Choosing NJ Bankruptcy Lawyer –
Look for an experienced, Board Certified bankruptcy lawyer
- Avoid bankruptcy law firms that utilize Stand-in/Appearance lawyers.
- Stand-in and/or Appearance Lawyers do not hold water in some courts and certainly not in My Practice.
Whenever you are looking to hire a NJ bankruptcy lawyer (for filing Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Chapter 13 Bankruptcy), you deserve to know who you will be representing you. Trusting your case to an experienced bankruptcy lawyer is important. When you have taken the time to interview what you believe is the best bankruptcy lawyer, this lawyer should handle your case from start to finish.
- An important question you should ask when you interview a bankruptcy lawyer: Who will be my bankruptcy lawyer and will there be a stand-in lawyer throughout my case?
I never send a stand-in/appearance lawyer on any of my bankruptcy cases.
When you hire me, I:
- meet with you for the initial meeting,
- work with you throughout your case,
- attend all hearings/court proceedings
- follow the case to completion
- answer all of your questions
- return your calls personally
- am reachable on my cell phone (201) 446-5904.
In an opinion by Judge Jeff Bohn, he stated:
“The use of appearance attorneys deprives clients….Such a practice is insulting to the client, the Court, and the principles upon which the judicial system is built. Attorneys are not fungible. Attorneys are not all equal to each other, either in their courtroom abilities, their understanding of the law, or in their communicative skills.”
This has been the opinion of many bankruptcy judges.
What is an appearance bankruptcy lawyer?
Appearance attorneys get their name because they ‘appear’ in court on behalf of the client’s primary attorney. Think of them as substitute legal representation when your lawyer does not attend a Court proceeding.
Is that what you want? Someone who has not worked with you and is not totally familiar with your case?
Clients choose a firm and a lawyer for a reason. Clients have a right to be represented by a lawyer of their choice during all portions of their case.
In new Chapter 13 Bankruptcy cases, a client must be informed whether there will be substitute lawyers. You can stipulate in the new Chapter 13 Petition form that you do not want a stand-in/appearance attorney.
However, certain consumer bankruptcy lawyers state that their business model will not work unless they are allowed to use appearance lawyers or stand-in lawyers. That HOLDS NO WATER with many courts and judges. If a firm’s business model conflicts with the professional standards of the legal profession, the former must give way to the latter.
Key Question to Ask When Choosing a Bankruptcy Lawyer:
Who will be handling my case?
- An assistant,
- Another attorney,
- Appearance/Bankruptcy Lawyer with no Stand-in lawyer,
- A Board Certified Bankruptcy Lawyer??
When screening your bankruptcy lawyer, emphasize no stand-in lawyer in your case.
Here are some other tips when you are looking to hire a bankruptcy lawyer: