Document Review

shocked billOuting the Biglaw attorney managing your project as callous and mean-spirited is probably not the right strategy for a contractor. Unless, of course, that contractor expects to be living in a van down by the river. Law is a remarkably small world, and these sorts of outbursts have a way of making the rounds — even without ATL getting involved.

On the other hand, through the dry sarcasm of the letter, the contractor’s complaints ring very familiar. It’s hard to blame a lawyer whose dignity is pushed to the limit for a pittance for lashing out.

And at least the parody of a heartfelt farewell is kind of funny….

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Sleeping with DocumentsThey say it ain’t over till the fat lady sings, well, extrapolated to the legal profession: it ain’t over till all appeals have been exhausted. Such is the case of our good friend, contract attorney David Lola. You remember him, he filed suit against Skadden Arps and his staffing agency, Tower Legal, alleging his work as a contract attorney did not rise to the level of the practice of law and as such he was entitled to overtime wages. Last month, his Fair Labor Standards Act case was dismissed by Judge Richard Sullivan finding that the provision of legal services by a lawyer are exempt from federal overtime laws regardless of the nature of the task performed.

Last we heard from Mr. Lola, things were not going well. He’s been blackballed from the industry and living out of his car. Not exactly the result you’d hope for when filing a lawsuit. Well, at least he has his appeal to look forward to.

And what causes lawyers to strike out (via lawsuit) at the law firms that hire them?

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NFL_logo* NFL blackout rules will be a thing of the past on November 24. So just in time for all you rabid Rams fans to watch them play the Raiders. [CommLawBlog]

* Electing judges is so very stupid. [What About Clients?]

* OK, Alex Rich: it’s time to ditch document review and become a psychic. [Law and More]

* A tumblr of offensive stuff overheard at Yale Law. If these are true, then that place sounds horrible. [The YLS Offensive]

* Exactly where is the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge? It turns out the government doesn’t really even know. They’re looking to shift the border and possibly allow more oil drilling. [Breaking Energy]

* How to get your Biglaw career right from the beginning. [Medium]


Alito* That didn’t take long. John Oliver’s Supreme Court dogs have already been used to recreate Hobby Lobby. The entire Hobby Lobby argument. [Above the Law]

* Squire Patton Boggs is representing the pharmaceutical company promoting Ebola drugs. Or, as CNN would put it, EVERYONE AT SQUIRE PATTON BOGGS HAS EBOLA!!!! [Law and More]

* China Central Television advises citizens not to name themselves “Lawyer.” Good advice. [CCTV News]

* Slate posits that appealing gay marriage decisions to the Supreme Court may violate Rule 11. They’re wrong, but that’s what they’re positing. [Slate]

* Dr. Ruth is incredibly impressive. Next time you complain about the job market, try moving somewhere with no understanding of the language and getting your own TV show. [What About Clients?]

* Documentary about eDiscovery going on a six-city tour. This way other people can understand how much it sucks to do document review. [Bloomberg BNA]

* UC Hastings students are protesting their own graduation. [Change.org]

* Judges are an autocratic lot, and as long as we inflate the criminal justice system, many of them will be subpar and autocratic, which is an unfortunate combination. [Katz Justice]

* A man arrested for a carjacking and shooting up an apartment last week is — per our sources — a law student at Florida Coastal. Probably testing out the Crim issue spotter. [News4Jax]

* Are lawyers the new dentists? Or something like that. [TaxProf Blog]

* Man attempting suicide by cop told detectives he’d wanted to be killed and was disappointed in the officers’ marksmanship. [Seattle Times]

* The world’s largest Harry Potter memorabilia collection belongs to a lawyer. His patronus is a shimmering gavel. [The Telegraph]

* The FCC has ended the sports blackout rule. Expect the NFL to go bankrupt within days. [Politico]

* No one expects to see “lawyer” on a Top 20 Work-Life Balance list, but there is one legal job out there coming in at number 11. [Glassdoor via Adjunct Law Prof Blog]

* Want to expose the severe problems of the over-criminalization of everything? Everyone with a warrant turn themselves in on one day. Call it “Warrant Day.” See how the system copes logistically and financially when all those citations come home to roost all at once. [Street Roots]

* Russia’s equivalent of Chief Justice Roberts advocates a return to serfdom. Now there’s an originalist! [Business Insider]

* Bow Tie Law talks about the role of discovery software in the duty of lawyers to review documents. Because document review is “legal work” when it’s about paying people a livable wage and “computer work” when it isn’t. [The Everlaw Blog]

* Before we get wrapped up in the cases the Supreme Court will decide, let’s remember all the cases it won’t decide. Because “we can tell a lot about what the court cares about—and what it doesn’t” from its cert decisions. [Slate]

* Ha. After today’s story about the debt mistakes of Lisa S., here’s the cautionary tale of one “Elie M.” [Law and More]

* Elizabeth Garrett, USC Provost, will become the next president of Cornell. Garrett will also be a tenured faculty member at Cornell Law School and is bringing along her husband, Andrei Marmor, who will also join the law school. See, this is how you hire administrators: get someone willing to do double-duty with teaching! [Cornell Chronicle]

Now, I don’t consider myself the most religious person you’re likely to meet. But I’ve had my fair share of Judeo-Christian indoctrination. And there is one phrase that has always stuck with me: “There but for the grace of God go I.”

Sure, I mostly remember the phrase as my Nana would cluckingly utter it, in a tone that seemed far less Christian than a strict textual interpretation might suggest, but the point remains. Sometimes it is necessary to appreciate the dumb luck and seemingly small and inconsequential decisions that separate your good fortune from those with far less.

That is certainly how I feel about the poor, dumb bastard who had the audacity to take on Biglaw….

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Want your name on a law school? Just pony up $50 million.

* Voters in Scotland just said no to independence from the United Kingdom (although it might not have been a big deal for the legal profession if the vote had gone the other way). [New York Times]

* Congratulations to Drexel Law on a whopping $50 million gift — and its new name, the Thomas R. Kline School of Law. [Philadelphia Inquirer via WSJ Law Blog]

* The latest chapter in the “cautionary tale” of David Lola: dismissal of the contract attorney’s lawsuit against Skadden and Tower Legal. [American Lawyer]

* An office renovation for Baker Botts in Houston strips junior associates of window offices. [ABA Journal]

* How could Watson transform the practice of patent law? [Corporate Counsel]

* Are we seeing a reversal in the trend of declining prison populations? [Washington Post]

* The chorus of voices calling for Judge Mark Fuller to resign in the wake of domestic violence charges against him continues to grow. [New York Times]

Ah, the easy life. For some people it is the windmill they keep tilting at, trying to find the exact right amount of effort that things work out for them, but not so much that they have to worry or stress out — about anything really, but certainly about a job. My father was like that. An unapologetic union man for over 30 years, he resisted promotions to management convinced that without union-won guaranteed yearly raises, the small bump in salary attached to the promotion would be moot in a few years and certainly not worth the extra hours and stress.

I can certainly respect that way of life (it did in fact pay for my childhood), but I never ascribed it to myself. After all, I was going to law school. I would be a professional, different and apart from unions or a real struggle for salary.

But now the struggle is real, and all I want is to not get hassled through my day.

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Look, e-discovery is not going away. Doc review (at least English language doc review) will never be high paying or sexy. But, as e-discovery becomes more and more prevalent, it will continue to become a larger part of the legal job market. So, how do you get out of the rut of sitting in a windowless room, making $10 an hour (or less), typing the date of each e-mail you read into the date field of your coding software? How about taking your knowledge of the front line ESI issues (document coding) and learn a little bit about managing ESI projects, starting with how to draft discovery? As we learned yesterday, ESI discovery can be tricky and employers mostly know that, so understanding the concepts behind it can help you move through your career.

Since Bryan Garner was just in my town last weekend, and I’ve been spending a lot of time drafting ESI discovery requests and dealing with  opposing counsel’s requests, I have been thinking a lot about drafting proper ESI discovery requests, including proper wording…

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “An Illustrated Guide On How To Avoid Drafting Horrible ESI Discovery”

Bert and Ernie. Peanut butter and jelly. Salt and pepper. Some things just go together; these natural partnerships add up to more than the sum of their parts. So when I came across a press release announcing a partnership between an ediscovery vendor and a law school, it made perfect…

Wait.

What?

There is going to be a doc review shop at a law school. And apparently the law school is okay with that, even excited.

What exactly is going on here?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law School Gives Up On Actually Trying To Get Grads A Real Job”

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