WHY HIRE A BOARD CERTIFIED ATTORNEY?
The Texas Board of Legal Specialization (TBLS) was established in 1974 by the Supreme Court of Texas. TBLS certifies lawyers and paralegals that have substantial, relevant experience in select areas of law, completed continuing legal education hours in the specialty area, and passed a rigorous exam. Consumers and organizations get the highest quality of legal services when working with Board Certified lawyers and paralegals.
Board Certification is the highest level of evaluation by The Texas State Bar Association of the competency and experience of attorneys in the 21 areas of law approved for certification by the Supreme Court of Texas. Board certification helps consumers identify specialists in various areas of law. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization is the only governing board in Texas authorized to certify attorneys in legal specialty areas.
Only about 7,200 of the 110,000 attorneys who are licensed to practice law in Texas have met the qualifications required to be certified as specialists by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Attorneys must meet substantial involvement, peer review and continuing education requirements for the specialty area. Lawyers must apply for recertification every five years. The Texas Board of Legal Specialization awarded Fred Walker his initial certification in 1989 and has recertified him 6 times since then.
Board Certified Texas Bar members are the only Texas attorneys allowed to identify themselves as "Board Certified," or to display the Certification of Special Competence awarded by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization, and list the certification on business cards or letterhead, in legal directories or in advertising.
Many bankruptcy law firms do not have any board certified attorneys. Achieving this certification is an arduous process and requires meeting a number of qualifications. When making a decision about which attorney you want to hire to represent you, this factor can be significant with regard to the actual quality and training of your attorney. Not all qualified lawyers are certified, but those who are board certified have taken the extra steps to have their competence and experience evaluated.
Any lawyer admitted to practice law in federal court can file a bankruptcy case for you. Being admitted to federal court does not guarantee the attorney knows anything about bankruptcy law. Although a local family practice doctor may be licensed to remove a cataract and implant an artificial lens in your eye most of us would choose a Board Certified Ophthalmologist to perform the procedure. The same logic applies in the selection of a bankruptcy attorney.
When you hire a Board Certified attorney, you can rest assured that your case is in the hands of a lawyer that has demonstrated competent skills in their particular area of law. It is a high accolade that distinguishes our office from other Texas bankruptcy law firms. By becoming a part of this exclusive group, Board Certified Attorneys proclaim they are dedicated to serving the best interest of the public while continuing to advance the legal standards in their respective fields.
Fred Walker is an experienced bankruptcy lawyer that has achieved Board Certification and keeps fully up to date on current state and federal laws. He remains educated on current case laws that could affect your case. He has acquired extensive experience over the past 30 years in representing business and non-business debtors and creditors in all areas of bankruptcy including consumer debtor/creditor relations affected by bankruptcy.
PREPARING A CASE IS NOT OPTIONAL
The United States Trustee conducts random audits of bankruptcy cases for the purpose of determining the accuracy, veracity, and completeness of bankruptcy petitions and schedules. If your case is selected for audit and you are found to have made a false statement in a bankruptcy proceeding, the penalty may include a fine of up to $500,000 or imprisonment for up to five years.
Proper planning is the hallmark of a good bankruptcy case. At Fred E. Walker, P.C we measure twice and cut once. If you are considering filing bankruptcy, planning ahead is crucial to a good outcome. Many people file their bankruptcy cases at the wrong time. It is imperative that you understand the proper steps you should take before you file a bankruptcy case and what actions you need to avoid in the months or even years before you file. Even unintentional violations of the bankruptcy laws can jeopardize your discharge or even result in imprisonment.
Your attorney should take the time to properly evaluate your case and advise you which exemptions are available to help you keep more property. If you file your bankruptcy too early the trustee may be able to take back property you transferred or sue your relatives or business associates to recover money you recently paid them. Filing a case too soon may result in your being denied discharge of a tax debt that you could have discharged had you waited just a few months to file.
Some attorneys prefer the fast and easy route and urge their clients to file a bankruptcy case without proper pre-bankruptcy planning. When we take on a case, we prepare it as if it was going to be audited by the US Trustee, and our well-documented cases usually pass scrutiny without examination because we are careful to cross our t's and dot our i's. Several of our clients' cases have been selected for random audit. All of the audits have resulted in a favorable determination for our clients.
CLIENTS DESERVE PROPER FOLLOW THROUGH
Some attorneys will not continue to represent you if your case becomes complex, but Fred Walker has your back. We will not abandon you if the going gets tough.
Several issues can arise in the context of a bankruptcy case that makes it more difficult. Your case may be selected for audit by the US Trustee; the US Trustee may file a motion to dismiss your case; a creditor may file a complaint to determine dischargeability of debt; a creditor may refuse to execute a reaffirmation agreement; a creditor may repossess collateral in violation of the automatic stay; a creditor may file a motion to lift stay; a creditor may ignore the discharge injunction; you may be sued after your bankruptcy case has discharged by a creditor you were unaware of at the time your case was filed; a creditor alleging a security interest in personal property may contact you after your case has discharged threatening to repossess its collateral – These are just some of the problems that can crop up in a typical consumer bankruptcy case.
ENLIST KNOWLEDGABLE, AGRESSIVE REPRESENTATION
When a case becomes complex and we go to trial, we know what we are doing and are proud of our many victories in difficult bankruptcy cases. Our experience and Board Certification, as well as our many victories for our clients are possibly the best references we can give if you are seeking a lawyer to represent you, no matter how complex or difficult it may appear. Even cases that were turned down by other firms due to their complexity deserve a review by our talented bankruptcy law team.
HOW DO OTHER LAWYERS COMPARE?
- Licensed to practice law for over 35 years.
- Devotes substantially all of his law practice to bankruptcy and tax law.
- Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in 1989.
- Recertified in 1994, 1999, 2004, 2009, 2014, and 2019.
- Has handled a wide variety of bankruptcy law matters.
- Has demonstrated proven experience and involvement.
- Has been favorably evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges.
- Successfully represented over 30,000 clients.
- Attends bankruptcy law continuing legal education seminars regularly.