I have written before about how to pick a good bankruptcy lawyer, and there are certainly lots of articles on the Internet about how to do this, but a blog post by a colleague of mine, Jay Fleischman, recently caught my eye as it made some very good points. So I thought I would pass some of them on to you, and add one of my own, to help you with the decision-making process.
Whenever a bankruptcy lawyer is interviewing you about bankruptcy, you are also interviewing him or her as to whether it would be a good fit. You need to be comfortable with, and have confidence in, your bankruptcy attorney.
What You Should Be Looking For
So here are things to look for during the meeting that should set off some alarm bells.
Inattentiveness. I make it a point to hit the "Privacy" button on my phone and clear my desk when I meet with someone. I give them my full attention, as this is their time with me. But is your lawyer taking other calls, checking e-mail, or in some other way distracted?
Impatience. Does the attorney try to rush you through the interview? Does he brush off your questions or treat them like a waste of his time? He should be willing to give your questions and concerns the time that they deserve.
Speaking in Legalese. Sometimes lawyers just do this without thinking, but sometimes it is a sign of condescension or an attempt to impress you. If you do not understand what the lawyer is saying in the initial interview, how much will you understand if he represents you? Demand plain English!
Inexperience. Do you have confidence that the attorney knows what he is doing? Are you getting straight, confident answers to your questions or is everything "it depends"? Is he flipping through a bankruptcy book while you talk, looking up the answers?
Talking More About Him Than You. Is the interview more about him and what he thinks he can do for you? Or is it about answering your questions and making sure that bankruptcy is the right solution for your situation? If it is more the former than the latter, it is a sales pitch, and you should walk away.
Filing bankruptcy is a big decision in your life, and so is the attorney that you hire to handle it for you. Be discerning and careful, and watch for the signs that you may be talking to the wrong lawyer!
I Might be Right for You!
If you live in the Gloucester County, New Jersey area and are considering filing bankruptcy, please feel free to call me at 856-432-4113 or contact me through this site for a free consultation in my Woodbury office to discuss your case.
If you are looking for more information about bankruptcy, then download my free book,Top Questions People Ask About Filing Bankruptcy in New Jersey.