LPS filed motion for sanctions in bad faith, foreclosure defense attorney alleges
A foreclosure defense attorney suing Lender Processing Services (LPS) says the firm filed a motion seeking sanctions against him in bad faith and said LPS is trying put a stamp of confidentiality on records that are in the public realm. Alabama attorney Nick Wooten has asked the court to dismiss LPS' motion. He filed his response Monday to an April 25 motion by LPS seeking sanctions and/or an injunction against him for allegedly violating protective and confidentiality agreements in cases he has pending against LPS. "The filing of this motion is pure gamesmanship by LPS and Fidelity," Wooten's motion alleges, adding that he has "in every instance honored his agreements regarding protective orders," noting that no court has ever found he violated any protective order or awarded sanctions against him. "Whatever the motivations, (LPS) felt it necessary to use this court to conduct a public attack … that was at all times without merit," Wooten said. Jacksonville, Fla.-based LPS, a provider of technology and services to the mortgage and real estate industry, filed the motion for sanctions in the Larry David Wood and Karen Wilborn Wood lawsuit against Option One Mortgage Corp. — a bankruptcy case pending in DeKalb County, Ala. LPS was not immediately available for comment. Wooten fired back on Monday against LPS' motion saying three key documents that LPS alleges he disclosed were not subject to confidentiality agreements. Wooten said a June 16, 2009, deposition of LPS executive Bill Newland was taken without any agreement of confidentiality and said LPS in late 2010 sought to make it confidential, an effort he refused, noting in his filing that the deposition by that time had already been widely disseminated. A second agreement, called the network agreement between LPS and attorney Scott J. Humphrey, was part of a previous court order in 2009 that ruled it wasn't part of a protective order. Finally a third agreement, the default services agreement, has never been disclosed contrary to LPS' assertions that it has, Wooten asserts in his response. The court ruled in November 2009 that the agreement was subject to a protective order but Wooten contends that LPS never objected to the filing in two other court cases that made reference to the default services agreement, and noted the LPS' issue has always been that the entire document not be disclosed in a court filing and that pricing not be disclosed. The pricing structure has never been disclosed, Wooten said. A default services agreement between Option One Mortgage and Fidelity National Foreclosure Solutions was admitted into evidence in a Louisiana case, and that particular document is not confidential because it's part of a public court case, Wooten alleges. "The fact that the document that movants claim is confidential is publicly available means that the movants concerns are moot," he said, according to his response. Wooten, who has called LPS a bully, also said he's never agreed to be bound by any nondisparagement clause. The nondisparagement clause was in a settlement agreement with the Woods and applied only to the Woods, he said. Wooten also contended that LPS released its motion for sanctions to the national media simultaneously with its filing to generate positive media coverage for itself in what Wooten referred to as a "media ploy." An April 26 article by HousingWire is included among the exhibits. Write to Kerry Curry. Follow her on Twitter @communicatorKLC.