Former Florida chief circuit judge joins Watson foreclosure law firm
Victor Tobin, the former chief circuit judge in Florida's Broward County, will join the Fort Lauderdale-based Law Offices of Marshall C. Watson as general counsel. In his new role, Tobin will oversee attorneys and ensure best practices at a firm that recently settled investigations into how it was handling foreclosure cases. In October, then Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum launched investigations into four large foreclosure firms in the state, including The Law Offices of David J. Stern, Watson and others. In March, Watson settled with new Florida AG Pam Bondi by paying $2 million. Half of the money went to the cost of the investigation with the rest going to Legal Aid, which provides free legal service to low-income residents. As a result of the settlement, Watson was cleared and did not admit to any allegations of forgery or misrepresentations in foreclosure cases. Investigations into the other law firms remain ongoing. While at Broward County, Tobin managed roughly 350 employees and 89 judges. He implemented a foreclosure division, which helped transfer more than 50,000 pending cases from the circuit's civil division into three separate departments. Local media in Florida have reported that Tobin fought, oftentimes brazenly, for projects such as funding of a controversial new courthouse and had confrontations with lower employees over the chaotic document situation in Broward County. Watson, who is the law firm's CEO, said Tobin served the county honorably over his 15-year post while Tobin said he looks forward to his new position. "I had a strong desire to return to private practice once my term concluded," Tobin said in a statement sent to HousingWire. "The firm established best practices and procedures policies, and I will ensure it is followed and advanced. Additionally, I will be able to apply my overall knowledge of the judicial process to advance the firm’s goals." Write to Jon Prior. Follow him on Twitter @JonAPrior.