am always asked by people. ”How do I select a Bankruptcy Attorney?”
My answer is always ask allot of questions to the prospective Attorney prior to signing any retainer agreement and paying any fee. For example:
1. Do you file electronically?
Most Bankruptcy Courts require Bankruptcy Attorneys who are regular filers of bankruptcies to file electronically. In other words, if the Attorney does not file your bankruptcy petition electronically, likely he/she does NOT a regularly file bankruptcy.
My firm is required by Local Court Rules to file electronically. I am a regular bankruptcy Attorney who legal practice is primarily Bankruptcy, I simply file too many bankruptcies!
2. Are you (the Attorney) preparing my petition or is a paralegal doing it.
In my opinion you are hiring an Attorney NOT his or her paralegal.
I am of the opinion that if the Attorney does not personally prepare your bankruptcy petition, move on!
3. What is your policy for returning phone calls and or emails. Is the policy in writing?
The number Attorney complaint in California is Attorneys do not return clients phone calls.
Every one of my retainer agreements contains a guarantee that I will return my Client’s phone call or emails within 48 business hours or I will pay the Client $100.
4. Can you guarantee that I will not have any problems?
If the Attorney guarantees an outcome….RUN AWAY!
Besides being unethical, it is impossible for any Attorney to guarantee an outcome one way or another. Most Attorneys, including myself will give an opinion as to the outcome of a particular case based upon past experience.
These are just a few example questions that you should ask an Attorney you are considering hiring to handle your Bankruptcy case.
Please check back soon for more helpful interview questions.
Jonathan Leventhal, Esq.
Leventhal Law Group, P.C.