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The Importance of Using Local Counsel

Written by The Fein Print Category:

By: Joshua B. Sears, Esq. and Mario A. Serra, Esq.

For many institutional lenders and mortgage loan servicers facing pressure to economize, retaining a law firm of national presence with multiple satellite offices around the country is considered the fastest route to savings through a consolidation of vendors and services. But is there a cost to the quality of representation at the local level in this business model? Is there a sacrifice of expertise when it may be most necessary?

In the New Jersey practice of law there is no substitute for relationships developed over years. The volume of creditors rights matters means daily court appearances and constant motion practice, which is successfully managed only by working with adversaries and the judiciary. In this respect there is no substitute for the experience and reputation of local counsel.

The New Jersey equity courts are distinguished by the personal case management of each case by a single, assigned judge. A firm’s reputation and practice is paramount because of the scrutiny applied to each matter before the court. An attorney unfamiliar with local rules and custom will be exposed in no time. While no prejudice or unfairness is accorded to such counsel, a client is left disadvantaged in these circumstances, especially when faced with competent opposing counsel.

An intrinsic bias of the judiciary and members of the bar towards local counsel with a solid reputation may consciously or unconsciously exist, but is not a negative facet of New Jersey practice. For the judicial system to function with efficiency and fairness, it must be able to rely and believe in the integrity of the attorneys and firms practicing on the local level every day. A reputation is not bought here and is earned with candor and honesty in the community over years.

A deft navigation of the New Jersey court system is learned only through experience. Learning and anticipating what a particular judge expects of counsel in motion practice and trial presentation, obtaining a last minute adjournment, and keeping up to date with new and revised Rules of Court, is an expertise reserved for local counsel with a trusted reputation. The legal decisions of locally based firms are sensitive to and informed by local considerations, and made in the best interests of their clients. There is no reliance on or consideration for a national brand selling itself as a version of austerity.

For more information please contact via email Mario A. Serra or by phone at 973-538-4700 ext. 196.

Fein, Such, Kahn & Shepard, P.C. is general practice law firm of more than 50+ attorneys serving clients in New Jersey and New York. For over 25 years the firm has offered innovative solutions to businesses and individuals in the areas of asset protection business planning, civil litigation, creditor representation in the areas of foreclosure, bankruptcy and collections, elder law, family law, personal injury, tax, and trusts and estates. For more information, go to

This Article does not constitute legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship. © Fein, Such, Kahn & Shepard, P.C., all rights reserved. Permission is granted to reproduce and redistribute this article so long as (i) the entire article, including all headings and the copyright notice are included in the reproduction, and (ii) no fee or other charge is imposed.

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