The Chasm Between Judges & Bankruptcy Attorneys Over Fees

Why is there such a gap between consumer attorneys and bankruptcy judges over attorneys fees? It sometimes feels like the bench believes that every dollar a debtor's lawyer gets is of questionable legitimacy.  Yet the same judges roll their eyes, at least figuratively, at the competence and preparation of those same lawyers. Think there might be a connection?  Does the bench think that effective representation isn't worthy of compensation? Here's my take, after 37 years of trying to get paid a fair fee. Source of the problem Very few bankruptcy judges ever represented average individuals in bankruptcy before they became judges. Fewer were sole practitioners,who must rely on the fees they earn and collect to stay in business. Those two factors seem to create the chasm between bench and bar over attorneys fees in consumer bankruptcy cases. This post starts from the experiences of  a colleague who sought approval for fees toward the end of a Chapter 13 case.  That fee … [Continue reading...]