Legal Fees

  • Constitutionally protected?

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 04.17.15

    * “The top is eroding and the bottom is growing.” Even as class sizes get smaller and tuition gets lower, the law school brain drain continues. America’s best and brightest won’t be fooled into studying law when the job market is still so unstable, but others have been. [Bloomberg]

    * Attorneys for California’s sex workers have filed suit to overturn the state’s ban on prostitution, claiming that “[t]he rights of adults to engage in consensual, private sexual activity (even for compensation) is a fundamental liberty interest.” Yeah, okay. [AP]

    * “The simple story is that $160,000 as a starting salary at large law firms is less prevalent than it was immediately prior to the recession.” You can scream “NY TO 190K!” all you want, but starting salaries have remained flat. Sowwy. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara of the Southern District of New York has involved himself in an “escalating war of words” with members of the federal judiciary that he may come to regret. Will this “petulant rooster” be able to kiss and make up? [New York Times]

    * Per a recently filed lawsuit, Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees still hasn’t paid a single law firm for their representation in the Biogenesis case. He allegedly owes Gordon & Rees $380,059 in unpaid fees. Come on, A-Rod. You’ve got the cash. [New York Daily News]

    * Infamous plaintiffs’ attorney Steven Donziger of the $9.5 billion Chevron / Ecuador kerfuffle decided that if he can’t win his case in a court of law, he might as well try to win it in the court of public opinion. Check out his side of the story. [Law360 (sub. req.)]

    47 Comments / / Apr 17, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • 'I misread the question.'

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.31.15

    * Reunited and it feels so good… to have more tuition money in our pockets: following more than 40 years apart, Rutgers-Camden Law and Rutgers-Newark Law may merge to create the Rutgers School of Law, one of the largest law schools in the country. [NJ.com]

    * In case you missed it, the courtroom erupted into chaos in the final moments of the Ellen Pao v. Kleiner Perkins trial because a juror “made a mistake” and decided to change his vote mid-verdict. Come on, give the guy a break — he’s almost 90. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * Lawmakers are awfully interested in the way that the SEC is doing its job, and they’re drafting new laws in the hope of helping the agency out. We’ll let you know how helpful this was in a few years if those bills are ever passed. [DealBook / New York Times]

    * After an incredibly unsuccessful defense of its ban on same-sex marriage, Wisconsin is going to have to shell out more than $1 million in legal fees to the ACLU — the largest single payout yet by a state in the history of cases of this kind. [National Law Journal]

    * If you’re looking to transfer to another law school after your first year in the trenches, here are three things that you absolutely, positively must do to ensure your chances of being accepted elsewhere. [Law Admissions Lowdown / U.S. News & World Report]

    8 Comments / / Mar 31, 2015 at 9:05 AM
  • RBG Red Cup

    Morning Docket

    Morning Docket: 03.06.15

    * Per a recent Super Lawyers survey, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the Supreme Court justice with whom the nation’s top lawyers would most like to share a lunch date. Come on, admit it: you just want to get wasted with the Notorious R.B.G. [TIME]

    * Perhaps in anticipation of a SCOTUS ruling on the constitutionality of same-sex marriage, states across the country are dreaming up legislation that would allow businesses to refuse service to gay couples. Man, we’re such jerks. [New York Times]

    * Taking over China with its Dacheng merger wasn’t enough for Dentons, and what’s now the largest firm in the world by attorney headcount still wants to conquer the United States. Dentons is trying to woo McKenna Long & Aldridge, again. [Am Law Daily]

    * Dewey know which firm’s ex-COO is denying knowledge of any financial funny business? Defense lawyers for D&L’s former top brass are now relying on his statements that staffers may have been inept, but surely weren’t doing anything illegal. [New York Law Journal]

    * Remember that BARBRI antitrust class-action settlement that was reached almost a decade ago? The lawyers and law firms involved are still fighting over legal fees in the case, namely how many millions they think they ought to receive. [National Law Journal]

    38 Comments / / Mar 6, 2015 at 9:06 AM
  • Price Tag - Special Clearance Prices Cost Less During Sale

    Money, Small Law Firms, Solo Practitioners

    Do Discounts Encourage Problem Clients?

    Conventional wisdom counsels against discounting, but what is the case in favor — and how can you possibly avoid the issue altogether?

    5 Comments / / Sep 8, 2014 at 1:42 PM
  • dartboard pen on target inside straight

    Bad Ideas, Biglaw, Billable Hours, In-House Counsel, Partner Issues, Rank Stupidity

    Mirabile Dictu! Alternative Fee Proposals That Move Goalposts!

    In-house columnist Mark Herrmann wants to know: why do outside law firms keep proposing such insulting alternative-fee arrangements?

    46 Comments / / Aug 25, 2014 at 11:10 AM
  • Jodi Arias

    10th Circuit, 2nd Circuit, Gay Marriage, Job Searches, Law School Deans, Law Schools, Public Interest, SCOTUS, Supreme Court, Trials

    Morning Docket: 01.29.14

    * Which Supreme Court justices missed out on the State of the Union address last night? Three of the usual suspects (Scalia, Thomas, and Alito), plus Justice Sonia Sotomayor. RBG was there most of the time, except for nap time. [Legal Times]

    * You’re doin’ fine, Oklahoma! Oklahoma O.K.! The Tenth Circuit announced it’s going to fast-track Oklahoma’s same-sex marriage appeal, and it’ll be heard by the same panel of judges presiding over a very similar appeal from Utah. [News OK]

    * The American Legal Institute just named Ricky Revesz, the former dean of NYU Law School, as its new director. He’ll be “clarifying, modernizing and improving the law,” just like he kind of / sort of did with NYU’s 3L curriculum, but not really. [National Law Journal]

    * Law students, say hello to the Immigrant Justice Corps, a job opportunity brought to you by Chief Justice Robert Katzmann of the Second Circuit. Hey, the pay is pretty decent for public interest. [New York Times]

    * The results of the latest Law School Survey of Student Engagement reveal to us 1Ls are morons. Seventy percent of them are thrilled with career services, but only 45% of 3Ls feel the same way. [WSJ Law Blog]

    * She’s no George Zimmerman: Jodi Arias has a racked up a legal tab of more than $2 million, but because her artwork isn’t as hot as she is, the bill will be footed by Arizona taxpayers. [Associated Press]

    0 Comments / / Jan 29, 2014 at 9:12 AM
  • angry judge LF

    Benchslaps, Biglaw, Money, Quote of the Day, Real Estate, State Judges

    Why You Don’t Want A Biglaw Firm To Handle Your Little Landlord-Tenant Case

    Next time your relatives ask for help with a landlord/tenant matter, ask them if they’re willing to pay you six figures for your assistance.

    17 Comments / / Jan 22, 2014 at 2:37 PM
  • Sarah Jones

    6th Circuit, Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Defamation, Fashion, Free Speech, Law Schools, Media and Journalism, Morning Docket, Patents, Technology

    Morning Docket: 12.09.13

    * After its patent battle in the courts, Apple wants Samsung to pay for a portion of MoFo’s legal fees. When you think of it, $15.7 million is a rather piddling amount when full freight is $60 million. [The Recorder]

    * Say goodbye to your pensions! As it turns out, law review articles aren’t so useless after all. Detroit’s foray into Chapter 9 eligibility is the brainchild of a Jones Day partner and associate duo. [Am Law Daily]

    * It must be really stressful to plan a wedding when your defamation victory is on appeal to the Sixth Circuit. The latest chapter in the Sarah Jones v. TheDirty.com case could mean curtains for online speech. [AP]

    * When it comes to their credit ratings, stand-alone law schools are getting screwed due to their inability to put asses in their empty seats. Four out of five schools profiled could be in big trouble. Which ones? [WSJ Law Blog (sub. req.)]

    * “You need to not dress like that.” TMZ’s attorney, Jason Beckerman, is an alumnus of Kirkland & Ellis, and he was quickly advised by a producer that he needed to lose his lawyer duds. [California Lawyer]

    5 Comments / / Dec 9, 2013 at 9:00 AM
  • Jodi Arias

    9th Circuit, Antitrust, BARBRI, Biglaw, Defamation, Law Firm Mergers, Morning Docket, Murder, Pregnancy / Paternity, Secretaries / Administrative Assistants

    Morning Docket: 10.25.13

    * Trouble in paradise, so soon? The proposed merger between Dentons and McKenna Long & Aldridge has been delayed. McKenna has postponed its partnership vote, and Dentons says no partnership vote was ever planned. [Daily Report]

    * Wherein a firm fails to Latham an ex-employee’s baby mama drama: a legal secretary who was allegedly told her pregnancy complications “were not [the director of HR’s] problem” will see her case against L&W move forward. [Blog of Legal Times]

    * You know that relations have grown bitter between opposing counsel when attorneys from one firm refer to lawyers from the other as “Monday Morning Quarterbacks.” The legal fee dispute in the BARBRI antitrust case rages on at the Ninth Circuit. [National Law Journal]

    * Paging ProudCooleyGrad: Kurzon Strauss, the firm that sued Cooley Law over its allegedly deceptive job stats, is trying to get records unsealed in the school’s defamation case that’s now on appeal. [MLive.com]

    * Convicted murderer and jailhouse hottie Jodi Arias is accepting donations for her appeals fund. It could be worth your while — if you donate enough, maybe she’ll consider turning you into her next victim. [HLN TV]

    3 Comments / / Oct 25, 2013 at 9:10 AM
  • Networking

    Biglaw, Law Firm Mergers, Legal Ethics, Partner Issues, Partner Profits

    Be Afraid, Be Verein Afraid

    Are some law firms that use the verein structure running afoul of legal ethics rules against fee splitting?

    12 Comments / / Oct 1, 2013 at 4:28 PM
  • Height Chart

    Biglaw, Midsize Firms / Regional Firms, Money, Partner Issues, Partner Profits, Small Law Firms, Solo Practitioners

    Biglaw: Still Nice Work If You Can Get It

    How did law firms of various sizes fare financially in 2012?

    9 Comments / / Jul 29, 2013 at 2:54 PM
  • buying in small

    Biglaw, Billable Hours, In-House Counsel, Money, Partner Issues

    Buying In: Suicide Pricing

    Desperation breeds heavy discounting. How bad has it gotten?

    29 Comments / / Apr 16, 2013 at 10:12 AM
  • shocked bill RF

    Billable Hours, Citigroup, Contract Attorneys, Money, Quote of the Day, Ted Frank

    Billing That Much For Contract Attorneys Isn’t ‘Unusual’ or ‘Untoward,’ It’s Obscene

    You will not believe the markup on the billable rates for contract attorneys these days.

    12 Comments / / Apr 15, 2013 at 4:05 PM
  • My personal favorite: Peepemptory Challenges.

    2nd Circuit, Billable Hours, Blog Wars, Blogging, Books, Citigroup, Holidays and Seasons, Judge of the Day, Law Schools, Non-Sequiturs, Securities Law, Sex, Sex Scandals, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns, Wall Street

    Non-Sequiturs: 03.29.13

    * To those of you who celebrate it, Happy Easter! Welcome the holiday by voting in the ABA Journal’s fifth annual “Peeps in Law” contest. [ABA Journal]

    * If law firm brackets aren’t your thing, check out Professor Kyle Graham’s brackets for (1) law school classes and (2) law blogs. I’m thankful for ATL’s #1 seed but terrified by who we’re up against (because they’ve ripped me a new one before). [noncuratlex]

    * Sorry, Judge Steiner, you wuz robbed; you should have been our Judge of the Day. It’s tough to top “allegations of a sexual quid pro quo with a female lawyer and the eye-opening confiscation of carpet from [chambers] for forensic analysis.” [OC Weekly]

    William Shatner

    * “William Shatner’s Seductive Powers Don’t Create a Fiduciary Duty.” Robyn Hagan Cain explains why. [U.S. Second Circuit / FindLaw]

    * Citi settles securities cases for $730 million. Matt Levine is not impressed. [Dealbreaker]

    * And Ted Frank is incensed by Bernstein Litowitz’s nine-figure fee request. [Point of Law]

    * If you’re already depressed by public ignorance about the Supreme Court, don’t look at the responses to question 9 of this opinion poll. [Penn Schoen Berland]

    * Steven Harper — author of a new (and very good) book about the legal profession, The Lawyer Bubble (affiliate link) — offers thoughts on the billable hour in the wake of the DLA Piper overbilling allegations. [New York Times]

    7 Comments / / Mar 29, 2013 at 5:39 PM
  • Adoption, B for Beauty, Depositions, Hair, Law Schools, Morning Docket, Ted Frank

    Morning Docket: 03.29.13

    * The latest update on the law school litigation front represents good news for New York Law School. [National Law Journal]

    * Should summarizing a one-day deposition transcript really cost $90,000? Even DLA Piper might blush at such a bill. [Point of Law]

    * Ropes & Gray isn’t backing down in the discrimination lawsuit brought by former partner Patricia Martone. (We’ll have more on this later.) [Am Law Daily]

    * No, silly polo mogul, you can’t adopt your 42-year-old girlfriend to shield your fortune from litigation. [ABA Journal]

    * Replacing “barbers” with “beauty culturists”? This is Indiana and not California, right? [WSJ Law Blog]

    13 Comments / / Mar 29, 2013 at 9:33 AM
  • House-Rules-small-In-House-Counsel RF

    Abortion, Billable Hours, Gay Marriage, In-House Counsel, Politics, Practice Pointers, SCOTUS, Supreme Court

    House Rules The Rates Are Too Damned High! (Part Two)

    David Mowry examines the ACC’s new initiative to protect companies from excessive billing.

    16 Comments / / Mar 27, 2013 at 3:16 PM
  • Stan Chesley RF Stanley Chesley Stanley M Chesley

    Attorney Misconduct, Boutique Law Firms, Federal Judges, Lawyer of the Day, Legal Ethics, Legal Fee Voyeurism, Litigators, Plaintiffs Firms, Small Law Firms

    Lawyer of the Day: Stan Chesley, Disbarred Husband of a Federal Judge

    What got this prominent plaintiff-side lawyer into trouble? Hint: it’s all about the benjamins….

    11 Comments / / Mar 22, 2013 at 2:35 PM
  • Obama coin

    Education / Schools, Election Law, Federal Government, Guns / Firearms, Minority Issues, Money, Non-Sequiturs, Police, Violence

    Non-Sequiturs: 01.10.13

    * Wait, are we really going to have to debate the legal merits of this platinum coin thing? Really? Can’t Congress just not hold the country hostage so we don’t have to start messing around with crazy coins and the Fourteenth Amendment? Like, you don’t have to start doing bats**t crazy Carrie Mathison things if you don’t let terrorists take Nicholas Brody in the first place. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

    * There was another school shooting today. It just makes you wonder if the terrible reign ushered in by Grand Theft Auto will ever end. At least, in this case, the teacher was armed to the teeth WITH WORDS to TALK DOWN the shooter. [Huffington Post]

    * “Illegal” trades don’t mean the same thing to bankers as they do to everybody else. Well, that’s not true. Maybe the disconnect is more with the word “consequences.” [Dealbreaker]

    * Yeah, I’m going to go on and say that I’m not going to believe anything coming out of the Trayvon Martin police report. Just like I wasn’t considering anything coming out of racist ass Mark Fuhrman. [Tampa Bay Times]

    * There’s a lot to lose if Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act gets struck down. [Slate]

    * I suppose it’s good that lawyers don’t have “I’m going to do a half-assed job here” fees. [Underdog]

    6 Comments / / Jan 10, 2013 at 5:31 PM