Experienced Attorney/ GS-12 to GS-14 U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division, Torts Branch Office of Constitutional and Specialized Torts
About the Office: The Civil Division, Torts Branch, is seeking an experienced attorney for a position in the Office of Vaccine Litigation. Trial attorneys in the Vaccine Litigation Group represent the interests of the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in all cases filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims under the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act. The cases involve claims of injury as a result of the receipt of certain vaccines.
Responsibilities and Opportunity Offered: The position offers a unique experience in public service. The legal and medical issues at stake in each case vary greatly. Attorneys in the section independently manage heavy case loads, and while streamlined procedures are utilized, cases frequently involve complex liability and damages issues. The position involves significant trial practice. Vaccine staff attorneys are obliged to ensure that the Vaccine Trust Fund, from which damage awards are paid, is protected and, where eligibility criteria are met, that fair compensation is distributed to those whom Congress has intended. Attorneys appear frequently before the Office of Special Masters in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and also appear before the judges of the Court, as well as in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit when handling appeals.
That’s right folks, the legal profession will find a way to benefit from Swine Flu. Special torts, special torts defense, it’s all copacetic man.
The Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg Health Watch continues. This just in, from the AP:
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had cancer surgery earlier this year, was briefly hospitalized overnight after having a bad reaction to some medicine.
A statement from the court says Ginsburg was taken to the Washington Hospital Center Wednesday night and released Thursday morning.
Doctors say Ginsburg had an adverse reaction to a sleeping aid combined with cold medicine. She took the medicine in preparation for an overnight flight to London, but was taken off the airplane after she experienced extreme drowsiness causing her to fall from her seat.
If you have a job these days, especially a job at a high-paying law firm, you should be grateful, right? Right.
But that doesn’t mean work is all sunshine and lollipops. Many attorneys continue to experience a high amount of stress, which often manifests itself in the form of illness. A friend who works at a law firm sent us this suggestion:
I’m swamped, but I had to run out of the office for a doctor’s appointment. I was diagnosed with an ulcer last year, and apparently it still hasn’t healed.
Maybe you should do an ATL piece on ostensibly stress-related illnesses suffered by attorneys. What are some of the most “popular” maladies suffered by attorneys at an inappropriately young age?
Good question. Take our survey, and a stroll through the various maladies that have afflicted Elie Mystal, after the jump.
In February of this year, Senator Jim Bunning predicted that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg would be dead in nine months from pancreatic cancer. It was a horrible and tasteless prediction, for which Senator Bunning apologized. But might he be right? Here’s the latest news about Justice Ginsburg’s health. From the Associated Press:
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was hospitalized Thursday after becoming ill in her office at the court following treatment for an iron deficiency.
The 76-year-old justice, who underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in February, was taken to Washington Hospital Center at 7:45 p.m. EDT as a precaution, a statement from the court said.
The Connecticut Employment Law Blog reports on the kind of plaintiff that gives other plaintiffs a bad name:
In the middle of trial, a plaintiff (who is claiming his employment was terminated, among other reasons, in retaliation of his exercise of FMLA rights) drops a bombshell:
“[In the prior October], I learned that I had — have stage III prostate cancer with a metastatic brain lesion.”
What kind of client just blurts out “metastatic brain lesion” in open court? What kind of counsel allows that to happen?
Not surprisingly, defense counsel moved for a mistrial. The judge called a hearing, and then the idiot plaintiff had something else to say:
During the hearing, however, there’s another another unexpected development: The medical records show that the employee did not have (and never had) a metastatic brain lesion.
The plaintiff knew he didn’t have a brain lesion — though it seems self evident that something upstairs is not working properly in this guy’s head.
Is this a situation that demands more than a mistrial?
A California defense attorney has earned a spot in the ATL Lawyer of the Day hall of fame. Michael Lukehart didn’t let a weak heart stop him from defending his client. From KERO-TV:
Lukehart said he woke up at 5 a.m. on Monday with massive chest pains.
A normal non-ATL-Lawyer-of-the-Day would head to the hospital at that point. But not Lukehart.
Even though he knew something was seriously wrong, he said he was in denial. So instead of going to the hospital, Lukehart said he went to the courthouse to deliver his closing arguments on a case he was on.
Michael Lukehart’s website says he’s “passionately committed to your defense. When you hire Michael Lukehart, you hire a fearless warrior who is passionately committed to you and your case.”
In the case of Lukehart, that’s not hyperbole. Massive chest pains are no obstacle for this legal warrior. So when he finally went to the hospital, what was the diagnosis?
A Friday afternoon in August — the perfect time for a resignation. As first reported by Politico:
Former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) is resigning from DLA Piper law firm amid a wave of negative attention his grassroots organization, Freedom Works, has drawn for helping to organize protesters at health care town hall meetings with members of Congress.
In an interview with POLITCO Armey said that he was concerned about the media scrutiny the health care protests were drawing to the firm he has been associated with since retiring from Congress.
“The firm is busy with its business, and shouldn’t be asked to take time out from their work, to defend themselves of spurious allegations,” Armey said. “No client of this firm is going to be free to mind its own business without harassment as long as I’m associated with it.”
This is the culmination of a controversy that was brewing over the past week.
I was wondering whether I should get/admit to getting plastic surgery.
My issue is that if I was in L.A., I would have done it already, but Chi-town is different, and I want my co-workers to take me seriously notwithstanding the potential surgery.
Too Sexy for My Face
Dear Too Sexy for My Face,
At approximately 8:43 a.m. on November 1, 2001, in an office on Central Park South, Dr. Michael Evan Sachs punched me in the nose with his scalpel. Five days after his precision beating, I removed the bandages to reveal a magnificent elf shoe perched in the middle of my face. Going into the surgery, I hoped that a new nose would solve all my problems. Needless to say, I was not disappointed.
There’s nothing inherently shameful about plastic surgery; some of us were simply born monsters and require surgery to address the situation. The only shameful thing about the whole ordeal is hatching some ludicrous story to explain away your new feature(s) or banking on the fact that your colleagues aren’t observant people and don’t live for this sort of shit. If you show up at work with two Christmas hams stuffed in your shirt or half of your nose hacked off and still pale despite your “Costa Rica trip,” your colleagues will notice, mainly because they aren’t morons. And because they’re tactful professionals, they won’t confront you about it, they’ll just tear you to shreds behind your back. Keeping quiet about it doesn’t make you look discreet, it makes you seem ashamed. If you remove the shame from the equation, the vicious gossip loses its sting. There’s not really anything further for people to discuss about your surgery if you’ve already told them everything yourself.
Stop being corny and worried about whether your colleagues will think you’re vain. Of course you’re vain if you’re getting cosmetic surgery, and there is no sense in wasting time or energy disabusing yourself or coworkers of the truth. Be true to yourself, even the plastic parts.
Elie objectifies us all, after the jump.
It has been a tough two weeks for employees at McDermott Will & Emery. First the firm cut the salaries of summer associates. Then MWE fired 72 people.
Today, word came down to all associates and non-attorney personnel that the firm is also cutting benefits. A firm-wide memo explained:
The Firm has evaluated its employee benefit plans and is making changes effective July 1, 2009.
We began our evaluation late last year in response to the deteriorating economy and the fact that changes to employee benefits plans were occurring throughout corporate America. After a thorough review by our benefits consultants, we were informed that our plans were above market and that specific changes, if implemented, would bring our plans more in line with the market.
Right. Who wants to pay an “above market” benefit package?
Remember, McDermott is the firm that canceled aspects of its coffee service. At the point where the firm is looking to save nickels and dimes on coffee, it shouldn’t be surprising that it has found a way to save some money on more important employee benefits.
A tipster reports that the top line changes to MWE’s benefit structure include an increase in some premiums and deductibles, as well as a reduction in the percentage of pharmaceutical costs that are covered by the firm’s health plan. Suddenly, the nationwide health care debate expected to take place in Congress this summer just became much more important to employees at McDermott.
In fairness, MWE isn’t the first firm to go down this path. Last month, Kirkland & Ellis made similar changes to its health care coverage for associates.
Read the full memo after the jump.
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When Chintan Panchal decided to leave a global BigLaw partnership to start his own firm, he could only hope that he would face the high-quality problem of firm building that many had cautioned him about. Focused on the uncertainty surrounding of a new firm launch, he decided to tackle staffing needs, IT challenges, and financial planning requirements after he had built up his legal practice.
Panchal Associates LLP–a corporate/finance and outside general counsel boutique–was quickly off to a great start. Clients and matters were flying in the door, and Chintan soon had a team of lawyers and staff with a variety of operational needs. To continue building an excellent team and provide them with a competitive benefits package, to expand his physical presence to include a European practice and additional partners, and to scale his operations and IT capabilities to support this growing enterprise brought with it demands of time, money, and expertise. Chintan knew he needed help.
“With the assistance of NexFirm, we have upgraded the capabilities of our firm to meet, and in some cases exceed, the standards we were used to at our former BigLaw firms. Operationally, we can now attract and service clients we didn’t have the bandwidth to support in the past, and continue to build our team with the best and brightest legal talent in the industry,” said Chintan Panchal, adding “It has worked out quite well in our case; NexFirm is an essential partner for us.”
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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