When U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Morris Stern fined a firm $125,000 in June for violating pleading rules in hundreds of Chapter 13 cases, he said he wanted to deter other firms from making similar breaches.

It seems to have worked. Stern’s sanction against Marlton, N.J.’s Shapiro & Diaz has heightened awareness of the pitfalls of skirting the rules, lawyers who do high-volume work for lenders in Chapter 13 cases said last week.

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