Bitter News, 11-16-09

Headlines from the Bitter Newsroom as “Bitch Please” as Maria Bartiromo interviewing Snoop Dogg:

• Know who wins when a huge percentage of attorneys aren’t working?  Not terrorists—but tax payers.  The top lawyer for the city of Chicago has been capitalizing on the “glut of unemployed and underemployed lawyers” by paying up to $50 less per hour in private legal fees for even complex litigation.  [Chicago Tribune]

• Ten Ways Lawyers Rip Off Clients.  This list details examples of how law firms juice their clients for maximum billage.  And a quick Bitter Lawyer comparison not only confirms such practices, but it also presents extremely valid reasons why some of the below simply cannot be avoided.  [The Business Insider]

10.  Double Billing. Don’t stop there.  Sextuple billing, anyone?

9. Padding Hours. You bet your sweet ass.  It’s not if it happens—it’s how.

8.  Overhead. Look, firms need climate control.  And someone has to pay for that.

7.  Trivial Tasks. Um, have you ever dealt with a paralegal?  (Not like that.) Where’s my secretary?

6.  Expense Accounts. You don’t actually think strippers get paid out of pocket, do you?

5. Exorbitant rates. Working on holidays will cost you dearly.

4.  Inefficiency. Sometimes a lawyer has to do what a lawyer doesn’t need to do.

3.  Negligence. We all know the slightest typo can make the biggest difference.

2.  Training. Someone has to initiate the new class.

1.  Working While Sleeping. Sleeping at the firm will get you kicked in the gut.  Sleeping with the firm will get you slapped in the face.  Either way, the client loses.

• Get to know good ol’ boy Rodge.  A simple man who has worked for the same company and been married for 40 years, Rodge loves a cold glass of Chardonnay and drives a Subaru.  But he also “played perhaps the largest role of all in the gruesome doings of the Wall Street bailout last year,” raking in millions as the banking czar and chairman of Sullivan & Cromwell.  Mr. Incongruous Man.  [The New York Times]

• Think you’re the first person who thought it would be a good idea to get your civic obligation of jury duty out of the way while you’re unemployed?  Get in line.  [New York Post | Gothamist]

• Is Eric Holder’s New York terror trial a good idea?  Republicans don’t seem to think so.  Former Mayor Rudy Giuliani thinks moving the 9/11 masterminds from Gitmo to NYC for a civilian trial creates “costs and security concerns for the city.” But Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) wants to celebrate American justice through the idea.  “We have a judicial system that’s the envy of the world. Let’s show the world that we can use that power.” Will front man Khalid Sheik Mohammed’s 183 sessions of waterboarding be considered a “forced confession” that defense lawyers can use to get his case dismissed?  Will they all represent themselves again?  Regardless, Sarah Palin has a book to sell to pay old legal bills, ya’ll, so she weighed in with, “Hang ‘em high.” Whatever that means in real-people talk.  [The New York Times]

• Celebrity Legal Blame Game:

—DJ AM’s mom is suing, claiming a plan crash her son survived two years ago led to his suicide.  [MTV]

—Jon Gosselin’s “pleading famous,” claiming fame is the reason he’s unemployed.  [NY Daily News]

—Janet Jackson wants Dr. Conrad Murray taken down because she claims he killed brother MJ.  [People]

• Sure, you wouldn’t go up to a Native American and call him or her a “redskin” these days, but in Washington, “Redskins” has been the name of the game since 1933—back when people commonly made racial slurs the way my grandmother still does today.  Regardless, the modern-day offensive quotient aside, SCOTUS said that it would not hear an appeal regarding it.  Which is making some people’s skin (faces) red (with anger).  [Wall Street Journal via ABA Journal]

• Recipe for legal success: Lawmaker royalties.  How to: 1. Write a law that makes it “easier for lawyers to sue and win financial judgments in cases arising from claims that minorities effectively were shut out of local elections, while shielding attorneys from liability if the claims are tossed out.” 2. Get it approved by state lawmakers.  3. Sue like crazy in accordance to your new law and collect $4.3 million (and counting).  [Associated Press]

• You thought The Real Housewives of New Jersey and the “hottest, tannest, craziest Guidos” of MTV’s upcoming Jersey Shore were giving the Garden State a tough-cookie image.  One Jersey law firm dispute is getting ugly—and it’s all centered around the site Levinson Axelrod Really Sucks[The Am Law Daily]

• Sure, I’ve shanked a bitch for not much upside before.  But a female security guard at LSU was stabbed twice simply for not allowing a man entrance into the law school.  [WDSU.com]

• What do you call a group of heavy-hitting trial lawyers gathered in one place?  A conspiracy.  Or the annual Consumer Attorneys of California convention.  [LegalNewsline.com]

• And we conclude with the 12 signs that a lawyer has reached information overload.  [Law.com]

Check out more news from previous days.

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Headlines from the Bitter Newsroom as “Bitch Please” as Maria Bartiromo interviewing Snoop Dogg:

• Know who wins when a huge percentage of attorneys aren’t working?  Not terrorists—but tax payers.  The top lawyer for the city of Chicago has been capitalizing on the “glut of unemployed and underemployed lawyers” by paying up to $50 less per hour in private legal fees for even complex litigation.  [Chicago Tribune]

• Ten Ways Lawyers Rip Off Clients.  This list details examples of how law firms juice their clients for maximum billage.  And a quick Bitter Lawyer comparison not only confirms such practices, but it also presents extremely valid reasons why some of the below simply cannot be avoided.  [The Business Insider]

10.  Double Billing. Don’t stop there.  Sextuple billing, anyone?

9. Padding Hours. You bet your sweet ass.  It’s not if it happens—it’s how.

8.  Overhead. Look, firms need climate control.  And someone has to pay for that.

7.  Trivial Tasks. Um, have you ever dealt with a paralegal?  (Not like that.) Where’s my secretary?

6.  Expense Accounts. You don’t actually think strippers get paid out of pocket, do you?

5. Exorbitant rates. Working on holidays will cost you dearly.

4.  Inefficiency. Sometimes a lawyer has to do what a lawyer doesn’t need to do.

3.  Negligence. We all know the slightest typo can make the biggest difference.

2.  Training. Someone has to initiate the new class.

1.  Working While Sleeping. Sleeping at the firm will get you kicked in the gut.  Sleeping with the firm will get you slapped in the face.  Either way, the client loses.

Read more from the Bitter Newsroom.

1 Comment

  1. Manhattan law

    November 16, 2009 at 5:08 pm

    New reader – good stuff

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