Filing a Proof of Claim: Part 1 – Gather Documents

(Note: this is a multi-part post concerning how to file a proof of claim in the Heller Ehrman LLP Case: 08-32514 bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of California)

Before you attempt to complete the Proof of Claim form, you need to gather essential documents needed to verify your claim.  Important: as with all documents list here, never submit originals with your Proof of Claim.  Scan or make photocopies and place the originals in a safe location – you may need to produce them at a later date.

1.  Earnings Statement

Your last paycheck stub you received from Heller Ehrman.

2.  September 26, 2008 Dissolution Email

This email was sent to all employees on September 26, 2008 notifying us that Heller Ehrman was disolving.  If you did not receive a copy or do not have one readily available, download a copy using this link: 

3.  Termination Email

This email was sent to employees that were terminated on October 10, 2008.  Similar emails were sent on October 17, 2008 and subsequent dates.  

If you cannot locate a copy of your termination email, use a copy of the October 10, 2008 email using this link: 

[Note: if anyone received termination emails on October 17, 2008 or later and the text was substantially different, please send a copy to me and I will make it available here in this post]

If you were informed of your termination verbally, document the date, time, place, the name of the person informing you of the termination, the names of others in the room at the time, and what was said.

4.  December 28, 2008 Bankruptcy Memorandum to All Employees

This email was sent to all current and former Heller Ehrman employees on December 28, 2008.  If you did not receive a copy, download a copy using this link:

5.  Other Supporting Documents

If you are still owed reimbursements for travel, meal or other expenses, make sure you tape receipts to a 8.5 x 11″ page and either scan or copy the receipts.

6.  Calculations Document

You should have a document clearly demonstrating how you calculated the amounts in your Proof of Claim.  While this does not have to be a spreadsheet, you should type or write down information in a clear manner as to how you arrived at your final figure of monies owed to you by Heller Ehrman LLP. 

7.  Incoming Associates

For Incoming Associates, print a copy of the November 6, 2008 letter you received from the Dissolution Committee.  If you did not receive a copy, download a copy using this link: 

In addition, make copies of all communication – email and written – concerning your status as an Incoming Associate at Heller Ehrman.

Incoming Associates should also make copies of any bar exam expenses, moving expenses, etc. – basically anything for which you spent money while being led to believe that you would be reimbursed for such expenses.

8.  Anything Else?

You can always file an amended Proof of Claim if needed, but take the time now to determine other monies that Heller Ehrman LLP might owe you and look for documents which can help verify such claims.


2 Responses to “Filing a Proof of Claim: Part 1 – Gather Documents”

  1. 1 Observer 4 January 2009 at 7:15 pm

    This is good advice. It is fairly common for the debtor in bankruptcy (or a trustee if one is later appointed) to object to claims on the basis that insufficient supporting documentation has been included, if the claim leaves any opening to make that objection.

    Give special attention to item 7 (calculation itemization); this should be made as clear and explicit as possible.

    Not necessary, and even not appropriate: item 4, the Dec. 28 memo to all ex-employees. This does not support anybody’s claim, and the court does not need — or want — a thousand copies of that memo as part of the attachments to claims.

  2. 2 Thomas MacEntee 4 January 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Good point on Item 4 – I will strikeout that text.

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