Required Legal Disclaimer: The following testimonials or endorsements do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.
“Mark, I want to thank you so much for representing me in my Ch. 13 bankruptcy. You were so easy to talk to and your answers were always reassuring but honest. I can’t believe how many times I called or e-mailed you with my fears and stupid questions and you always made time for me. I’ve read the other client testimonies on your page and they are all true. You saved my house and gave me a new start and I am grateful. I am so glad I found you.”
GR–Redondo Beach, CA May 2000
“Thanks. Everything went very well. Actually, it was almost too easy! I am very pleased with your services. It made the process much easier and less stressful and would definitely recommend you to anyone. Hopefully I won’t need your services again.”
CB–Los Angeles, CA June 2000
“After struggling along with debts that dated back 20 years (to our college days), my husband and I finally decided that we needed to declare bankruptcy. We had spent years paying on the same bills without doing more than keeping pace, and it was obvious that we would still be paying them when we were old enough to retire. Since I spent much of my time on the internet, both for recreation and for job purposes, it seemed natural for me to start by seeing what I could find out about the bankruptcy process online before I started making any decisions.
I was pleased with the format and content of Mark’s site, and very impressed with how easy it was to contact him (by phone, fax, or email), and how thorough he was in ferreting out the details of our finances and helping us make the choices that were appropriate for us. I have had friends who chose to use paralegals for their own bankruptcy cases and in many cases they turned into nightmares, when they discovered at their hearing that their paperwork was incorrect or that they did not even qualify under the provisions of the law. Because of Mark’s diligence, I was able to go through the bankruptcy process feeling secure that everything would go as planned and that it was all well in hand. I’m very grateful for his help and would recommend him to anyone else who needs similar aid.”
G.P. Los Angeles, CA July, 2000
“I enlisted the legal help of Mark Markus for my overwhelming financial situation. A change in my lifestyle made it completely impossible to deal with the credit card debt I had been accumulating for literally 20 years, just making the payments, month after month and continuing to charge, charge, charge. At the time of my filing, my credit card debt was nearly $40,000! The payments became impossible late in 1999 and I found Mark in a legal forum. He was the only person who responded to a general question I had about bankruptcy, and that began our business relationship.
Last week I received my official Chapter 7 discharge, all the debts are excused. If you are in some similar situation, or just need advice, I can highly recommend Mark Markus. From beginning to end he was professional and very knowledgeable. At my trustee hearing, I was completely prepared as he had briefed me on what to expect. I also say not to worry even if he is not in your location. I live some 500 miles from him, never did meet him personally but he was able to do the entire job via the phone and email. I never had any doubts that he was the right man, as the weeks progressed. If you are considering bankruptcy, don’t hesitate to put your trust in Mark. He knows the process very well and in my experience is completely trustworthy. He will tell you after a brief interview whether it is feasible for you, and if so, you will not regret using his services for the process.”
JK–Fairfield, CA July, 2000
“Mark, I’ve got to tell you, your preciseness of detail and thoroughness in describing the process made it much more comfortable. Your presentation of options and probabilities and your general handholding made the process a lot easier…AND ALL THAT WITHOUT EVER HAVING MET YOU!
You’ve been of great service to me Mark and I have a lot more respect for the process having now been on the other side!!
Best regards and thanks again”
EAG–Los Angeles, CA September, 2000
“I was married for twenty years and recently lost my dear husband to cancer. I was without a job, had a family to care for and bills to pay. I considered payment arrangements with CCCS, but had no permanent job. Temporary work was not stable enough to make the $800+ payments each month. I was overwhelmed financially, an emotional wreck, and no immediate job prospects. I gave my burdens over to prayer. I knew I could not make payment arrangements-one week without a temp job and I would be in default. I was too distraught to speak with anyone about my circumstances, even my minister. I didn’t want anyone to know my personal business and believed no one could really help me with the kind of help I needed. I was now a widow, without the head of my household, without my best friend I decided to browse the net and see what I could learn about bankruptcy. I had no desire to leave home and traipse around looking for a lawyer, answering a million dollars worth of questions. I reviewed a few sights and pondered what each offered. I happened upon Mr. Markus’ site. I was impressed with his details in setting up his web site and internet savvy. He posted a photograph of himself and comments from his clients. I checked his credentials; they were in good standing and decided to call. He guided me through a very difficult process in a kind and caring way. He worked with me as if he too felt my pain and grief. He assisted me by phone, e-mail, fax and letter. He performed a professional service in a timely and professional manner. I recommend the services of Mr. Markus very highly.”
CM–Los Angeles, California. December, 2000.
“Thanks Mark, Your services on the net was Smooth and Very Professional. Mark took all the pressure off me and made me feel let I was in good Hands. Anything I needed was right there, Information, Help at anytime. Also answer all my Question and did not leave me wondering what the ???. Would really recommend Mark J. Markus nothing but Professional.”
Jeff L.– California March 2001
“My credit rating after a year and a month has already restored to a 600+ Things are getting back to normal thanks to all your help. Thanks again.”
RW–Newhall, California–April, 2001
“I want to thank you for your exceptional work on my chapter 7 case. As a senior citizen I was skeptical about filing a bankruptcy after hearing the
horror stories from my friends. I was told that I was to old to file because I would never rebuild a good credit rating and probably lose all of my
assets. I was scared not skeptical and had no choice when I was referred to you. You made the process as simple as possible and you were able to protect all of my assets. My credit is better then it was prior to the bankruptcy mainly because I have no debt. Thank you for your knowledge and expertise in this field of law.”
BW–Los Angeles, California–April, 2001″I am completely satisfied with the way Mark J. Marcus handeled my bankruptsy case. Not only was a discharge accomplished, but I had special circumstances in which he willing worked with me and made every effort to accomodate these special needs. I recommend his servies.”
– BH–Chatsworth, CA–April, 2001
“Your professionalism, experience, sensitivity and patience have helped me deal with my bankruptcy issues. I have placed my faith and trust in you, never have I doubted your approach since the very beginning of the process. It’s certainly more than a great job, it’s stellar! Simply, thank you so much!”
-AR–Los Angeles, CA–May, 2001
“I just want to say what a pleasure it was having Mark handle my Bankruptcy situation. When I originally consulted with him and made the decision to file, I was preparing myself for what I imagined was going to be a stressful and depressing process. It turned out to be far from that. Except for the initial paperwork and Trustee’s meeting, Mark took care of everything (calls from creditors, etc.). I just received my discharge the other day and was quite surprised to discover that the whole process is finished. I guess I was expecting it to go on forever! I would definitely recommend Mark to handle your Bankruptcy Filing.”
JC–Los Angeles, CA–July, 2001
“Bankruptcy can be an intimidating and disheartening experience. I was fortunate enough to have Mr. Markus make the process as quick and painless as possible. He was always there to respond to my questions or concerns, often responding to email within minutes of sending them despite being late at night. I’ve always passed on recommendations when I’ve received exceptional service and this is one of those times. Looking back it is hard to image what all of the worry was about. Thank you Mark for your diligence and hard work.”
BC–Simi Valley, CA–July 2001
“Thank you for making my bankruptcy proceedings largely painless and worry free. I am very impressed with the level of professionalism you
exhibited in your dealings, as well as your ability to conduct almost all of our business after our initial phone consultation via email.
Your combination of knowledge and tech savvy is refreshing, and I will highly recommend you to anyone seeking legal services for bankruptcy.”
B.G.-Los Angeles, California–October, 2001
“Hello Mark : When we first talked, I was not very happy that I had reached a point in my life, that because of my age and financial situation, I had to
declare bankruptcy!! In our very first conversation, you put me into a much
needed positive attitude. I want to thank you very much for all of the legal
help you gave me, that allowed me to go through this very stressful period
and come thru it all, exactly as you had predicted !!
Thank You – Thank You – for all of your positive advice and counsel.”
FD, Los Angeles, California–November 9, 2001
“When I met you in the court, I realized that how cautiously and sincerely you took care of my case. I am sure, that is the only reason for this result. I really appreciate your patience to deal with our language problem. I always remember with lots of thanks the way you helped me when I was worried and confused and didn’t know what to do. I will definitely introduce you to my friends and the members of my church.”
George P., Corona, California–December, 2001
“We wish to thank you for your help and advice in our filing for Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Without professional help I don’t believe we would have succeeded in successfully accomplishing an approval for our request. Your services were handled in a timely and professional manner, which we appreciated very much. We also appreciate your timely response to all of our concerns and questions. We certainly would recommend your services to anyone.”
TLM and LM. Fountain Valley, California–January, 2002
“As my wife and I are both self employed on fairly new jobs, we were not looking forward to our meeting with the trustee. Our interview with the trustee lasted probably less then 2 minutes. Nothing but basic question. We feel it’s because all required paperwork were correctly completed, and submitted. Everything went very smoothly. Thanks a lot, Mark.”
R.O. and S.O. San Diego, California–February, 2002
“Arriving at the conclusion that bankruptcy was the solution to my financial situation was an intensely painful and private process for me. It was great to be able to be able to research and execute this process from the comfort and privacy of my PC. I do not think I would have been comfortable doing this any other way.
I found Mark to be very accessible and prompt in our exchanges, and he was able to bring a clarity to my situation that I would not have achieved on my own.
I think that Mark’s site and his services are a very creative way to use the net and I was pleased to be able to accomplish so much out of what started as cruising the web for info on bankruptcy.
I would not hesitate to recommend his services.”
PW Los Angeles–February, 2002
“We would recommend Mark Markus to anyone considering bankruptcy. He was always respectful and courteous. He answered our endless questions in a timely matter. We mostly communicated through email, which was convenient and effective for us. The Trustee’s Meeting was almost effortless, all of our paperwork was completed correctly and the meeting lasted only minutes. Thank you, Mark, for your services.”
M.C. and K.C., Ventura County–February, 2002
“First of all, thanks. Filing bankruptcy is a scary process and having the right lawyer is crucial. You were the right lawyer for us. I can’t emphasize enough how much the promptness of your communication eased our minds. You usually answered questions within minutes, often at hours that I never expected an immediate reply. You can’t believe the immense value of such a customer orientation. But, after all, it is outcome that counts. We asked of you to help us: keep our house, keep our car, and keep the stuff in our house. You accomplished all three without controversy. Finally, our case was complex and required more expertise and work than most. Again, you came through. I hold you in high regard and recommend you without reservation.”
Name withheld, Sacramento, California. June 2002.
“Mark, your personal attention to my case is very much appreciated. Filing for Chapter 7 was a much less stressful process than I though it would be. Your initial phone call was very helpful and informative and the pre-done forms to fill out made it real easy to look at my situation and make the initial decision. From then on, I really appreciated the fact that we were able to do all of it by e-mail. I believe that I made the right choice in lawyers to represent my case. You answered every question and returned phone calls promptly, and I indeed had many questions which you always answered almost immediately. This is very important to make the process much more sane. I was properly prepped for my Creditor’s meeting and all went, as expected, very smoothly. I have already recommended you to a friend that may need your services.”
–M. P., Los Angeles, California. July, 2002
“It all started with the same mistake most of us make, accruing too much debt, being able to manage minimum payments, then wham! In my case it was losing my job post Sept.11, months after buying our first house. The bills began to mount on the house and although we stayed current on our monthly payments, it was clear after 6 months of a fruitless job search that we need to take control of our future using the means afford us by law. A difficult decision, yes. Shameful, no. But who to trust? Seeking advice or referrals from friends and family made us uncomfortable. Newspaper and Yellow Page ads touting “cheap bankruptcy” made me uncomfortable. But I didn’t want to be taken to the cleaners either by an overpriced “hotshot” lawyer. Then I came across Mark’s website, spent about an hour flipping back and forth finding answers, a bit of humor, and most of all, a feeling that this guy was a no-nonsense, straight shooter. The testimonials you’ve read to this point are all true. My consultation call lasted nearly 45 minutes…no pressure, strait answers, “well, your case isn’t what I call a slam dunk.” A few phone calls, one deep and enlightening look into my debt, income and expenses, one painless creditors meeting and many, many promptly answered emails later, and we just received our discharge. We still have our house, our stuff, our cars and we’re on our way to the fresh start that bankruptcy provides. Thanks, Mark. You do your profession right.”
C.T., L. Beach, California, August 2002
“I am very satisfied with my representation by Mark Markus. I got a good feeling about his abilities and experience from quite a few e-mails and telephone calls. His responses were frequent and without any long delays. The meeting with the Trustee went well and Mark had someone there to advise me and show me how things would work. The actual interview process, in my case, was anti-climatic. After getting myself in such a mess last year things started to get better only after handing this case over to Mark Markus. I would recommend you contact him and talk about your case. You will probably feel a lot better if you know what your options are.”
B.G. (Simi Valley) 9/17/2002
“Mark. Everything went well
PP–Los Angeles, California 10/02
“[Mark] is friendly, personable, and knows all the ins and outs of bankruptcy law and the process itself. And, unlike many attorneys, he returns calls and e-mails almost instantly. I can’t count how many times I pestered him with my little questions, and he always came back with a thorough, knowledgeable, and reassuring answer. This guy really knows what he’s doing, both as a law expert, and as a service professional. And he’s so concerned about your welfare and that you understand what’s going on. I mean, just look at this website he built for you!
You found Mark’s website because your debts are pressuring you so much that you just don’t know what to do, or whom to call for help, right? Well, you need search no more. Do exactly what I did. Contact Mark right now to get him on your side. He’ll figure out if bankruptcy is best for you. If it’s not, he’ll tell you and send you on your way. A friend of mine once warned me that bankruptcy attorneys sometimes drag out your case, or steer you in the direction that will make them the most money, regardless of what’s best for you. I didn’t mention this to Mark; I just watched what he did. And he proved he’s not like that. He handled my case in the simplest way possible, because that’s just what he does. I got a complete discharge of all my debts, without losing anything I own, and the fee I paid was so low, it’s probably the best investment I ever made.
Quit horsing around and call Mark now.
JF, Los Angeles, CA January, 2003
“My wife and I had over $80,000 in credit card debt from our past small business. When our first baby was born, we knew we needed to make a drastic
change in our lives and started considering the options available to us. Mark Markus demystified the bankruptcy process and cleared up some common
misconceptions about its consequences.
Aside from not wanting a Ch. 7 on our credit record, one of the main things that was keeping us from filing was the fear of facing the bankruptcy court. Mark simplified the filing process and accurately described the minimal interaction that we would have with the trustee. He also accurately advised us on the likelihood that we would get to keep most of our assets.
Our case was very complicated due to our business, and Mark never charged any additional fees than what was previously agreed to. Having dealt with
other attorneys in the past, this was very refreshing.
In short, we are extremely happy with Mark’s assistance through the process. He not only guided us to correctly fill out the forms, but he also dealt with our creditors’ calls, helped us provide the trustee with the additional information she needed, and most importantly, never made us feel shame or guilt for our financial situation.”
G. L., Sherman Oaks, CA January, 2003
“I could not be more pleased with my experience hiring Mark J. Markus as my attorney. Coming to the realization that Chapter 7 Bankruptcy was my only option was a difficult one for me, but it was made much easier with Mark by my side. I truly believe it would be impossible to find a lawyer more accessible than Mark J. Markus. Any time I had a question, Mark was reachable with reassurance and an answer either via e-mail or telephone. I would heartily recommend Mark to anyone considering bankruptcy. He’s worth every penny (and more!) of his very reasonable fee.”
Karen M. — Camarillo, CA February, 2003
“Thank you very much for all your help throughout these past months. Your patience has made this a smooth transaction from the beginning til the end.
When I browsed the website to look for a lawyer back last year and read your past clients comments on your work, I must admit that what they said is
true. I wish this will stay the same always. I will definitely recommend you to anyone who needs a lawyer for this matter.”
J.H. Los Angeles, CA April, 2003
“This was a very trying time for me and I’m glad that I found someone like you to represent me. You answered all my concerns promptly. You were very professional and guided me through the process with intellect and compassion. I would highly recommend you to people that find themselves in this situation. In fact, I have already done so. Thanks again for all the help and making this as painless as possible!”
M.O. Los Angeles, CA June, 2003
“Thank you very much for the service you have provided me in discharging my bankruptcy case. It is apparent that your knowledge in this field of law is quite vast. The consultation process was extremely helpful in allowing me to determine what my options were. My concern was that the consultation would be vague because I had not paid for services yet. I was, however, pleasantly surprised to have a thorough preliminary evaluation performed. You were very prompt with your responses and your turn-around time for processing the paperwork and submitting was quite rapid. Even after the bankruptcy was discharged you continually fielded my simple questions without hassle. I appreciate that. Thank you.”
AL, Los Angeles, CA July, 2003
“I truly enjoyed working with Mark J. Markus and his Law Firm. I found, Mark J. Markus, to be extremely professional, honest, accurate, timely, and attentive to detail. I would definitely recommend Mark J. Markus if you are in search of an attorney. ”
David M., Los Angeles, California–August, 2003
“Mr. Markus provides an excellent service. He is a consummate professional and he is good at what he does, and not every lawyer can make that claim. He is honest, he is thorough, and he pays careful attention to every single detail in the legal process. His prices are reasonable, and his skills serve to simplify what most people would otherwise confront as a very complicated procedure. He is without peer and I recommend his services without hesitation.”
L.M., Los Angeles, California–December 2003.
“Thank you, Mark, for your patience and understanding in the handling of my bankruptcy case. I very much appreciate the patience you demonstrated towards me in making the difficult decision to file for bankruptcy. The information you provided on your web site about filing and the different categories of bankruptcy was very helpful. With your help, what started out as a very painful decision to accept responsibility for my financial situation, ended up being a surprisingly painless procedure. I don’t think one can put a price on the kindness and compassion that you showed me during this whole process; nevertheless, your fee was very reasonable and quite possibly the first smart financial decision I had made in a long time. Thank you again.”
Danielle C.–Los Angeles, CA–February 2004
“Mark was professional in every sense of the word and answered all my questions whether on the phone or via email. He alleviated my concerns and put me at ease through one of the most stressful times in my life. I don’t know what I would’ve done without his help. I would highly recommend Mark Markus to anyone considering bankruptcy. Thanks to him, I am debt free and have regained control of my life. Thank you Mark!”
Ani C. Newhall, CA–April 2004
“I would highly recommend Mark to anyone looking for a competent, thorough discharge. Mark was great throughout the process, helping with any questions or personal dilemmas I had. I received a total discharge thanks to his help. Great job! Thanks!”
Will M. Los Angeles, CA July 2004
“I absolutely recommend Mark Markus. Bankruptcy is something which tends to be unfairly stigmatized and an onus is often placed on those who have found themselves under heavy debt, unable to move their lives forward. Mark understands this, is kind, professional and gives you a calm assurance of someone who knows what he is doing. Because he does. During the trustee meeting I was amazed and saddened by the disorganization of other people’s paperwork and felt blessed to have chosen well in Mark. I am now relieved to be living unrestricted from huge debt and am very grateful to Mark Markus.”
JW–Los Angeles, CA September 2004
“My case is unusual because I am an Australian Citizen living in Australia. I lived In the US for 20 years. Due to a family illness I relocated back to Australia on short notice and was never able to catch up with debts I had incurred in the US. I was very confused about how to file Chapter 7 from another country but I needed to do something because I was getting debt collection notices. Mark Markus was like a true God send to me. He’s an extremely knowledgeable attorney and a very personable human being. He handled my case swiftly and concisely online and I didn’t even have to leave Australia! He was always available to answer my questions by phone and email. What seemed like an impending nightmare for me, Markus handled it with great care and attention to detail, relieving all of my stress in the situation. I can’t thank you enough Mark. You have a true talent.”
K.O. From Sydney Australia October 2004
“I would recommend Mark J. Markus to anyone interested in filing bankruptcy.He was able to accurately assess my situation through my initial free online consultation and answered all of my questions in a very timely manner. With Mark’s help, I was able to complete the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process much faster and with less hassle than I anticipated.
I am now able to plan my future without being hand-cuffed by crippling debt. Thanks Mark!”
J.P. from Seal Beach. November, 2004
“If you are considering bankruptcy, call Mark Markus. I found him extremely helpful, honest, and very professional. He returned my calls and emails promptly, explained my options clearly, and made the entire process very smooth and trouble-free. At the Meeting of Creditors, I saw others who were not represented having trouble with the trustee about their papers, assets, and so forth. One person had a creditor show up and question her, and she had no representation. I was very glad that I did — the trustee questioned the value of some of my assets and wanted to do appraisals, but Mark advocated my position to the trustee and I didn’t have to appear again. It went much better than I expected. I also had a particularly difficult case that included past taxes, and he handled it exceptionally well. I have learned one very important thing over the last few years: When dealing with complex matters (such as bankruptcy), it eventually costs far less to hire a professional who has a lot of experience than to try and do
it yourself. I give Mark Markus my highest recommendation.”
J.P. Los Angeles, November 2004
“You want ‘truth in advertising’? You have it here! Just read through his website, and read all the testimonials. Mark will not steer you wrong.
Whenever someone is seeking a lawyer, doctor, dentist, or whatever, they’re always advised, ‘Get a referral.’ Here, you have all these positive testimonials! How many more referrals do you need?
From your initial phone consultation until your debt is discharged, and everything in-between, Mark will be there to help you!
He was very kind and patient through all my questions and emails. He was very fast in replying too. I never felt I was just another client. I felt that he gave me the service and importance I deserved!
My whole bankruptcy process, except for the meeting with the Trustee — all were done via email, phone, or postal mail. You don’t need to travel far! It is very convenient! This whole bankruptcy process was not as difficult as I thought it would be — with Mark’s help!
As part of the bankruptcy process, I highly suggest you hire Mark to have a representative with you at the meeting with the Trustee. I can’t believe how many other people went to that meeting with shoddy paperwork and were questioned by the Trustee, and were asked to come back later with additional paperwork! Do you want that to happen to you? Of course not! But with Mark’s help (and your honesty and accuracy, of course), your meeting with the Trustee should go very smoothly. And the peace of mind in having a lawyer there, physically present, is priceless!
Last, but not the least… For all that Mark has done for me and the financial benefits I derived from it, I felt that the fee he charged me for his services (including the separate fee for the lawyer to be present at the Trustee meeting) were very affordable!
Mark is an excellent lawyer who knows his stuff, is very competent in what he does, and great with customer service!
Email and call Mark now! You’re be in excellent hands!
Mark, for all your help and support and great customer service, and for the financial freedom you help me achieve — THANK YOU! For helping me have this fresh, new start — THANK YOU!”
VG-Los Angeles, January 2005
“Mark, I truly wanted to thank you for your awesome, excellent, professional, perfect, caring, honest, accurate and amazing way of doing your job just as you promised you would. For someone like me, that honesty was the most important factor. You will be highly recommended in my book; you can count on that!”
MC-Los Angeles, January, 2005
“It is with extreme pleasure that I give my heartfelt recommendation of Mark Markus to anyone out there looking for a caring, intelligent bankruptcy attorney (no, that is not an oxymoron!). Mark took what was an emotionally charged situation and molded it into a smooth sailing adventure through the seas of papers, filing, and a trustee’s meeting. I am eternally grateful that Mark was readily available, responding to my e-mails quickly, offering clear, understandable advice, and just being an all-around good guy. Mark, thank you for all your help. With all of your help, my life is now looking significantly brighter!”
AW–Santa Monica, June, 2005
“I would recommend to anyone contemplating bankruptcy that they contact Mark and get a complete assessment of his or her situation. If someone would have told me a few months ago that I would be sleeping through the night again and waking refreshed and eager to start the day, I would not have believed them either. But, that was the situation when we emailed Mark and started a dialog with him about our financial situation. Don’t be naive and think that he will wave a magic wand and make it all go away. You have to do your part to provide the most complete and accurate information possible so that Mark has the tools to help you get through the bankruptcy process. Yes, he is a professional, knowledgeable, and competent bankruptcy attorney, but he is also down to earth, open, and never, ever made us feel guilty or ashamed that we were in the position of filing for bankruptcy. As for his fees- more than reasonable and I don’t think you can put a price tag on peace of mind.”
RM and DM–Woodland Hills, June, 2005
“It is with the sincerest appreciation and gratitude I am writing to you today. Your expertise, efforts, and earnest willingness to counsel and guide me through this process has turned a very difficult and embarrassing situation into a second chance. Thank you for being there every step of the way. From the initial consultation, to the end you were there to answer any questions I had in a very timely manner. You were patient and understanding. For this I am most grateful. I would highly recommend to anyone who wants personalized, professional, courteous, legal representation to look to you as that is exactly what you provide. Thank you, thank you, thank you, for a new beginning I thought would never be possible.”
“Thank you! Thank you!
K.K., Northern California–October, 2005
Required Legal Disclaimer: The foregoing testimonials or endorsements do not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.