First in cases filed. Last in cases dismissed
For October 2019, I was tied for first among lawyers in Northern Virginia in cases filed. Tied for last (with 15 others) in cases dismissed.
That could mean that I do things differently than the other busy bankruptcy lawyers around here. (There are two ways a bankruptcy ends. Discharged means approved. Dismissed, means thrown out.)
People nearly always file bankruptcy because they want their case approved (discharged.) Now and then there's a reason why being thrown out (dismissed) is actually ok.
With that in mind, you look at this chart.
This is a chart of cases dismissed--thrown out--by the bankruptcy court in October 23019. Lawyer Nathan Fisher has 16 cases dismissed; lawyer Tommy Andrews had 9 cases dismissed. I was tied with 15 other lawyers with only one dismissal. (Pro se is the Latin word for people who are their own lawyers. No surprise that 29 people who were their own lawyers were dismissed.)
This second chart shows cases filed in October 2019.
Here, you can see Lawyer Nathan Fisher and I are tied with 36 cases filed. Lawyer Tommy Andrews comes in third with 29.
Lawyer Nathan Fisher's dismissal rate is 44%, lawyer Tommy Andrews is 31%. Mine is 3%!
(No surprise, the dismissal rate for pro se cases is an astronomical 74%.)
Not every dismissal is bad; and not every one that is bad could be prevented. Each case is different. Past success is no guarantee of future performance.
Still, the two other top bankruptcy lawyers have a dismissal rate more than ten times what mine is. Does that mean my law firm is a different kind of bankruptcy firm?