Q: do financial ruin clients generally tend to come to you while there’s nonetheless time to assist, or when it’s time to be dug out of the ditch? A: more the latter. [laughs] i wish there have been more inside the former. We will occasionally locate a person who comes in to say, “i see this popping out on the horizon. Are there any tweaks i'm able to make now to avoid this?” but the widespread majority are available when there is already a chief trouble. Not that you could’t assist them, however occasionally they’ve performed things that [make] you desire you can are becoming to them faster. We do all debtor paintings. It’s just greater worthwhile to me to be helping the enterprise proprietor try to keep their enterprise. But i have the background of both aspects, so that’s continually helpful, because i know how the banks assume. Q: what is a normal situation that a consumer would possibly convey to you? A: they’re marketers. They have built a commercial enterprise. They have been in it for a long time. They’ve been a success. Maybe it grew too speedy. Maybe they’ve were given one creditor who won’t renew their loan, one bank. They’re complicated. A whole lot of it's far simply type of putting these puzzles together of these kinds of special players, seeking to get all of it to suit together. Q: are your customers typically inspired by what you’re able to do for them? A: yes. I have clients who love me. It doesn’t usually workout, but i bet what i like to delight myself on is making an attempt to teach them and guide them thru the issues, due to the fact while you’re dealing with indignant creditors, you could’t manipulate what they’re going to do. So a number of what i experience like i do is humans abilties, and trying to make clients remember the fact that, irrespective of what we try to do, [the creditor] can also still simply now not be agreeable to anything. But nine times out of 10, we get a plan confirmed, or we sell a corporation as a going difficulty. We commonly get things resolved. Q: what length agencies do you work with? A: probable some thing from $5 million in belongings and liabilities up to $one hundred million or north. Q: lawyering runs in your own family, proper? A: my grandfather and my father were each lawyers in glasgow, so i've recollections from early adolescence of gambling of their workplace. That they had a company: richardson, barrickman & dickinson. In excessive school, i used to be the receptionist in the office and responded the phones. I didn’t really assume i wanted to be a legal professional always. And then i went to college at 20 and that i majored in natural assets, which changed into geology and forestry, which became a little bit outdoor the box for me. Q: why geology and forestry? A: i was precise in english and records and the liberal arts, so going into geology turned into not some thing that turned into planned. I just desired a mission. Q: at what point did you decide to move for regulation? A: like a number of people, i got out of university and i wasn’t clearly positive what i wanted to do. I had worked in washington, d. C., more than one times in university on the hill and that i cherished that surroundings. I labored for dee huddleston, who become one of the senators from kentucky, for a summer time. And then i graduated university a semester early and labored for basically a semester for invoice natcher, who was a senior congressman from kentucky. In order that turned into my initial plan: to visit regulation school, attempt to get in someplace in washington, d. C., with the epa, emerge as an environmental attorney. Due to the fact that had been my college important, environmental troubles. However that didn’t happen. Q: why now not? A: i [got] sidetracked. I stopped up operating in south carolina for a bankruptcy 13 trustee’s workplace, which is in financial disaster. My father became a financial ruin trustee and became a bankruptcy judge. I had by no means paid that a great deal interest as a toddler. So i worked for this trustee’s workplace. Then, after my second year, i clerked here in lexington for stoll keenon, and that i ended up operating pretty a piece with the bankruptcy partner. Through then, i was married and simply stayed in lexington. I went off into the financial disaster international, and that’s wherein i nonetheless am 30 years later. It’s just been a high-quality in shape for me. I truely like assisting people who are in monetary difficulties. Some of the large instances are very difficult; you come to be rather of a jack-of-all-trades because you study exceptional industries. I’m continually studying something. Q: i guess it’s no longer surprising that someone who majored in geology because it turned into some thing new might experience a task. A: once in a while i desire i weren’t like that a lot. I usually need to tweak the manner. I in no way need to mention, “well, this is how we did it earlier than, so that is how we’re going to do it.” q: can you inform me approximately a memorable case? A: the ones that stand out in my thoughts are the tough conditions with an entire lot of various humans. Wallace wilkinson changed into one among our former governors. He went via a large financial ruin in my view, and there had been a few fraud allegations. Q: so you have been representing one among his creditors? A: yes. We ended up getting humans in a room and having this long, drawn-out worldwide settlement. There’s only a restrained pot of cash, so the greater the attorneys litigate and fight, the extra the attorneys are taking all of the cash and the creditors are not getting money. So, at the least the manner i used to be delivered up, you usually choose up the phone. You constantly try and paintings some thing out. And if you may’t paintings something out, you’re going to visit court docket, however you’re going to slim the problems as plenty as you can. That’s why it’s in reality been a great suit for me, due to the fact i like doing that. Q: you want the interpersonal connections. A: now there's so much communique by means of e mail and there’s almost an unwillingness to pick out up the smartphone and just communicate to people. And even much less just getting collectively to satisfy. I am a believer that that’s the way you certainly get matters accomplished. E mail’s fantastic to set up meetings and to share a few fundamental statistics, however to actually attempt to negotiate or clear up troubles over electronic mail doesn’t work. I assume that’s contributed to the decrease in civility, due to the fact people will simply send snarky emails back and forth. Q: become it difficult being a woman in financial disaster law lower back inside the mid-’80s? A: that changed into back when we were wearing our little bowtie blouses and pantyhose and all that. There has been nevertheless a touch sexism, i bet, however probably no longer as awful as it have been inside the beyond. Q: how approximately now? Do you experience as respected as your male counterparts? A: i assume i am getting the identical amount of admire. I assume in case you underestimate me because i’m gracious or friendly or have woman traits, you'll quickly discover that you weren’t going to take gain of me. I have confidence and that i’m no longer going to take any crap. Q: how do you think ladies in fashionable are faring in the prison enterprise? A: i’m very passionate about getting greater girls into the senior degrees of regulation, because we’re no longer competently represented. In our jurisdiction we've got a variety of female financial disaster lawyers, however i’ve regularly been the simplest lady in the room. I am getting to look at guys have their little ego contests periodically, and now i simply get amused by looking it. So it’s an difficulty. I'm hoping i can be encouraging to different ladies. We’re very clever. We’re very capable. And that i desire the profession can have extra women role models. It's far an trouble of ladies just dropping out of the profession. We actually need greater women. Q: what do you believe you studied might change that? A: i assume the career has to fee what girls convey to the desk. When you’re in a male-dominated industry of any type, they fee the male attributes greater. You need to experience valued and you need to feel like you’re making a difference and you need to be engaged. Q: do you think companies need to step up, or do women simply want to be greater insistent? A: it’s on each. I’ve seen women legal professionals who had been so meek and timid that they have been never going to earn the trust of their male customers because they wouldn’t arise to them and interact with them. I do believe ladies need likeability, however it’s one of these exceptional line. It’s every day, each state of affairs, you’re simply having to determine out the proper manner to be all of the time. Q: have you ever had some proper mentors alongside the way? A: yes. Joe scott become the financial ruin partner that i worked with at stoll keenon. He later became a financial disaster judge right here. A first-rate person. It became simply greater of an natural, every day-watching-him kind of mentoring, in preference to any formal mentoring software. However he loves to announce that he taught me everything i realize. [laughs] my father [henry dickinson] became a amazing mentor, too. Additionally, decide joe lee changed into the bankruptcy referee and only decide in the japanese district of kentucky financial disaster court for many years. He become at the bench for over 50 years. As a younger legal professional, i practiced in the front of him on a ordinary basis. He had one of these quiet dignity and worrying manner. It is not sincerely anything he ever stated to me however the way he conducted himself. The way he handled his court, the courtesy and admire he confirmed to borrowers who regarded in front of him—who were down on their luck and in a bad way—and the manner he gently showed young lawyers, by asking softball questions, in no way by embarrassing them, that maybe there has been some thing they neglected or every other few things to contemplate. That has been a lifelong affect on me. Q: is there whatever you’d like to alternate about the prison gadget in fashionable? A: it’s nevertheless a totally cash-pushed system. There are a whole lot of humans with the golden rule of “he who has the gold policies,” as opposed to the only i was delivered up with. I would love to peer it be simpler for each person to have get entry to to quality representation to present their case. Now not all people can have enough money to try this. You get big businesses and massive banks with very deep pockets, and while you represent a debtor who's suffering already, it’s a assignment. Lots of big [players], to me, are arrogant and determine they’re simply going to do some thing they’re going to do. I don’t like a lot of games. I much like to cut to the chase and say allow’s both do that to paintings this out, or allow’s cross have a tribulation. I’m just now not very patient for plenty of gamesmanship. Q: in 2003, you and tracey n. Clever (now leader financial disaster decide for japanese kentucky) began your very own company. Why did you make that decision? A: i bet it should be like once i decided to take a look at geology. I just needed to see if i may want to do it.