Law Offices of Robert E. Brown, P.C.
This is a classic Judge Schack moment in Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. v Zelouf, 2011 N.Y. Slip Op 50212[U]. To fully appreciate this, you have to deal with Baum's office on a regular basis. Nearly every interaction or communication with his office is prefaced by the following mantra ad nauseam:
[t]he law firm of Steven J. Baum, P.C. and the attorneys whom it employs are debt collectors who are attempting to collect a debt. Any information obtained by them will be used for that purpose.To be sure, Baum is required to give this warning to all his prospective judgment debtors in order to be in compliance with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. However, in Zelouf, it appears an overzealous paralegal--I'll give the attorneys the benefit of the doubt on this one--had the misfortune to include the now-famous Fair Debt Collections mantra in a correspondence with Judge Schack. You gotta love this guy's sense of humor. The good Judge writes:
Further, plaintiff's counsel states in his notice of withdrawal, "[t]he Plaintiff will not be discontinuing the above referenced action." Moreover, in his cover letter to myself, plaintiff's counsel states that "[t]he law firm of Steven J. Baum, P.C. and the attorneys whom it employs are debt collectors who are attempting to collect a debt. Any information obtained by them will be used for that purpose." Since this statement was in a cover letter to me and does not appear to be preprinted on the letterhead of the Baum firm, the Court would like to know what debt it [*2]personally owes to the Baum firm or its clients? This statement borders upon frivolous conduct, in violation of 22 NYCRR § 130-1.1. Was it made to cause annoyance or alarm to the Court? Was it made to waste judicial resources? Rather than answer the above rhetorical questions, counsel for plaintiff is directed never to place such a foolish statement in a cover letter to this Court. If this occurs again, the firm of Steven J. Baum, P.C. is on notice that this Court will have the firm and the attorney who wrote this nonsensical statement appear to explain why the firm and the individual attorney should not be sanctioned for frivolous conduct.
Baum, there is no winning with the Little Judge from Brooklyn!