It’s hard to call friends and tell them that you are looking for a bankruptcy attorney. Ironically, I still do get a substantial portion of my clientele from referrals. But as you peruse the websites and other methods of choosing an attorney, these are the questions you should be looking at, which are all fair questions to ask:
• Is the attorney experienced?
• Does the attorney practice primarily in that area of law? (I have been doing bankruptcy since 1992, and it is currently 95% of my practice. Earlier in my career, family law was a greater portion of my practice)
• Does the attorney have malpractice insurance? (I do)
• Has the attorney ever had a malpractice claim against them? (I haven’t)
• Has the attorney been disciplined by the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board? You can look this up, and you will see that I have a clean slate.
• Does the attorney have particular expertise in your issues? (My background in family law gives me exceptional insight into issues when married or divorced debtors are looking at bankruptcy, and my background as a landlord of numerous properties gives me particular insight for debtors who have been stung with depreciating real estate.)
• Has the attorney spoken at continuing legal education seminars before other attorneys? (I have spoken on issues of second mortgage lien stripping, as well as the intersection of divorce and bankruptcy issues)
• Does the attorney facilitate the electronic communication of data, including online data entry for bankruptcy information?
• Does the lawyer perform an online public record search to ensure all of your assets are being properly listed? (some other lawyers cut costs and corners by not doing this, which can turn out to your detriment if the trustee discovers undisclosed assets)