A federal judge is ordering two attorneys for the controversial AID Foundation into court to explain why their actions don’t constitute professional unethical conduct.
Judge Neil Wake issued the order Thursday citing news media accounts that he said raise questions about Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities (AID) that must be explored.
The two AID attorneys are Peter Strojnik and Fabian Zazueta.
“The circumstances raise the question whether Mr. Strojnik has used these cases to abuse people with unethical fee demands that are more economical to pay than defeat,” Wake wrote.
AID has filed more than 1700 lawsuits in the Phoenix-area this year. The suits allege Americans with Disability Act violations in business parking lots, and the vast majority of cases involve signage issues.
Wake said the high-dollar settlement demands (often starting at $7000) need explanation. He also wants to know how often the attorneys give businesses the chance to fix issues before they sue.
The judge is demanding that the two lawyers file written responses to several questions and then appear in court on November 28.
Wake’s order is the latest legal challenge facing AID and its attorneys.
In addition to tossing AID’s lawsuit, he could sanction the attorneys and even forward information on to Arizona State Bar, which already has several open investigations related to Strojnik and AID’s disability lawsuits.
Last month, another federal judge, Murray Snow, also sanctioned Strojnik and Zazueta for their conduct.
Contact ABC15 Investigator Dave Biscobing at email@example.com.