Three-judge panel orders disbarment of foreclosure attorney Gary Victor Dubin – Ian Lind

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A panel of three judges from the US District Court in Honolulu issued an “Order of Disbarment” on Thursday, stripping former foreclosure attorney Gary V. Dubin of his license to practice law in Hawaii’s federal court.
Dubin was previously disbarred by the Hawaii Supreme Court in November 2020, triggering a motion to “show cause” why he should not be disbarred from federal court as well, pursuant to a reciprocal discipline policy.
The panel, consisting of District Court Judges Jill Otake and Leslie Kobayashi, and Magistrate Judge Kenneth Mansfield, concluded Dubin had failed to establish “by clear and convincing evidence” that his case qualified for any legal exceptions to the recommended reciprocal discipline.
“There is no evidence of due process violations, insufficient proof, or grave injury,” the panel concluded. The order of disbarment was effective immediately on September 30, the date of filing of the order.
Dubin was full of bravado when contacted on Saturday.
“No surprise,” Dubin replied by email when asked for comment on the panel’s order. “The Hawaii legal system, not exactly ranked higher in ethics in most minds than used car salesmen, has a small town mentality and the federal and state court judges are close to one another.”
“We are only in the bottom of the first inning in my case,” he wrote.
The judges’ 42-page written order details their reasons for rejecting Dubin’s varied defenses.
For example, the panel rejected Dubin’s claim he had been denied due process, noting the record in the case shows Dubin “filed extensive briefing addressing the allegations against him, participated in seven days of formal hearings before [an ODC hearing officer], presented witnesses and evidence, and participated in hearings before the Disciplinary Board,” and then continued with additional appeals and motions for reconsideration.
“That he obtained an adverse ruling from the Disciplinary Board regarding his discipline and the purported conflicts of interests does not mean he was deprived of due process,” the panel wrote in its order. “Indeed, the fact that he raised and was heard on the subject issues demonstrates that he received due process.”
A similar conclusion was reached concerning proceedings before the Hawaii Supreme Court which led to that court’s disbarment order effective in November 2020.
Dubin had again argued he had been denied due process because, he alleged, additional complaints must have been shared with the Supreme Court by ODC, “secret” communications he said deprived him of due process.
“This theory is purely speculative and without basis…” the order states, and had been explicitly addressed more than once when the case was before the Supreme Court. “Moreover, having conducted an independent review of the entire record, the Court finds that there is no evidence in the record or otherwise to support Respondent’s conjecture, much less clear and convincing evidence.” [Emphasis in the original.]“Respondent’s repudiation of the allegations consists of deflection and finger pointing, not evidence,” the panel found. “And when he references evidence, it does not stand for the proposition for which it is cited. Findings are not insufficient or untrue merely because they do not comport with Respondent’s narrative.”
The disbarment order marks the end of a long disciplinary process that started on January 4, 2017 with a petition filed by the Office of the Disciplinary Counsel citing four cases it believed warranted disciplinary action.
In one case, ODC said Dubin failed to disclose a prior criminal conviction when applying for a mortgage solicitor’s license. His license was revoked by the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, and their action was upheld by the First Circuit Court and the Intermediate Court of Appeals, according to a summary in the panel’s order.
In a second case, Dubin was found to have signed the names of clients on a $132,000 settlement check made out to them without prior authorization, and failed to provide billing statements to them for nearly four years.
A third case, according to the panel’s order, involved Dubin’s “failure to account for a retainer and his removal of the retainer from the trust account without notice.”
Dubin disputed each of the allegations and continues to deny any wrongdoing.
However, despite Dubin’s denials, the Hawaii Supreme Court found the allegations in these three cases were supported by the record and warranted disbarment, applying the American Bar Association’s Standards for Imposing Lawyer Sanctions. The federal court panel agreed.
A fourth complaint presented to the Supreme Court by the Disciplinary Counsel was submitted directly by the Intermediate Court of Appeals. The complaint cited Dubin’s “repeated violations of the Hawai‘i Rules of Appellate Procedure and the issuance of sanctions against him in multiple appeals filed on behalf of his clients between 2012 and 2014.”
Copies of the three-judge panel’s disbarment order were forwarded the following day to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court for further action.
A copy of the Order of Disbarment is attached below.
Dubin filed a separate federal civil lawsuit against those involved in the state disbarment proceedings, including the individual members of the Hawaii Supreme Court and its Disciplinary Board, alleging their actions during the state disbarment proceedings violated his constitutional rights.
During an August 18th hearing on the defendants’ motion for summary judgement in the civil case, Dubin acknowledged he could not legally challenge the Supreme Court’s disbarment decision directly, but maintained he was challenging the procedure on constitutional grounds.
Deputy Attorney General Robyn Chun called Dubin’s lawsuit a thinly veiled attempt to retroactively attack the Supreme Court’s disbarment proceedings “cloaking the pleadings in the cloth of a different claim.”
On September 9, before a decision on the pending motion had been issued, Dubin filed yet another civil lawsuit with a pared down set of defendants, now limited to the Office of Disciplinary Counsel; Bradley Tam, chief disciplinary counsel for ODC and administrator of the Lawyers’ Fund for Client Protection, and former state judge Clifford Nakea, chair of the Disciplinary Board.
Dubin’s latest complaint (Civil # 1:21-cv-00392) appears to have repackaged the same arguments that have already been repeatedly rejected by ODC, the Hawaii Supreme Court, Judge Otake, and the three-judge panel, along with new alleged errors that came in the recent federal court’s “show cause” proceedings. Chief Judge Michael Seabright has assigned the new case to Judge Otake.
Dubin, 83, received his JD degree New York University School of Law in 1963. He has been licensed in California since 1964, and in Hawaii since 1982.
Following his disbarment by the Hawaii Supreme Court and the US District Court in Hawaii, his email signature has been changed to read: “Admitted to Practice in California State and Federal Courts.”
Also see:
Court deals major setback to condominium associations, attorneys,” iLind.net, Sept 26, 2018
Well-known foreclosure defense attorney facing possible disbarment,” iLind.net, Sept 30, 2019
Attorney Gary Dubin disbarred by order of the Hawaii Supreme Court,” iLind.net, Sept 10, 2020
Dubin responds to Supreme Court’s Disbarment Order,” iLind.net, Sept 12, 2020
Court affirms disbarment of attorney Gary Dubin,” iLind.net, Sept 30, 2020
U.S. Supreme Court rejects Dubin appeal,” iLind.net, Apr 19, 2021
Recent rulings suggest foreclosure attorney Dubin faces likely disbarment in federal court,” iLind.net, Aug 2, 2021

In the matter of Gary Victo… by Ian Lind
Dubin has all the makings of an excellent Attorney General in the second Trump administration (“only in the bottom of the first inning,” indeed) if the Democrats continue to fail in getting their act together.
Lots of procedural minutiae but what’s missing is even a cursory explanation of Dubin’s relevance to anything interesting or any other reason a reader should slog through it all.
What I find far more interesting than the long anticipated disbarment of this predatory thief is just why John Waihee has long chosen him as a law partner. I had an office one floor below their offices in Harbor Court for years. For those of you who have forgotten, Mr. Waihee used to be the governor of the State of Hawaii- you know the same guy who appointed all his pals to the Supreme Court to insure his other pals would become Bishop Estate Trustees. You remember, paragons of virtue and competence like gym teacher Lokelani Lindsey.-and help insure he would have a lucrative association with a Washington DC law firm when he concluded it would just be tO obvious if he appointed himself to the Bishop Estate. Gary Dubin???? That’s hardly a step up.
I can tell he’s not exactly a person of character just by his clumping of used car salesmen together with judges and lawyers.
I’ve known and dealt with a few car salesmen (new and used) over the years and found most are decent, upstanding people just trying to make a living. A lot more than can be said for the likes of Dubin, Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell, Lin Wood and the usual cast of idiots.
That said, however, I’ve also known very honest and genuinely good lawyers that have helped people plan their estates or helped “the small guy” take on the all powerful and intimidating government machine of vindictive, selective and dishonest prosecutions along with dirty, lying cops.
Hawaii now has a slow messy (ie profitable for lawyers) foreclosure process that often leaves squatters in bank-owned houses for 6-10 yrs while the process grinds thru the courts. Dubin/Waihee had a lot to do with making it this way.
Someone’s got to win, may as well be the lawyers?
Most of what Dubin, his former associate Arensmeyer, and fellow practitioner in the foreclosure defense field, Geshell, have accomplished is a more complex, and thus more expensive, foreclosure process that does not typically end with their clients keeping their homes and saddles them with high legal fees and enormous deficiency judgments.
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