“How do I collect bonus and severance due from my bankrupt employer?”

Question: The mill I work for is in bankruptcy (Chapter 11), and objected to a large sum of bonus and severance money owed to me.

I received a notice that I may object to this, and what my response must include. Do I need to get a lawyer to send a letter and, if so, what type of lawyer should I retain?

I am just a 30 year mill employee that is ignorant of the law . . . please respond. I only have a few weeks left before the deadline.

Rock Hill, South Carolina

Answer: Dear Bob:    

To me, you are not “just a mill employee.” You are a human being who has asked for help, and just as important as any other human being in need of information to resolve a problem in your life. My mother came to this country on a boat, unable to speak English. I have mopped and scrubbed bathrooms to get an education and pay the rent. We have no “just’s” here. I am quite confident you are more valuable and contributing a member of our society than lots of those “big shots” out there.   

You need to speak with a local attorney whose law practice is devoted to bankruptcy law. I have found just such a person in Rock Hill: his name is L. Showell Blades, IV, his office is located at 131 Caldwell Street in Rock Hill, his phone number is (803) 329-6115, and his email address is showell@showellblades.com. His law practice is devoted exclusively to bankruptcy law, and he has over 24 years experience in this field of law.

Mr. Blades’s website says this: “If you have any questions about your file and you are a client, or if you have a simple question and you are not a client, feel free to email me and I will respond as soon as possible. It is much easier for me to respond to a written question than to a phone message, since I am in front of my computer all day (and some nights and most weekends.)” And, if you need to come to his office, consultations are free.

Bankruptcy law involves a different set of courts, a different set of laws, and procedures that are different than other legal procedures. It is one of those areas of law in which you are surely better off with a “specialist,” and not an attorney who “knows a little” about the subject.

My own legal practice is devoted exclusively to assisting individual employees. I know when not to try to assist someone in a matter I know little about. While your question relates to bonus and severance – matters I deal with daily – the context of Bankruptcy Court makes me confident it’s a matter you should consult a bankruptcy attorney on.

Hope that this, and Mr. Blades’s understanding of bankruptcy law is helpful to you. Thanks for writing in. Please consider telling your friends and colleagues about our blogsite.

Al Sklover

P.S.: If you would like to obtain a list of five or more experienced, “employee-side” employment attorneys in your city, just [click here]. Delivered by Email – Instantly!

© 2011 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.