LA Court Issues Permanent Order Assuming Jurisdiction Over the Law Practice of Mitchell J. Stein

Mitchell J. Stein is an attorney in California who was alleged to be involved in the marketing of mass joinder cases to consumers to join a lawsuit against their mortgage lenders.

A permanent order was issued on October 26, 2011 and states the State Bar of California, Office of Chief Trial Counsel is appointed to do the following:

Examine, retrieve, remove, and secure in a protected area, all the files and records of Mitchell J. Stein’s law office located at: (a) 28720 Canwood Street, 2nd Floor, Agoura Hills, CA 91301, (b) 2950 Buskirk Ave., 3rd Floor, Walnut Creek, CA 94597, or (c) at any other address in California where reliable evidence establishes client files and law office records are located.

The areas to be examined are identified as all locked and unlocked rooms, attics, basement, file cabinets and other locked or unlocked storage devices and areas and other parts therein and the surrounding grounds and any garages, storage areas, trash containers and outbuildings of any kind located thereon, under the care, control and/or custody of persons located at the law practice and/or located at the location where client records and files are being kept. The examination shall also include any and all brief cases, satchels, backpacks, day planners or purses under the care, custody and/or control of persons located at the law practice.

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The items to be retrieved, secured and examined shall include all law office records including, but not limited to, office memoranda, ledgers, journals, financial statements, checking and savings account records, bank statements, cancelled and uncanceled checks, check ledgers, check registers, bank signature cards, bank books, deposits, withdrawals, exchange or transfer documents, receipts, credit and debit slips, capping records, safe deposit box records, keys, rental documents, credit company reports, negotiable instruments, payroll records, personal notes, legal files, and bank or other financial records evidencing the obtaining, secreting, transferring or concealing of assets.

The items to be retrieved, secured and examined shall include any of the above described evidence whether printed, hand-produced, or recorded photographically, electronically, mechanically, or by other means. Where a file or record is maintained in a mechanical device such as a fax machine, computer, video or audio apparatus, magnetic tapes, discs (floppy, mini, CD, laser, and hard drive), such apparatus in its entirety including complete hardware, supporting software for data retrieval and material describing operation of the apparatus shall be retrieved, removed or secured.

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Where records and files are stored or maintained in a file cabinet or similar unit, the file cabinet or unit shall be retrieved, removed and stored with the records and files intact.

The court order also states the following shall take place.

  • Notify persons and entities who appear to be clients and other interested parties of the pendency of, and reasons for, the proceeding and inform clients that it may be in their best interest to obtain other legal counsel.
  • Retain all client files retrieved, removed and secured from the law practice and distribute those client files to clients at their request.
  • With the consent of the client, file notices, motions and other pleadings on behalf of the clients as appropriate, where jurisdictional time limits are involved and other legal counsel has not yet been obtained.
  • Photograph and/or videotape execution of this order as necessary to document compliance with the court order.
  • Arrange for the surrender or delivery of clients’ papers and property.
  • Freeze (or place a hold on) any and all law office-related bank accounts, or client trust accounts, held in the name of Mitchell J. Stein, dba Mitchell J. Stein and Associates, and/or any other law corporation or law partnership owned by Mitchell J. Stein…
  • Endorse any check received by the State Bar which is made payable to Mitchell J. Stein, in his capacity as attorney, and/or Mitchell J. Stein and Associates, and deposit the check into any bank account frozen pursuant to this order, or in the alternative if no such account is frozen, the State Bar has the authority to safeguard said checks pending disbursement.
  • File a change of of address notification with the U.S. Postal Service to forward all mail addressed to Mitchell J. Stein and Associates, located at: (a) 28720 Canwood Street, 2nd Floor, Agoura Hills, CA 91301, (b) 2950 Buskirk Ave., 3rd Floor, Walnut Creek, CA 94597, and to forward mail to the attention of Blithe C. Leece, c/o State Bar of California, 1149 South Hill St, los Angeles, CA 90015. Moreover, the State Bar may open and examine all mail which is forwarded pursuant to this paragraph.
  • Direct the appropriate telephone company or companies to disconnect, and/or intercept, any and all telephone, telefax, DSL, and pager lines associated with Mitchell J. Stein’s law practice, including without limitation; 877-475-2448, 914-843-7957, and 914-652-2431, to refer all calls to a specific telephone line at the State Bar, which shall be established to receive the calls.
  • Mitchell J. Stein, or any knowledgeable person found on the premises of his law practice, is ordered to provide to the State Bar and and all passwords and/or protocols required to access data stored electronically on any computer processing unit located at his law practice and/or removed from his law practice pursuant to the order.
  • Mitchell J. Stein, or any other person having knowledge or possession of the following, is further ordered to deliver to the State Bar, within 48 hours of service of the order: (1) all remaining client files and client property, (2) all client names, addresses, phone numbers and any other contact information, and (3) all client trust accounting records required by rule 4-100 of the Rules of Professional Conduct, maintained or stored by him. – SourceSource

When I read the document it appears that this order does not prevent Mitchell J. Stein from practicing law.

I invite Mitchell J. Stein to comment or add any clarification he feels is necessary to assist readers to properly interpret this reporting of this most recent action.

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