Even though I am writing this about Donald Trump’s pick to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel, I will not talk about politics at all. Why? This is to explain the skills that bankruptcy attorneys have, and why those skills can help people solve many different kinds of problems. A Bankruptcy attorney has so many skills that he or she could be a foreign ambassador! True story! Recently, Donald Trump called on attorney David M. Friedman to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel. Mr. Friedman was Trump’s bankruptcy attorney for many years. Given that many of Mr. Trump’s companies have gone through bankruptcy, Trump would know this attorney and his skills very well.
So, what skills do bankruptcy attorneys have, and why would a bankruptcy attorney make a good foreign ambassador? First, Bankruptcy attorneys are good at finding facts. When we present a bankruptcy petition and pleadings to the court, we have to provide a clear, accurate picture of the facts, i.e. a person or company’s financial situation. That way, the court can make its rulings based on the true financial situation. Secondly, bankruptcy attorneys are good communicators. Whether it is talking with a client, a trustee, or a judge, we have to communicate and advocate for our clients. We have to deal with all points of view, and determine solutions that work. Third, a bankruptcy attorney must be a great negotiator. Bankruptcy attorneys have negotiations, in order to help a person or a company survive, all with limited resources. When a company is failing, there is not unlimited money to litigate in court. Creditors all want a piece of the pie, and have to negotiate as well, or they may get nothing. Fourth, and probably most importantly, a bankruptcy attorney must be a great listener. When the attorney talks with all of the parties, he or she has to understand what each party wants to achieve. Without this, negotiations won’t work, and he has to understand what his client needs as well.
So, a bankruptcy attorney has good fact-finding, communication, negotiation, and listening skills. This is the perfect skill set to be an ambassador!! In order to represent the United States in its dealings with a foreign country, the ambassador needs to use all of these skills and more! Regardless of politics, these skills are important, and these are skills that I use every day helping people and businesses navigate the world of bankruptcy. Some days, I definitely feel like an ambassador too!
Daniel J. Winter
Offices In Chicago, Gurnee Oak Lawn, and Skokie, Illinois