent clients in defense of foreclosure, our workshop will help you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at 754-400-5150 or firstname.lastname@example.org. To learn more and to register click here: Foreclosure Trial Workshop October 19th – 20th
If you are in South Florida and are looking for help with debt, foreclosure, student loans, real estate or want more information about bankruptcy law, call us at (754) 400-5150 or fill out our online form for a FREE CONSULTATION. Let the lawyers and staff at the Law Offices of Evan M. Rosen serve you!