During my 25 years litigating at law firms, I fretted about two words: “winning” and “losing.” (As one old-timer put it: “They don’t pay you twelve dollars a minute to lose.”)
Now I’m in-house, and I’m still fretting about two words: “probable” and “estimable.”
The accounting rules require corporations to take a reserve (which causes an immediate hit to revenue) when a “loss contingency” (which is accountant-speak for lawsuits, among other things) becomes probable and estimable. If it’s likely that you’re going to lose, and if you can estimate the amount (or, at least, the lower bound of the amount) of the loss, then it’s time to take a reserve.
Why do Brits think that filming people staring at other people in silence makes for compelling drama?
* Could stuttering actually help a trial attorney? Somebody should make a movie about this guy, only with fewer British people than The King’s Speech and more things Americans enjoy: like the stutterer/hero saying “My f-f-finger doesn’t stammer,” before he blows some fool away. [From the Sidebar]
* Ernst & Young accountants engaging in funny videos > Ernst & Young accountants engaging in fuzzy math. [Going Concern]
* I don’t trust “the market” as much as some other people do, but it can’t be any worse at running legal education in the country than the current system of letting a yearly ranking in U.S. News dictate how things work. [Truth on the Market]
* Just once in my life, I’d like to be able to vote for a Democrat with balls. [Huffington Post]
Litigatrix Ally McBeal
* There’s an irony in women litigators getting told they are not good at building relationships. [The Careerist]
* Before we accept Revelations, I’m going to want the state psychiatrist to take a look at St. John of Patmos. [What About Clients?]
* “Like most people who do these sorts of things, Linda Speaks Tribby had a good excuse, which is that she needed the money to buy a helicopter and a motor home, two purchases that seem slightly at odds but the heart wants what it wants.” [Dealbreaker]
* Loyola Law – L.A. is running Journalist Law School again. Kash went last year and recommends it. [Loyola Law School - L.A.]
The plug: I’ll be giving my “book talk” about The Curmudgeon’s Guide to Practicing Law in several locations in the next couple of weeks, including in a conference room at Skadden and in auditoriums at the law schools of Northwestern and Indiana University. If you have a group that might be interested in the talk, please contact me. We’ll sneak you into one of the upcoming talks, and you can decide whether my spiel would actually fit your occasion.
Now, the business. And it’s real business this time around — a business issue that has caught the attention of an awful lot of in-house counsel. The issue has to do with the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s deliberations over whether to alter corporate disclosures about loss contingencies. (Sorry, guys. No pictures of naked Canadian judges after the jump here. You’ve gone from the sublime to the ridiculous, or vice versa.)
Here’s the backstory: Investors legitimately want to know whether companies are about to lose a ton of money in litigation. So investors want companies to make fulsome disclosures about their “loss contingencies,” which picks up a lot of territory, including pending or threatened litigation.
Companies, on the other hand, are reluctant to disclose publicly that they anticipate losing a lawsuit. If companies were to make that type of disclosure, their litigation opponent would be energized and the settlement value of the case would skyrocket….
* “They used to call me Crazy Joe, now they can call me the Batman.” [Bad Lawyer]
* Is it really so hard to imagine that young, talented, hard-working individuals would rather start their careers instead of sitting around for a year while being fed $80,000 to stunt their professional growth? [The Economist]
* E-marriage sounds like a terrible idea, for alcoholics. [Ideoblog]
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.
Things have changed recently in Korea – a few of our US and UK client firms are looking, very selectively, for a lateral US associate hire. Until just recently, there was not much hiring like this going on in Korea, since US and UK firms started opening offices there. We have already placed two US associates in Korea in the past month at top firms. Most of the hiring partners we work with in Korea do not actively work with other recruiters.
If you are a Korean fluent US associate in London, New York or another major US market, 2nd to 6th year, at a top 20 firm, with cap markets or M&A focus (or mix), or project finance background, and you are interested in lateraling to Korea to a top US or UK firm, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Our head of Asia, Evan Jowers, was just in Korea recently, and Evan and Robert Kinney will be in Korea in a few weeks. We are in the process of helping several firms open new offices in Korea (a number of which are interviewing our partner level candidates) and also helping existing offices there fill openings.
Professor Joel P. Trachtman has developed a unique, practical guide to help lawyers analyze, argue, and write effectively.
The Tools of Argument: How the Best Lawyers Think, Argue, and Win is a highly readable 200-page book, available for about $10 in paperback or e-book. Chapters focus on foundational principles in legal argument: procedure, interpretation of contracts and statutes, use of evidence, and more. The material covered is taught only implicitly in law school. Yet, when up-and-coming attorneys master these straightforward tools, they will think and argue like the best lawyers.
For most attorneys, time spent managing the books is a necessary evil at best. Yet it is undeniably a crucial aspect of running a successful practice. With that in mind, we invite you to view or download a free webinar by Above the Law and our friends at Clio to learn how to better manage your finances.
Take this opportunity to learn what it takes to streamline your accounting and get the most out of your time. The webinar agenda:
● The basics of accounting for lawyers.
● How legal accounting differs from regular accounting.
● Report and reconciliation issues surrounding trust accounts.
● How to pick and integrate the best accounting tools for your practice.
● Steps to prepare your tax return for your firm’s income.
Do not miss this crucial chance to optimize your accounting practices. Save time and get back to billing!