A Minnesota attorney has been sanctioned by a U.S. District Court for filing what the court called "frivolous show-me-the-note actions" challenging foreclosure proceedings. Judge Patrick J. Schiltz in the District of Minnesota dismissed several lawsuits brought by William B. Butler of the Butler Liberty Law, LLC and ordered him to personally pay the sum of $50,000 to the court as well as an undetermined sum for legal expenses incurred by the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS) and its co-defendants in some of the suits. The Judge also sent a copy of his order to the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board for their review.
According to a press release from MERS, Butler had filed nearly 30 lawsuits in which the plaintiff argued that the entity that held their defaulted mortgage was not the same entity that held the note and thus the mortgage on the home and the foreclosure of that mortgage was invalid. In his decision in Welk, et al. v GMAC, Schiltz said that Butler had "made a cottage industry" out of these actions despite the fact that "this argument has been rejected by the Minnesota Supreme Court, by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, and by every federal judge sitting in Minnesota who has addressed the argument."
The Judge ruled that the sanction of $50,000 was justified due to "the extraordinarily egregious and brazen nature of Butler's conduct" through his pleadings and harm done to his clients by "exploiting them financially" by earning fees "if multiplied by the number of cases he has brought, indicated he has earned tens (or even hundreds) of thousands of dollars marketing show-me-the-note cases over the Internet."