Luber: Hey everyone � Marc Luber here. Today
on JD Careers Out There, we�re exploring what it�s like to be a corporate bankruptcy
lawyer, so let�s get to it! [theme song] Today�s guest is Scott Gautier, a corporate
bankruptcy lawyer in Los Angeles who�s a partner at the firm of Peitzman Weg. Scott�s
previously practiced at some of the top international law firms and he�s been recognized by Chambers
USA as one of California�s leading bankruptcy lawyers and he�s been listed as one of Southern
California�s Super Lawyers by Law & Politics and Los Angeles magazines. As you may already
know, here at JDCOT we help you find and succeed in fulfilling careers using a law degree by
exploring career paths both in and out of law. Today we�re gonna explore the path
of being a corporate bankruptcy lawyer so let�s meet Scott and get started! Scott,
welcome to JDCOT. Scott: Thanks, Marc, it�s great to be here. Luber: Definitely, thank you for being here.
And Scott, I�m going to have you tell everybody about a typical day and who makes the right
fit for this path, as well as how to break in and how to succeed. But first let�s start
with the basics: tell us about your practice and what you do as a corporate bankruptcy
lawyer. Scott: Wow! We do a lot – and one of the reasons
I chose corporate bankruptcy law is because in a typical day, particularly if we�re
representing a debtor, we get to climb into someone�s business that�s in distress
and really help them out. People look to us not just for legal answers but they look to
us to help them solve their business problems. They look for us to be a psychologist. As
you might imagine, people that have a failed company or at the helm of a failed company,
often feel guilty about the choices and decisions they�ve made and we help them move past
that; we help them feel better about the future, we help empower them to move forward and we
also, obviously, do the legal side of it which is to analyze their situation and provide
options – or at least outline their options so that they can choose the path going forward. Luber: What are those options usually? Scott: Wow! There�s lots of them. Sometimes
the option is closing down the business and getting out, both personally __________ to
redeploy the assets, to sell the business, to chop it up into various pieces. It might
be the options between suing and settling certain litigation they might be facing. They�re
business decisions in every way possible as much as they are legal decisions – and I think
that�s more the case in corporate bankruptcy than in a lot of other areas of law. Luber: So for someone who knows nothing about
bankruptcy, let�s say someone�s watching, maybe they haven�t yet gone to law school
or they�re in law school, they haven�t yet taken a bankruptcy class, explain what
exactly it is that you�re really helping a business do in real layman�s terms. Scott: Well we�re talking about the debtor�s
side of the practice and I think that�s probably a good place to be, Marc. On the
debtor�s side of the practice, you�re talking about that business, that company
that is in trouble, that can�t pay all of its debts as they come due and they�re looking
for the future. So one of the things you have to do is analyze each of their creditor�s
claims. Each creditor for a corporate business has a different priority with respect to repayment
of their obligations. So one of the first things we need to do is we need to analyze
and investigate the priority of their various creditor claims so that we can advise the
client in how to negotiate with the different creditors in terms of moving forward. Ultimately,
something�s got to give. You can�t get blood out of a turnip, right? You can�t
pay everyone if you don�t have enough money – and if the future proceeds of this business
are not going to be enough to pay all of the existing obligations, somebody�s got to
give. The bankruptcy code answers that question to some extent – but bankruptcy is every bit
as much a negotiation and creating a business plan and something that works for everyone;
it�s a global settlement between all of your creditors – and so you�ve got to be
able to analyze and understand the law as to who has priorities to what assets and what
priorities you can set aside and in what ways and for how long and how you might restructure
and reorganize those debts. It is fascinating because you�re dealing with the universe
of claims against the business and you�re analyzing each one of their positions, you�re
playing one side against the other, you�re playing against the middle, it�s intense. Luber: Alright, if you�re on YouTube, please
give us the thumbs up if this was helpful! And if you want to see the full interview
with Scott, come visit us at JDCOT dot com where you�ll learn more about what it�s
like to be a corporate bankruptcy lawyer, who makes the right fit for this path, how
to break in and how to succeed. If you�re already at the site, you could just scroll
down to the full version of the video. And make sure you join the membership so you get
access to all the helpful videos. Thanks again for watching everybody. I�m Marc Luber and
I�ll see ya soon.