Be an educated client, but don’t tell me how to do the means test! For someone who has spent as much time as I have trying to get good bankruptcy information out in the public domain, I found I had a very churlish reaction to a new client who wanted to tell me how his bonus would affect the means test. What is there about law that makes everyone who is literate think he can read the law, and practice law?
The error this client was making was common: he assumed that current monthly income was the magic number for an above median income debtor. He missed the entire part of the “test” that looks at deductions from CMI to reach Monthly Disposable Income. Who could tell whether the bonus made a difference on the bottom line without calculating the allowances and deductions?
Makes me ask myself, what is it that I want in a client? How much knowledge should they have? Do I really want to teach each client how the means test works, or doesn’t work, in order to file their case? Do I truly prefer the passive, non thinking client? This business of “medians” is more complex than it appears on its face.