SCOTT MICHAEL FORRESTER, DISBARRED BY THE STATE BAR OF ARIZONA.  EFFECTIVE MAY 5, 2021.

A cherub face hid a mean personality.

Scott ForresterOn May 5, 2021, the State Bar of Arizona entered an immediate order of disbarment against Scott Michael Forrester.  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. 

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.”

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Bankruptcy is not a quick fix.  You must understand the law and work with an attorney who knows their job, loves their job and treats you with respect.

Alert! Never hire a professional (plumber, doctor, lawyer or other) without doing your own investigation.  Talk to their prior clients or patients.  Look at their reviews, but understand many reviews are fakes.  Get advice from at least two professionals before making a decision who to hire.  Fire them immediately if they don’t seem honest or are rude, to you or their staff.

MUSINGS BY DIANE

Learn to trust yourself.  If your gut tells you “there is something wrong”, then don’t do it.  If your mind tells you “this is too good to be true”, then don’t do it.  If your heart tells you “I don’t deserve this”, then talk to a close friend to see if you are underestimating yourself, or overestimating the other person. 

Never allow someone to be abusive, whether mental or physical.  If any human abuses another living thing, then the abuser is sick, not the living thing he/she is abusing.  According to numerous reports from his clients, Forrester repeatedly yelled at his clients, calling them hurtful names and blaming them for things that were not their fault, or that they did not understand.  It took several of us two years of repeatedly bringing attention of his bad acts to the court and the State Bar before he was finally disciplined.  The good news – they did something.  The bad news – all the damage suffered on the clients even after the problem was known, because the system is so slow to respond.  I recognize there is a reason for a bureaucracy to respond slowly, so as not to over-react to an occasional event.  But, what I observed in dealing with Forrester is that he became embolden by the court’s and State Bar’s failure to respond quickly. As with any bully, the more he gets away with his abuse, the more he comes to believe his actions are acceptable.

The first time I heard from his client about the problems, I reached out to Forrester to see if I could help him (I am part of a great consumer debtor mentoring group).  Other good attorneys did the same.  The results?  Without exception, each of us were rebuked.  Forrester was positive we were trying to “poach” his clients, rather than trying to help him be a better attorney.  When someone has that attitude, then there is nothing you can do, except to make sure the officials know about this bad apple.  Next, take the necessary actions to remove this rotting apple from the apple barrel, so as not a infect the other apples.

Never tolerate bullies.  Stand up to them, make noise, report them to the authorities and don’t let up.  You owe it to your fellow humans.  Here is a great video on the topic of dealing with uncomfortable situations.  The speaker, Cindy Villanueva, is great and has some detailed tips “Get Comfortable with Punches“.

– Diane L. Drain