• August 12, 2015

Formal Table SettingUpdate (August 12, 2015): Time for the Butler to say “bye for now.”

I learned recently that Mr. Butler does have at least one defender. I received the message, below, just this past week from a Minnesota lawyer:

Bill Butler is being run into the ground professionally for arguing that a mortgage cannot be foreclosed unless the creditor proves that he owns the note secured by the mortgage.  Anybody who would deny something so basic is either joking, or corrupt, or incompetent.  You are saying that this contention is a “losing argument,” which means that you are joking, or corrupt, or incompetent.  This perverse notion was invented by big banks on Wall Street for their convenience so they can bundle mortgage notes into securities and sell them to unwary investors, but this scheme separates the notes from the mortgages, and makes the mortgages unenforceable.  The whole scam, if pulled off, means an end to the rule of law in this country, and the end of the middle class in the United States, — or more correctly, the end of the United States.  Your endorsement of this notion reflects badly on your character, not Bill Butler’s uprightness as a lawyer.

(Incidentally, I found this minority view unpersuasive and I stand with the OLPR and the Minnesota Supreme Court (and many other judges, lawyers, and Lehman lay-people) in their condemnation of Mr. Butler’s conduct.)

Original post (April 10, 2015): I recently described the time-attenuated slow motion nature of some legal disasters (as opposed to other kinds of relatively instantaneous disintegrations like stepping on a land-mine). I suppose that deaths of people, jobs, companies, lawsuits, traditions, socio-economic relationships of all kinds — all deaths in sum — are certain and follow their own time-lines based on that pesky second law of thermodynamics, better known as entropy.

When was the last time you saw a butler, for instance? The butler is a dead social institution (or is it?). I suppose sociologists might study and analyse when, how, and why social institutions were born and when they died, just as our medical community does for actual human beings.

Speaking of both disappearing butlers and slow-mo legal disasters, the day seems to be getting increasingly nearer when the Minnesota bar will say, “So long,” to Minnesota attorney William Butler, whose trail of tears I have followed on Minnesota Litigator for a while now.

Mr. Butler’s fatal tactic was that he charged clients money to make arguments that courts told Mr. Butler expressly were losing arguments in earlier cases. The courts went further and cautioned Mr. Butler that he would be sanctioned if he continued to make the same losing arguments over and over again (and charging destitute clients for the futile exercise). Guess what Mr. Butler did then? (Spoiler alert: he persisted.)

Here, thanks to a faithful Minnesota Litigator reader (THANKS!), is the briefing before the Minnesota Supreme Court (here, here, here). The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear argument on the appeal on May 13, 2015.




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