Be a better bankruptcy lawyer: tackle the problem, not the procedure

The new bankruptcy lawyer sent me an email:  what do I file when there’s an objection to my client’s amended Chapter 13 plan:  notice a hearing? file a demurer?  In her case, the form of the “objection” suggested the opposing counsel was as new to bankruptcy as the debtor’s lawyer.

My advice?  First:  figure out whether there’s a  lawyer to lawyer solution before figuring out how to involve a judge.  Pick up the phone;  find out what the other side’s position is.  What do they want?  Is it something your client can, or will, offer?  Is there a compromise that might resolve the matter here and now?

The essence of being a good consumer lawyer is problem solving, usually for as little expense as possible.  Start with the assumption that the other lawyer wants to solve a problem, too.  They may have some other goal, or just be going through the motions.  But until you understand what the other side thinks they want, you can’t craft a good strategy for your client.

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