Tuesday, November 25, 2008

$500 an hour!



The WSJ reported earlier this week that certain plaintiffs' firms have been billing us out at over $500 an hour! And they say they can't afford to kick us over a measly health insurance contribution, or they can't find the funds necessary to house us in a halfway decent working environment. Pathetic.

"After a big class-action settlement, how much should a plaintiffs’ firm be allowed to recover for its use of temporary lawyers? As much as $100 per hour? $200 per hour? More?

The issue recently came up in a class-action settlement involving a $750 million settlement with Xerox and its former auditor, KPMG. According to the story, from Forbes.com, a fee request pending in a Connecticut district court suggests that the lawyers who negotiated the deal want to take home roughly $83 million in fees for the temp lawyers, who only cost the firm an estimated $11 million in the first place. The $83 million sum reportedly represents more than half of the $150 million the lawyers want to take home for their trouble.

According to the story, Stephen Vasil, a Yale Law School graduate, and Andrew Gilman, a New York University law grad, were hired through a temp agency to work on the Xerox case. Vasil says they often performed work that didn’t exactly require their pricey law degrees, including reviewing electronic documents to identify their author and destination. Vasil was paid $35 an hour, Gilman, $40. Yet the law firms in the case are asking for roughly $500 an hour for their services.

'We joked we could hire a bunch of 10-year-olds to do it for us,' says Vasil, 34."


http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2008/11/24/in-xerox-class-action-fees-for-temp-lawyers-take-center-stage/

29 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mr. Vasil and Mr. Gilman are probably blacklisted now by every agency after this article. I'm not surprised about the billing issue. No wonder why the Indians are getting all the work. The associates at the firms aren't even worth 1/3 of the $500.00.

Regardless, there hasn't been a real English speaking document review posted in about a month.

Anonymous said...

Scott Krowitz and Lex wouldn't hire them anyway because they only use women and minorities.

WHITE MEN NEED NOT APPLY

Anonymous said...

Can someone please send a link to this blog to the judge in this case. Why do these shit plaintiffs firms deserve $450 an hour? What the hell did they do to earn that outrageous sum of money? There is certainly no law firm supervision on any of these reviews. Usually, you are shipped off to some remote location and supervised by some clueless 24 year old 1st year associate.

The worst part of this whole thing is that the scum shyster convicted criminal Mel Weiss who is sitting behind bars will be entitled to some of this money.

Anonymous said...

Lex hires white men. Downtown DeNovo doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Scott Krowitz is the plantation master.

Anonymous said...

This Mr. Vasil and Mr. Gilman are being put right on the blacklist. They will NEVER work in this town again. The squeaky wheels do not get the temp lovin'. Let this serve as an example to the rest of you. Put your heads down and get back to clickin!

Anonymous said...

What about us Americans? All of the projects being advertised are for foreign LLM's who speak other languages. These businesses are billing clients in America, but American licensed attorneys need not apply.

Anonymous said...

The market sux at the moment -- that's why you're not seeing the ads. The foreign language (except for Spanish) are hard to fill since most people can't pass the test. If they can't find a licensed attorney that can pass the test, they move down the list to foreign LLMs.

The reason is that foreign lanuage speakers who are licensened (along with EE and BS CSCI degrees) can find jobs in the private sector and would rather be doing that then temping. Instead of starting at 45-50K, they start at around 80K, so it's easier to get the first year's experience. Heck, a decent interpreter can do well down at the local court houses, so why would they be temping? So they can work like 30 hours more per week to make a few extra K in take home and not gain any valid experience?

Give it six months or so, and it will probably improve. Everybody's hurting at the moment, just be glad you're not working for an investment bank or were laid off by a large firm and have an expensive mortgage.

Besides, you should be making an escape plan, and not planning on temping for the next 10+ years. Now is the time to do it, because temping really sucks at the moment. Try and do some pro-bono stuff to get some experience if you're sitting around doing nothing.

Anonymous said...

Don't give it 6 months. These bastards moved all the work to India when we needed it the most. It is NEVER coming back. Get out of this bottom feeding "profession" as soon as you can. Study to become a plumber, electrician, or truck driver. You will be glad that you did.

Anonymous said...

Hardly.

Check out the NYSBA opinion (not the ABA). Any large scale outsoureing won't last.

The slow down is due to economic factors. Look at the evidence: Layoffs at big firms, lack of posting for temp work, and layoffs in other industires. Don't you think that it might be affecting the legal temp industry in NYC? I mean don't you think that S&C might try and give work to associates before farming it out to temps?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to burst your bubble, but you Touro temps don't get billed out at $500hr. That's the rate for certain REAL associates, not rent-an-unemployable-temp-tool rate.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they were temps. Read the article, Einstein.

Anonymous said...

Litigation is countercylical.

Anonymous said...

For all the uninformed - a read receipt of a new version of my resume
sent to a new york agency that I recently signed up with:

Your message was read on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 1:15:42 AM (GMT+05:30) Chennai, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi.

Anonymous said...

3:00 above-- which NY agency, please?

Trollop said...

3:00

I'm sure they felt priviliged to read your resume in India.

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving, especially to all the bastards that exported out jobs.

Thanks to Tom the Temp for "exposing" our working conditions and shaming the firms into shipping the work abroad.

Maybe you have work at least, no one else does. Only the unlicensed Indian attorney can get paid to click now.

Anonymous said...

It's the economy, you morons. If you haven't noticed, people are losing their jobs in every industry sector. Why do you clickers who are being billed out at outrageous sums think that you are somehow immune?

Anonymous said...

Happy Thanksgiving. They don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Mumbai, but are thankful for our jobs. We have all done a good deed to help the Indian economy.

Anonymous said...

This is why all the job postings are now for only foreign language reviews...Korean, Dutch, Italian, German, Mandarin.... The fucking Indians only speak hindu and English. Those reviews can't be outsourced to India, so they remain here.

Bottom line is if you went to law school, passed the bar and speak English you have NO JOB.

Anonymous said...

Here is the result of charging $500 an hour...the job goes to Mumbai.

This article will scare anyone who reads it...unless you are a tradesman.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122731139358049315.html

Anonymous said...

The read receipt was Clutch

Anonymous said...

12:23 I agree 100%

10:33 No it's not. If so, why would the big firms be laying off associates at big firms and cutting bonuses!?!?

Look, it costs money to hire and train people. Plus, in a better economy the firms are competing over new associates because the positions are hard to fill. So, in a recession, they give work to associates before hiring a bunch of temps. I'm sure at S&C (or any big firm) at the moment, you've got a bunch of associates doing doc. coding (that the temps used to do) for 60 hours a week and sweating their jobs.

The guys that went to the good schools and had the good grades are sitting around looking for a job (with a huge mortgage to boot) or they're working 70 hour work weeks with no bonus in site.

Give it 6 months, things will get back to normal. The subprime stuff is heading to the discovery phase, and the problems with the market will kick off large scale security actions. It just takes time to work it's way down to discovery.

Take a vaction or something. Go somewhere cheap for 6 months and learn a language or something.

Anonymous said...

"As the economic crisis deepens in the U.S., some lawyers are making out well -- in India.

At the Mumbai subsidiary of outsourcer Pangea3 LLC, rows of Indian lawyers at new computers pore over contracts, covenants and other financial documents. They're working for Wall Street banks fighting lawsuits filed in the U.S. by homeowners, investors and shareholders after the subprime-mortgage crunch."

That is where your jobs are, you sheep.

Anonymous said...

Well Pangea may be an appropriate if we consider that in millions plus years we will be a super continent again so overseas terminology will be moot...be patient

Anonymous said...

The real question - which none of you have yet asked - is why on earth would a YLS graduate be temping in the first place (I can understand about the lowly NYU grad ;))? With YLS on your resume you could go get a federal clerkship tomorrow. There must be something more to this story. Maybe they were plants from the defense firms?

Anonymous said...

Okay, I went to a law school ranked nowhere near as high as NYU or Yale, graduated in the middle of the class, passed the bar only a year earlier than Mr. Milman and two years earlier than Mr. Vasil, and I'm close to their ages as well. Yet - I have a decent enough job as a lawyer with full health benefits, they reimburse my bar dues and continuing education expenses as well as send me to a couple conferences a year. I'm not in BigLaw but I'm not in Toilet Law (largely insurance and debt collection it seems) either, and I'm relatively happy with my position. Money could always be better and I might even make more as a temp attorney if I chose not to sleep during the week, but it makes no sense to me that graduates of YALE and NYU are temping! What the @#$%^&*! ???

Phaser Ink said...

Hmmm.. I most definitely read a couple of articles about this topic and it brings me back down memory lane :)
The question that I ask myself is what caused something like this to happen or be written??

Anonymous said...

According to documents filed in the case, they worked from home. Apparantly, that's the thing about securities class actions which are governed by the PSLRA... document review is a whole different animal. Check out this site: http://www.securitiesclassactionreport.blogspot.com