Trustee Blog

How to Dig Deeper into the Bankruptcy Law

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As we talked about a few days ago, in order to get more bankruptcy clients, dig deeper into Bankruptcy Law.

When I have a problem, I want the person who knows the answer to help me. I do not want to waste time by asking someone who has no experience with my situation. I want the person who has been there before. I do not want to pay someone for “on-the-job-training.” The same can be said for our clients. They want someone who knows what she is doing.

The problem becomes how to gain the Bankruptcy experience when you are starting practicing bankruptcy law. The answer is to increase your Bankruptcy Law knowledge.

Here are three steps to dig deeper into your chosen area of the law in order to boost your knowledge along the learning curve.

 1. Learn the Bankruptcy Law

The Bankruptcy Law can be found in the United States Code mostly under the 11 U.S. Code Sections. This is the black letter law and the place to begin as every action in Bankruptcy is based on these code sections. However Bankruptcy law is also based on State law. In California the State law provisions are found under the California Code of Civil Procedure sections 703 and 704.

Any person practicing Bankruptcy law should have the Federal and State code sections close at hand as the practice revolves around these statutes. The ways the code sections are interpreted are through the cases decided by the Federal Judges. So as you learn the code sections, read the cases to see how they are applied in situations.

 2. Meet Other Bankruptcy Lawyers

On the one hand there is the law and other hand there is how is the law practiced in your area. The way to find out how the law is practiced is to meet other bankruptcy lawyers in your area. This is done through the local bar association or the local Bankruptcy bar sections that meet in your area.

These lawyers are the people that work everyday with the law and can be a valuable resource to a new person in the field.

 3. Observe Bankruptcy Judges in the Court

In each Bankruptcy Court across the Country there are several Bankruptcy Judges assigned by the Federal Court System to hear bankruptcy cases. Visit the Judge’s Courtroom in your area to understand how each individual Judge interprets the law. Surprisingly, two Judges in the same building may interpret the same Bankruptcy Code section totally different. This knowledge will help you in your education.

By digging deeper into your chosen area of the law, you will gain the knowledge to help your clients. The dirty little secret in our business is that most attorneys who practice in Bankruptcy law, do not study the law. Most practitioners do not have any deep knowledge of what they are doing. They follow the computer software and just plug in the numbers.

If you spend the time to dig deeper into the law, you will be ahead of most the lawyers in your area.

 Which road blocks have you met in digging deeper into bankruptcy law?

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