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cfortunato, Attorney
Category: Bankruptcy Law
Satisfied Customers: 8023
Experience:  Bankruptcy professor.
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I am an Operations Manager for a law firm and we are unsure

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I am an Operations Manager for a law firm and we are unsure of a situation. We received a bankruptcy referral of a debtor that resides in a different state. We are not licensed in that state. Can we provide unbundled legal services to the client and then refer the case for filing to a lawyer licensed in that state? We would not be sharing or splitting fees. We would charge for the services we render and the local attorney would charge for the services they render. Everything would be disclosed to the client in the retainer agreement and the disclosure statement would be completed accordingly. Thanks

Hi JACustomer,

Is it anticipated that the Bankruptcy will be filed in the state the client lives in?

Edited by cfortunato on 10/7/2010 at 10:01 PM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes. We will send the local Attorney the complete petition, schedules, and all supporting documentation. He will then review the with the Client and file the petition. He will represent the Client at the 341 meeting.

What you are describing is perfectly "legal". You are allowed to fill out the paperwork and send it to an attorney admitted to the federal bar in the client's state - for that attorney to go over the paperwork, present it to the client, file the case, and represent the client at the 341 meeting.

By the way, simply getting the information from the client and filling out the paperwork are not considered to be legal services. Examples of legal services would be advising the client as to what assets he or she can keep, or whether or not he or she can pass the Means Test.

Edited by cfortunato on 10/7/2010 at 10:12 PM EST
cfortunato and other Bankruptcy Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Just one more question. I assume that we can provide legal advice, for example, complete Schedule C, even though we are not licensed in that state and charge accordingly. Thanks for your help.

You can complete all Schedules with the understanding that the attorney in her state will go over them after you complete them. You should not go over the Schedules with her.

Edited by cfortunato on 10/7/2010 at 10:21 PM EST

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