323 Paca Street
Cumberland MD 21502
Yes. My initial consultation typically lasts an hour, but I always try to take as much time as each client needs.
My initial consultation is always free. Based on that consultation, I typically provide a flat fee arrangement for my clients. I think it is easier for the client to know what they should expect right up front.
Monday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Offices in Frostburg, Maryland and Hagerstown, Maryland. Both use (301) 759-4343.
My Assistants are Brenda, Doris & Lisa
Although I have practiced in many areas of the law, including divorce, custody, and estates, I have spent most of my practice in the various areas of bankruptcy. Representing creditors and the government helped to develop my knowledge of the Bankruptcy Code, but representing debtors helped me develop my interest in helping people rid themselves of the stress that not being able to pay your debts causes.
The internet has made my job easier in some ways and more difficult in others. I like it when someone comes in after having done some research and knows what questions to ask. If they have a basic understanding of the bankruptcy process it allows them to give me the kind of information that I need. On the other hand, there is a lot of misinformation out there that may be scaring people away. I spend a lot of time reassuring folks that you can't believe everything that you read.
I have reviewed short, simple documents for people in the past, but I generally think that it is best to let me draft your document based on documents that I have used in the past to make sure that all the bases are covered.
I wouldn't want a surgeon to coach me in removing my own gall bladder! I have 20 years experience in representing individuals and businesses and I do not believe that I can transfer that knowledge to a non-attorney in an manner adequate for them to represent themselves. Relax and let me do the work!
After passing the Virginia Bar, I worked for Shapiro and Burson, a law firm that was part of a national network of attorneys that represent creditors in foreclosure and bankruptcy matters. Clients included some of the largest banks in the country. After three years with Shapiro and Burson, I left to work for the U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the U.S. Trustee in Greenbelt, Maryland. After three years, I relocated to Allegany County to raise my son in the area where I grew up. I started representing debtors in bankruptcy in 1995.
I have a huge extended network of family and friends. They are all very "Middle America." They are not wealthy and many have never been to college. But they all work very hard to raise their children and be good citizens. Things happen to people. Problems come up and people get into bad situations. It doesn't make them bad people. I think seeing this as I grew up made me realize that you can't always control what goes wrong in your life and everyone deserves a second chance.
I am very laid back! My clients say all the time that I don't seem like a "regular lawyer," which I take as a compliment. I like people to be able to relax and be honest with me so that I can help them find solutions. I dress very casually and insist that people call me by my first name. I often explain things to clients by telling them stories from my personal life -- that way, they know that I understand.Personal interests:
I have a large family and I enjoy spending time with them. I also bicycle a lot when the weather is good. In the winter, I spend a lot of time at the gym where I weight train and spin. I also love to read all kinds of books.
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