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Attorney Fee Bifurcation

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 59 minutes
Recorded Date: December 11, 2021
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  • The Challenge of Getting Paid as Debtors' Counsel
  • The Bifurcation Model
  • Financing or Factoring Attorney Fees
  • Bifurcation is based on a Flawed Premise
  • Higher Fees
  • Reasonable, Disclosed and Informed
  • Local Rules can Make Bifurcation Problematic
  • Cautious Approval of Some Bifurcation Arrangements
  • Alternatives
  • Conclusion
Runtime: 1 hour
Recorded: December 11, 2021

For NY - Difficulty Level: For both newly-admitted and experienced attorneys (transitional)


A bifurcated fee arrangement involves splitting the consumer chapter 7 engagement into pre-petition and post-petition fee arrangements that require little or no money down for the work required to finish the case. In several jurisdictions across the nation, however, bifurcated fee arrangements in chapter 7 cases are being challenged. This panel will review the complex issues related to these fee arrangements.

This program was recorded as part of ABI's 2021 Winter Leadership Conference on December 11th, 2021.

Provided By

American Bankruptcy Institute
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Cathleen C. Moran

Moran Law Group

Cathleen C. Moran is a practitioner with the Moran Law Group in Redwood City, Calif., and has practiced bankruptcy law on the San Francisco Peninsula for more than four decades. She is a bankruptcy specialist, certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, and served as a member of the state bar’s Bankruptcy Law Advisory Board.

Ms. Moran pioneered the use of the internet to explain bankruptcy to the public starting in 1998 with She currently writes and A longtime member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, Ms. Moran currently serves on the board of The NACTT Academy for Consumer Bankruptcy Education. She received her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings, College of the Law.

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Richard P. Cook

Owner & Managing Attorney
Cape Fear Debt Relief

Richard P. Cook is the owner and managing attorney of Cape Fear Debt Relief, a boutique bankruptcy firm in Wilmington, N.C. Founded in 2011, Cape Fear Debt Relief represents individuals and small businesses in chapter 7, 11 and 13 cases before the U.S. Bankruptcy Courts in Eastern North Carolina.

In February 2020, Mr. Cook was named a subchapter V trustee for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He is one of only three attorneys in Wilmington recognized by the North Carolina State Bar as a Board-Certified Specialist in both Business and Consumer Bankruptcy Law.

Mr. Cook served on the board of the North Carolina State Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Section Council from 2013-16. He currently serves as the Fourth Circuit chair for the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys.

Prior to founding Cape Fear Debt Relief, Mr. Cook was an associate with Butler & Butler, LLP in Wilmington, N.C., and prior to that, he was an associate with Brock & Scott, PLLC in Winston-Salem, N.C. He received his undergraduate degree and J.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2003 and 2007, respectively.

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H. David Cox

Founding Member
Cox Law Group

H. David Cox is the founding member of Cox Law Group in Lynchburg, Va., and practices bankruptcy law throughout the Western District of Virginia.

Prior to entering private practice, he clerked for the late Hon. William E. Anderson. He co-edits the treatise Bankruptcy Practice in Virginia, co-authored the fourth edition of ABI’s Consumer Bankruptcy: Fundamentals of Chapter 7 and Chapter 13 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code, and has lectured at numerous regional and national CLE programs.

Mr. Cox is a permanent member of the Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference and a Fellow of the American College of Bankruptcy, and he serves on ABI’s Board of Directors. He received his B.A. in 1992 from Virginia Tech and his J.D. in 1995 from the University of Richmond - TC Williams School of Law.

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