Since 1988 I have been representing clients in connection with bankruptcy and bankruptcy related matters. Normally I represent consumers as debtors in personal chapter 7 or 13 bankruptcy filings and small-to-medium size businesses in chapter 11 reorganization or chapter 7 liquidation cases. Most consumer bankruptcy cases can be handled on a fixed rate flat fee basis. I also assist consumers in connection with mortgage foreclosure defense cases. When you hire my office, you deal with me, not a secretary or a paralegal.
I am, and have been since September 1996, self-employed as a solo practitioner in Woodbury (Gloucester County) New Jersey concentrating primarily in consumer bankruptcy matters, landlord/tenant disputes and other areas geared to personal and family representation although I also handle small business bankruptcy chapter 11 cases as well. A small part of my practice also involves representing defendants in municipal court matters, having been both a municipal public defender as well as a former municipal prosecutor.
My current practice is a long way from where I started, and for that matter, even where I thought I wanted to go as an attorney. In law school I was convinced that I would be happiest as an in-house attorney for lending institutions, because they had the money! So my law school studies were concentrated on banking and securities law, secured transactions, federal banking regulation, corporate structures and substantive corporate law. It seemed a natural extension of my attendance at the Delaware Law School of Widener University, an institution geared to corporate law studies and my position as an assistant editor of the law review - the Delaware Journal of Corporate Law.
After graduating from law school in 1988 I became an associate in the Financial Services Department at Blank, Rome, Comisky & McCauley , a large Philadelphia law firm with, at that time, over 300 attorneys. I worked primarily out of the Cherry Hill, New Jersey office and was able to work on large corporate chapter 11 cases with some remarkable attorneys. I left Blank Rome in 1992 to work for a medium sized creditors rights firm, gaining practical experience in bankruptcy and work-out matters from the other side. However, the size of these firms did not suit my personality and need for independence. I had no clients of my own and had to work on discrete matters dropped in my lap by the firms’ partners. I had no real connection to the clients and I finally realized that I was not suited to the “tall building” lawyer lifestyle. In 1994, I decided to scale back, joining a small practice in Woodbury New Jersey where I was encouraged to develop my own client base.
No one at the firm was doing any bankruptcy work and, having worked in the bankruptcy area for large corporate debtors as well as institutional creditors, developing a bankruptcy practice was a natural fit. My clients however were not large corporations or banks, but consumers. Client development was significant enough to allow me to open my own practice in 1996 and I have never looked back.
I am the only attorney in my office and am ably assisted by my trusty sidekick/paralegal Diana Demeo who has been with me from the beginning. Our office concentrates in providing bankruptcy services to consumer debtors and small business debtors in the Southern New Jersey area. We have a small but very busy practice, receiving our clients almost exclusively through referrals from other local attorneys and former clients.
I am a life-long Southern New Jersey resident. My immediate family all still reside within twenty minutes of each other. I am a member of the Gloucester County and Camden County Bar Associations. I am also active in the Rutgers University Pro Bono Bankruptcy Clinic which provides free legal representation to lower income state residents in bankruptcy matters.
I have been an Adjunct Professor for the Widener University Paralegal Program, teaching the bankruptcy course. I have also been an Instructor in the Rutgers University law school Bankruptcy Skills class.
I am a frequent panelist for the New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, presenting a basic bankruptcy skills session for new attorneys twice a year. I also am one of the authors and editors of the Basic Bankruptcy Skills Book used by ICLE.
Because of the 2005 Amendments to the Bankruptcy Code (BAPCPA), I include the following statement: I am an attorney at law and I assist people with bankruptcy filings.