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Upfront and Honest: Steven Neuner

May 30, 2013 06:44pm  

Marlton, NJ—After three decades of practicing bankruptcy law for creditors and debtors alike, as well as serving as a mediator and arbitrator, Steven Neuner knows every side of the federal bankruptcy code.

“Bankruptcy is like the generalist's specialty,” Neuner told isLaws.com in a recent interview.  “It's a specialized set of rules, but it applies to just about every aspect of property law, commercial transactions, and so on.  I've handled bankruptcies that had to do with divorce issues, environmental issues, sales, real estate, personal injury—it covers the whole gamut of things.”

(More on  News at IsLAWS.com)

Neuner believes that several years of experience as a general practice attorney before deciding to specialize in bankruptcy helped him to master the ways that bankruptcy intertwines with other parts of the law.  His years of experience in bankruptcy law, which have spanned several major changes to how bankruptcy is handled in the United States, have also given him a perspective that more recently minted attorneys simply don't have.

When it comes to the most recent of these major reforms, 2005's BAPCPA, Neuner believes that Congress could have done better.  “Some of the changes were not very well thought out, and they raise constant questions and challenges,” he says.  “Bankruptcy was a fairly orderly, efficient, functioning system before 2005, and the people who tinkered with it did not make it any better. Indeed, they in an avowed effort to stop abuse of the system, they left some glaring loopholes that savvy debtors can still exploit.  They made changes, but it wasn't really an improvement to the system.”

These changes to the law, as well as the recession, led to a glut of new bankruptcy attorneys flooding the market in recent years.  Any young lawyer hoping to do well in the field will need to work hard and be smart, Neuner says.

“The first thing you have to have is good bankruptcy software, and you should get a good basic treatise in bankruptcy law,” he advises.  “I suggest, for a few weeks, that new attorneys take the bankruptcy code and rules home and read it, cover to cover.  You may not remember everything in it, but you'll have a good gut sense of what's there, so you know where to look when you have a problem.

He recommends that attorneys also need to join and be active in local bankruptcy bar associations. "In New Jersey, we are fortunate to have a large and active Bankruptcy Inn of Court of which I am a Master. But I always learn from others at these meetings, even when the topics are basic."

If you would like to know more about Steven Neuner and Neuner & Ventura, LLP click here.

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