Based on random sampling of NACBA’s membership, the Member Profile strives to answer the question: Who are Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys? It looks at a variety of economic and demographic characteristics, as well as, business practices and “war stories.” NACBA is and always will be your “Your Practice Partner!”
Allow us to introduce, our “Practice Partner,” Attorney Greta LaMountain Biagi of Massachusetts. NACBA Member since June 2006.
Greta LaMountain Biagi was born in western Massachusetts and has spent most of her life in the Amherst area. She spent 13 years in Boston, where she graduated from Berklee College of Music with a Bachelor Degree in Vocal Performance in 1994 then received her Law Degree from Boston College Law School in 2003. Between degrees, she worked primarily in business but always kept her community in mind, doing volunteer work for numerous service organizations over the years. Attorney Biagi entered the legal field because she felt driven to work with people and to help them find real solutions to their legal needs. Before starting her own practice, she practiced at two local firms where she was able to hone her varied legal skills under the supervision of numerous experienced mentors.
Whether dealing with business owners or individuals, Attorney Biagi is committed to really listening to her clients and providing a truly individualized approach to each situation as it presents itself. Her emphasis is always on providing a human touch and on giving advice with professionalism and compassion, explaining the legal process and answering questions as understandably as possible.
Attorney Biagi is now a general practitioner with a particular focus on financial matters, including Chapter 7 and 13 bankruptcies and debt negotiation when filing for bankruptcy protection may not be the best option. Her practice also includes residential and commercial real estate transactions, and small business formation and representation. Attorney Biagi has represented business and individual clients in zoning appeals matters and has defended business clients in matters surrounding complaints and prosecutions with state agencies such as the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure. She also has appeared regularly in court representing both plaintiffs and defendants in both pre- and post-judgment proceedings and has experience in estate planning, probate and family law.
Attorney Biagi is admitted to practice law in Massachusetts and Connecticut in the State, District and Bankruptcy Courts. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, Hampshire County Bar Association and National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy (NACBA). She is a member of the Amherst Rotary Club, Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce, and sits on the Board of Directors of Stavros Center for Independent Living, Inc. She has been an MBA panelist discussing Bankruptcy issues and practice, as well as a panelist at Boston College Law School discussing career paths for attorneys and a NACBA panelist discussing social media marketing and practice.
Most challenging case:
During my first couple years of practice, a very difficult bankruptcy client misrepresented numerous assets and lied repeatedly before and after I filed her Chapter 7. I ultimately was forced to move to disappear from the case and she ultimately lost her discharge. I was naive at the time and I learned more from that case than I ever have from any case since. People often do not understand that their lies and omissions can, and very often will, come back to haunt them.
Best advice you received from the national listserv:
Document everything! Confirm all information you receive. Look into your clients’ eyes and assess each situation. Don’t be afraid to walk someone out the door if you do not believe them.
The NACBA benefit you couldn’t live without:
The national listserv, of course! I could not do what I do without the input of other members and without the amazing archives I have saved over the years.
How many years have you been practicing?
I am in my 11th year of practice and am always amazed at how much more there is to learn! The practice of law takes a ton of practice and requires a small enough ego that you are constantly ready to learn the next lesson that comes your way,
Who is your mentor – who do you look up to professionally?
More than anyone, I look up to Ingrid Hillinger, my Contracts Professor at Boston College. She has taught me so much about being human while being a lawyer, being tough but sensitive and caring, learning your trade beyond a textbook understanding, about education and empathy. Ingrid is simply amazing. She happens to be a Bankruptcy professor as well (although I never took Bankruptcy in law school).
What is your favorite part of being a consumer bankruptcy attorney?
I get to make a tangible difference in people’s lives. I can brainstorm, research, and find answers or resolutions to problems, and can almost always help my clients to make a positive change. It works both ways, as I am spared boredom and literally learn from every case.
Name an area of the law that you’d like to learn more about:
I do not have time to focus on these areas right now, but I would like to learn more about tax matters and student loan dischargeability.
Most memorable moment in NACBA:
In another life, you’d be……
An angst-ridden folk chick/singer-songwriter…or a lawyer for The Innocence Project, iIf I did not have a family. But I am so happy to have my family.