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The Final Report of the ABI National Ethics Task Force Creating Second Class Legal Professionals

The formulation of local bankruptcy rules is rarely, if ever, a democratic process where the consumer bankruptcy attorney has a voice in its composition. Indeed, it is solely within the province of the local bankruptcy bench with the approval of the District Court that the rules become effective. Much credit must be given to the judges of the Bankruptcy Court of the Eastern District of Michigan who have opened up the process of changing the local bankruptcy rules to local practitioners. Under the guidance of the court they have formed subcommittees to recommend changes. Among these subcommittees has been the formulation of an Ethics Subcommittee. The local Ethics Subcommittee's preliminary recommendations have been highly influenced by the FINAL REPORT OF THE AMERICAN BANKRUPTCY INSTITUTE NATIONAL ETHICS TASK FORCE as it appears to be written whole cloth from the report. The report sets forth a particular bias against consumer bankruptcy attorney fueling the view inspired by BAPCPA that most consumer bankruptcy attorneys are more ethically challenged than other bankruptcy attorneys. It, therefore, fuels the view that consumer bankruptcy attorneys are second class legal professionals in need of particular attention, scrutiny and monitoring. The bias appears to stem from the limitation of the rule as it applies to only those attorneys who file Chapter 7 cases on behalf of individual debtors, whose debts are primarily consumer debts and thereby engage in limited representation. The Final Report of the ABI National Ethics Task Force creates the same limitation under the heading: Best Practices for Limited Services Representation in Consumer Bankruptcy Cases on page 49. The heading is misleading as it goes much further than a recommendation for best practices. It provides for a local rule to be drafted that would compel the local consumer bankruptcy attorney to provide a client a single contract for limited representation services (the Agreement and Consent to Limited Representation in Consumer Bankruptcy), and file the same with the court. The local Ethics Subcommittee emphasizes that the failure to follow any local rule will result in 9011 sanctions.

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    Posted by MaryDecember 11, 2015

    "I am overwhelmed by your response to my call, even 10 years after my bankruptcy was discharged. You have more knowledge and expertise than I could have imagined. Because of you, my fears have been put to rest. For that, I'm so very grateful. Thank you many times over. "

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    Posted by ClientOctober 26, 2010

    "... I was extremely impressed with Charles' understanding of the bankruptcy laws to the extent that I felt certain that my best interests were always at the forefront. "

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    Posted by MarleneJanuary 8, 2014

    He helped me thru my 1st bankruptcy and now the second. I had no idea what to expect , but they kept me informed and answered all my questions. Mr. Schneider is the most experienced and knowledgeable lawyer I have ever met. If you have to file call this attorney first!

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