It’s ironic that lots of us chose bankruptcy as a specialty because we didn’t want to litigate.
Bankruptcy looked easy, the recession creates clients and the practice is centered around official forms.
Then one day you realize that bankruptcy is full of motion practice. And nothing is more important than dealing with relief from stay motions.
Not only is there a hearing on calendar, but it’s coming up in two weeks. And, it’s your client’s home that’s on the line. No pressure there. (Wrong!)
Let’s look at relief from stay hearings through the other end of the telescope. This can be your first step toward expanding your skill set into the areas of bankruptcy where there’s “some courtroom work required”, to paraphase the warning on the toy carton.
Being The Forced Litigator Is A Chance To Shine
Why do I see defending relief from stay as an opportunity rather than an ordeal? Well….
- Your opposition isn’t well prepared Your opposing counsel is invariably employed by a mill. They have lots of files on their desk, and they know only about the case what the equally inept loan servicer tells them about value and the stream of payments.
- You have instant access to your client and the facts Your client, with any luck, knows the history of the loan, has opinions about the veracity of the supporting declaration, and is highly motivated to lend his support to your defense of his home.
- You have to shine for only a few minutes Relief from stay calendars are crowded these days. The judge can only spend a few minutes with each case. He or she needs to determine whether there is any reason to postpone or condition a ruling on the motion. You can think of your moments on your feet as akin to an elevator speech: just long enough to take the judge up a couple of floors with you as you tell him why this motion should be denied.
Motion practice is often the new lawyer’s first exposure to the judge. Think about it as a try out, where you display your willingness to read pleadings carefully, test the factual allegations and present them succinctly to the court.
Getting A Leg Up Isn’t Too Tough
Most bankruptcy lawyers bumble their way through the simplest of stay relief motions because they lack the simple skills necessary to succeed. The funny thing is that it doesn’t take much to be good at motion practice. Learn the law (done), learn the rules, and the procedure. Apply it all and you’re off to the races.
There’s practice involved, to be sure. But once you’ve got the moves down, you can dance with ease. That’s not to say you’ll prevail every time, but you will at the very least attain a measure of competence.
Need a hand getting those skills in place?
One of the downloadable session I’ve got available available for you involves this very topic.
From now until Friday, February 17, 2012 at 5:00pm Eastern time the session, normally priced at $67 each, can be yours for 10% off when you enter the promotional code LOVE at checkout.
It comes complete with an audio segment as well as forms you can start to use immediately.
You can click here to get this as well as the other downloadable intensive sessions.
Get the tools, the information and the confidence you need to succeed at lift stay motion practice.
Image courtesy of the pale side of insomnia.