Special Capabilities Required of Attorneys for Bankruptcy Work


There has arisen in recent years a set of special capabilities that a bankruptcy attorney must have to harness the latest technology. This article describes the state-of-the-art for bankruptcy practitioners. There is an explanation of how these technologies facilitate bankruptcy work. The information will enable prospective clients to ask the right questions when interviewing attorneys.

For many people the foremost concern when selecting an attorney is the fee. There are actually fairly uniform flat fees for ordinary consumer bankruptcies among the best attorneys. Otherwise, there is an industry of non-attorney Bankruptcy Preparers, but they aren't adequate for any but the simplest cases. Since it is no longer feasible to be compete at any level in this practice area without incorporating the latest computer technologies, the information is applicable across the board.

The two areas where new developments have been most pronounced are software and electronic file handling.

There are a number of software platforms that non attorneys can't access publicly and would never be able to afford. These products have made it possible to calculate, change things and recalculate with ease. Updates to incorporate new rules and/or form changes are issued frequently. The product we use also works seamlessly with the electronic filing system.

Also unavailable to the unrepresented party, and a red flag if an attorney offering bankrtupcy services doesn't have, is access to the Electronic Court Filing (ECF) system. This shouldn't be a problem since a log-in is mandatory, at least in the California District and Bankruptcy Courts we work with, for attorneys filing more than a minimal number of cases.

Finally, there is Public Access to Court Electronic Records (PACER) which is freely available but not particularly effective unless used in conjunction with the right software and ECF access.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Michael Worthington | Attorney Advertising

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