Thank you to one of our podcast listeners, Tiffany, on a great question, or questions: "Why should I hire a bankruptcy attorney?" and "What are some different tips on hiring the RIGHT bankruptcy attorney?"
My philosophy on hiring an attorney is the same as hiring a CPA, Auto Mechanic, Air Conditioner Repairman, Plumber, Realtor, Business Coach, or really any professional - I spent time learning how to be an attorney, and then the specific laws related to real estate law, bankruptcy law, consumer protection law, title, foreclosure, etc. If I spend time preparing my tax return, mowing the lawn, changing my oil, replacing a broken faucet in the bathroom, listing my house for sale, etc., then that is less time that I have to make money, spend time with friends and family, train for triathlons, and other things that I enjoy. To put this another way, since I live in Tampa Bay and close to Orlando, would I rather mow the lawn and change the oil in my car, or go to Busch Gardens or Disney with my wife and kids? The answer should be clear - go ride roller coasters with the wife and kids!! I do get some enjoyment out of using my hands to fix things around the house, and it is nice to uphold the perception that "dad can fix anything," but given the choice - Disney over preparing my income tax return any day!
Another reason to hire an attorney, or any professional for that matter, is that we know the "hidden elements" related to our representation within a specific area of the law. We know that just because the summons says a response must be filed within 20 days, there are some responses we can file that will extend that time period without causing any negative consequences. Also, failing to raise a specific defense or objection may waive the defendant's ability to bring that defense or objection in the future.
So you've made the decision to hire an attorney, now how do you find the RIGHT attorney? Here are some things I would look for in a professional:
- How much time do they have in their industry?
- How much time do they have in the specific area you're seeking help?
- Have they attended continuing education?
- Have they provided continuing education to others in their profession?
- Have they provided continuing education to others in related professions?
- Do they have a website? A Blog? A YouTube Page? A Podcast?
- Are they active on Social Media? Are they positive in their posts?
- Do they set realistic and honest expectations?
- Do you feel a connection to the person?
- What does your gut tell you?
Notice, I said nothing about "how many cases have they won?" While that might be important in some circumstances, for attorneys, an outcome in one case is no reflection of an outcome in your case. If I told you that I had a 100% success rate in jury trials (which is true as of this blog), what if I had only tried 1 jury trial (which is also true as of this blog)?
To read a related post about your attorney's biggest frustrations in representing clients, read this blog post.
For more information on this and many other topics of law that we practice, please subscribe to the Yesner Law Podcast, on iTunes and Stitcher. If you prefer, please contact us to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your options at 813-774-5737 or email me directly at email@example.com.
Shawn M. Yesner, Esq., is the founder of Yesner Law, P.L., a Tampa-based boutique real estate and consumer law firm that helps clients eliminate debt by providing options, so they can live the lifestyle of their dreams. We assist clients with asset protection, the sale and purchase of real property, Chapter 7 liquidation, Chapter 13 reorganization, bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, debt settlement, landlord/tenant issues, short sales, and loan modifications in Tampa, Westchase, Odessa, Oldsmar, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Pinellas Park, Largo, St. Petersburg, and throughout the greater Tampa Bay area.