KWA volunteers at NARCA 2017 Summer Litigation Boot Camp


Article by: KWA


On June 23, 2017, Michael Berkowitz, who is KWA’s managing collection attorney, volunteered his time at the NARCA 2017 Summer Litigation Boot Camp sponsored by the National Creditor’s Bar Association/NARCA to discuss the business records exception to Ohio’s Hearsay rule, specifically, Ohio Evidentiary Rule 803(6). Michael discussed the pitfalls that creditors encounter when submitting business records into evidence during trial and in motion practice. Often times, a simple business record is the critical piece of evidence for a case, and the admissibility of that record can have a material impact on the outcome of a trial. However, a business record is a prototypical example of hearsay, and inadmissible at trial. Nonetheless, the proper understanding and application of the business records exception to the hearsay rule offers the most practical value to a practitioner at trial.

The Litigation Boot Camp, was held at the Moritz College of Law on the campus of The Ohio State University and was well attended by other colleagues from Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Pennsylvania. The seminar included a slate of other presenters covering a sundry of other legal topics related to civil litigation and debt collection. Our Firm has been a NARCA member for over 25 years and was glad to give a little back to the organization by having Michael contribute.

Our Fees

Our fees are competitive and conform to industry standards. In most instances, the following fee arrangements are available:


1. Collection matters are handled on a contingency fee basis, but an hourly option is available and sometimes requested by clients who hold large balance claims. At a clients’ request, fees for collection matters can be billed on a per item flat fee basis for letters, pleadings, motions, and executions.


2. Uncontested foreclosures and related bankruptcy and eviction matters are most often billed on a flat fee basis according to the Fannie Mae guidelines. Contested matters, and counterclaims, generally require additional flat fee or hourly billing, subject to client approval;


3. Uncontested replevin cases are also handled on a flat fee basis. If the right to recover possession is opposed, the matter is converted to an hourly fee basis, upon client approval;


4. Mechanic’s lien matters are treated the same as replevin cases, unless they involve multiple properties, or otherwise relate to unusual subject matter;


5. Our firm is also pioneering the availability and use of alternative fee arrangements (“AFA’s”) for legal services that have traditionally been billed hourly. The availability of AFA’s is a product of our firm’s ambition to deliver legal services in an efficient and cost-effective manner, and help clients more effectively forecast and contain costs. AFA’s are available for an ever expanding range of matters, including litigation defense, discovery disputes, and appellate practice.

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