Here’s a summary of how I practice law and what I promise my clients. Note: the first letters of each paragraph form my last name, Faucher.

Focus

I don’t have four, six, or even a dozen legal practice areas.

I specialize in tax and bankruptcy. Period. Unlike many attorneys, I don’t have four, six, or even a dozen legal practice areas. I don’t spread myself out. If I did, I wouldn’t be able to help my clients as much as I can by sticking to my lane and knowing everything there is to know about tax law and bankruptcy.

Assertive

Attitude matters when dealing with IRS auditors, bankruptcy Trustees, creditors, judges and others involved in your legal matter.

But not antagonistic. Attitude matters when dealing with IRS auditors, bankruptcy Trustees, creditors, judges and others involved in your legal matter. I will present your case assertively to get the best possible outcome. But I won’t be obnoxious. I’m not a bully, or a screamer. And I don’t play psychological warfare games. I’ve had clients who are furious with the IRS, or a creditor, and want me to be, too. I understand their frustration. But I have never had a better result for a client by cussing out an auditor, or playing tricks with a Trustee, than I’ve had by treating people civilly and transparently. Yes, the other side is often wrong, untrustworthy or not doing their job. But telling them so doesn’t undo this, and it certainly doesn’t get good results for clients in my experience. If you want a lawyer who resembles a boxer more than a professional, then I am not your guy.

Uncritical

It’s not my job to judge you, or how you got into the situation that has you reading this. It is my job to help you deal with it.

Many of my clients have some financial trauma that brings them to me: failed business, lost job, incompetent accountant, failure to file taxes, divorce, unfortunate business decisions, partnership gone wrong. Many have some shame or guilt about their issue. It’s human nature to wonder what we could have done differently.And it’s natural to feel anxiety about financial stress, and to avoid addressing the cause of the stress. But it’s not helpful. What you need is information about the options available to help you with your debt situation, or with the tax authority sending you increasingly threatening letters. We all make mistakes or have bouts of bad luck. It’s not my job to judge you, or how you got into the situation that has you reading this. It is my job to help you deal with it. You deserve to be educated, to resolve your problem, and to get back to living without a cloud hanging over you.

Consumer-Friendly

That’s why I give away free information: to help you become a better consumer of legal services.

My best client is an educated client. It can be intimidating to hire a lawyer, especially about delicate financial matters. Many of my clients have never needed an attorney until they receive the audit notice from the IRS or become unable to pay creditors. And most don’t have any idea how to negotiate with the IRS or FTB, or how bankruptcy works. That’s why I give away free information: to help you become a better consumer of legal services. You cannot interview a tax attorney or bankruptcy lawyer if you don’t have a basic understanding of the process. You can’t evaluate their fit for your matter if you don’t know what questions to ask. Do yourself a favor: download some of the materials on this site and get educated about your issue before you call me or anyone else. I don’t like that some lawyers take advantage of people’s ignorance. Giving information away is my way of dealing with this. If we’re a good fit, that’s great. But I’m not everyone’s cup of tea (and that’s okay with me), and I want you to find your best lawyer, whether it’s me or someone else.

Honesty

I will give you my best assessment of your matter at all times.

I treat my clients with respect. And that means I will be entirely honest with you. If you come in for an initial consultation, and I don’t feel fully qualified to help you with your problem, I will give you a referral to a trusted attorney better suited to help you. If your matter with the IRS is one you can and want to handle, I will coach you on how to approach them. I will tell you if I think a creditor in your bankruptcy is going to prevail in an attempt to block your bankruptcy plan. In short, I will give you my best assessment of your matter at all times. I want the best possible outcome for you because that reflects well on me. And, in order to get to your best result, I will always be upfront about the odds.

Expertise

I am also certified as a specialist in both tax and bankruptcy law by the California State Bar Association.

Before starting my own law practice over a decade ago, I was an attorney for the IRS, defending audits in tax court. Now I use my knowledge of the IRS and its methods to defend taxpayers. I also used to represent the IRS, when it was a creditor in bankruptcies. That’s how I got into bankruptcy law. Tax and bankruptcy may not seem related, but many kinds of tax debt can be wiped out in bankruptcy, and that’s why I focus on these two areas. I am also certified as a specialist in both tax and bankruptcy law by the California State Bar Association, something fewer than five percent of California attorneys have earned.

Responsiveness

You hire me — not a clerk or a paralegal — to help you, and it’s me with whom you’ll interact the vast majority of the time.

You hire me to take you through bankruptcy or to navigate disputes with the IRS or the California Tax Agencies. You pay me your hard-earned money. You thus deserve my full and fast attention to your matter and questions. And you get it. It’s part of being honest with my clients. You hire me — not a clerk or a paralegal — to help you, and it’s me with whom you’ll interact the vast majority of the time. I have a great staff (including Sebastian the Feline Paralegal) but they support me, they don’t fill in for me.

September 15, 2020