I just met with a lady today that was about to not only spend a large amount of money on upfront fees but she was also about to file a bankruptcy case when she didn’t need too! Fortunately for her she had the good sense to seek a second legal option. Sadly, it seems that most people don’t when preparing to file a bankruptcy case.
Although I wish all attorneys were competent and moral sadly we know that is simply not the case. In every aspect of of life, we seek out second opinions when we receive services from a professional or tradesperson. That needs to apply when seeking legal advice as well.
So why do people rarely get second opinions when receiving legal advice? I think it is because they have been conditioned that it is uncouth or impolite to do so and that they since they have already filled out so much paperwork they don’t feel like going through the motions again.
First of all, don’t worry about hurting your attorney’s feelings. If your attorney is so delicate that he or she is hurt that you seek another opinion, you don’t need that diva representing you, period.
Secondly, you have a complete right to ask for a copy of all paperwork that you do complete and fill out so just request a copy and take that with you to you other consult.
My firm refiles cases all the time from other firms and the one comment I always hear is “I didn’t have a good feel when I went in….” I just want to scream, “Then why did you pay them money and sign up with the firm?”. If I don’t get a good feel about a company I am not just jumping in without at least meeting with another firm to see the difference.
Since bankruptcy is not an area that most people talk about at cocktail parties I realize that consumers are left to go online, read marketing material sent in the mail, or watch a TV ad. Legal services should be delivered in a professional and comfortable setting. You should not be herded into a room like a bunch of cattle to wait for a paralegal to call your name! I cringe when I hear client stories of walking into the “Big Bankruptcy Mill” only to meet with multiple staff and only speak to an attorney for 10 minutes! You deserve better than that! Demand it! A great test is to ask the attorney for their card and then email several follow-up questions. If they follow-up great, but if not at least you know how you will be treated.
Don’t risk your case being handled badly or being overcharged! Get a second opinion. I promise you won’t regret it.