SAN JOSE ATTORNEY HAS BEEN AT FOREFRONT OF CONSUMER BANKRUPTCY ADVOCACY
FOR 30 YEARS
SAN JOSE — In his distinguished 30-year career, San Jose bankruptcy
attorney Ike Shulman has been involved in landmark legislation and significant
achievements in the bankruptcy field. But what really drives him is his
desire to help the average person faced with crushing debt and depression
to find salvation.
Shulman lists the creation in 1992 of the National Association of Consumer
Bankruptcy Attorneys (NACBA), the country's leading advocate of consumers
in bankruptcy, as one of his greatest accomplishments. But he also says
helping thousands of consumers is equally high on his list.
"I'd say co-founding NACBA and serving as its first president.
I have also been the chair of the association's legislative committee,”
says Shulman when asked what achievement he's most proud of. “We
took a tiny band of lawyers in San Jose to a national organization with
3,000 attorneys that has an impact on the national level. But I'd
also put getting debt relief for thousands of people over the last 30
years as right up there.”
Shulman said his passion for helping people was stoked by the personal
contact he's had with individuals and families over the years.
"I think I was fortunate 30 years ago to be hired by a firm that specialized
in bankruptcy law. I immediately felt it was a rewarding day-after-day
thing to do,” says Shulman, who has been in practice since 1986.
“The passion was there because of the daily rewards. It felt good
to meet with people and their families, many of them who were stressed
out and depressed because of their financial situation, and find a way
to help people out of that. In the legal profession you don't often
get that personal contact.”
Shulman is still actively involved in consumers' rights through NACBA,
serving as chair of the association's Legislative Committee. Shulman
was also a key member of a panel that guided more than 3,000 lawyers through
all the complicated changes in an anti-consumer bankruptcy law passed
by Congress in 2005.
Shulman was selected to serve on the panel because he was well versed in
the intricacies of the new law.
“I knew all about the ins and outs of the 2005 law because we had
been fighting it for eight years,” he said about NACBA's long
fight to preserve consumers' basic bankruptcy rights. “Each
of the provisions were talked about in Congress, which I had been following
closely. It was a terrible law, but we thought there might be a way of
making it less bad.”
The seed for the formation of NACBA actually grew out of an informal meeting
of lawyers in Santa Clara that Shulman was part of. He was the first chairman of the
Santa Clara County Bar Association's Chapter 13 Subcommittee in 1989,
and is currently the chairman of that committee. Shulman says that group
was a "springboard" for the formation of NACBA.
Shulman's other accomplishments and awards include:
>Being given the "Fresh Start" award in 1997 by his peers
for his distinguished service in the consumer bankruptcy field.
>Testifying on behalf of consumer bankruptcy debtors before Congress
in 1998 and testifying before the National Bankruptcy Review Commission
several times from1995 to 1997, as major changes to the bankruptcy laws
were being considered.
>In 2006, Shulman received a Certificate of Recognition from the Northern
District of California Bankruptcy Court Judges for his service as chairman
of the Bankruptcy Local Rules Committee.
>Shulman has been given the highest possible rating for legal ability
and ethics by Martindale-Hubbell® and was selected for inclusion in
the Super Lawyers® list from 2008 to the present.
>He has been recognized as a Certified Specialist in Bankruptcy Law
by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.
After more than 30 years as a highly respected and influential bankruptcy
attorney, Shulman said “retirement” is not in his vocabulary.
“No, I'm still enjoying this too much,” he says when asked
if he'd consider retirement. “I found I could have a law practice
and support my own family. But I also I found I could help a lot of people.
I get great satisfaction helping people navigate bankruptcy laws and getting
back on their feet. I have seen people come in under stress and depressed
and they would walk out with a huge weight lifted off their shoulders.
It was something special, a feeling — a feeling you could almost
grab or touch.”
James S. K. "Ike" Shulman
Shulman Law Offices
1501 The Alameda Suite 200
San Jose, CA 95126