About The Posse List Blog

    This site is a place for Posse List members to learn about and discuss current issues and trends in the contract legal market. Your comments and feedback will drive this site. We look forward to engaging in a positive dialogue with Posse List members around the world.

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U.S. labor laws and overtime: your comments


2 September 2015 – Over the weekend we published a notice about the Department of Labor’s proposed a new rule regarding overtime and the opportunity to make comments.  We noted that United Contract Attorneys is submitting a comment to the rule proposing a carve-out for document review attorneys to the FLSA exemption to mandated overtime pay for professional workers, including lawyers.

Previously we have been reporting on the recent decision of Lola v. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher, & Flom by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (decided on July 23rd) containing prima facie statements that the work of document review performed was not the practice of … Read the rest

The Department of Labor has proposed a new rule regarding overtime and seeks comment



29 August 2015 – The Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed a new rule regarding the overtime exemptions in the Fair Labor Standards Act (click here to view the proposed rule).

United Contract Attorneys is working to make sure the DOL knows about contract attorney working conditions and wages, and is asking you to submit a COMMENT, by September 4, 2015.

They have suggested the following:


1. You can click here to submit a comment.


2.  You can write your own comment or you can copy and paste the following sample which they have drafted:


a. It’s time to update the overtime

Read the rest

Contract attorney lawsuit against Skadden Arps can proceed, appeals court says; case could enable temporary lawyers hired for routine document review to earn extra wages




Ben Hur (2)



23 July 2015 – A lawsuit demanding overtime pay from legal heavyweight Skadden, Arps can proceed, an appeals court ruled today, potentially clearing the way for temporary lawyers hired to do routine document review to earn extra wages. The Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling came in a two-year-old lawsuit brought against Skadden and legal staffing agency Tower Legal Solutions by an attorney who claims he deserves overtime for a $25-an-hour assignment reviewing documents on a Skadden case.

Under federal labor laws, licensed lawyers don’t automatically earn overtime pay for work in excess of 40 hours a week if what they are doing is … Read the rest

This firm marked up contract attorney reviewer billings over 500 percent … and that’s not the worst part

Legal over billing



From Doug Austin at eDiscovery Daily:

June 3, 2015 – Remember when we asked the question whether a blended document review rate of $466 per hour is excessive? Many of you weighed in on that one and that post is still our most viewed of all time. Marking up the billing rate for reviewers over 500 percent may or may not also be unacceptable, depending on who you talk to. But, everyone agrees that billing more hours than you actually worked is a bad thing.

According to a new article by Gina Passarella in The Legal Intelligencer (Are Contract Attorney Markups Of Any Concern to Read the rest

Skadden fights contract lawyer’s claims in the U.S. Second Circuit

Ben Hur (2)


1 June 2015 – Last week the U.S. Second Circuit heard the Lola vs. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom case which is testing whether some purportedly professional work might in fact be eligible for overtime. The case pits Skadden against a contract attorney hired by a legal staffing agency to review documents for $25 an hour on a Skadden case.

A district court judge dismissed the case in September, ruling that the work Lola did qualified as practicing law under North Carolina guidelines. “As junior associates at law firms well know,” U.S. District Judge Richard Sullivan in New York wrote in the decision, tasks like confirming citations and … Read the rest

U.S. student debt hangover ruins that “American dream” (ha, ha)

Student loan debt


Angela Gambetta, Managing Director/The Posse List

9 May 2015 – About a decade ago, American consumers seemed the most debt-addicted people on the planet. Then … bingo … around 2008 something rather remarkable began to occur: the level of consumer card and mortgage debt in the US began shrinking.

But there is one glaring exception to this trend: student debt. Over the past decade, the level of outstanding student debt has almost tripled to $1.3 trillion.

Although the law makes it relatively hard to walk away from student debt, defaults are also strikingly high. There are many ways to measure this figure but the Department of Education reports that … Read the rest

In Canada: Deloitte sued in document reviewer class action; treating hundreds of document reviewers as contractors when they were, in reality, employees

Contract attorney fracas


13 March 2015 – Deloitte and a document review company it acquired a year ago are alleged to have saved millions of dollars by treating hundreds of document reviewers as contractors when they were, in reality, employees based in their offices.

Deloitte acquired ATD Legal Services in January 2014. Representative plaintiff Shireen Sondhi, a lawyer based in Toronto, claims that she and hundreds of fellow document reviewers were mis-categorised as independent workers – with the result that the businesses saved large sums in payroll deductions and in not having to offer labour protections, holidays and overtime.

Supervised in Deloitte offices

Counsel for the plaintiff, Andrew Monkhouse, said in a … Read the rest

Kessler’s 600% markup on contract attorneys ruled too high. Gee, ya think?

Ben Hur (2)



7 January 2015 – A New York federal judge slashed Kessler Topaz’s fee request in an investor class action against Weatherford International Ltd from $14 million to $10.8 million, saying contract attorneys were billed for at too high a markup. U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan cut Kessler Topaz’s fee request, saying there was no problem with the firm’s work but that it also appeared to him that the high number of hours wasn’t justified:

“While the court assumes that over 30,000 hours of time were recorded, it has serious doubts … whether this case, handled efficiently and especially for a paying client, would have justified an expenditure of Read the rest


Happy New Year 2015 2 

We wish all of you a happy and healthy New Year. We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to our subscribers and readers for their confidence, loyalty and partnership. We have been so very fortunate this year to have had significant time to spend with many of you in all the parts of the e-discovery ecosystem.

– The Posse List TeamRead the rest

Language and speech recognition technology equal to humans gets closer

This is our last post of the year aside from our job posts. We thank all of our subscribers and readers for a great year.

Note: The Posse List team will be posting jobs (the market is busy) over the holiday period.

For those that can, enjoy the holidays.

                                         – Angela Gambetta and The Posse List Management Team



Language machine translation

24 December 2014– Ah, technology. So hard to keep up. Just on the medical front alone the cost of manipulating life’s building blocks is falling at such a rapid clip … faster than Moore’s Law predictions for silicon … that we can now tailor drugs to match a person’s … Read the rest