On May 5, 2021, and again on August 12, 2021, the State Bar of Arizona entered a orders of disbarment against Scott Michael Forrester. They also issued a long term suspension order on August 10, 2021. This leaves more than 100 bankruptcy clients abandoned and out the money they paid Forrester.
Hundreds of clients have, or should have, claims against him for failure to perform his professional duties and so much more. (See below for information about making a claim with the State Bar Client Protection Fund.)
There are multiple State Bar complaints, numerous pending law suits in Bankruptcy Court, plus so many clients who have been mentally abused by Scott Forrester’s. attitude, either intentional or unintentional, during his short years in his bankruptcy practice.
Note – June 2, 2021 – Mr Forrester appealed the State Bar’s order of disbarment, but discipline hearing panel refused to allow him to continue practicing law during the appeal because “in its discretion, determines no conditions of supervision will protect the public while the appeal is pending.” (Arizona Supreme Court Rule 59(c)) Also, the Bankruptcy Court has terminated Mr. Forrester’s ability to file documents in that court.
Just one example of Scott Forrester’s bad conduct – Bankruptcy Court Hearing on December 1, 2020, Judge Wanslee sanctions Scott M. Forrester for his refusal to comply with court orders:
Judge finds that Scott M. Forrester “willfully violated orders of this court….” “lack of attention and diligence as to the files he is handling…” “evidence that papers are being filed without review by the clients….which is a clear violation of the Code and Rules” “Mr. Forrester is ordered to disgorge fees…until proof of compliance” “Court finds that Mr. Forrester has failed to follow the requirements of the Code and the Rules…” “Mr. Forrester’s practice does not seem to be compliant … it is difficult to see any change or improvement”. “Clients are not to pay Forrester directly, but must pay to the Registry of the Court.”
Update: August 31, 2021: In the Armstrong case, the Honorable Brenda K. Martin issued an Order to Show Cause to Scott Michael Forrester to appear and show cause why he should not be sanctioned for violating, among other provisions, 11 U.S.C. §§ 526 and 110. In re Armstrongs (case no. 2:21-bk-03599-BKM), ECF No. 26. The UST filed a Response. Id., ECF No. 35. After considering the UST’s arguments, Mr. Forrester’s failure to appear, and the Armstrongs’ testimony at the OSC hearing, the Court issued sanctions on August 5, 2021 on Mr. Forrester pursuant to §§ 110 and 526, including $6,000.00 in triple damages to the UST pursuant to § 110(l), $1,500.00 in disgorgement to the Armstrongs if their bank debits that amount from their account pursuant to § 110(h)(3) and § 526(c)(2), and $3,000.00 to the Armstrongs pursuant to § 110(i). Id., ECF No. 54.
The Client Protection Fund (“Fund”) was established by the Supreme Court of Arizona in 1961. Its purpose is to promote public confidence in the administration of justice, and to preserve the integrity of the legal profession by reimbursing people who have sustained losses caused by the dishonest conduct of lawyers admitted and licensed to practice in Arizona.
The mission: to protect the public from consumer fraud. To provide advocacy and public education on consumer protection issues with an emphasis on fraud and abuse.
Consumer fraud, as defined by Arizona law, is any deception, unfair act or practice, false statement, false pretense, false promise or misrepresentation made by a seller or advertiser of merchandise. In addition, concealment, suppression or failure to disclose a material fact may be consumer fraud if it is done with the intent that others rely on such concealment, suppression or nondisclosure. Merchandise may include any objects, wares, goods, commodities, intangibles, real estate or services.
The Arizona Attorney General has the authority to bring actions alleging violations of the Consumer Fraud Act and other state and federal consumer protection laws. A private citizen can also bring an action for a violation of the Consumer Fraud Act within one year from the date the claim arises.