For a guy practicing bankruptcy law, Merle Meyers is curiously optimistic.

Earlier this month, he split from San Francisco’s Goldberg, Stinnett, Meyers & Davis to open a three-lawyer bankruptcy boutique of his own. Though Meyers says his summer departure after 29 years had more to do with changes at his old firm — which has seen two other name partners exit in the past six months — it is undisputed that the bankruptcy practice has been in a continuing trough, which is forcing small firms to adjust.