What I do Well
In the process of rewriting my bio for my newly redesigned website, BankruptcyLawChicago.com, I reflected on exactly what I do well as an attorney in practice for 30 years. This update reflects the philosophy behind my practice.
Being a practicing attorney for 30 years, I have been honing my skills every day. In these 30 years, I’ve met with hundreds of clients, and learned how to listen, then how to develop a specific financial plan based on my experience in the Bankruptcy Court.
Not just hear, but actually listen to the clients and hear what they want, their goals, and needs.
These listening skills help me have real-world conversations with my clients. I have detailed discussions about a topic that most people won’t talk about with their own family or friends, money. I let people bare their souls about what has happened to them, and how they have handled their struggles. I listen and learn from them about their businesses, their jobs and their life. I then make sense of it all, and untangle the web of loans, credit cards, mortgages, car loans, medical debt, and personal loans. We talk about all of the options available, both in Bankruptcy Court and out of it.
Using my legal knowledge of the Bankruptcy Court system, and real-world experience, I can then counsel clients on how to prepare for Bankruptcy, the requirements, and best timing for filing for Bankruptcy Relief. This is where my legal experience comes into play. I also can offer my own everyday life experience and offer practical suggestions!
Navigating Bankruptcy Court is different than other Courts in that every case is assigned a Trustee, who conducts a hearing to review their Bankruptcy Petition. The Trustee is the person who reviews each case to determine whether there are issues to bring to the Court’s attention. I have strong working relationships with each Trustee in the Northern District of Illinois. These relationships are based on decades of dealings with each Trustee. In each interaction, my integrity, my work-ethic, and preparedness shows. And the Trustees remember the quality of my work, which benefits each of my clients.
In many cases, Creditors may hire attorneys to object to something in a Chapter 13 Plan, or have issues that are contested in a Chapter 7 case. I’ve worked with numerous Creditors’ attorneys over the years, and with some attorneys literally hundreds of times. I have strong working relationships with these attorneys as well, and that helps make the process better for my clients to help create the best possible outcomes.
The Judges are the other piece of the Bankruptcy System. Having appeared before the specific Judges here in the Northern District of Illinois at court hearings literally hundreds of times over 30 years, I can help clients know what to expect in their specific case. With each Court Hearing, I have created a track record of being prepared, responsible, and a zealous advocate for my client. The Judges remember the regular attorneys and the quality of their work in this very small community of Bankruptcy Practitioners. Many Judges have seen me represent clients every week, so they know I am always ready to argue my clients’ cases.
My goal in focusing on Bankruptcy Law has always been to have deep knowledge and expertise, in order to guide and help my clients know what to expect at every stage of the process. My job is to listen to the clients’ concerns and goals, provide the most competent, skilled representation for them to achieve their goals.
Daniel J Winter