Attorney pledges fight on David J. Stern WARN notice lawsuit
The Law Offices of David J. Stern and specifically Stern himself should never have been named as defendants in a recent lawsuit by terminated employees, a lawyer representing Stern said Monday. Four former employees fired from DJSP Enterprises (DJSP), which processes foreclosures, allege that they and hundreds of other employees didn’t receive adequate notice when they lost their jobs. DJSP is the public, processing arm of Florida foreclosure attorney David J. Stern. Attorney Jeffrey Tew, an attorney with Tew-Cardenas, claimed the case was "completely without merit," and said he’d file a written response within 30 days. "If you read the complaint, they (Stern and the Stern law firm) were not the employers of any of the plaintiffs. Adding them as defendants is completely unwarranted," he said during an interview Monday with HousingWire. "The (DJSP) enterprise company did not violate the WARN Act." The federal lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, alleges that DJSP and Stern failed to comply with a federal law that governs mass layoffs. The firms did not provide a 60-day advance written notice of the layoffs under the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, known by its acronym WARN, the lawsuit alleges. Tew originally declined comment on the suit last week because he had not had time to review it. The lawsuit seeks back pay for the four plaintiffs and all similarly affected employees. DJSP and the Law Offices of David J. Stern terminated employees on Sept. 23, Oct. 14, Oct. 21-22, Nov. 5 and Nov. 18, the lawsuit alleges. During that time, an estimated 700 of a total of 1,200 employees were let go, according to the lawsuit. The first WARN notice should have gone out on July 26 in order for the first set of layoffs on Sept. 23 to comply, the suit alleges. DJSP filed a WARN notice with the state of Florida on Nov. 9, according to state records. The law firm and three others are part of an investigation into foreclosure practices by Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum. Stern's firm also recently lost business from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in connection with the probe. Citigroup (C) also suspended referrals to the firm. Write to Kerry Curry.