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Piletich, Skokan relocate to New Richmond building

Urosh Piletich and Joe Skokan relocated their main law office, Piletich and Skokan, to New Richmond earlier this year. Their Stillwater, Minn. office remains open but is used more as a meeting space, they said

Although Piletich and Skokan might be a new name to most New Richmondites, the bankruptcy attorneys are anything but new to the business.

Urosh Piletich, a Somerset resident, and Joe Skokan, a Stillwater, Minn. resident, joined forces in 2002 and opened a law office in Stillwater.

They moved the business to New Richmond earlier this year because of the demand for an office in western Wisconsin.

"We were looking to buy and the opportunity came up for this building," Piletich said.

Piletich, a Somerset resident, said it was a no-brainer to move the main office to New Richmond, as much of Piletich and Skokan's business comes from rural towns in western Wisconsin and all bankruptcy hearings are held in Eau Claire.

"This is about as good of a fit as we can have," Skokan agreed.

The two kept their Stillwater office for marketing purposes, Skokan said.

"It's hard to get our Minnesota clients to come to New Richmond," he said. "Wisconsin is like a foreign country to them."

The partners said they're hoping the future Stillwater bridge will change that attitude.

Though licensed in Minnesota and Wisconsin, Piletich said many of Piletich and Skokan's clients are from western Wisconsin.

"We stretch from Webster down to Maiden Rock, east to Hayward and Eau Claire," he said.

There's good reason the two are exclusively bankruptcy lawyers, they said.

"People don't realize that bankruptcy is only handled in federal court," Piletich said. "We won't have any cases in Hudson or Balsam Lake, all our cases are in federal court in Eau Claire."

Federal court also means a whole new set of rules and procedures, they said.

"Many of the firms who dabble in many different things won't do bankruptcy law because of that," Piletich said.

Similarly, it's one of the reasons Piletich and Skokan don't dabble in other areas of the law, they said.

"I would be hard-pressed to jump into a divorce proceeding, or any criminal law," Skokan said.

Piletich said the clientele are one of the reasons he decided to go into the bankruptcy sector.

"Our clients are hardworking, honest people," he said. "They just need help getting back on track."

There are three reasons people get into bankruptcy trouble -- job loss, divorce/family issues and medical problems, he said.

"None of those factors are under the control of people," he said. "Despite the stereotype, these aren't folks making the decision to not pay their bills. They're considering bankruptcy because they simply can't pay their bills."

Filing for bankruptcy won't solve all of a client's problems, but it's a piece of the solution, Piletich said.

"It's a financial fresh start," Skokan said.

Piletich and Skokan said they pride themselves with treating their clients with courtesy and respect.

"The majority of our clients are referred by their friends and family," Piletich said. "This is as much of a customer service business as any. If you don't treat your customers with respect, you're not going to be in business very long."

For more information about Piletich and Skokan, call 715-246-9331.