Audio: What’s New in Bankruptcy Law with Daniel Gershburg

Daniel Gershburg is a bankruptcy and real estate lawyer practicing in New York. He will teach a course about bankruptcy law at Solo Practice University®.

SPU’s newest faculty member and I discussed the changes in the bankruptcy laws and how they will be affecting your clients and your practice. If you haven’t met Daniel Gershburg yet, now is the time. He is an excellent example of a lawyer who hung a shingle right out of law school, did it well, and five years later continues to grow it well in one of the most lawyer-saturated markets in this country. How? By being extremely client-focused while being business savvy. They are not mutually exclusive!! Join us.

The audio is about 57 minutes. Listen directly below.

Download (.MP3)

Daniel Gershburg took a different road when graduating from law school. While he was a member of the Law Review and the Harlan Scholars program, Mr. Gershburg passed up the opportunity to work at large law firms and instead decided to establish his own practice, with the hope of changing the way solo and small firm practice attorneys are viewed. His practice deals specifically with Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law. Mr. Gershburg has spoken to classes at New York Law School, has been published in New York State Bar Association newsletters, serves on the New York State Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Executive Committee and is a desired CLE presenter. He frequently speaks at community functions in his Brooklyn neighborhood educating members of the community about Bankruptcy as well as financial advocacy. He is also the newest blogger at (AOL HuffingtonPost) on Park Slope legal affairs. Mr. Gershburg also spends a considerable amount of pro bono time volunteering at the Brooklyn Bar Assocation Volunteer Lawyers Project, assisting low income individuals to file for Bankruptcy.

You can connect with Daniel on Twitter and subscribe to his blog.

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All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.

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2 comments on “Audio: What’s New in Bankruptcy Law with Daniel Gershburg

  • Listening to that audio was time well spent. I have a few comments…

    - California has two exemption sets, one with a large homestead exemption (but not as large as the new NY one) and one with a large wildcard exemption (about twice as large as the federal one). We’ve been practicing “this way” for quite a while.

    - My take on the 2005 BAPCPA code is not as negative as that of many bankruptcy attorneys. Yes, it creates more work and more hurdles (mainly the Means Test) and therefore more expense for debtors, but the reality is that most debtors are still able to get the relief they would have received under the old code. Considering how much influence the credit industry had in forming that 2005 code, it could have come out very much worse than it did.

    - The emotional and relating part is definitely as important as Daniel said. We have to treat our prospects and clients as people and not just clients. To me that includes seeing them as the complete, whole, wonderful people they are even if they don’t experience themselves that way at the time.

    - Trustees – We don’t need to “appease” the trustee in regard to client assets. Our job is to protect client assets from the trustee as much as we can. However, it does help to learn to think like a trustee and give them what they will want (regarding documentation, etc.) before they ask for it. That makes the course of the case quicker, smoother, and with less “looking into corners”.

    - Fees – In our jurisdiction we have no requirement for affidavits regarding hours and hourly rate in Chapter 7 cases. Anything reasonable won’t be questioned. For Chapter 13, some of our courts had “no-look” fees, usually too low, but you can get more by keeping track of hours etc. and submitting your request for fees. This is very much about local practice.

    - I’ll add that I think it’s important to structure your practice methods in a way to get the clients you want and not get those you don’t want. For me, that means (1) liberal use of email and PDF files and (2) insistence on completing questionnaires, a short one before the free consult and a long one before I start to prepare a case. No “dumping” of a pile of documents for me to sort out to make sense of a case. My clients like and appreciate my methods. Those who don’t like them don’t hire me and that’s fine.

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