I was sitting in an office which belonged to Turin (a Dallas attorney) and Turin was in the room with me. Turin asked me if I was still handling bankruptcy cases and I told him I wasn't. He continued talking and soon made it clear that he was planning to file bankruptcy himself. When I heard that, I considered helping him.
Turin seemed humbler and less affected than he generally did, and I felt more at ease about being around him than usual. He didn't seem to be trying to impress me with who he was or what he had done, but was simply being unusually honest and open with me about his problems. For myself, I was in a very good mood and found myself laughing out loud and vigorously several times as Turin went over his situation. My laughter wasn't in any way malicious, nor did it tend to deprecate Turin in any way; I simply felt good and was having a good time.
Turin opened a drawer which contained perhaps 40-50 files which had names at the top of them. Each file was of a case which Turin was presently working on. My good friend, Kim (a woman a few years younger than I whom I first met in Portsmouth in 1977), quickly passed through my mind when I noticed her last name at the top of one file.
It would appear Turin hadn't been as busy with legal work as he had previously led me to believe. He had been making some money, but his bills and debts had become quite burdensome and he had fallen behind on many of his payments.
I felt if he was serious about filling bankruptcy, then we needed to go over his financial situation a little. I began asking him whether he had house, car and credit card payments. He said he did and apparently he was behind in all. He also had borrowed quite a bit of money to furnish his office. I noticed how nice some of his furniture was, especially a rather elegant light-blue couch which appeared to have a floral design and perhaps feet resembling lion's claws.
I explained to him that the bank which lent him the money for the furniture would also have to be included among the creditors and notified if he filed bankruptcy. He didn't like the idea of notifying that bank, but I explained it would be necessary to notify all his creditors. I laughed several times about the situation, but Turin wasn't offended.
I continued asking more questions and took my time. Turin didn't understand why I needed the information and I tried to explain that I was trying to decide what kind of bankruptcy would be best for him and when it would be best to file it.
Once, while we talked, Turin looked out the window. We were probably on about the tenth floor of the building. He said he just saw his wife drive off below in a car in which he hadn't expected her to be in. I remarked that the next thing he knew, she would be driving off with a strange man.
We stood up and walked out into the hall for a moment. It struck me that this wasn't the same office Turin used to be in. I could see many offices down along the hallway, and I remembered Turin's other office didn't have a door on the hallway like this. Turin began explaining that the office he used to be in was next door. For some reason he had needed to move out of that office and into the present office. Turin said it now appeared he might also have to move out of this office because the rent was too high. It seemed it might have been around $700 a month. The place where he was going was only around $270 a month. I told him I knew where he could get a nice office with some other lawyers for only $200 a month and I tired to show him about how big that office would be.
We walked back into his office and I sat down on the floor while Turin sat at his desk. I noticed his speech had become quite heavy and laborious and I wondered if he might have been taking some kind of drug, but it didn't concern me.
I was still trying to decide whether I would help him with the bankruptcy case. I suddenly realized I would need to charge him something. I thought I used to only charge $300 for bankruptcy cases, but I realized that was much to low. Still I didn't want to charge him much, and thought I would probably ask for $500. I could use the money. But I thought I needed to tell him immediately that I was going to charge before I did any work on the case.
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