Choosing An Attorney

NJ Lawyers May Not Participate in AVVO or Similar Websites

July 26, 2017

The “tech-savvy” lawyer should have researched this process in NJ before “making legal easier…” .

Lawyers are held to strict ethical practices for obtaining clients.   It is well known that lawyers cannot share a legal fee with a non-lawyer in violation of Rule of Professional Conduct 7.2 c and 7.3 d.

In Summary, Avvo has the following process:

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Attorney Deceives Client – Tries Chapter 7 to “Wiggle out of the Debt”

June 12, 2017

Background:

  • Client was seriously injured in an accident in 2008; hires Attorney #1 who failed to file the Complaint within the required time frame.
  • Client then hires Attorney #2 to file a malpractice claim against Attorney #1.
  • Attorney #2 did not file the malpractice case within the required time frame and client’s case was dismissed.
  • December 2011, Attorney #2 met with his client after she assured him that she would not hire a 3rd attorney to file malpractice against him.
  • Attorney #2 advised that he had no malpractice insurance and had no money; he offered the client a promissory note in the amount of $275,000 plus attorney’s fees of up to 25% of the value of the note.
  • Attorney #2 advised that one of his cases was paying out shortly; she had 5 years to collect on the note.
  • Client accepted the “deal”.
  • June 2012, client filed a disciplinary action against Attorney #2.
  • November 2013, client sued Attorney #2 to collect on the note.
  • February 2014, Attorney #2 filed for a Chapter 7 bankruptcy and client filed an adversary proceeding for the note to be non-dischargeable.

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Law Firm Called Sloppy and Arrogant – $50K+ punitive damages to Debtor

November 7, 2016Shame on You

Law firm that sued Debtor must pay $50,000 in punitive damages, plus.

Details of Case:

  • Debtor filed bankruptcy.
  • Debtor was a basketball coach and was sued by a former player for sexual contact.
  • Law Firm who represented player dismissed their law suit against the coach.
  • Law Firm was notified of the Bankruptcy.
  • One year later, the Law Firm filed a Complaint in State Court for damages from the Debtor.
  • Debtor (pro se) filed an Answer to the Complaint and copied the Law Firm.
  • Law Firm claimed they did not receive the answer since it was sent to the wrong address.
  • Debtor mailed the notice to the lead associate working on the case.

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Picasso Signed His Paintings – You Must Sign Your Bankruptcy Petition

September 14, 2016

Signature Required

 

Although many courts allow fax signatures and other document signing other than the actual “wet” signature, Bankruptcy Courts do not.   When you sign your petition, like an artist, it must have your actual signature.

 

Background:

  • Attorney electronically filed a debtor’s petition and related schedules with signatures that had been created using software.
  • Software he used was called DocuSign.
  • Attorney did not have an actual “wet” signature on file to back up the electronic signatures.
  • DocuSign allows someone to approve a document by clicking the “Sign Here” button to be treated as the person signing to be his actual signature.
  • Debtor also liked the process and found it safe.

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Blue Book Value of Car Sustained in Bankruptcy

August 11, 2016

Capture

  • Debtor filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy; claiming car value was $2,133.00 based on both Kelly Blue Book private party value and NADA values.
  • Lender filed Proof of Claim for the Debtor’s car with a value of $4,650.00
  • Debtor objected to the value and only provided the mileage of the car to support his position.

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Believe It or Not – Debt for Rape is Dischargeable without Proof of Intent

June 9, 2016

rapeCommitting rape does not automatically result in a nondischargeable debt for infliction of “willful and malicious” injury under Section 523 (a)(6), according to Judge Sarah A. Hall (Hagmaier v. Cooley, 15-1214 (W.D. Okla. May 12, 2016)

Judge blamed poor lawyering.    Judge Hall said that the plaintiff “utterly failed to focus on proving [the perpetrator’s] intent”.

It appears from this case that the perpetrator of rape can discharge the debt that the victim is awarded in damages by showing that there was no intent to harm or anticipate injury.   Judge Hall believes that someone can commit rape without intending to injure. Continue reading…

Don’t Go Alone to Bankruptcy Court – Hire a Bankruptcy Professional

Do not go aloneApril 5, 2016

The bankruptcy Court has very specific deadlines and rules regarding filing and responses.

Case Issues:

  • Debtor filed for Chapter 13 relief on July 6, 2015.
  • Case was dismissed on October 20, 2015 for failure to file required schedules or Plan.
  • Debtor refiled his Chapter 13 again.
  • Two creditors filed motions with the Court requiring the Debtor/his legal counsel to respond and the Court to confirm that the automatic stays had terminated.
  • Debtor did not file a response but appeared in Court for the hearing. Advised the Court that he did not know why his attorney just did not show up or file a response.
  • Court adjourned the case.
  • Debtor’s attorney failed to attend the hearing again.

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Don’t File the Wrong Bankruptcy – You May Not Get a 2nd Chance

November 18, 2015

It is critical that an Attorney looks at all your assets and your entire financial situation before he/she recommends whether you should file a Chapter 7 or a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy.    An experienhome falling in cracksced bankruptcy attorney will ask to meet with you and review your situation before giving any recommendations.  In addition, an attorney will have a clear understanding of your goals. Continue reading…

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