DIANE’S MOST TREASURED AWARD

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Chief Judge Daniel Collins, Arizona Bankruptcy Court, presented Diane with a Lifetime Achievement Pro Bono Award

Chief Judge Daniel Collins, of the Arizona Bankruptcy Court, presented Diane with a Lifetime Achievement Pro Bono Award, sponsored by the Arizona Bankruptcy Section, “(f)or a career of overwhelming and extraordinary pro bono services in establishing the Bankruptcy Court Self Help Center and leadership in the bankruptcy pro bono programs.”

To be a good bankruptcy attorney they must be  well versed in many areas of law: family law, estate, tax, corporate, community property, etc.

Unlike most areas of law, bankruptcy dictates that the lawyer be well versed in many areas of law, be a very good negotiator and sensitive to the differing needs of all those involved. It is the only area of law that does not normally pit one party against the other. Unlike most courts there is rarely a battle of copy machines, nor does the number of associates assigned to the case directly affect the outcome. In fact, rather than the outcome turning on the lawyer’s ability to write long, complicated legal briefs, it is measured by their knowledge of the law, understanding of the policies and procedures and their ability to find creative solutions.

April 17, 2016, letter to Diane Drain from Hon. William J. O’Neil, Presiding Disciplinary Judge, Arizona Supreme Court (as part of Diane’s testimony to the Supreme Court in the disbarment proceedings of David Wroblewski):

Diane Drain established a Self-Help Center at the suggestion of Bankruptcy Judge Sarah Sharer Curley with a hope to reach hurting people and help them understand bankruptcy law and its ramifications as well as better smooth their way through their difficult circumstances by easing the process.  She testified in this proceeding giving credit to others including various bankruptcy judges and the remarkably large number of volunteer attorneys who assisted their fellow citizens through bankruptcy.

Ms. Drain testified a large individual group of volunteer lawyers was started solely because of the sheer volume of damage done to individuals and the legal system by Mr. Wroblewski and the law firm which bore his name.  Judge Daniel P. Collins assigned all of the Wroblewski cases to himself to better manage the flood of individuals injured by the inaction of that firm and the lack of management by Mr. Wroblewski.  These volunteer attorneys came to the rescue of angry clients whose money was taken and who received no assistance. Ms. Drain testified these people sometimes just needed someone to yell at.  We find those people needed someone to yell at because they paid their fees to the law firm of Mr. Wroblewski and that firm then turned a deaf ear to them and abandoned them.

These volunteer attorneys invested their own time and money by taking under their wings these orphaned clients at great expense to themselves.  The impact on the legal profession, the courts, bankruptcy trustees, individual volunteers, and these members of the public we find to be enormous.

Again, thank you.

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William J. O’Neil
Presiding Disciplinary Judge
Arizona Supreme Court, Suite 102
1501 W. Washington Street
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

EVIDENCE DIANE’S COMMITMENT TO HER CLIENTS & THE LEGAL PROFESSION

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ACHIEVEMENTS & AWARDS

Numerous Awards for Volunteering to Help Others

DianeOver the last 35+ years Diane L. Drain has received numerous awards for her dedication to the practice of law, including a Lifetime Achievement Award for her contributions to helping Arizona citizens understand their rights in bankruptcy.  A few others include in Fall of 2012 James M. Marlar, Chief Bankruptcy Judge, nominated Diane as a top Pro Bono Super Lawyer – a national organization. In Fall of 2012 she was listed on the Arizona Bankruptcy Court’s Honor Roll of Pro Bono Volunteers.  In October 2012 she was selected as a “Top Attorney in 2012” as published in the North Valley Magazine.

Diane received the Arizona State Bar’s 1996 Member of the Year award and was featured several times in the Arizona Business Gazette, Arizona Attorney and other national and local publications.

She also received the Arizona State Bar Foundation’s 2011 Top 50 Pro Bono Attorneys, regularly rated by her clients and fellow attorneys as top 10 on AVVO, plus the 2017 Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievements Award (Marquis Who’s Who)

A Dedicated Teacher

Following the lead of her mentors, Ms. Drain is also dedicated to teaching. She was an adjunct professor at all three of the Arizona law schools in bankruptcy or law office management. Since 1988 she taught basic bankruptcy and real property issues at the Arizona School of Real Estate.  Diane helped to develop and continues to teach a course on Professionalism which is mandated by the Arizona Supreme Court for all Arizona attorneys.

Committed to Teaching Fellow Attorneys and Act as a Resource for the Press

She also teaches her fellow practitioners how to efficiently manage their law firms. She has published numerous articles on law office management and technology for the American Bar Association, State Bar of Arizona and many of the County Bar Associations; along with several local newspapers, including the Arizona Business Gazette and Laws.com. She is a source for reporters at several local and national news outlets; including Channel 12 and the Arizona Republic. Here is just one article [+].

CAREER ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Diane has been a forerunner in law office technology and the practice of law.

To help her fellow attorneys Diane established The Legal Resource Group to help bring technology to law firms. In addition to being a member of the State Bar of Arizona Board of Governors for almost two decades, she is the founding co-chair of the Arizona Consumer Bankruptcy Counsel, a mentoring organization for consumer bankruptcy attorneys.  As a retired law professor, Diane has been involved in hundreds of continuing legal education programs for her fellow lawyers and spent years teaching the basics of bankruptcy to realtors and title officers.

PROFESSIONAL & COMMUNITY ACTIVITIES

A community volunteer and activist:

Diane’s community activities include establishing the Self-Help Center at the Bankruptcy Court, participation in the Volunteer’s Lawyers Programs, Law Week, Senior Citizens Law Project, Legal Assistance for the Elderly, Volunteer Mediation Services, Disabled Veterans, and many more.  In 2009 Diane received Governor’s Commission on Service and Volunteerism as the Small Business Annual Award.

Legislative work:

Diane has been involved in drafting new laws in order to protect Arizona residents.  The latest project was a revamp of the Arizona exemptions in order to protect the property of all Arizona residents.  She is a contact person for many involved in proposed laws that directly affect Arizona families.

Author:

She is an author of: Bankruptcy Basics, Trustee Sales, numerous articles on bankruptcy, trustee sale process and law office management.  Is a contributing author: Life, Law and the Pursuit of Balance an ABA publication, Flying Solo: A Survival Guide for the Solo and Small Firm Lawyer an ABA Publication, The Road to Independence, Commission on Women in the Profession, an ABA publication.  Diane has authored the materials for more than 150 continuing legal education programs over the last 35+ years.

Diane is or has been an active member of several associations:

National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, the Better Business Bureau, various State Bar sections: including the Supreme Court’s Technology Committee, Professionalism Committee, the Bankruptcy Section, the Real Property Section and the Solo and Small Firm Section.  Diane is a past President of the Maricopa Chapter of the Arizona Women Lawyer’s Association, a past Chair of the Solo Practitioner’s Section of the Arizona State Bar, a past Chair of the Maricopa County Continuing Legal Education program and the founding Chairperson for the Arizona Trustee’s Association.  Diane was appointed by the Supreme Court to the Commission on Judicial Review and the Supreme Court’s Commission on Technology.

WHY I LOVE BANKRUPTCY…

The above information is fine if you want a resume’, but are you wondering why I chose bankruptcy law as my primary area of practice.  Here is an insight into my philosophy and love of the practice – the reasons why I chose to help consumers and creditors. It is a good analysis of my view of the importance of bankruptcy on families, the community and the entire national economy.