Guys and Dolls. Hey! Er, that is, Guys and Action Figures. The Bankruptcy of Mego, 1982

Walk into my bedroom in early 1977 and you found a museum of Mego action figures.

Action figures.

Not dolls. My sisters played with dolls. I played with action figures.

And Mego was the champ. Oh, I had GI Joe, the Six Million Dollar Man, Big Jim and their comrades and playsets. But in my pre-teen world, Mego was king. Within six years, the king was dead.

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From Wikipedia: Mego was founded in 1954 by D. David Abrams and Madeline Abrams. The company thrived in the 1950s and early 1960s as an importer of dime store toys until the rising cost of newspaper advertising forced Mego to change its business model. In 1971, the Abrams’ son Martin, a recent business school graduate, was named company president.

Under Martin Abrams’ direction, the company shifted its production to action figures with interchangeable bodies. Generic bodies could be mass-produced and different figures created by interposing different heads and costumes on them.

In 1972 Mego secured the licenses to create toys for both National Periodical Publications (DC Comics) and Marvel Comics. The popularity of this line of 8″ figures — dubbed “The World’s Greatest Super Heroes” — created the standard action figure scale for the 1970s.

Mego began to purchase the license rights of motion pictures, television programs, and comic books, eventually producing action figure lines for Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, and the Wizard of Oz. Mego also obtained licenses from Edgar Rice Burroughs for his creations, such as Tarzan.

Beginning in 1974 Mego released the Planet of the Apes action figures, the first such toys sold as film tie-ins. 1974 also saw the release of figures from Star Trek: The Original Series, which was steadily gaining fandom in syndication. The Planet of the Apes and Star Trek figures proved popular and inspired the rise of action figure series based on popular culture franchises.

During this period, Mego was known for the lavish parties the company threw at the annual New York American International Toy Fair. In 1975, Mego launched its Wizard of Oz film dolls with a gala whose special guests were every surviving member of the film’s main cast. Mego’s party at the Waldorf-Astoria with Sonny and Cher introducing their dolls drew a thousand people. Both dolls were formally unveiled on The Mike Douglas Show. The Cher doll was the number-1-selling doll in 1976, helping to make Mego the sixth-ranked American toy manufacturer, based on retail sales.

In 1976, Martin Abrams hashed out a deal with the Japanese toy manufacturer Takara to bring their popular lucite 3″ fully articulated Microman figures to the United States under the name “Micronauts.” David Abrams, meanwhile, rejected a deal to license toys for the upcoming motion picture Star Wars, reasoning that Mego would go bankrupt if they made toys of every “flash-in-the-pan” sci-fi B movie that came along. This decision seemed of little consequence to Mego at first, because the Micronauts figures initially sold well, earning the company more than $30 million at their peak. On the other hand, the Star Wars film was extremely popular and competitor Kenner Products sold substantial numbers of Star Wars action figures.

Following Star Wars’ huge cultural impact, and Kenner’s great success with its action figure line, Mego negotiated licenses for the manufacturing rights to a host of science fiction motion pictures and television shows, including Moonraker, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, The Black Hole, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Although these lines of Mego figures were of much higher quality than Kenner’s 12″ Star Wars figures, none were as successful. The widespread success of Kenner’s Star Wars 3-3/4″ toy line soon made the newer, smaller size the industry standard, shifting sales away from the 8″ standard popularized by Mego.

In the late 1970s, Mego was earning about $100 million in sales. Around this time, Mego began shifting their focus toward electronic toys like the 2-XL toy robot and the Fabulous Fred hand-held game player, but sales were not commemsurate with the company’s investment, and Mego went deeply into debt. In the fiscal years 1980 and 1981, Mego reported combined losses of $40 million. In fiscal year 1982, the company reported losses of between $18 and $20 million.

In February 1982 the remaining staff was let go and the Mego offices were closed.

On June 14, 1982, Mego filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the Southern District of New York, case number 82-11117.

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From the New York Times; 6/16/1982:

Some analysts interviewed mostly blamed the company’s line of toys. ”There was a lack of exciting new product,” said David S. Leibowitz, vice president of the American Securities Corporation, a New York brokerage firm.

But there is also a legal cloud over the company. Its chairman, Martin B. Abrams, and two former Mego executives and a current vice president, are scheduled to go on trial in Federal District Court in Manhattan on July 6 on charges of defrauding Mego and its stockholders of more than $100,000 over a 10-year period. Fraud Charges

The grand jury indictment, issued in January, charged that Mr. Abrams and his associates sold company inventory and used the proceeds ”to bribe others and to enrich themselves,” according to Scott Campbell, the Assistant United States Attorney handling the case. He refused to specify the exact amount involved. The accused have pleaded not guilty and are free under bond.

One analyst familiar with the company was critical of its management. But the analyst, who refused to be quoted by name, also said that Mr. Abrams was ”the creative genius of the company.”

Mego, founded in 1969 and based in New York, had fallen to about 14th place among American toy manufacturers in 1981 as measured by retail sales, according to the Toy Market Index compiled by NPD Research Inc., of Floral Park, L.I. The company had been ranked sixth in the mid-1970’s.

The immediate problem contributing to Mego’s bankruptcy filing was an ”overburdence of debt,” Michael Bauer, the company’s executive vice president, said. Mego, which reported sales of $73.7 million for the fiscal year that ended Feb. 28, has more than $50 million in debt, Laurence Usdin, its senior vice president for finance, estimated.

The company said its problems came to a head for three reasons: Bank creditors in Hong Kong, where Mego manufactures 60 percent of its toys, filed court documents on April 30 seeking liquidation for Lion Rock Ltd., its manufacturing subsidiary in Hong Kong; Mego failed to meet a Sunday deadline set by the Irving Trust Company for payment of interest on debentures due last Feb. 1, and the General Electric Credit Corporation, which provided its short-term financing, refused to continue to do so.

A General Electric Credit spokesman had no comment. Neither did the Irving Trust Company, which Mego said was owed $14 million. Two Bad Years

The debt mounted because of two years of weak sales, in 1980 and 1981, which led to combined losses of more than $44 million, company officials and analysts said. Toy manufacturers borrow money early in the year to produce the goods that are sold in retail stores for Christmas, Mr. Leibowitz, the analyst, explained. If the toys are not sold, the company must close out the goods at a low price and may be unable to repay its debt, he said.

In 1980, Mego lost money on Fabulous Fred, a hand-held baseball game, and other electronic toys, because ”the bottom dropped out” of the electronic toys business, Mr. Bauer, Mego’s executive vice president, said. ”Mego was left with considerable inventory,” he said.

One analyst said that Mego had made the right move by moving away from dolls linked to personalities who could be popular one day and forgotten the next. ”But they came a little late in electronics with some of the wrong items,” he said.

The company, Mr. Bauer said, also suffered a ”major hit” on spinoffs from the ”Star Trek” movie and space age dolls called ”Micronauts” that were outclassed by competing ”Star Wars” toys.

(end NYT article)

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On September 2, 1982, Mego’s President Martin Abrams and other company executives were convicted on their federal wire fraud charges: selling returned merchandise to vendors and not reporting the profit over a period of nine years.

Mego Wizard of Oz 8 inch dolls

After filing for Chapter 11, Mego operated as a debtor-in-possession. As part of its reorganization effort, Mego decided to stop manufacturing toys and concentrate solely on selling and distributing them. This strategy was hampered by potential customers’ resistance to doing business with Mego in light of the company’s chapter 11 status and its pre-filing contractual breaches.

To hopefully overcome this problem, Mego contracted PAC Packaging Corporation (“PAC”) on January 7, 1983. This Mego/PAC Agreement provided that Mego would organize a new subsidiary, and this new subsidiary would enter into a second agreement with PAC.

The second agreement provided for appointment of the then-nonexistent subsidiary as PAC’s “exclusive marketing representative” within the United States for all of PAC’s “…toys, games, puzzles and dolls of all kinds and descriptions.”

Mego sought Bankruptcy Court approval under § 363(b) of the Bankruptcy Code for this agreement. On January 25, 1983 the Bankruptcy Court, after a hearing at which PAC was present, approved both the creation of the new subsidiary, Ojem, and the terms of the sales-representatives agreement that were set out in the Mego/PAC Agreement.

On January 26, 1983, Ojem entered a sales-representative agreement (the Ojem/PAC Agreement) with an affiliate of PAC, Packaging & Assembly Manufacturing Corporation; and P & A subsequently caused the Ojem/PAC Agreement to be assigned to another PAC affiliate, appellant Phoenix Toys, Inc.

In a related agreement also entered on January 26, 1983, Mego granted PAC various trademark and copyright licenses and sold to PAC certain molds used for production of toys involving the licensed trademarks and copyrights, and was approved by the Bankruptcy Court on February 4, 1983.

Mego and Ojem claim that, although they had fully performed all of their obligations under the Ojem/PAC Agreement, Mego received a letter

PAC agreed to contract with a nonbankrupt subsidiary and to pay the subsidiary reasonable and fair compensation for services as a sales representative. PAC also agreed to pay fair consideration ($37,500 plus royalties) for licenses and molds for certain Mego toys. In fact, PAC was the only company Mego could find that was willing to buy Mego’s licenses and molds.

However, on April 7, 1983 PAC sent a letter to Mego/Ojem terminating the agreement. The Bankruptcy Court refused to enjoin PAC from termination on appeal.

Taken from In re MEGO INTERNATIONAL, INC. and Mego Corp., Debtors; MEGO INTERNATIONAL, INC., Mego Corp. and Ojem, Inc. v. PACKAGING & ASSEMBLY MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, Pac Packing Corporation and Phoenix Toys, Inc., 30 B.R. 479, S.D. New York. (1983).

Mego 1980 Dukes of Hazzard action figures Luke Duke Bo Duke Daisy Duke and Boss Hogg

Mego officially went under in 1983.

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From Wikipedia: In 1986, Martin Abrams co-founded Abrams Gentile Entertainment (AGE), in order to retain and manage Mego’s licensing contracts, rights and deals. In October 1995 AGE attempted to reclaim the Mego trademark. In March 2002, they abandoned the effort. In early 2009, Martin Abrams announced that AGE had reclaimed the rights to the name Mego; no specific future plans for Mego products have been disclosed to date.

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Long live the king…

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Note: the Mego toy company was not the only “Mego” to file for bankruptcy: On March 9, 2010, Mego Financial Corporation went out of business as per its Chapter 7 liquidation filing under bankruptcy. Mego Financial Corporation engaged in vacation ownership sales, resort operations, land sales for vacation and second homes and travel services.

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About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Mount Vernon, Salem, Centralia, McLeansboro or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

 

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Riding the Circuit: Shelby County, IL

As a Mount Vernon, Illinois attorney, I travel throughout the state practicing law and meeting with clients about topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate law, from divorce to litigation. In my travels, I enjoy seeing the courthouses in our county seats. Occasionally in my blog I will stop to describe these wonderful buildings and the towns and cities in which they set.

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Shelby_County_Illinois_1843

From Wikipedia:

Shelby County was formed in 1827 out of Fayette County. It was named in honor of Isaac Shelby, Governor of Kentucky and participant in the American Revolutionary War.  According to the 2010 census, it had a population of 22,363. Its county seat is Shelbyville, whose population at the last census was 4,500.00.

Tennessean Barnett Bone built a log cabin along the Kaskaskia River in 1835. His cabin eventually became the county courthouse. The first businesses were blacksmith shops, a general store and stage coach stop, and a grist mill.

The terminal moraine of the Wisconsin Glacier is located near Shelbyville. This is referred to as the Shelbyville Moraine. The Kaskaskia River has been dammed where it breaches the Shelbyville Moraine, forming Lake Shelbyville.

The Army Corps of Engineers broke ground on the dam in 1963, and construction was completed in the early summer of 1970. Tours of the dam are given at 3 P.M. Saturdays and Sundays.

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You can view the dam from the main Illinois highway leading into Shelbyville. It is impressive, but hard to watch while trying to drive. The bridge over the river/lake/damn pours right past the courthouse. A large and impressive feature – with modern features in the back (which is also the main interest).

The courtroom is large and impressive and done in the Second Empire style. Thankfully, when I entered, a judge with whom I am familiar was holding court. It was like seeing an old friend in an unfamiliar place. Like the judge, the bailiffs and clerks were helpful, courteous and friendly.

On the south side of the courthouse sets the Lincoln-Thorton Debate Statue by sculptor John McClarey.

Linda Hughes in Timely Message article on-line gives a few more details about the debate:

The Shelby County Republican Party extended an invitation to Lincoln for a friendly debate with Thornton, who said in his 1896 autobiography, “Slavery, and intimately connected with it, the Nebraska Bill, was the principal question for discussion.” The invitation was one of about 50 that Lincoln received as a candidate for presidential elector, according to Homer H. Cooper in “The Lincoln-Thornton Debate of 1856 at Shelbyville,” published in the Journal of the Illinois Historical Society, Vol. 10. “Thornton was to speak to an audience almost wholly biased to his views, and Lincoln faced the task of convincing jurors with their minds already made up,” Cooper wrote. At that time, Shelby County held no more than 16 Republicans.

Shelby 2

In his opening remarks to his three-hour long talk, Lincoln referred to his friendship with the local lawyer. “I rarely arise to address my countrymen on any question of importance without experiencing conflicting emotions within me. I experience such at this hour as I have never experienced before. It is a matter of great regret that I have so learned, so able, and so eloquent a man.”

Thornton said later, “[Lincoln] spoke so very long that I became apprehensive as to any effort I might make to a wearied crowd.” Yet Thornton always spoke highly of his friend, of his fairness and honesty — his purity.

The first courthouse (south of the present one – although I could find no markers indicating its location) was the site of many trials by lawyer Abraham Lincoln on the 8th Circuit.

Shelbyville was the home of Josephine Cochran, who  invented and patented the dishwasher in 1886.

Shelby 1

The main east-west road in Shelbyville (going pas t the courthouse) has many blocks of active shops – boutiques, restaurant, even (gasp) a bookstore!

Did I partake? Alas, no, I had to get back to my office and it was a two-hour-drive away.

Also, I was in Shelbyville at the same time McDonald’s started its annual re-introduction of the McRib. Shelbyville thus holds the honor of the place in which I ate my first McRib of the 2017 season.

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About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Grayville, West Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

Riding the Circuit: Effingham County, IL

As a Mount Vernon, Illinois attorney, I travel throughout the state practicing law and meeting with clients about topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate law, from divorce to litigation. In my travels, I enjoy seeing the courthouses in our county seats. Occasionally in my blog I will stop to describe these wonderful buildings and the towns and cities in which they set.

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Effingham county map

I’ve been familiar with Effingham since first appearing there in 1995. 341 bankruptcy hearings are still held there every third Thursday. Until the early 2000s, bankruptcy court hearings were also held there. The town (and its restaurants) are very welcome places!

From Wikipedia:

Effingham County was formed in 1855 out of Fayette and Crawford counties. As of the 2010 census, the population was 34,242.

Effingham was first settled in 1814, and was known from then until 1859 as Broughton.  The community was named after General E. Effingham, a local surveyor.  Another theory says the County itself may have been named after Thomas Howard, 3rd Earl of Effingham, who resigned his commission as general in the British army in 1775, refusing to serve in the war against the Colonies although there is no written proof that the county was named after Lord Effingham.

On April 4, 1949, St. Anthony’s hospital caught fire and burned to the ground, killing 74 people. As a result, fire codes nationwide were improved. Due to extensive media coverage, including a “Life Magazine” cover story, donations for rebuilding the hospital came from all 48 states and several foreign countries.

Effingham was a sundown town; daytime segregation was enforced until at least the mid-1960s.

But that has little to do with the staff of the county courthouse today – where the clerks and bailiffs are always very helpful and courteous.

The courthouse is only 11 years old – built in 2007 – it is obviously thoroughly modern with comfortable and large lobbies facing south on every floor as well as large courtrooms and modern bathrooms.

Old courthouse

The old courthouse still stands as a museum.

 

The former courthouse still stands as a museum a few blocks away. My first trip to Effingham as a solo attorney caused me much worry – I did not know there was a new courthouse and walked into the museum with only ten minutes to go before the docket call! I crossed the street to the courtroom where, at one time, bankruptcy hearings were held, and asked where the new courthouse was! I made it in time!

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About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Grayville, West Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

Riding the Circuit: Williamson County, Illinois

As a Mount Vernon, Illinois attorney, I travel throughout the state practicing law and meeting with clients about topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate law, from divorce to litigation. In my travels, I enjoy seeing the courthouses in our county seats. Occasionally in my blog I will stop to describe these wonderful buildings and the towns and cities in which they set.

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From Wikipedia:

Williamson County was formed from Franklin County on February 28, 1839, and was named for Williamson County, Tennessee. Many of its early settlers traveled on the Ohio River from Tennessee and Virginia.

Williamson_County_Illinois_1839

It became a center of coal mining, attracting numerous European immigrants in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Labor tensions rose as workers sought to unionize and improve their wages and conditions resulted in several episodes of violence. Williamson County is often referred to as “Bloody Williamson,” due to several outbreaks of violence that have few parallels in American history.

These include the Bloody Vendetta (1876), armed confrontation between families and associates during the waning days of Reconstruction; the Carterville Massacre (1899), a Coal Strike (1906), the Herrin Massacre (1922), the Klan War (1924–1926), and the Birger/Shelton Gang War (1926). In June 1915, a Sicilian miner was lynched in Johnston City, Illinois by a mob of 300 Americans as a suspect in the fatal shooting of a wealthy local resident. The Illinois National Guard was deployed to prevent rioting between the miner’s supporters and Americans. They were also later ordered to various locations repeatedly during the 1920s to separate warring parties and attempt to keep order.

Its county seat, Marion (anyone who attended school at nearby Southern Illinois University cannot hear the town’s name without also hearing the jingle “Marion, Marion, the car capital of southern Illinois” from a local car dealer’s television commercials that aired every three minutes…)

The population was 17,193 at the 2010 census. The federal government established a post office at Marion on January 30, 1840, and the legislature incorporated the community as a city on February 24, 1841.

Of course, I mostly remember Marion from my college days. In the 80s the city had the only Panterra’s Pizza in the area, which is still my favorite! Walt’s Pizza is still there and also has excellent pizza – double deckers!

I remember when the mall opened during one of the coldest winters on record! The city also has a Toys R Us (which to date has remained open despite the company’s bankruptcy) and a beloved Red Lobster…

I took the woman who would later be my wife on our first date to Marion (to the multiplex and then … of course … Red Lobster). So how can I not love the place?

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Wlliamson 1910

Its courthouse is a modernist brick structure that replaced a demolished 1889 courthouse on the public square … except for its tower, that remains on the square.

Williason towwer

Built in 1971, it is still one of the more modern courthouses in the area. The rectangular lobby looks over two stories with the courtrooms branching off to the east – criminal matters on the first floor and all other matters on the second (for the most part) with offices on the third.

Although tremendously busy, the bailiffs, guards and clerks are competent, helpful and friendly. It is a pleasure to practice before the county’s judges. Williamson should be very proud of their judiciary!

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About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Grayville, West Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

 

 

Top Attorney in Clinton County, Illinois

I received some good – and surprising – news this morning:

I was named the top attorney in Clinton County, Illinois by Docketly!

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This is, quite frankly, shocking! The courthouse in Carlyle welcomes attorneys who practice not only there, but Nashville, Belleville and St. Louis’ metro-east! I would not be surprised if the number of attorneys practicing there in a given month number in the hundreds!

I enjoy my time at the courthouse in Carlyle where everyone from the bailiffs to the clerks to the judges are professional and courteous. Carlyle has a beautiful “new” courthouse (already twenty years old but still a beautiful building).

Docketly was created and developed to efficiently schedule and retain high quality attorneys to attend short procedural hearings throughout the country.  The attorneys (myself included) are FDCPA trained, experienced and held to a high standard for performance. They strive for instant hearing reporting and getting the best results for their clients.

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About me:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Mount Vernon, Salem, Centralia, or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

So far so good … two years of solo practice!

With a doubt, April 4, 2018 is a momentous date in our history – being the fiftieth anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King.  It is a day to contemplate and memorialize a great man, to celebrate his life and accomplishments. His legacy will endure for the ages.

But it is also the anniversary of a more private matter – I opened my solo practice on this date in 2016.

Why pick April 4th? It was a practical decision. I moved in my office in March and slowly built it up – buying a prefabricated table and used chairs at the local flea market/antique store. I bought my door sign and business cards online.

And over the Easter holiday took my family to Historic Williamsburg in Virginia. We came home on the 3rd and I decided to officially open my office on the 4th.

So how has the last two years been?

Pretty good, actually, thank you for asking.

It was an odd feeling: I had been an attorney for almost 25 years at the time but still felt like a “new” attorney.  I introduced myself to judges and attorneys whose names I had known but never met.

I’ve made some good acquaintances during these two years and send and receive client recommendations through several “networks” of friends.

I still like to think I concentrate mainly on bankruptcy. I have “taken over” a few cases from people looking to polish their cases and get them through to discharge after prior attorneys – to be honest – dropped the ball in some way or another. This includes converting a few Debtors from their Chapter 13s.

But from scratch I filed over 50 bankruptcies in the past two years. Not a lot, but quite a bit from hindsight. A far cry from the days in the 1990s when I would file 50 per month, but … a good start.

On top of my solo cases I am privileged to be a partner with Upright Law, a nationwide law firm dedicated to helping people turn around their financial situation. It is a pleasure to be a partner and help people file for relief under the bankruptcy code that I might never have helped on my own.

I have only done a few divorces – all of them uncontested. A few where the spouse has disappeared and a few where both sides agreed and just needed someone to guide them through the process. I enjoyed helping them and have learned so much about the new divorce laws in Illinois that started in 2017. It was nice that I did not have to “unlearn” prior law. More harrowing cases get sent into my network of recommended lawyers. “If you have custody issues, here is an attorney I recommend …”. Since I am still new at family law, I don’t feel comfortable doing custody matter.

I have also established myself as a landlord-tenant attorney. A mobile home park hired me to do their evictions and replevin actions (where they are buying their mobile home). The mobile home park is run by a former client from many years back. They were in need of an attorney and when the manager saw my online presence he called me and hired me on the spot. “You helped me and now I’ll help you. I’ll keep you busy!!”

He sure has!

By far the best source of employment has been my per diem work. Attorneys from bigger firms from Chicago or the east coast that need a “warm body” to appear in court for them – first appearances, default dockets, etc. It is cheaper for them to pay me to appear than for them to send an associate. It provides me income and gives me a chance to appear at local county courthouses I may never get to practice before otherwise. I blog about my visits in my “Riding the Circuit” series.

Who knows what the next year will bring?

If my bankruptcies pick up I may have to pare back my per diem. I’m also hoping to pick up more landlord-tenant cases.

Of course, business picking up puts a damper on my writing. I’m still hoping to publish a bankruptcy/divorce book by year’s end.  Blogging is easier and quicker obviously – not just my travelogues but also trending local and national case law, FAQs, and Celebrity Spotlights will continue.

Stay with me – it will be a thrilling ride!

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About the author

Michael Curry is the author of helpful ebooks on bankruptcy and debt relief, available on Kindle: What Bankruptcy Can Do, What Bankruptcy Can’t Do and Finally Be Financially Free.

At Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, IL, we are here to help you through your financial difficulties. Our down-to-earth bankruptcy attorney offers common sense advice and solutions for your bankruptcy filing.

Debt problems come in all shapes and sizes. For some of our clients, the issue that drives them to seek a lawyer’s advice is mounting credit card bills. For others, it may be an abusive creditor or a home foreclosure. At Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, IL, we offer a free debt-relief planning session to discuss your financial problems and identify solutions. Call or text today (618) 246-0993 or email michael.curry.law@gmail.com. Finally Be Financially Free by calling now.

Curry Law Office joins Mighty Networks

I have started a page on Mighty Networks.

https://curry-law-things-that-matter.mn.co/home

Here is a quote from CEO Gina Bianchini:

“Mighty Networks are designed to scale a social model where people start off as strangers and want to build relationships with each other around a specialty, profession, interest, cause, discipline, value system, condition, identity, life stage, diagnosis or passion. … Mighty Networks are designed for strangers to build relationships with each other when a network has tens, if not hundreds of thousands of members.”

Here is an article covering its debut. https://www.fastcompany.com/40401906/gina-bianchini-is-taking-on-facebook-once-again-with-mighty-networks

Time will tell if Mighty Networks builds itself into a good contact point with local clients or more akin to LinkedIn used (by me at least) for professional networking. From my business standpoint, frankly, I prefer the former as it generates interest to my potential clients.

Join me! Why not?

I do want to keep with the current social media trends – an attorney that relies solely on phone book ads will not build a new client base. That is why I continue to blog and to post on Facebook and Twitter.

I hope that Mighty Networks helps potential clients get to know my firm exists and what it does. As Earl Nightingale said, “Our rewards will always be in exact proportion to our service.”

This is another way I can be of service…

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About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/)has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Mount Vernon, Salem, Centralia, McLeansboro, or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access his website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

Riding the Circuit: Jasper County, Illinois

As a Mount Vernon, Illinois attorney, I travel throughout the state practicing law and meeting with clients about topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate law, from divorce to litigation. In my travels, I enjoy seeing the courthouses in our county seats. Occasionally in my blog I will stop to describe these wonderful buildings and the towns and cities in which they set.

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Jasper_County

From Wikipedia: Jasper County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. According to the 2010 census, it has a population of 9,698. The county was formed in 1831 out of Clay and Crawford Counties. It was named for Sgt. William Jasper, a Revolutionary War hero from South Carolina. During the defense of Fort Moultrie in 1776, the staff of the American flag was shot away. Sgt. Jasper attached the flag to a pole and stood on the wall waving the flag at the British until a new staff was erected.

Newton is its county seat and has a population of 3,069 at the 2000 Census. Newton is home to a large coal-fired power plant and Newton Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area.

Newton is also home to the Drive ‘n Theatre, formerly known as the Fairview Drive-In, that opened in 1953. It is one of 10 drive-ins left standing in Illinois.

Newton has produced several notable natives. These include Texas Ranger pitcher Ross Wolf, Illinois state representative Norman L. Benefiel, folk singer Burl Ives, and Irene Hunt, who set the historical novel about the Civil War, Across Five Aprils, in and around Newton.

Catty-corner from the courthouse is a lovely statue of Burl Ives. He and I are fellow Eastern Illinois University alums!

Burl Ives

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The courthouse was built in 1876 but has been extensively renovated since. The main courtroom is on the second floor and is massive with high ceilings and ample seating. The lobby is immense and airy. I have only appeared there once, but it was enough to leave a positive impression of its charms!

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About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Grayville, West Salem, Centralia or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

 

Top attorney in Clay County, IL

I received good news this morning:

I was named the top attorney in Clay County, Illinois by Docketly!

unnamed

There are some wonderful attorneys who practice in Louisville from Flora, Salem and throughout southern Illinois, so this was quite an honor!

I enjoy my time at the courthouse in Louisville where everyone from the bailiffs to the clerks to the judges are professional and courteous. I also love helping the people of Clay County and hope to do so for many more decades to come!

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About me:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.

He is also the author of books on finance and bankruptcy available on Kindle through Amazon!

Whether you live in Mount Vernon, Salem, Centralia, or anywhere in Southern Illinois call Curry Law Office today at (618) 246-0993 and Finally Be Financially Free!

You can also access my website at http://www.mtvernonbankruptcylawyer.com

 

Riding the Circuit: Wabash County, Illinois

As a Mount Vernon, Illinois attorney, I travel throughout the state practicing law and meeting with clients about topics ranging from bankruptcy to estate law, from divorce to litigation. In my travels, I enjoy seeing the courthouses in our county seats. Occasionally in my blog I will stop to describe these wonderful buildings and the towns and cities in which they set.

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I will need to change the name of this blog series to 28 and Counting! I have added another county to the list of appearances in my law practice: Mount Carmel in Wabash County!

Odd that it took me so long to visit here (professionally). I have been through the town many times on my way to Indiana and borrowed books from its library through the inter-library loan program, but have never appeared here as an attorney.  In over 20 years of practicing bankruptcy, a client from Wabash County/Mount Carmel was rare.  Still, it is as far from my home as Murphysboro and Charleston – over an hour and a half drive one-way. A long way to go. Fortunately, I was in its neighboring county (Edwards) in the morning and accepted a case in Wabash County sixteen miles away for an afternoon hearing. I couldn’t miss an opportunity to add a new county!

Per Wikipedia: Mount Carmel is the county seat of Wabash County, Illinois, founded in 1815 with a population of 7,284 according to the last census.

Also per Wikipedia: Wabash County was formed in 1824 out of Edwards County, to avert an armed confrontation between the militias of Albion and Mt. Carmel after the county seat was moved from a town near the current city of Mount Carmel to Albion.

The courthouse is tucked into the northeastern corner of Market and Fourth Streets. It is a brick and concrete building – you’d miss it if you were not looking for it. Although there has been a courthouse at this location since 1881, the frontage of the courthouse was built in 1959. It was expanded eastward in 1963.

One could mistake it for a post office (which is one block or so to the north), if not for the flags and veteran’s memorials. A statue commemorating the Grand Army of the Republic dominates the corner, with another obelisk memorializing those killed in action in World Wars 1 & 2, Korea, Viet Nam and Iraq.

There is no grand echo-y lobby; instead direct and utilitarian (not meant in a critical way) hallways and staircases lead you to the offices and the courtroom. The courtroom is medium size and decorated in dark browns and deep blues. Like the building itself, it is larger than it seems from the outside: plenty of room and ample seating, but feels small and intimate without being crowded. A pro se Plaintiff (a person without an attorney) asked where the courtroom was. I had to tell her this was my first time here, too. We found it together. The docket call was quiet and dignified; it did not fill you with the awe of a towering lobby and a majestic bench, but you wanted to give it the respect it deserves.

Market Street (and the numbered streets intersecting it) is a thriving business district with boutiques, craft stores, a jewelry store and an historical museum.

It has a Ben Franklin! That was the go-to dime store of my childhood in those aulden days before Marts Wal and K. The only Ben Franklins I frequented in modern times were in Marion and Belleville. Both stores have since become solely craft/fabric stores; up until 1993 the one in Belleville still sold candy cigarettes! Mt. Carmel’s Ben Franklin is as the others now – a craft/fabric store.

While in Mount Carmel, enjoy some of the non-chain restaurants. I had the Rueben sandwich at Twin Rivers Restaurant with creamy cole slaw (I was in a cabbage-y mood for lunch). Yummy, filling and very well priced!

So I’ve added another county seat in my travels. Thanks for joining me!

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About the blogger:

Michael Curry of Curry Law Office in Mount Vernon, Illinois (http://michaelcurrylawoffice.com/) has helped thousands of individuals, family and small businesses in southern Illinois find protection under the Bankruptcy Code for almost twenty-five years. He is also available to help individuals and families with their estate planning (wills, power-of-attorney) and real estate and other sales transactions.