But listening to the justices attack Amanda Lundergan, Roman Pino’s attorney, while seemingly going much easier on Bruce Rogow, the bank’s very well-respected lawyer, was at best, discouraging.
It’s common for the justices to try to poke holes in an attorney’s case, and it does not always mean that you can predict what their decision will be.
But with the thousands surely watching Thursday’s hearing, I was hoping the Court would have been a little more sensitive to the perception that they were most certainly creating, that the banks already have this one in the bag.
As a whole I found the Supreme Court judges flippant to the obvious fraud that Bank of New York has brought before the court in this case.
And for the Court to downplay the importance of that fraud, and what it means to the integrity of the judicial system, was offensive.
If you were an average homeowner watching yesterday’s hearing, I am pretty sure you came away with a feeling that the playing field is not level, and there are two different sets of rules for the banks and for the rest of us.
That is truly unfortunate.
The Supreme Court has to be above the fray, and they must not abdicate their responsibility to police their own system.
Which is exactly what would happen if the Court allows the phony documents, the fraudulent backdating, the bogus notes and assignments to be brought before them without penalty.
They would be inviting any plaintiff to bring whatever kind of garbage into the courthouse they choose, because if they get caught, all they have to do is withdraw!
The right to withdraw a case should not be used as a shield to protect yourself when you engage in illegal conduct. It’s the Court’s duty to sanction that conduct and hold the parties accountable, whether it be the banks, the attorneys, even another judge.
And that’s what Roman Pino vs Bank of New York is really about. It’s not about the harm done to Mr. Pino, or whether or not he’s ‘getting a free house’.
It is not OK to just hit the reset button whenever it suits the banks to do so.
If a fraudulent document is put on record, then the banks must be sanctioned and held accountable for such egregious conduct.
Otherwise the courts are nothing more than arm of the banking system, their own private collection agency.
That perception will degrade the integrity of the legal system, and I feel the judges gave short shrift to that.
From The Trenches