Friday, January 11, 2008

Sacre Bleu! Foreign Language Document Review Fraud?



When it comes to contract attorney document review, knowing a foreign language can be quite lucrative, not only for the job candidate, but also for the agency staffing the project. Of course, in the unregulated, wild wild west world of contract lawyering, where there is big money, there is the potential for fraud.

Yesterday, I received the following complaint. Until I am able to independently verify the accuracy of the alleged claim, I have removed the names of all the involved parties:


"It has come to my attention that {agency} solicited
fraud from its contract attorneys. {Client}
contracted with {agency} for foreign language
document review services, and required that attorneys
staffed by {agency} pass a reading comprehension
test. {Agency} permitted applying attorneys to
re-take the test repeatedly, until the attorney met
the client’s required score.

The reason that I know this is because I am one of the
attorneys instructed by {agency} to retake the test.

I went downtown and spoke to people in Grievances this
afternoon. Tomorrow I file my complaint against
{agency}, {person}, and {person}."

93 comments:

Anonymous said...

Grievances? Really? Unless they were giving you the answers and then having you retake the same exact test, I don't see that it is so bad. However, If they were basically giving answers then its pretty bad. I would tell the firm first and let them make the complaint if they want. The firm and their client are the parties being harmed.

Anonymous said...

Continuing from above...Is there even such a thing as "Standing" when it comes to grievances? If you go to the committee you don't want to appear to have an ax to grind, but that is their call, and I applaud your willingness whistle blow.

Anonymous said...

Sounds odd, what exactly is the grievance filing procedure?

Foreign language doc review is a bit of scam, I saw one guy just cutting the docs out of the image viewer and pasting them onto a third party translation web site. I can't imagine the client would be happy to have their confidential documents exposed on the Internet like that....absurd.

So the lesson, once again kids, is cheat lie and bullshit your way into these gigs however possible. How do you think these, sleazy talentless associates made it to biglaw?

This temp should be thanking the agency for the ability to make an extra $10 per hour. Grievance? You should be jumping for joy at getting the cushy foreign language gig. Or maybe after all the testing they still wouldn't pass you?

Anonymous said...

FYI - Dickhead Osman and Snot Krowshitz at Lexolution are famous for this kind of thing, especially with their Hebrew doc reviews. (You can imagine that lots and lots of NYC attorneys went to Hebrew school as kids, but does that make them fluent? I think not).

Anonymous said...

ANY idea what this huge hudson review is (the site is in Newark)

Tyler Durden said...

I am certified for French and German through one agency. The problem with these tests is that they are fairly simple, but timed. However, it is always the same test with the same reading passages and the same questions and the same multiple choice answers. It is even the same test translated into another language. I bet I could take it in Mandarin Chinese and pass by just knowing which multiple choice box to check.

Anonymous said...

Just another Krowshitz scheme. So sad

Anonymous said...

grievances? for what.
is anyine actually reading the english language docs.

is this a doc review attorney? give me an f'nn break already with this crap.
clcik faster minkey

Anonymous said...

Learn to spell and use caps, jackass.

Anonymous said...

I think we left the paid sick days topic too quickly, Tom. Especially at this time of year, when everyone is sick as dogs and sharing the wealth because they're packed on top of one another in poorly ventilated caserooms.

If the agencies want to maximize profits by staffing them to the brim and packing people in close quarters, they should be required to offer paid sick days by the State of NY. Enough of them having their cake and eating it, too.

Anonymous said...

LOL@"minkey."

Anonymous said...

I ain't no fricking minkiy!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it's monkey idiot, don't you eeever call me a minkey! How insulting!

Anonymous said...

If the doc review doesn't require full translation but just spotting issues/sifting docs, does it matter that the person isn't really fluent as long as they know "enough"? Except for maybe Chinese (which is non-alphabetic), a lot of times doc review is as much about figuring out what a document is not rather than needing to know exactly what it is.

Anonymous said...

any large jobs going on now?

Anonymous said...

12:27 - doesn't that mean that anyone who took, say, a couple years of French in high school 20 years ago should be eligible for a French language review?

How would the client feel about that?

Personally, I can figure out the gist of Spanish, having taken it in high school. But I'm by no means fluent; I'd need some translation help from a translation website or a dictionary.

If this means I'm eligible for a Spanish review and the extra $5 -$10 an hour, then sign me up!

Metro Contract Attorneys Weblog said...

We support Tom the Temp and his exposure of contract attys abuse.

Check out our sites for gigs in DC and NYC:

DC Metro Contract Attorneys Yahoo Group:

DC Metro Contract Attorneys

NY Metro Contract Attorneys Yahoo Group:

NY Metro Contract Attorneys

Metro Contract Attorneys Premium Site. This is where we post everything 2 hours before our other sites (we charge less than $2 per month for this site - our other sites above are free):

Metro Contract Attorneys *Premium Site*

-metro_k_attys@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Who are you NY + DC metros? Are you agency people or contract attorneys?

Metro Contract Attorneys Weblog said...

NY & DC Metro Contract Attys Yahoo Groups are posting sites run by a contract atty (me) where contractors and agencies can post project news

Anonymous said...

The people on the foreign language reviews are not only paid much better, but are also treated better as well. Why did I put up with all that crap at Quinn last year? I had no idea I could fraud my way on to one of these assignments, and that the agencies and firms would help me carry out this fraud. From now on, I am fluent in Finnish, Danish, Hindi, Hebrew, Swahili, and a series of native tongues in the Caspian foothills.

Mandarin said...

Thanks, Scott Krowitz for the 顶尖的工作。

Anonymous said...

I faked my way into a spanish language document review by beating the test using Google translate. I didn't speak the language at all. I never even took it in high school!

When I got on the review, I told everyone I spent six months studying spanish at a school in Nicaragua! I faked my way through the review by using Google translate again!

No one ever knew.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it shows you what total bs and fakery pervades the practice of law. I'm sure the associates and partners are doing the same thing.

Well done, you beat the system!

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but if you get caught and the agency decides to set an example to show how "righteous" and "ethical" they are, they'll run to the NY Bar and report you for lying. Especially now that we've exposed them on this issue. They'll be itching to report someone to make themselves look better. Scumbags.

If the agencies and firms really wanted to be vigilant on this issue (instead of lazy, which is the agencies' and BigLaw's M.O.), they'd have a fluent speaker of the language test the candidate's comprehension skills.

After all - the ads are always asking for attorneys "fluent" in the language, right? Doesn't fluency mean ability to read, write, and speak?

Anonymous said...

Some firms conduct their own tests, because they realize the agencies just give them whatever warms bodies have called in "available" for that week. But the majority care little about the quality of the review and thus any idiot will do.

At least half of the attorneys, particular the poorly trained foreign lawyers (e.g. Nigerian) that heavily populate doc review these days, can barely read English.

So it's not like the firms and agencies are doing much of any vetting for the English review, why would they give a s*&%$ about the foreign language reviews?

Anonymous said...

I can attest to the agencies being complicit in foreign language fraud. The agency called me repeatedly and asked if I wanted to do Spanish review. I could only speak elementary spanish. I told them no, I was far from fluent, and they called again, and again, and assured me I could do it, that if i could recognize the word "contrato" I would be fine. So I decided to do it even though I was nervous as hell.

By using translation programs, I was able to get the work done but I was way below everyone else. There came a point though where I was reviewing about 25 docs a day compared to 100-200 for those who could actually speak the language. I called the agency to tell them I was struggling and they said, no, you're fine, keep at it.

I was fired after about three weeks, and the agency never called me again for anything.

Anonymous said...

Of course they want you to do the gig, it's more money for them...and there is a greater need now for foreign language doc review now that many of the first level English language reviews are being conducted in India.

Anonymous said...

Isn't putting potentially privileged documents on a third party translation website an egregious violation of the ethics rules?

If this is true, this could almost be as bad as the time Hudson accidently put non-admitted, con-artists onto Satan's Workshop.

Anonymous said...

Dealing with "con-artists" is par for the course when exposed to the temp attorney population. You wouldn't believe how many lie about bar status. Numbers are way higher than the atty population (read: perm attys) at large.

House24 said...

I have to agree that any agency tests I've taken for foreign languages (Romance languages for me) have been far too easy. But, I'm not surprised about letting people take the tests repeatedly because it's in the agency's best interest to fill slots.

I think there should be a clear difference between "reviewing" and "translating", as someone else implied. I've worked as a translator and the pay is much, much higher. In fact, I have refused on document reviews to serve as a translator unless a higher rate could be negotiated. Translating can be extremely draining over long period of time.

I have to agree with the other person who said that the real problem is that law firms for the most part do not care unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

10:35 - re. the Nigerians: the agencies and firms have to achieve their racial quotas somehow, right? Why not hire African "lawyers" from a country without laws to do so? The Americans (usually white, but often black) and Asians will pick up the slack for the same pay - no worries.

The Nigerians are happy to have jobs where they can get paid to sleep most of the day, blow up the firm's phones in the caseroom speaking at maximum volume in their language, and still get asked to stay when projects downsize because of their race and ethnicity.

There's one female Nigerian "lawyer" in particular who fits this description to a T. She gets away with murder. If she were a white male, she'd have been blacklisted everywhere for her on-the-job conduct. But you can still find her on lots of projects because her presence helps the agencies and firms achieve their irrational "Diversity" objectives.

"Diversity" and "Multiculturalism" sure lead to a quality work product, don't they?

Anonymous said...

3:39 - agreed. But don't leave out the Haitians and Jamaicans, who care as little, if not less, about their work than the Nigerians. (And I think I know exactly which Nigerian female you're referring to in your post, but won't mention her name in the spirit of temp solidarity, as annoying, rude, and inconsiderate as she is.)

But maybe they have the right idea - the agencies and firms don't give a damn about the temps, so why should temps of any race/ethnicity care about their work quality? Perhaps the "cultural experience" of being "dissed" over the years has given these people some wisdom: don't do anything but the bare minimum for your slave masters.

Guess it's just a personal pride/personal ethics thing. Some people want to be in the habit of doing their best at whatever they happen to be doing. This might be a bad philosophy in light of the fact that doing good work means nothing in the temp world, while your race/ethnicity and the amount of hours you can justifiably bill mean everything, so far as getting on projects is concerned.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I predict that these shenanigans will only continue. In the HIGHLY unlikely event that there is a disciplinary committee inquiry (which I highly doubt, given the fact that the bar is nothing more than a biglaw pandering puppet "court"), the only outcome will be a few contract attorneys and maybe a low level recruiter being slapped on the wrist. The rat infested garbage heap known as contract lawyering will continue on unaffected.

Anonymous said...

I predict nothing will happen...work will go on as usual. Agencies make their money and the biglaw partners get rich.

Anonymous said...

wasn't the plan to go to the firms directly to do contract work? what happend to all that????

Anonymous said...

The Nigerian girl, Kroshitz, and "Jamaica D." have gotten away with way too much, for way too long. These jobs are hard enough to deal with even under the best of circumstances. I am tired of their shit. Someone needs to stand up to these people, and call them out for their UNACCEPTABLE behavior.

Anonymous said...

if you go directly to the firms for your hourly wages as suggested earlier, you wont have to deal with them. i dont see what the problem is. wasn't tom the temp supposed to get you a job, anyways?

Anonymous said...

The firms won't hire you directly. The firms hire agencies to do a run around labor/employment laws.

Anonymous said...

"someone needs to stand up to these people"

YEAH! Let's show our strength through complaining on an anonymous blog for several years! Yeah! That'll show em!

Anonymous said...

"Temp Attorney: Sweatshop Edition" is this week's ABA featured blawg:

http://www.abajournal.com/blawgs/

Anonymous said...

12:06, say no more.Wow- a featured blog! I'm sure your benefits, paid sick days and rate increases are imminent!!

Anonymous said...

12:24 - As your extensive use of exclamation points demonstrate, the temp attorney blogs seem to be making you overly excited and/or nervous. Glad you seem to feel the need to contribute and visit the site multiple times a day.

Anonymous said...

we all need to keep you cows in check,

Anonymous said...

What the hell is a "Blawg?" Is that the same as spelling "Dog" as "Dawg?"

Is the ABA using Ebonics now to show how "multicultural" and "diverse" they are?

Will it be long before Ebonics doc review starts?

Ethan said...

Please be careful about this sort of thing. An admitted lawyer, even one doing temp work, has a lot more to lose from participating in potential fraud than the agency.

If you get discipled by the bar, you'll not only never temp again, you'll never find work at a small firm either. It's not worth it for an extra $5 or $10 an hour.

Anonymous said...

hudson is headed by the shifty horned devil, a. cohen. beware of his claws.

Anonymous said...

Hudson seems the apogee of professionalism when compared to the lies and frauds of Lexolution.

Anonymous said...

So which temp firms provide the worst services to their clients?

In my exp, the recruiters Audrey Golden seem to at least TRY to get qualified people, and they have always treated me well. That being said, they don't pay their attorneys that much. The people at PEAK also seem ok.

What say you all?

luckyme said...

What is this? The last refuge for bitter white guys? Gee 9:50, did your "Master of the Universe" pin get lost in the mail? Uhhh, you do know that the term "blawg" is the term used to describe a blog that discusses law - blog +law = blawg. No? What a surprise - they don't bring that stuff up in the white power sites, do they, stupid?

Anonymous said...

9:50 enough race baiting, get back to clicking.

Anonymous said...

Audrey Golden is scum. Their bonuses suck and their pay is paltry.

Anonymous said...

But when are we striking?

Anonymous said...

Striking wouldn't work. It's hard to organize a large, varied group of freelancer professionals. An on-line guerrilla campaign has proven to be much more effective. Better to expose the legal community (and the wider world) to what scumbags Krowshitz, Cohen, Zuckerburg, Hart, Nagel, Bregman, Cheskin and Osman are.

Anonymous said...

how is it "proven effective" if our rates are down to 33/hr???

Anonymous said...

Well, we are in the midst of a recession, if you haven't noticed. Also, the schools continue to pump out an increasing number of students.

Anonymous said...

so then how HAS it proven effective? I dont see how these guerilla name callings helped any of us temps.

Anonymous said...

Opening up and making the attorney temp world more transparent can only help us all in the long run. I certainly know which firms and personalities to avoid.

Anonymous said...

The only solution is to unionize - not strike.

Anonymous said...

We still aren't hearing and concrete ways the slandering has helped us. As me and my fellow temps see it, things have only gotten worse, not better.

Enlighten us. Do tell us how this method has "PROVEN EFFECTIVE".

As an attorney (if you are one) you should be able to back up your claims.

Anonymous said...

I think 11:35 is full of it. when the bills come, no one can afford to avoid certain firms and agencies if those are the only active jobs around. Just sayin'.

Anonymous said...

"As an attorney (if you are one) you should be able to back up your claims."

A) Infamous third-world Paul Weiss gulag SHUT-DOWN.

B) Annoying Quinn staff attorneys lapdogs smacked down and pwned by firm management.

C) Skadden reinstated an earlier agreed upon rate after several contract employees threatened negative blog/media publicity.

D) Bregman/Hart were also smacked down, put on tighter leashes, and were relegated to their cages.

How is that for starters?

Anonymous said...

B, C & D are all FALSE. Go do your due dillegence. None of those situations had anything to do with disgruntled temps on a blog.

Let's not try and make ourselves more important than we really are.. Mkay.

Everyone knows temp doc reviewers are throw aways.

Anonymous said...

So, what do you suggest we do 11:44? Put our trust and our futures back in the hands of the paternalistic staffing agencies?

Anonymous said...

B, C, and D are TRUE! Power to the temps, power to the people!

Anonymous said...

B, C, and D are TRUE! Power to the temps, power to the people!

Anonymous said...

I'm just saying lets not pretend calling someone "KROWSHITS" makes our lives better. It doesn't. If our options suck, then they suck. This grade school name calling detracts from any appearance of maturity and intellegence. These asses are subjugating the very premise we set out to make.

Anonymous said...

WELL SAID!!

Anonymous said...

Hi, Krowshits.

Anonymous said...

and 12:26 wonders why he is still basement surfing for docs to click....

Anonymous said...

And 'luckyme' probably also wants to pretend the Nigerians actually do any work on these projects.....

C'mon, buddy. Doc review is the perfect "warehouse" for incompentents who help the agency and firm achieve their "diversity objectives." Then the agency and firm can wear the "Good Guy Badge" and tell the world how wonderful they are for employing "minorities," when in reality they're not hiring these people for substantive firm positions - which would truly constitute "employing minorities" - because they know the non-Politically Correct truth that can't be spoken out loud - THEY'RE INCOMPETENT. The only purpose they serve is to keep those "diversity" numbers up.

So, in the end, I guess the Nigerians are doing their jobs competently: they're showing up for work black and from Africa. Doc review is the best place to hide them because they can do the least amount of damage there.

Call this whatever you like, but it's the truth.

Anonymous said...

642, so angry. i bet your poor wife is the day-to-day recipient of your misery, if you even have one.
do yourself, and all of us a favor, and just pull the trigger already.
loser.

Anonymous said...

How embarrasing for you Tom that your blawg is cited on the ABA site, only to have it revealed that it basically consists of Scott Bullock-eque, Angry White Male losers, looking for scapegoats to justify their failures.

Call this whatever you like, but it's the truth.

Anonymous said...

The Angry White Male Losers Looking for Scapegoats!!!11!! That's my favorite band! They post here?

luckyme said...

6:42, you are such a fucking loser, it bears repeating. If you fucked up your lily-white life, quit trying to blame "Nigerians" , minorities, or women for your failures. I am surprised that you have time to look up from your furtive googling on Jessica Alba's boobs now that she is pregnant to notice other people's "work ethic". You are a bitter, pathetic, elbows up in debt douche who wouldn't get a legal job of substance if they shipped every "Nigerian" out of the country. Hell, you wouldn't get a job if you were the only applicant for the position.

Anonymous said...

There is a story that's not being told on this website.

For every document review hellhole out there, there is a document review dream job, one where you sit on the internet all day or in a room with 5 other cool people and fool around. I did this shit for 2 years, so I know. I've had absolute nightmare assignments, and jobs that made my friends with 'real' jobs jealous. No one is bringing this fact up.

I once sat in a huge office for 6 months and watched movies while collecting $35/hr.

The good thing about the document review industry is that there are a hundred agencies and hundreds of firms. You can have a new job in a matter of weeks. Don't tolerate bad treatment. There are dream jobs out there.

Anonymous said...

4:26 PM - you are the real loser. How do you know what race and gender that person is?

You are a scary and abusive human. Same for that freak that wants that person to commit suicide. If anybody actually doubted why lawyers hate their profession, take a look at this cesspool.

4:26 PM you are a bully, creep and maggot.

Anonymous said...

you people are just jealous because we get more money even though we're foreigners, and we speak better english than you too.
so why dont you go and learn some languages before writing comments like that!!!!!

luckyme said...

6:39- Let me guess, you are just some innocent poster standing up for a poor maligned racist poster, right? You couldn't be the SAME poster, right?Tell me something, do you refer to yourself in the third person in the real world? Listen, donkey, try reading the posts - there are a number of people who find you - I mean - the poster you are defending despicable. And one of them did suggest that you - I mean he - off himself. And when you see him in the mirror, tell him I said that he is a despicable racist, but pretty please with sugar on top, don't you go killing yourself. Bye now!

Anonymous said...

Type, minkey!

Anonymous said...

What are you posting about?

Only some stupid foreigner would make a 'grievance'.

When people don't measure up they complain.

"Tom": You don't even make out a prima facia portrayal of fraud.

We are lazy Americans. Most assholes from New York take the bar more than once. Of course they'd have to take an OPTIONAL test more than once, we're lazy c*nts!

you get wierder by the year.

Anonymous said...

White males made this country great! Long live the white male!

Anonymous said...

LOL!!! BWAHHAHAHAHAHAAA!!!

Oh, wait - you're serious...

Anonymous said...

I took international law courses in France in law school (taught in French). I have 35 credits in the French language in college. One of those courses in law school was a legal translation course. Anyone think I qualify?

Anonymous said...

I have worked alongside African attorneys that were highly qualified, as well as some that were not.
A Dolt is a Dolt, and race has nothing to do with it.
This racism and infighting are pathetic. We should direct aour anger where it belongs, and not at each other.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but for the ignorant and stupid, it's easy to blame everything on "paternalistic" white males. It's the easy way out for the lazy and incompetent to blame things on someone else.

The funny part is, the foreign trained lawyers are doing much better than the American citizens. They have no law school debt, and the LLM that they got (if any) for 1 year was probably paid for by a minority scholarship. Their cesspool undgrad degree from their home country costs pennies compared to getting a degree in the US.

Don't you ever notice how those Nigerian chicks are always shopping? They come back from their 3 hour lunches (billing .5 hrs) with shopping bags crammed full, nearly every day. They're buying apartments, new cars, etc (I'm assuming of course that it's from the their doc review wages and not the credit card scams that their country is famous for ;) ). But because they have zero debt the temp gig is much better, they can spend as much they want. Often they live with family too, further reducing expenses.

Sort of crazy that our country is subsidizing the foreign born lawyers to live a lavish lifestyle, while the poor schmuck American TTT doc reviewer attys are so leveraged in debt they can't buy a house even in the worst neighborhoods. They can only trudge to work everyday, slap on headphones and try to stave off depression before it overwhelms them.

Anonymous said...

Anon - story not told - Of course, that's bar suspension/disbarment material, unethical, and still not getting you anywhere in your career or life, other than paying your bills ...

Anonymous said...

Yes, the blacks really bill fraudulently at doc review gigs here in D.C., too. I'm on a short gig with Crowell and Moring and I never saw such cheats. And as you wrote about Nigerians, it is true that it is far more often foreign blacks than Americans.

Anonymous said...

6:53, so we will be seeing you at the compound soon,right? Bring yer own copy of the "Turner Diaries"! Seriously, dude, you are blaming foreigners for your plight? It's some Nigerian chick's fault that you put yourself in debt to attend a law school because gosh, look at the life attorneys lead in "L.A. Law" and you were stupid enough to buy it? You thought you are young, white, and in a certain light you look like Mitt Romney - of course, law firms should fall all over you, right? Welcome to real world, and the sooner you stop blaming people for your woes and do something about it, the better. Did you really think that the global economy was not going to affect the work of attorneys?

What do you know about those Nigerian women anyway -other then what your prejudiced simple mind tells you?

Anonymous said...

2:42 - seriously, fuck you. Why are you in D.C. anyway? The city is full of professional black people - aren't you afraid getting cooties? Shouldn't you be fucking some meth head on your cot in a trailer in Indiana? Isn't that what all you low-end whites do?

See how fucking stupid generalizations are?

Anonymous said...

Jealousy, racism, ignorance of foreign languages, inability to act professionally, bland disdain of fellow human beings; no wonder the people commenting here are working as temp attorneys.

Anonymous said...

Can someone tell me what the best way is to find a foreign language job in NYC. I am fluent in Chinese and French, JD from Canada. Thanks

generatrix said...

which agencies certify / test for foreign language doc reviews. someone already mentioned lexolution. (I speak fluent Spanish but have an English name; therefore, testing might get me jobs that I otherwise couldn't get)

Anonymous said...

I think it's really the law firm's responsibility because they must know what the agency tests are like. I think that if you took a basic course in college or even high school, most people would pass with 85% or better. I've only had one law firm give me a test of their own and it was ridiculously easy. I had to translate about 3 sentences for French. For most of the document reviews, there is no real translation involved. You basically comprehend and click just like you would in English. How fast you go just depends on your skills.

The other thing that I didn't see mentioned here is that there are a lot of foreign language reviews where basically the percentage of the foreign language documents is quite small. I've done reviews where the French was maybe 10%, the rest English. I've only had one firm which required a separate billing for English docs and French docs.

With any of you guys who are interested, do NOT let the agencies low-ball you in terms of prices for languages. I'm in DC and I saw a review where the French was only $37p/hr, with the market rate here of $35 for English. Generally, if you refuse, the agency will call you back asking for "your range." They are just bloodsuckers!

Also, if you are new to the game, stay in touch with your foreign language reviewers-colleagues. Here in DC, the number of foreign language reviewers is growing tremendously. And, I have to say, the vast majority of them know their worth and value in the market and refuse to be pawns of these jerks. If the price is not right, so so sorry, no can do.