How do I choose a good bankruptcy attorney? 18 Answers as of February 09, 2011

How do I choose a good bankruptcy lawyer?

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Christopher Legal Group
Christopher Legal Group | Shawn Christopher
You should find an attorney that you are comfortable with. When you go for the consultation, check out how the office runs. Do the employees appear professional and courteous? Are you given enough time to ask all of your questions and have your concerns explained, or are you rushed through like you are part of a herd? Also, look for an attorney who experience with handling the different types of bankruptcy cases, but you may wish to avoid a "mill". You should also check with the state bar to see if there are any complaints or disciplinary actions that have been filed against the attorney.

With the advent of the internet, you should have the ability to research many bankruptcy issues that will affect you. Be prepared to discuss these issues with a prospective attorney. Lastly, use you judgment. If you do not feel comfortable, then move on. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 1/19/2011
Law Office of Harry L Styron
Law Office of Harry L Styron | Harry L Styron
First, if you know someone else who has filed bankruptcy, ask them what their experience was if they used an attorney. Next, check the website of the State Bar Association to see if the attorney has ever been disciplined. Next, check the attorney's website to see what his or her experience has been. Finally, request a free consultation with the attorney, so you can form an opinion of whether you can work with that person or not. If the person won't give you a half hour consultation without charge you probably don't want to work with him or her.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/18/2011
Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law
Uriarte & Wood, Attorneys at Law | Robert G. Uriarte
You should try and get a referral from someone who had a good experience with the attorney. Look for someone with a number of years experience and see if they are rated by Martindale as AV (the highest rating possible) and /or whether they are certified as a bankruptcy specialist.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/18/2011
George Hoselton Bankruptcy Attorney
George Hoselton Bankruptcy Attorney | George Hoselton
It would be wise to choose a bankruptcy attorney that has years of experience in bankruptcy. One that specializes in bankruptcy would be best.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 1/16/2011
Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law
Diana K. Zilko, Attorney at Law | Diana K. Zilko
The best way to choose any attorney is either through personal referral from someone you know who can recommend one they know, or by doing your homework and speaking with a few on your own. Every attorney has their own style, and it's important to pick one who you are comfortable with. If you have any further questions, please let me know.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 1/16/2011
    DiManna Law Office, LLC.
    DiManna Law Office, LLC. | Dawn DiManna
    You should meet with the attorney who should not charge for this consultation. Then make sure you question the attorney about your particular situation and make sure you are comfortable with their interaction with you.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 1/15/2011
    Gus Johnson Attorney at Law
    Gus Johnson Attorney at Law | Gus Johnson
    Not a question of law, more a matter of judgment and your circumstances. If you have complicated debt and property issues, you need a more experienced attorney. If you have a simple case, you can go more by price.
    Answer Applies to: South Dakota
    Replied: 1/15/2011
    The Law Office of Brian Nomi
    The Law Office of Brian Nomi | Brian H. Nomi
    Look for recommendations of other satisfied clients. Look for any history of complaints with the bar. Check around, and request a free, in-person consultation (any good lawyer will give one). See what you think, and make an informed decision before paying your money!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/14/2011
    Law Offices of Steven A. Wolvek
    Law Offices of Steven A. Wolvek | Steven A. Wolvek
    I suggest several things: First - make sure he/she have been handling bankruptcy cases for more than a few years. Second - make sure the firm offers a free consultation. Third - make sure your interview is with the attorney and not a law clerk, paralegal or other non-legal professional.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/14/2011
    Carballo Law Offices
    Carballo Law Offices | Tony E. Carballo
    First, you need to check to make sure the attorney has adequate experience in bankruptcy, a solid education and is honest and ethical. The attorney does not need to have 50 years' bankruptcy experience but it should be at least three to five years. You should check the attorney's record by going to the California Bar website to see the lawyer's educational background and if the attorney has any disciplinary record. Stay away from lawyers that have been disciplined by the Bar, particularly if it happened recently.

    Second, you need someone who practices bankruptcy law in the area where you live since the attorney should be familiar with the trustees and judges that will be assigned to your case as well as the local customs and procedures.

    Third, and most importantly, you need to hire an attorney that you feel you can trust and with whom you can communicate freely. If you do not feel comfortable talking to the attorney or you have problems understanding him or her, then you need to find someone else. Your personality has to match your lawyer's personality for you to feel comfortable. It is a very personal and confidential relationship that can last for a long time and must remain good in case of complications (which happens often in legal cases).

    In effect, you are entering into a partnership with someone to represent you and you must have the confidence that the person can and will represent you properly. The amount of the fee is always important but selecting a lawyer just because he or she is the cheapest lawyer may be the worst mistake you can make. How you choose a lawyer is not any different than the way you should select a doctor, accountant, real estate agent or contractor who is going to provide a personal service of major importance in your life. I also want to mention that once you hire a lawyer you must be ready to follow his or her advice, cooperate fully and pay the fees and costs promptly so that the relationship remains good. Lawyers, like any other professional, will do a lot more for clients they like than the ones that become a pain.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/14/2011
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus
    The Law Office of Mark J. Markus | Mark Markus
    Good question. You want to check obvious things like how long the attorney has been practicing bankruptcy law, whether it's their only field or they mix it with unrelated fields, what organizations do they belong to? Do they have any awards or recognitions? Check with your state bar to see if any disciplinary actions have been taken against them, etc.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/14/2011
    Law Office of Aaron Nielson
    Law Office of Aaron Nielson | Aaron Nielson
    Meet with the attorney and see how you get along. I offer a free consultation for my clients. You can also research them on the web and contact the state bar to see if they have any disciplinary action.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 1/14/2011
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen
    The Law Offices of Robert L. Driessen | Robert L. Driessen
    Talk to anyone that you know that may be an attorney and ask for a recommendation. If you do not know one I would suggest calling 2-3 of them and see what kind of a feel you get from them. You can look them up on the Internet. There are many places you can see reviews or possible misconduct. The California State Bar website is a good place to start.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/14/2011
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn
    Law Office of L. Paul Zahn | Paul Zahn
    Meet with the attorney, ask any questions you have about the process, and if you feel comfortable with him/her, retain him/her. I would be happy to meet with you and I offer a free consultation.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/14/2011
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC
    Greifendorff Law Offices, PC | Christine Wilton
    Remember you're hiring someone to advocate on your behalf. You should never be pressured to hire them and you should feel comfortable every step of the way. Communication and listening are key and you should meet them in person.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/14/2011
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney
    Janet A. Lawson Bankruptcy Attorney | Janet Lawson
    Find one who has been doing it for at least 5 years, who does nothing but bankruptcy work, and does not have a paralegal doing all of the work.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/14/2011
    Ursula G. Barrios Law
    Ursula G. Barrios Law | Guillermo Machado
    Consult with a few, check their bar records and make sure you meet with an attorney the first time you meet, not a non-attorney spokesman.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 1/14/2011
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