The practice of bankruptcy law has changed drastically over the last decade. An attorney starting out in the field in 2009 faces different issue than one who began in 1999. However, it’s not just the issues that come up with clients that make the practice so different, but the law of bankruptcy itself has changed. The economic downturn of the last eighteen months has changed the way the public views bankruptcy. The Bankruptcy Reform Act of 2005 and In re Bateman, a case decided in 2008, altered the landscape of bankruptcy practice forever. This article will walk through a decade of bankruptcy reform, from the points of view of an attorney practicing in 1999 and one practicing in 2009. The purpose of this article is to provide a practical review of the new bankruptcy laws and their impact on how attorneys should practice in today’s bankruptcy world. Through a discussion of the economic climate, legal reform, and the social reform surrounding bankruptcy, we hope to educate today’s attorneys not only of the present state of the law, but the future of bankruptcy practice as well.



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