Thursday, September 18, 2008

Howrey Screws Up

And turns around and blames their contract attorneys!

http://www.law.com/jsp/article.jsp?id=1202424640798

These "scapecoders" were definitely hung out to dry. Howrey fosters a sweatshop like atmosphere in which contract attorneys are underpaid and are rushed to produce shitty work product:

"The average contract attorney is expected to review 600 pages per hour. Temps who have worked at Howrey praise the firm for providing clarity, but say the obsession with page count can be trying."
"The Howrey Way," American Lawyer, 9/01/06

52 comments:

Anonymous said...

I wonder what expression the judge would have had on her face if they had to tell her that a coder screwed up in India.

Anonymous said...

600 pages an hour?!

Anonymous said...

1:05. Hilarious. I would love to see what happens when a U.S. judge finds discovery is being conducted in India and it is screwed up.

Anonymous said...

That's what happens when you mark up services to astronomical levels and pay the people actually doing the work shit. You get crap work product and pissed off judges and clients. Howrey is a TOILET.

Anonymous said...

I worked for Howrey recently and can say that given the way they manage doc reviews it comes as no surprise that they fucked this up. They are a class act in blaming contract attorneys. They seem to follow the Bush modus operandi in blaming workers lower in the caste system for their own glaring incompetence. What a cockup.

Anonymous said...

Your doing a heck of a job, howrey brownie.

Anonymous said...

You're damned if you do turn something over and damned if you don't. The temp could have seen the two e-mails the first day on the job and not realized they were relevant. Who knows? Ultimately the partner is responsible. He's the one that speaks to the client and thus has the best idea of what really happened. Why didn't the partner have the temps run some searches to find the e-mails? He was probably too lazy. Most partners make millions off these cases yet they provide little to no input as to what the case is about and what they are looking for. When you ask questions about what is relevant, you are often ignored. I was at Cleary for well over a year on one case. The partners never bothered to meet with us. We made them millions but we were just cockaroaches to them.

Anonymous said...

Well it's only fair for the contract attorneys to get blamed when something goes wrong, because I'm sure they would have been given the credit for a successful outcome of the case, n'est-ce pas?

Anonymous said...

I wonder if these contract attorneys were admitted or not?

Anonymous said...

of course the temp attorneys are on temp to partner track and always get pay raises and promotions for all of their hard work in successful reviews.

Anonymous said...

I expect the reason the contract attorneys "missed" these e-mails is that they received vague and constantly evolving rules about what should be considered responsive. Every review I have ever done has seen relevancy rules flip-flop over-night.

Anonymous said...

Almost like Qualcomm's discovery mess, eh? Howrey is a third-rate firm with an overweening estimation of itself. McAfee is screwed and Howrey will go down in disgrace.

Anonymous said...

This is exactly why it would be a disaster to send this type of work to India. If an American lawyer can miss stuff like this, imagine the damage an Indian could do with poor training, a poor understanding of U.S. English, and poor oversight? We want these screwups occasionally so the bench and bar can remind themselves how crazy the notion
of outsourcing discovery (especially criminal prosecutions at the Federal level.) really is. Some things just can't be outsourced.

Anonymous said...

It's clear that moving to India makes it even more difficult to determine whether responsive docs or not.

In the end it doesn't make much diff whether the coding is done in India b y barely English speaking foreign trained attys or by non-native english speakers, trained in foreign law schools while working in NYC.

The work will continue to flood to India, surrepticiously until firms and corporations are forced by legal judgment to bring it back.

Anonymous said...

well this is a screw up to be sure, but on the other hand, it happens, people are still people and they will still sometimes make mistakes.

Anonymous said...

2 of the 7 documents at issue were marked relevant by the coders but non-responsive to the subpoena. How did the 2nd tier review miss these? You cant blame coders for that.

Anonymous said...

The important part is that the coders are on the hook for it. Doc reviewers should have professional/malpractice insurance to cover themselves. This could be an awful precedent.

I wonder what liability Indian dokkers are exposed to or if they are somehow immune/judgment proof.

Anonymous said...

Here's an interesting thought: one of the related articles indicated that lawyers could have criminal liability for intentionally withholding responsive documents, does that mean the first level reviewer/ coder can have it too if he or she makes the wrong responsiveness call? What would be in the way of a zealous U.S. Attorney from prosecuting the coder as well?

Anonymous said...

http://averageatty.wordpress.com/2008/09/20/the-scarlet-letter/

http://esqblog.me/2008/09/20/the-mcafee-discovery-mess-pity-the-contract-lawyer-2/

More delightful experiences working as a contract attorney.

Anonymous said...

There is an unfortunate flip side to the outsource to India argument given everything that is happened...if it is going to be screwed up anyway why not send it overseas and just have the associates spend extra time reviewing it?

My own counter to that is, it will be screwed up so badly that the associates will throw their hands in the air and give up! (Not to mention it is better to have it done right the first time. After all how many doc reviews went off successfully?)

Anonymous said...

Withholding documents in discovery is at most grounds for civil sanctions in that particular case unless the action amounts to obstruction of justice, which would require a level of scienter that is unlikely to exist here.

Anonymous said...

So many unemployable clicker "attorneys:... so many expert on the current state of affairs. I don't anyone really care what this BS anonyous constituency has to say. Really. If you are the garbage of the industry, you are FAR from the spokesperson.

Spend more time trying to get a perm job before you can expect anyone to listen to your nonesense. Opinions of cockaroach swatters are just not relevant... except for maybe your numskull cage basement workroom roomates.

Anonymous said...

600 pages an hour. Only the top 10% of speed readers can read and comprehend at that rate.

Anonymous said...

11:35 - could you, like, be more incoherent?

Anonymous said...

11:35. I have a suspicion you were not the editor of law review.

Anonymous said...

All the idiotic Howrey associates had to do was a keyword search for the emails in question. They probably would have found them in 10 minutes or less.

Shit rolls downhill in hiararchal organizations. No one at Howrey would ever take the blame for this, so why not just blame the defenseless, voiceless contract attorneys? That's the easiest out for spineless cowards.

Anonymous said...

7:27: I have a suspicion you were not the editor of Sarcasm Quarterly.

Anonymous said...

me like getting blowjobs

Trollop said...

11:35

Cochroach swatting. You da man, RB. Let these poor basement-dewllers be experts on this site. It's what they need. Without the convertibles, secretaries with the ass that bounce, luchiama in the pocket, other trappings that caused them to do mediocre work at law school on Sallie Mae's dime, they have nothing.

Unfortunately, these self-entitled, unemployable slobs also took out mortgages, so we're in a recession. Oh well, at least they know their place.

Luong Dong said...

Slutty temp give good blowjob. Know their place, give swanky associate good head. I rike stinky basements because it mean head. Suck more harder and more faster than prostitue. Tell Tom, that's the big conspiracy he's always looking for, why lawschools sucker them, for the easy blowjob. There his cigar smoke-filled room. I rike bery much.

Anonymous said...

do we need malpractice insurance? The staffing firm does!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Tom, are you not outraged by these bailouts! Stand up and do something about it. Our tax dollars are being used to subsidize millionaires.

Anonymous said...

7:14: I'll be your slutty temp, just tell me where you are! I know how to make an associate happy!

Anonymous said...

11:23 -

Do you really expect Tom to touch on what you apparently feel is a socio-economic injustice being levied upon you and all those simelarly situated. Tom was good for a complaint here and there about the higher ups that make life "such hell" for all contract attorneys. Nowadays it seems like this site is focused primarily on pissing and moaning about the greater numbers of law schools opening, as well as thinly veiled racism disguised as complaining endlessly about THOSE heartless bastards (they know who they are) outsourcing the precious temp attorney gigs that this site spent the better part of two years bashing as unfair slave labor.

If you want someone to address these large scale bailouts (which are in fact a necessary evil, although the dems have it right demanding there be oversight) you've come to the wrong place. There will only be ridiculous complaining about how unfair life is and how we were all duped into thinking we would be doing so much better after law school...shit now i've gone and ruined the bulk of the posts you'll see on this site for the next few months until there is a new hot-button topic to be addressed, even more pressing than (gasp) outsourcing.

Anonymous said...

If you want someone to address these large scale bailouts (which are in fact a necessary evil
___________________________________


Wrong again. There is nothing "necessary" about them, and they will do absolutely nothing to stablilize the global economy over the long term. They are simply another transfer of wealth from the many to the few--the end.

Anonymous said...

^ "Wrong again"? Have we spoken before?

hmmm...now them's some lawyering skills right there. Using a partial quote to make your counter-point. Don't forget to always use "The End" in your memos and briefs so that whoever is reading knows that you have finished making your point.

Are you one of those contract attorneys that has been blacklisted from most staffing agencies for being a "free-thinker"?

Anonymous said...

1:57 pm Your drivel is disgusting. Why should we be subsidizing the rich bankers who took on ungodly amounts of risk by securitizing mortgages. They knew the risks and they choose to ignore. Let them go bankrupt just like we let the dumb piker go bankrupt who puts his last fiver down on Slim Jim Joe at the last race at Cheltenham. They gambled and lost. I will not subsidize the rich bankers!

Luong Dong said...

2:49

I rike slutty temp. If your slutty stank fills the unventilated basement like lotus flower, I'll take my associate privilige. Don't tell Tom Tampon, he get off on writing about me.

Anonymous said...

Are you one of those contract attorneys that has been blacklisted from most staffing agencies for being a "free-thinker"?

No, I'm one of those BigLaw attorneys who went to schools that taught me both to read and the basic elements of economics. Thus, I am lucky enough to have the intellectual capacity to recognize the "bailout" for what it is. I'm sorry if that hurts your feelings.

Anonymous said...

Wake up Tom. Show some cojones and fight back against this bailout! People are dying in Africa and other parts of the world due to preventable diseases such as malaria, TB, AIDS, etc. Yet the US has no money for these people yet it has 700 billion to give to the CEOs and the Wall Street bankers who created this mess. This is an outrage. We work our tails off, pay taxes and then find out the taxes are going to bilionaires. What the fuck?!

Anonymous said...

"No, I'm one of those BigLaw attorneys who went to schools that taught me both to read and the basic elements of economics. Thus, I am lucky enough to have the intellectual capacity to recognize the "bailout" for what it is. I'm sorry if that hurts your feelings."

I'm an attorney - I don't have feelings.

Basic elements of economics that dictate that if our financial institutions fail, so will our entire economy?

If you are BigLaw you should be heralding these "bailouts" for what they are, a means to a paycheck, as your clients are the ones that will be the ones who are taking the taxpayers' dollars, thus keeping you and your ilk afloat.

Anonymous said...

Basic elements of economics that dictate that if our financial institutions fail, so will our entire economy?

No, basic elements that dictate that none of the current bailout proposals can or will do anything to prevent the failure of our financial institutions, and thus the current bailout proposals consist of nothing more than throwing good money after bad.

If you are BigLaw you should be heralding these "bailouts" for what they are, a means to a paycheck, as your clients are the ones that will be the ones who are taking the taxpayers' dollars, thus keeping you and your ilk afloat.

And that cetainly is good for me in the short-term--I'm busier than ever, and was just alerted by the main partner I work for this morning that I should anticipate being even busier soon.

However, in the long-term, I recognize that even high billables and a substantial bonus won't do me a lot of good if our entire economy collapses, which it is.

Anonymous said...

Hey, I have had a hard time picking up contract work (been out for 2 weeks now), should i file an unemployment claim? will i be "blacklisted" if i do?

Anonymous said...

I would think if you file the claim, your former agency would have more incentive to secure you more temp work.

Anonymous said...

I've filed for unemployment 3 times now with one of the bigger agencies and have never been blacklisted.

Anonymous said...

There are serious fines that can be meted out for a company that retaliates against someone who files for unemployment. Given the relatively small size of the insurance contributions the company has to make, running the risk of getting socked by a huge fine doesn't make a lot of sense. Of course, as we can see all too plainly right now, sometimes big companies make unwise decisions.

Anonymous said...

try doing that at Kelly. see what happens

Anonymous said...

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2008/09/what-is-the-net.html

Anonymous said...

http://www.stopthehousingbailout.com/

Stop the bailout!

Anonymous said...

More jobs going to Mumbai.

http://abovethelaw.com/2008/09/while_wall_street_collapses_mu.php

Anonymous said...

The DeNovo Ho want to love Luong Dong long time!

Anonymous said...

1:05. annonymous.
Well, well, well, old news, however, appropriate news.
BLAME GAME L101
The Am Law Litigation Daily October 1, 2008 reads
Backdating Options Case Against Former McAfee General Counsel Goes to Jury
As The Recorder noted a couple weeks ago, Cooley Godward Kronish partner Stephen Neal took a dim view of Howrey's explanation for why McAfee failed to turn over two relevant e-mails critical to the defense of its former general counsel, Kent Roberts, until the eve of Roberts's trial. Howrey, which performed an internal investigation into backdating at the company, blamed it on contract lawyers. Neal, who represents Roberts in the government's case, said it was part of the company's strategy to blame the scandal on his client. He called it one of the "most irresponsible searches in history."
Neal made sure the jury knew about McAfee's late production of documents. The Recorder reports that instead of calling any witnesses in Roberts's defense, Neal simply read aloud a statement informing jurors of the discovery screw-up, which was the first time the jury had heard the story. Neal reminded them again of it during his closing argument yesterday, pleading with the jury to guard against "a system that hasn't worked the way it was supposed to work."
In her closing and rebuttal, prosecutor Laurel Beeler said that Roberts should have known the rules at the company. She argued that Roberts changed the dates of options without the board's approval.
Jury deliberations are expected to start today.
http://amlawdaily.typepad.com/amlawdaily/2008/10/the-am-law-liti.html