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
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
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
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
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
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 Team… Read the rest
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
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
4 November 2014 - This has been sitting in our “InBox” for a few weeks (we average 2,000 emails a week so sometimes we may be a bit slow to respond to many of you. Our apologies).
But anyhow, if you have not heard, the DOJ released its app “DOJ Law Jobs” this past September. It features listings of current openings for experienced and entry-level lawyers, as well as paid and volunteer internships for law students. According to the DOJ press release it “has opportunities for you at every stage of your legal career” although as we have noted in numerous posts, the jobs are notoriously highly … Read the rest
2 November 2014 - The Washington Post published a student loan calculator to assist students out there in figuring out exactly how much they will suffer for their education. And the answer for lawyers is “much more than they can afford.” It suggests that many students will be taking a risk by following this career path.
Someone who goes to New York University (NYU) would need to earn US$214,361 a year for a decade to be able to afford to repay the $171,087 of debts they would have, according to the calculator. In BigLaw firms, associates could expect to arrive at that payment level (including bonuses). Another candidate … Read the rest
9 October 2014 - In a case that helps clarify what discovery-related activities constitute the practice of law, a federal judge in Manhattan has told a group of contract attorneys performing document review for a major law firm they are not entitled to overtime pay because they were engaged in legal work.
Summoning professional and ethical codes of North Carolina, where the attorneys worked, Judge Richard Sullivan determined that document review rises to the level of legal practice – irrespective of its complexity or the legal credentials of those performing it. The application of legal judgment, Judge Sullivan said, is not a prerequisite for an activity to be deemed “practice … Read the rest