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(   Lawyer who sent bills for 25-hour workdays blames brain fart   ( divider line
    More: Obvious  
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9916 clicks; posted to Main » on 28 Apr 2003 at 2:46 PM (14 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2003-04-28 03:16:02 PM  
So? Who hasn't worked 25 hours a day, 8 days a week, and walked to work 2 miles uphill both ways?
2003-04-28 03:18:01 PM  
OK, I'll call shenanigans on that one, Heeyuck.

No bullshiat, I have the article (it's at school right now so I'm recounting from memory).

The mother ended up taking it to the press, and the firm ended up dropping at least most of the charges, if not all.
2003-04-28 03:19:04 PM  
LawTalkingGuy, Anya
Okay, when you two put it that way, it makes sense. I was just thinking of one of the Dilbert books, where some guy wrote an e-mail saying that his company required billing time in 6-minute increments and how he thought it was the most asinine thing to do.
2003-04-28 03:19:56 PM  
[image from too old to be available]
2003-04-28 03:20:04 PM  
Heeyuck no offense, but I'll believe it when you link it.
2003-04-28 03:20:19 PM  
Heeyuck: Some stories like that are real. For instance, recently a plaintiff's attorney in Beaumont, Texas was shot and killed (in his office, by an old man whose asbestos case he would not take). Anyway, the lawyer took and filed asbestos claims by the thousands, and settled them for probably less than they were worth. The Beaumont area falls in what Texas attorneys call the "Golden Triangle" because plaintiff's verdicts in the area are almost always enormous because it's such a blue collar area. In fact, there used to be a venue statute that let you sue a railroad in any county where they had railroad tracks. In one county near Beaumont, the verdicts were so consistently outrageous that a major railroad pulled up all of its tracks in the whole farking county. Anywhoo, one of the dead atty's partners is taking an asbestos case to trial, where he will probably get an enormous verdict, and the word is that he will turn around and sue the estate of his former partner (the dead guy) for wrongfully settling years of cases below their true value. This will leave his wife and five kids with little money, and will probably work.

Pretty sad, and goes to show you how sleazy plaintiff's attorneys can be.
2003-04-28 03:21:15 PM  
Did the mother actually hire the lawyers to investigate? That wasn't really clear.
2003-04-28 03:23:08 PM  
LawTalking: You want to learn how to bill for breathing, talk to some of your buddies who do insurance defense. You learn how to bill every little thing and make it smell like roses. You have to, or else your bill comes back with a bunch of "didn't need this" crap, and they cut a check for only half of the charges.

Insurance is the root of all evil. People should hate them, not lawyers.
2003-04-28 03:26:27 PM  
Here are the five professions and occupations considered least honest by the American public (the Bottom Five list), based on the percentages rating the occupation low or very low on honesty and ethics:

Car salesmen (worst rated of the 45 jobs and occupations tested, with 57% giving them low ratings)
Telemarketers, 55%
Insurance salesmen, 44%
HMO managers, 41%
Lawyers, 41%

What is sad is that clergy members are rated 6th most honest
2003-04-28 03:27:41 PM  
What's funny is that if they asked the question: "Who do you run to when you're in trouble or someone screws you over?"

Every one of those people would say: A Lawyer.
2003-04-28 03:27:55 PM  
Where is this list?! I'd love to see it...
2003-04-28 03:28:14 PM  
That comment earlier about there being more law students in school right now than lawyers: well, last time I saw, the average amount of time that a person stays a lawyer is five years before they burn out because it sucks so freakin much having to write down what you're doing every six minutes. So, they got to keep feeding the senior partner vampires with more fresh blood.
2003-04-28 03:28:27 PM  
it is from 1999
2003-04-28 03:29:33 PM  

I hope you are right... Worst thing a lawyer can do is get into politics

(flame bait???) I am going home so no time to fight back :P
2003-04-28 03:30:01 PM  
Bocephus: Uhh, I'd like to see where you get that "statistic." Sounds like some disgruntled history professor talked you into going for a PhD instead of a JD.
2003-04-28 03:30:31 PM  
Thanks. Doesn't matter if it's from 1999; I really don't think that Americans change their view on honesty so quickly... :-)
2003-04-28 03:31:41 PM  
Wuzzup: I don't know man, Bush went from a drunk Bible-beating self-dealing asshat to the leader of the free world against tyranny and oppression in less time than it took you to read this post.
2003-04-28 03:31:54 PM  
Bark_atda_moon and Kpar90

Actually, the bubble burst around Sept. 11 and when the economy started taking a nosedive. The legal hiring market, by some analysts, is the worst it's been in 30 years. Combine that with record law school enrollment, and it doesn't take a supergenius to figure out the result. Actually Kpar90, it's the opposite. People clamp up on lawsuits when they don't think they have the cash to afford them. I went to a top 20 law school, and there are people who graduated in the class before me who still don't have jobs.
2003-04-28 03:32:14 PM  
What's really sad is that only 58% trust doctors. Are they really that money-hungry?

2003-04-28 03:32:40 PM  
True, it's anecdotal, but it's from a JD legal ethics professor from a class last year (bout to wrap up my JD in three weeks).

I think I remember seeing it in one of those ABA journal mags...not too long ago there were a series of articles trying to treat the general malaise that creeps through the profession (lawyers have the highest rates of substance abuse amongst professionals). And I remember reading that lawyers end up dropping out of private practice because they can't stand the work/clients/each other. So they go into private enterprise most of the time.
2003-04-28 03:33:46 PM  
A Texan who doesn't like Bush... could it be?
2003-04-28 03:33:46 PM  
I'm worried myself about finding a job after my judicial clerkship ends, and I have a pretty damned good resume. It sucks to put in 3 years at a tough law school, graduate nicely in your class, and then come out with $70,000+ in law school debt and uncertainty about your job situation.
2003-04-28 03:37:36 PM  
I think the legal system & idiotic people are to blame more than the lawyers themselves. Every ASSHAT in America that injures themselves due to pure stupidity sues in hopes of winning big in the "other American Lottery". I think if there were fierce consiquences for these ASSHATS should they lose their frivilious lawsuit that would help to correct things.
2003-04-28 03:38:58 PM  
Craphola -
tell me about it. I'm at a top tier law school, and only about 40% of my class has jobs lined up after graduation. Much different than only two years ago. It is kinda frightening when you add undergraduate debt on top of that, and you're looking at six figures of debt with no job to start paying it off.
2003-04-28 03:44:25 PM  
Hear Hear's the greed of the clients that's the root of the problem. If you didn't have greedy clients, the scumsuckers of my profession would be out of a job. I only wish more Judges, my own included, would give a little more bite to Rule 11, the rule that can sanction attorneys and their clients for frivolous lawsuits.

Bosephus...when I started law school, job placement from my school immediately after graduation was 97%.
2003-04-28 03:45:46 PM  
Craphola: Contingency fees are how poor people get lawyers. It's also how they can afford to file lawsuits regardless of the economy. In bad economic times, people cancel contracts, have layoffs and reductions in force, which keeps us defense attys employed. Corporations also sue to try and recover capital or other expenses when corporate transactions go bad, and can afford attorneys regardless of the economy.

So the reason your friends are unemployed is more likely related to their GPA than the economy. Even at top 20 schools, if you're in the bottom part of your class you're screwed. At many schools they graduate tons of students a year, and the grades will kill you. I graduated with a class of less than 40, had a job offer during my second year of law school, and I made twice as much last year as I did pre-9/11.

You might consider the fact that everyone is different before you shoot out so many absolutes.
2003-04-28 03:48:03 PM  
Of course the lawyer will take the case for the ASSHAT because that's how THEY PUT FOOD ON THE TABLE. What if the ASSHAT faced jailtime or had to pay ALL OF THE DEFENCE FEES IN ADDITION TO THEIR OWN should they lose?
2003-04-28 03:49:39 PM  
Wuzzup: I guess you never dropped into a war thread where I was spouting off about Bush, et al.

Very anti-Bush, too bad the Dems don't ahve a candidate to put up against him.
2003-04-28 03:49:54 PM  
And YES I know my spelling sucks. I was a math and science guy in college :).
2003-04-28 03:52:38 PM  
Yeah I have read quite a few war threads here. It's just that (1) I can't remember names for crap, and (2) so many people are/were staunchly anti-war.
2003-04-28 03:53:19 PM  
Kpar90: Insurance is the root of all evil. People should hate them, not lawyers.

Insurance is criminal extortion in my perspective. It's just like a schoolyard bully. You go to school on Monday, get punched in the gut by bully and he says you have to give him your lunch money every day or you'll get punched in the gut every day. In the "grown up" world of insurance, medical bills, repair costs... etc.. you get "punched in the gut" by the high cost of everything you'd have to deal with without insurance. Your premiums are your lunch money.

I hate them. I hate the organization. I hate the business model. I hate the fact that we're forced into it (by law in some cases.)

To all you lawyer bashers: I work in IT at a major law firm in Milwaukee (that's sort of an oxymoron, isn't it... Major/Milwaukee?) and see what these guys go through. I don't envy them at all and can see why it's tough for them to have a positive demeanor all the time. They're just like any other profession, though. You're gonna get major pricks and super-nice people.
2003-04-28 03:54:36 PM  
CubsFan: The jail time thing is straight of Saddam's legal system, I'm sure. The loser paying legal fees is straight out of the English system, and last time I checked we decided that was a bad thing sometime before 1776.

The problem is that many judges are elected, and don't want to dismiss bad claims or risk losing election. Change the way judges are elected/appointed, and much of the problem will be fixed.
2003-04-28 03:54:47 PM  
What if it really was a misplaced decimal point?

They could always teach English in FLA for a year.
They'd then have seven tries to straighten it out before paying the consequences.

2003-04-28 03:54:50 PM  
Wait, I do remember one... the one about Sean Penn visiting Iraq!

/so there ;-)
2003-04-28 03:55:57 PM  
What are you talking about?
2003-04-28 03:56:55 PM  
Wuzzup: I'm for the war, but against Bush. Weird, but I gotta be me.

Mierk: I'm with you. Insurance writing bad policies is the reason we have the current homeowner's policy crisis in Texas, as well as the nationwide healthcare crisis. They make money for years, then don't want to pay claims. It's what they do.
2003-04-28 04:00:21 PM  
So you're a Texan at heart! :-)

2003-04-28 04:06:33 PM  
Actually, Kpar90, perhaps the fact that so many are unemployed is because all of the top-paying firms went from hiring 15-30 attorneys a year to hiring 1-2 after 9/11. Think that could be a factor? Yes, in a bad economy, certain sectors of the legal market can profit because they are tied to economic downturns. However, the majority of legal employment is in the same boat as other kinds of employment...when the economy goes south, unemployment goes north. Perhaps you haven't been looking for a job recently, but legal employment is the worst it's been in many, many years. The Judge in the chambers next to me just put an ad out for a new law clerk. She's gotten over 400 responses so far. Plenty of them have good GPAs from top schools. Now is a shiatty time to be graduating from law school.
2003-04-28 04:08:15 PM  
first off, loud_mouth_soup, you gotta stop posting, man. It really freaks me out whenever I am looking over a thread and see that I have already posted. I'm gonna sue your ass for everything you're worth.

But seriously, I am in a top tier law school and it has been tough as crap for people to get jobs this summer. One could hope that maybe this derth of employment will send more people into public interest jobs? That's what it did for me, at least...
2003-04-28 04:13:59 PM  
Wuzzup: That's the only kind of Texan there is.

Craphola: Then I guess that top tier education wasn't worth too much then. Guess you and your buddies can sit around in the unemployment office and brag about it.
2003-04-28 04:15:40 PM  

Here's a good link for you...You seem to be more on top of things there in the Tri-Plex than the owner of the site...Perhaps you can get his discussion group going too.
SET Political Review
2003-04-28 04:19:28 PM  
Kpar90...Yes, we'll brag about how we, unlike some other people, were actually able to get into a top tier law school and obtain a top notch education. And, in a year or two when the market rebounds, we'll be laughing our asses all the way to the bank. And, at the end of the day, at least we won't have to live in Texas.
2003-04-28 04:20:34 PM  
Yeah, my grandmother is from Texas -- Temple to be exact. Much of her family lives in Corpus Christi, as far as I know.
2003-04-28 04:21:05 PM  
Dancin: What the hell is that?
2003-04-28 04:21:36 PM  
My point is the reason for all of the lawsuits we have in this counrty is because there is little to no accountability when it comes to the plantiff. Why not sue? you lose = you're still an ASSHAT with no money, you win = BLING BLING! My fiancee's mom faces losing her nursing job in a few months due to the closing of the medical center where she works. The reason is the doctors can't afford the malpractice insurace rates. The reason for the rate hikes all across the board is because the general consensis is doctors are all filthy rich so fark it lets sue and get a piece of the action.
2003-04-28 04:23:12 PM  
Wuzzup: Your grandmother lives in the armpit of Central Texas, then. Parts of that area are nice, but the city of Temple sucks. She should move down to Corpus. Nice beaches (yes, even for the Texas Gulf Coast, where the water is brown and warm) and more remote than lots of places that draw weekend beachgoers. And the USS Lexington is there. Pretty cool boat.
2003-04-28 04:25:20 PM  

It's a political website based inthe BPA area. When that attorney you referenced was killed, the site owner did a long eulogy on him...Just thought that you were in the area and would find the site interesting...or amusing. If you have any ties to the area, I highly reccommend it.
2003-04-28 04:26:18 PM  
I'm a law student in Houston, and in these parts there are two thriving sectors of law:

1. Bankruptcy - Enron alone is keeping many a firm alive right now.
2. Environmental - numerous challenges to the State Implementation Plan that will take effect in the Houston-Galveston area in 2007.
3. Interestingly, some of the big Houston power firms are getting involved in September 11th related suits. For example, a very prominent firm is defending a very prominent Saudi family from a class action filed by families of victims of 9/11 alleging that they funded groups that supported Al Qaeda.

Personally, I'm going the environmental route this summer (I'm only a first year) w/ a governmental fellowship. Screw this "finding a job" thing.
2003-04-28 04:27:11 PM  
Damnit, I think I should start clipping articles, but I just saw somewhere that insurance premiums, as much as everybody thinks, are NOT tied to the amount of lawsuits that the insurance companies pays out, except for catastrophes. The amount insurance premiums go up and down is related to the markets, and how well people think the insurance company will perform. Some companies, like State Farm, are owned by the policyholders, so are not as affected than many other companes. The amount of money that doctors pay for med/mal isn't related to how much they're paying out in lawsuits, but rather the perception of the stockholders that those med/mal insurance companies are getting hosed. In Florida, there's only one or two med/mal carriers now, and it's quickly becoming that way around the country. Of course, I may be wrong, because I can't find where that article was.
2003-04-28 04:33:44 PM  
Heyzeus -
From what I gather, Environmental law is always going to be a growth market. Whenever you want to build anything nowadays, you got to get through so many regs and statutes that you need an environmental lawyer so that you don't get sued later for screwing it up.

+ the sheer number of permits and compliance documents needed by the regulated community + all the actions for cleanup and spills = always gonna be a job in environmental.

Unlike corporate where jobs go up directly with the economy, and general litigation, which goes inverse to the economy. Of course, the way things are going, you could work in criminal with no possible downturn in crime, but it doesn't pay so great.
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