Welcome to The Drake Law Firm, P.C.

 

The Drake Law Firm, P.C. was founded in March 2011 by Marie Drake to focus on clients’ legal issues and to provide personal attention to clients in order to achieve their goals. From business law and litigation to bankruptcy matters, Marie Drake provides common sense solutions to individuals and businesses throughout Colorado.

The Drake Law Firm, P.C. offers a range of legal services to meet the needs of businesses and entrepreneurs.   In practice since 1999, Marie works with local, regional and national clients, helping them form new business ventures, taking projects from concept to reality and protecting and preserving their assets.

The Drake Law Firm: Responsive, trustworthy, innovative and resourceful.

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Continuing Legal Education and how it helps lawyers AND Clients

The Colorado Supreme Court mandates that each licensed lawyer in the state complete 45 hours of continuing legal education credits every three years. To receive credit for a CLE class, the CLE’s “primary focus must be the increase of professional competence of registered attorneys and judges, and it must deal with subject matter directly related to the practice of law or the performance of judicial duties.”

Many different classes are offered each month that cover various legal specialties and professional issues. CLE classes often give practitioners an in-depth review of recent changes in the law in the areas they practice in.   I am a firm believer in lifelong learning, and continuing learning as a professional is no different. While the minimum requirement is 45 hours over 36 months, I always exceed that. I feel these classes add to my skills and knowledge base, which in turn add to the value I bring to my clients.

Some of the classes I have taken in the recent past are:

E-Discovery

Foreclosure Law

Facebook for Lawyers

Hanging Out Your Shingle

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Bankruptcy – Should you go it alone?

No matter how confident you are, there are still some things better left to experts.  For example, a do-it-yourself bankruptcy makes about as much sense as a do-it-yourself appendectomy.  It’s potentially about as painful as well.  The problem is, of course, that the laws are evolving and changing. And you might end up losing what could have been saved.

No matter how prepared you are, you are still an innocent pulling up to the poker table with pros. For example, in a Chapter 7 case, it’s the bankruptcy trustee’s job to find assets, and the more he/she finds, the more commission he/she makes when those assets are distributed.  These people are not your friends.

Then there is the whole issue of whether you can even declare bankruptcy.  The “means test” looks at your income for the six months before you declare, and if your means change in the following month or so — a new job, an inheritance, the sale of some property — that might alter everything.  Suddenly, what you thought was exempt isn’t.  And make no mistake, anything can make you more vulnerable to your creditors.

At The Drake Firm, we might suggest reasons to put a bankruptcy on hold for a while, but we always work with the client to make any revisions necessary in the information before we proceed.  As we have said, declaring bankruptcy sends you into dangerous territory.  It’s better if you go armed with good legal advice.

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Bankruptcy and mortgage payments – important info

If you have to file for bankruptcy protection and want to keep your house, remember to keep paying the mortgage, even if you are unable to continue paying automatically with an electronic checking account withdrawal.  Just start paying the old-fashioned way, with a physical check, and don’t miss payments. For more information see this blog post.

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Dealing with Media Attention

You’re angry. You’re dealing with a difficult situation. At first, you can’t resist a few tweets.  Then you mention it on Facebook.  If the story is juicy, it gets around, which means it’s just a matter of time before the media picks it up.   And sadly, the more the media is telling your story, the less you are.  Because now, it’s out there, like it or not, people are forming opinions.  Opinions over which you have zero control.

If you are involved in a civil law suit, or any law suit for that matter, the closer you keep it to yourself — and your attorney — the better.  Only rarely does media attention help.  Discuss any concerns you have about publicity with your attorney, and hopefully those discussions occur before your case has any publicity. Then work with your attorney to develop a strategy on how to handle press inquiries.  Be prepared early, so you don’t have to put out fires later.

Your attorney likely has public relations and media relations people on direct-dial.  At The Drake Law Firm, we have good relationships with the media, but when advisable, we rely on public relations professionals.  Maintaining our clients’ reputations, as well as their comfort level, is high on our “to-do” list.  But whether we need a defense strategy or the correct strategy to go on the offense, we think it is better for our clients when we can work together — outside of the media glare.

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Declaring bankruptcy in the military

            In the world of debtors and creditors, few situations are more complex than when the debtor happens to be not only in the military but is also going into bankruptcy.  All parties concerned feel powerless and furious, not a good combination. 

            And of course, the reality that either party may have moral compasses which don’t exactly head due north.

            Some creditors rely on the financial naiveté of young men and women in the military.  These creditors promise easy terms and instant gratification; in short, everything a young man or woman might want with seemingly no drawbacks. And when skipping down to sign their loan documents, virtually all these debtors skip right over the fine print. And eventually, they are caught in escalating interest traps that help make unscrupulous creditors rich while impoverishing the lender.   

            Conversely there are those in the military with an overly developed sense of entitlement. They think that for all they are giving up, they should be allowed whatever they choose to buy. Consequences don’t apply to them.  In these situations, a creditor wishing to be paid may wind up with military red tape in their lap instead of cash.  And the debtors’ reasoning? Good luck pursuing me all the way to Afghanistan.   

            Either way, debtor or creditor, you may find yourself in an emotional quagmire with no visible clear-cut legal path through the difficulty.  You may well need help.  At the Drake Firm, we understand both the complexities and the difficulties of bankruptcy proceedings when the debtors are in the military.  We also understand the fine points of negotiating that help result in both parties achieving some satisfaction.

            But for starters, the United States Bankruptcy Court has an established verification method for determining the military status of debtors.  The procedure can be found here.  We will be happy to discuss these procedures, whether you are a creditor in need of establishing a claim in a bankruptcy proceeding or a debtor in the military filing for bankruptcy.

            At The Drake Firm, we are unfailingly practical, brutally honest, and totally supportive. We look forward to helping you.  
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Let’s talk

The single largest complaint from clients about their lawyers is that the attorneys do not communicate often enough.

Makes sense. In the client’s opinion, theirs is the case, the single most important, time-sensitive case their attorney is handling.  It is easy for them to forget that while they have one attorney, their attorney likely has multiple clients.

But speaking for the client, it is also absolutely true that some attorneys do a pathetic job of communicating. Sometimes they are hobbled by egos so substantial that they figure their own needs/schedules/golf games are of primary importance, and the clients can damn well wait.

The Drake Firm is different.  We will keep a client informed of the deadlines and/or work product timelines. On those occasions when another case must take precedence, we notify our clients of the fact, as well as how long we might be out-of-pocket. That is communication.

To us, how well and how often we will communicate with you about your case is so important, we discuss it in our first meeting together.  We will allow no one to feel as if they have been left blowing in the wind, or to feel their needs haven’t been addressed.    And yes, we know that sometimes the need isn’t for a legal solution, but for simple reassurance.  We respect that.

Also, at The Drake Firm we have embraced technology.  We return telephone calls and emails within 24 hours. We use constant contact smart phone technology integrated with case management software. Our laptops are our constant companions.

We use our laptops for out-of-office client meetings, for court appearances and for on-the-go communication with clients, courts and opposing counsel. We take communicating very seriously, because we know that it can actually make or break the outcome of a case.

So, let’s talk.  You have important things to say, and we like to listen.  Almost as much as we like to win.

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Starting your own business in Colorado

We help start-ups get up and running

People who want to start their own business have two things in common.  First is passion.  And second?  Easy. That is the number of people who say it can’t be done.

No matter what business you want to get up and running, it is guaranteed there will be those who don’t share your vision.  Say you have a new product, a new service or a new approach to an old service, however brilliant your vision may be, there are those who just won’t see it.

Therefore, to even get your business off the starting block, passion is going to have to trump the naysayers.  No need to rein in the passion, but one reason so many new businesses do in fact fail, is that passion also won out over practicality.

So, let’s get practical. First step for a prospective new business owner is to pay a visit to the Colorado.gov website.  You’ll see a box titled:  STARTING A NEW BUSINESS.  Go there and find an incredible wealth of information, which is absolutely free and available to you, including a comprehensive checklist to see if you’re as ready as you need to be.

Second, as the site will tell you, it’s important to have an attorney with experience in forming and advising Colorado business organizations. That is where we come in.

The Drake Firm understands that combination of commitment and anxiety new business owners face. We not only understand, but we have the experience, the energy and the enthusiasm to help.  This country needs more jobs.  This economy needs better businesses.  And if you have a viable idea that will create both, we are with you. 110%.

We do everything from helping you negotiate contracts, to checking licenses, finding reliable real estate, checking the credentials of those who plan your marketing, dealing with employee regulations, well, basically we will help you plan your entire itinerary, from concept to reality.  We are brutally practical, brutally honest, and totally supportive.

So when you’re ready, call us.

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