That’s the provocative question Professor Stephen Bainbridge poses in his TCS Daily Column. We say: Don’t give the clients any ideas.
(Of course, if the dying lawyer writhes on the floor in agony for six minutes before expiring, expect to get billed for that tenth of an hour.)
Professor Bainbridge asks this rhetorical question: “[W]hy does anybody hire transactional lawyers?” After all, frequently they “giv[e] advice that could be given by other professionals.” Plus, they’re annoying. And expensive.
He outlines two competing hypotheses for explaining the work of corporate lawyers: the “Pie Division Role” and the “Pie Expansion Role.” Under the former, which takes a zero-sum view of the world, lawyers try to maximize the gains of their own client. Under the latter, which does not take a zero-sum view, “the lawyer makes everybody better off by increasing the size of the pie.”
Bainbridge argues that training of transactional lawyers should focus more on the “Pie Expansion” model. To demonstrate the limitations of the “Pie Division” role, he gives this example:
You and a friend go out to eat. You decide to share a pizza, so you need to agree on its division. Would you hire somebody to negotiate a division of the pizza? Especially if they were going to take one of your slices as their fee?
But isn’t this exactly what corporate lawyers do — and how they earn their seven-figure paydays?
We offer our own, somewhat cynical take on Professor Bainbridge’s pizza example, after the jump.
* Chickens help us cope with “chronic anxiety” too. After they’re ground up and turned into McNuggets. [Nasty, Brutish & Short]
* “DO NOT put any person in this washing machine.” Unless they’re really smelly — and small. [Overlawyered; Associated Press]
* Eliot Spitzer has a man-date. In more ways than one. [New York Daily News]
* Joan Biskupic gets a book deal. For a bio that writes itself. [How Appealing]
* Judges should too. ‘Cause most of them couldn’t do their own Westlaw research if their lives depended on it. [TaxProf Blog]
As previously mentioned, we’re on a reduced publication schedule this week. We’ll be doing a daily news round-up (and maybe a few other random posts here and there). We’ll return to our normal diarrhea of the keyboard publishing schedule on January 2.
* Civil libertarians, just raise the white flag. The Justice Department knows what you’re doing RIGHT NOW. [Washington Post]
* His father always knew there was “something special” about Judge Frank Easterbrook. And litigants who have appeared before FHE feel the same way. [Buffalo News via How Appealing (of course -- no offense, but we aren't regular readers of the Buffalo News)]
* In other Seventh Circuit news, Judge Richard Posner delivers remarks about maritime law to an audience of supermodels. We swear we’re not making this up. [Washington Post]
* Following up on our prior report, here’s a clear sign that Chadbourne & Parke partners don’t have enough business. [WSJ Law Blog]
* If McDonald’s french fries never taste the same, blame it on the anti-trans-fat legislation. [UPI]
* Complications of diabetes: not just medical, but law-related, too. [New York Times]
* If you’re a judge with unfulfilled literary aspirations, try writing something safe and non-controversial. Ideally it should be something nobody would want to read. We suggest a pop-up book about the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch via How Appealing]
* Even more fun than charades: take Peter Lattman to a party, start reading out random newspaper headlines, and challenge him to find a legal angle to the stories. [WSJ Law Blog]
* How crazy are bedbugs, exactly? [CNN]
* Which of your personalities is the arsonist?. [CNN]
* Yo quiero to sue Taco Bell. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Chinese Gitmo detainees say the same evidence being used to detain them was used to clear five others. [Jurist]
* Maryland Court of Appeals considers same-sex marriage. [Jurist]
* Thesauruses can still do the trick. Who knows if I would have passed AP English without one? On the other hand, one of the perks of public high schools is having your Cliffs Notes-cribbed essay graded by a teacher qualified only to teach woodshop and coach girls’ softball. [New York Times]
* What would the Supreme Court say about McDonald’s plans to patent its sandwich-making process? [CNN Legal Pad]
* Ah, law school flirting is just so cute. [Overheard in New York]
* While the poodles seem to be safe, babies, sadly, are not. [WCSH Portland]
* Blood money, in a way. Because someone killed my will to love. [Newsweek via Overlawyered]
* For you law review nerds out there, some direction as to the citation of new species of sources. But *sigh* you probably already know all of this. [Slaw.ca]
* Law students bring logic and order to child-bearing… It’s a shame that we have to forego all that spontaneity and excitement of unplanned pregnancies. (Like what 2L Tamina must have felt when she had her first of two kids in her late teens.) [Law.com]
* An Ohio woman litters by tossing bags of McDonald’s out her window, then invokes the Fast Food Nation defense — to no avail. [Tribune Chronicle]
* An Indian thief seizes the day — what’s money if you can’t spend it? [Reuters]
* Emily Pataki, the attractive and accomplished daughter of New York governor George Pataki, failed the New York bar exam — and sent around an office-wide email about it. The story was broken by the mainstream media.
* We heard from some of Emily’s law school classmates about the incident. In a reader poll, you opined that emailing her White & Case colleagues was unwise.
* The Democratic takeover of the Senate could make things tough(er) for the White House’s judicial nominees.
* Despite the sea change in Washington, President Bush resubmitted six controversial judicial picks to the lame duck Senate. Getting all of them confirmed is probably impossible, but getting two of them through might happen.
* The White House has not yet submitted nominees for the two vacant Fifth Circuit seats. (Texas’s Solicitor General, conservative legal superstar R. Ted Cruz, is said to be uninterested.)
* Borat-related litigation shows nosigns of abating.
* O.J. Simpson: He’s back — and he’s still looking for his wife’s killer. Except this time, he’s looking in the mirror.
* Some bad ideas from the past week: getting frisky on an airplane; setting your ex-girlfriend’s kittens on fire; having sex with a deer (even if it’s dead); eating at Burger King or Taco Bell; and getting married without a prenup (if you’re a filthy rich Hollywood celebrity).
* Over the past few days, we’ve been spending some quality time with the Federalist Society. More reports on the proceedings — including lavish photography — will appear in the coming week.
Inspired by litigation taking place in Massachusetts, we recently polled you on this question:
Is a burrito a sandwich?
The poll result was clear, and in accordance with the ruling by Superior Court Judge Jeffrey Locke: No, a burrito is not a sandwich.
It’s gratifying when the law coincides with the commonsense conclusions of ordinary people — since it doesn’t happen as often as one might like.
(We do not wish to get into a debate on whether or not the common law is (was?) efficient. It’s just a throwaway line to end this post. Okay?) Earlier: ATL Reader Poll: Is a Burrito a Sandwich?
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past seven years. You can reach them by email: email@example.com.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!
The legal industry is being disrupted at every level by technological advances. While legal tech entrepreneurs and innovators are racing to create a more efficient and productive future, there is widespread indifference on the part of attorneys toward these emerging technologies.
When the LexisNexis Cloud Technology Survey results were reported earlier this year, it showed that attorneys were starting to peer less skeptically into the future, and slowly but surely leaning more toward all the benefits the law cloud has to offer.
Because let’s face it, plenty of attorneys are perhaps a bit too comfortable with their “system” of practice management, which may or may not include neon highlighters, sticky notes, dog-eared file folders, and a word processing program that was last updated when the term “raise the roof” was still de rigueur.