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Filing for Bankruptcy – Experience matters when choosing an attorney

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A short note on who not to choose to help you with your consumer or small business bankruptcy case.

1. The cheapest lawyer
The problems associated with this are summed up by the too often used phrase, “you get what you pay for”. I won’t say that this is always the case, but in an office that is based on very high volume and very low fees, many little things and some big things will give way at some point and on a consistent basis.

2. The “new” lawyer
I went fishing in Alaska once. The salmon started a run and the town showed up. It was shoulder to shoulder. There are nuances in catching the salmon, nuances learned via hard knocks and time in the water in both good and bad weather. I could tell who had been fishing many times before, after just a few minutes of observation, and it wasn’t me.

Not to compare my clients to fish, but bankruptcy has become a popular choice for Americans, and the attorneys have shown up as well, shoulder to shoulder. Unfortunately for the consumer and small business person, bankruptcy has many nuances. Nuances learned via hard knocks and time in the water. You get my “drift”.

3. The lawyer next door
Just because I am a lawyer, have a nice car and am your “neighbor” or best friend’s neighbor, doesn’t mean I should take on the defense of your criminal case. Lawyers focus on related practice areas as a result of the law and it’s complexity.

Ask around. Find out who is reasonably priced, has filed lots of cases like yours, has a good disciplinary record, is willing to spend time with you personally, and takes your situation seriously.

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