When I was eight years old, my father's business partner abandoned their office after getting into debt way over his head. My father, an honest man who worked two jobs to make his small business successful, was suddenly left facing mounting bills and an uncertain future. I was too young to understand most of what was going on, but I remember the word "bankruptcy." My eight-year-old's mind didn't know that word, but I knew it meant something bad had happened. An honest lawyer, one who cared more about people than he did fees, helped my father get control of the situation. To this day, I don't know what happened to set things right. I know only that my father's dental office still sits on Tienken road, in Rochester Hills, and he holds his head up high.
When I talk to a new client, I think about that person's family. None of us is comfortable going home to our family and saying, "I lost my job, today." I've had to say those words. I know how bitter they taste. And none of us wants to be sitting in a bankruptcy lawyer's office. That's why I am thinking about my client's family while I talk to them. Nothing I say can make the, "I lost my job, today" go away, but I can make that phrase less bitter. I can turn it into, "I lost my job today, but we are going to be alright."