From the U-T:
A Carlsbad attorney who made national headlines for telling clients to break into their foreclosed homes and retake possession was arrested Tuesday after a State Bar hearing on whether to revoke his license to practice law.
Simi Valley police – who were at the hearing in plainclothes – arrested Michael T. Pines, outside the California State Bar court in Los Angeles at 12:30 p.m., police said. Detectives said Pines failed to appear in court in Ventura County and had an outstanding open-trespassing warrant for his arrest.
After Tuesday’s 90-minute hearing in the State Bar court, police served the warrant, arrested him and took him to Ventura County Jail.
State Bar attorneys have asked a judge to disbar Pines, who they call a “substantial threat of harm to the interests of his clients and the public. He is a menace,” according to a court filing. Pines’ methods made national news last year when he helped clients break into their foreclosed homes and reoccupy them.
Pines has been arrested in Newport Beach and Oxnard for such incidents, police said.
Ronald Richards, a rebuttal witness at the hearing, said despite those previous arrests, Pines continues to tell clients to retake their homes after foreclosure.
Richards is representing Beverly Hills-based Soda Partners LLC, who bought a foreclosed property where the evicted homeowners refused to pick up their personal belongings, Richards said. Richards said Pines advised those former homeowners to do that.
“He basically abandoned them, and their property is in storage at a huge expense to them,” said Richards, who saw Pines get arrested on Tuesday.
In an October interview with The Wall Street Journal, Pines said: “Some of the great people in this country, the world, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, had to get arrested. I just felt that I had to stand up for my clients.”
The publication reported he helped about 70 people retake their properties.