Help My Competition – NO WAY

By Cathy Moran, Certified Consumer Specialist, Mountain View, CA

Why should I help my competitors?

That was the query of a highly experienced bankruptcy lawyer I met at a seminar recently.
I heard the same push back on one of Jay Fleischman’s listserves from a participant who didn’t want to share with others in his professional community an upcoming education opportunity.

“I don’t want my competition to improve”.

Dumbfounded, I was.  I thought we belonged to a common profession.  A profession that made us as much colleagues as competitors.

Why help raise the bar?

Reasons to raise the standard of bankruptcy practice abound, in my view.

Cross Fertilization
My skills are sharpened watching and opposing good lawyers.  The more capable bankruptcy lawyers there are to talk with, the better lawyer I become.

Benefit to the Public
Society is not well served by a sea of indifferent bankruptcy lawyers.

Precedent
Good lawyers don’t willy-nilly make bad law.  How often are the appellate cases that plague our practices the result of a headstrong lawyer with more vigor than skill appealing a case that should have been allowed to die in the trial court?

Better Bankruptcy Environment
The higher the quality of the bankruptcy bar, the less likely we are to bring upon ourselves outside oversight resulting in petty and unnecessary rules and regulations.

When I first wrote about this on Bankruptcy Mastery, readers chimed in adding to the list.

Little Connection Between Skill and Clientele
Like it or not, there is little connection between legal skills and the ability to market your practice well.  There is no necessary positive correlation between skill at marketing and skill in the law.  Just because your skill set is more fully developed, it does not follow that clients will necessarily flock to you rather than the less skilled.

Capable Practitioners Can Resolve Matters
Disputes in the bankruptcy setting are more easily resolved when both lawyers know the law and the likelihood of success for their position.  The worst opponent, in my view, is the lawyer who knows nothing, not the guy who knows what he’s doing.

Good Results Promote The Choice Of Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy horror stories, brought about because of incompetent counsel, discourage the public from electing bankruptcy to turn their financial lives around.  The converse is true as well: when bankruptcy is seen in the community as a safe and effective remedy, our pool of potential clients is more open to our services.

I’m confident that I can compete with those less experienced lawyers I’m helping.

Hoarding knowledge will not squeeze out other bankruptcy lawyers in town.

One reader pointed out that the non lawyer competition is the opponent we ought to be focusing on squeezing out.

How about you?

———————————————-

moran_cathyCathy Moran has headed her own small firm Moran Law Group in Mountain View, California, for nearly 30 years. Family law and tax issues as they play out in bankruptcy are areas of particular interest to Cathy.

No Author Biography has been linked to this Article.

Related Articles

ahern_larry_regular
February 27, 2022
Background A recent Chapter 7 case out of the Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of California, In re Rhodes,1 addressed reaffirmation in a context that should be of interest to debtor's attorneys. As explained in Part 1, Rhodes points out that the "ride-through" of a debtor's secured debt after a Chapter 7 — which Congress . . . It...
Members
July 28, 2019
Tiffany M. Cornejo was appointed as the Chapter 13 Standing Trustee for the District of New Mexico on December 1, 2017. She took the reins from retiring Kelley Skehen. Ms. Cornejo received her Bachelor of Science in Journalism (B.S.J.) degree at the University of Kansas in Lawrence in 2002 and remained there to obtain her Juris Doctor in 2005. She...
barta
November 12, 2023
It is with sadness that we announce the death of retired U.S. Bankruptcy Judge, James J. Barta, Sr. on Tuesday, November 7, 2023. Judge Barta served as a Bankruptcy Referee in the Eastern District of Missouri beginning in 1978, then a Bankruptcy Judge from 1986 through 2006, including three stints as Chief Judge. Before serving with the Court, Judge Barta...
April 12, 2020
SMALL BUSINESS REORGANIZATION ACT POSTSCRIPT #2 Recommendation of Technical Amendment to Repair Flaw in CARES Act Attempt to Increase Small Business Eligibility under SBRA Introduction In a bulletin published March 30, the Academy announced enactment on March 27 of the "Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act" (the "CARES Act"),1 and that the Act (applying only to cases commenced on...
Members
Copy of Hildebrand-2016
October 15, 2023
A little bit for everyone in this case . . .In calculating above-median income debtor’s projected disposable income, Chapter 13 debtor may not deduct the “ownership allowance” for transportation expenses if the secured debt in question is secured by a nonpurchase money security interest in a motor vehicle.
Members
July 14, 2019
By John P. Gustafson, United States Bankruptcy Judge, Northern District of Ohio, Western Division A. Property Acquired After The Filing Of The Chapter 13 Case: The Different Approaches. 1. Property Acquired Post-Petition vs. Property “Vesting In The Debtor”. Click here for Part 2 The broad issue of what becomes property of the Chapter 13 estate post-petition involves consideration of two...
Members
May 19, 2019
By Henry E. Hildebrand, III, Chapter 13 Standing Trustee (Nashville, TN) Homeowner association fees that obligate homeowners of condominium and planned unit developments can be a substantial obligation that accrue on a monthly basis. These obligations are generally a burden when a debtor files for bankruptcy relief. To be fair, homeowners’ associations provide a significant benefit to homeowners. Exterior maintenance,...
Members
October 10, 2021
By Angela M. Scolforo, Staff Attorney to Herbert L. Beskin, Chapter 13 Trustee for the Western District of Virginia Since January 2019 alone there have been about 250 student loan discharge cases decided in the federal courts.1 One site reports that student loan debt in the United States totals $1.73 trillion, across 43.2 million borrowers, and the debt is growing6...
Members
hayes
January 28, 2024
Does § 523(a)(15) include claims by a spouse against the other spouse for fraud etc, i.e., §§ 523(a)(2), (4) and (6), in a chapter 7 case?
Members
moran_cathy
March 3, 2024
The skills of a consumer bankruptcy lawyer must include a healthy dose of the skillset of a teacher. More on listening/communicating with Clients: Who Is Stupid Here? Why Listening Is a Bankruptcy Lawyer’s Superpower
Members

Looking to Become a Member?

ConsiderChapter13.org offers a forum to advance continuing education of consumer bankruptcy via access to insightful articles, informative webinars, and the latest industry news. Join now to benefit from expert resources and stay informed.

Webinars

These informative sessions are led by industry experts and cover a range of consumer bankruptcy topics.

Member Articles

Written by industry experts, these articles provide in-depth analysis and practical guidance on consumer bankruptcy topics.

Industry News

The Academy is the go-to source for the latest news and analysis in the Chapter 13 bankruptcy industry.

To get started, please let us know which of these best fits your current position: