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Henry Ford

The Lawyer Thread Where We Stop Ruining Other Threads

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Gonna brag a bit here.  I teamed up with the ACLU and scored a huge win in my jurisdiction for indigent defendants on a particular pre-trial release issue. :pickle: 

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At a board meeting last night for a non-profit, board prez asked me to send a cease and exist letter.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Zow said:

Gonna brag a bit here.  I teamed up with the ACLU and scored a huge win in my jurisdiction for indigent defendants on a particular pre-trial release issue. :pickle: 

My big win for the day was getting a county clerk to understand that the search function for the court's website has been down since November.

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This profession is incredibly stressful and maddening sometimes. There are weeks I feel way overpaid. And there are weeks like this one where I think I should walk to another firm and make double given the wear and tear on my psyche. 

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20 minutes ago, Otis said:

This profession is incredibly stressful and maddening sometimes. There are weeks I feel way overpaid. And there are weeks like this one where I think I should walk to another firm and make double given the wear and tear on my psyche. 

My wife and I are literally in the middle of a conversation about what it would look like if I stopped practicing. Not because woe is me. But because the stress has been bad lately. I was just in Florida for a week and basically stayed half drunk the whole time to drown out the noise.

And this is at the same time I just doubled the firm size and footprint.  When I truly help someone who needs help and all those stars align, it's a drug I cant kick..... but it's harder and harder to get that high.

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12 minutes ago, Yankee23Fan said:

My wife and I are literally in the middle of a conversation about what it would look like if I stopped practicing. Not because woe is me. But because the stress has been bad lately. I was just in Florida for a week and basically stayed half drunk the whole time to drown out the noise.

And this is at the same time I just doubled the firm size and footprint.  When I truly help someone who needs help and all those stars align, it's a drug I cant kick..... but it's harder and harder to get that high.

For me, as a partner in BigLaw, it's not even a fun geek-out problem solving/find the smoking gun/come up with a great strategy to win the case job anymore.  That part is more or less gone.  Now it's basically a sales and management position.  The sales part is the only way I get a real "high" lately it seems, hauling in a big new case or client.  The management part is just constant BS and headaches, dealing with HR issues, etc.

I'm basically just in sales now.  :shrug:

 

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2 hours ago, Yankee23Fan said:

My wife and I are literally in the middle of a conversation about what it would look like if I stopped practicing. Not because woe is me. But because the stress has been bad lately. I was just in Florida for a week and basically stayed half drunk the whole time to drown out the noise.

And this is at the same time I just doubled the firm size and footprint.  When I truly help someone who needs help and all those stars align, it's a drug I cant kick..... but it's harder and harder to get that high.

Monday or Tuesday evening of this past week I was on a scheduled phone conference with my child psychology expert preparing for a case.  It was about 10 PM and my wife got home earlier than expected from having dinner with some of her friends. Because I had assumed I'd be done before she got home I was working in our open living area with my work spread out a bit and the phone on speaker.  I shoot my wife a client look which she presumably reads as, "you don't want to hear this" because she wants to make herself a water and a tea before going into our bedroom.  So, she gets to overhear several minutes of me discussing the forensic interview of a six year old child and the facts surrounding such whereby my client is alleged to have done something you'd expect to hear on Law and Order: SVU.

The next night I'm reviewing some audio recordings of some ugly phone calls between two parties going through a custody case.  My wife comes into the room and accidentally overhears some of that as well.  I shut it off when I realize she's there. My wife then asks me if this is stuff I deal with on a daily basis.  I explain that it is and it's part of the job.  She then takes a breath and explains that she's noticed, along with our extended family, that my stress and patience, which used to be at really good levels, has significantly decreased the last few years.  She says she gets why I come home so stressed and wound up -- and is sympathetic in realizing that home is the rare instance where I don't have to keep up the professional guard -- but that she's worried about me and asked me to consider counseling. 

She's probably not wrong. But my first thought upon hearing the suggestion was, "there's no way I have time for that." 

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2 hours ago, Otis said:

For me, as a partner in BigLaw, it's not even a fun geek-out problem solving/find the smoking gun/come up with a great strategy to win the case job anymore.  That part is more or less gone.  Now it's basically a sales and management position.  The sales part is the only way I get a real "high" lately it seems, hauling in a big new case or client.  The management part is just constant BS and headaches, dealing with HR issues, etc.

I'm basically just in sales now.  :shrug:

 

Yeah, this is exactly why I’m a plaintiff’s lawyer.  

If moving up means basically going back to waiting tables but for lots of money, I’d prefer to do the “less respect but keep trying cases and still have the chance to make big money” route. 

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10 minutes ago, Zow said:

Monday or Tuesday evening of this past week I was on a scheduled phone conference with my child psychology expert preparing for a case.  It was about 10 PM and my wife got home earlier than expected from having dinner with some of her friends. Because I had assumed I'd be done before she got home I was working in our open living area with my work spread out a bit and the phone on speaker.  I shoot my wife a client look which she presumably reads as, "you don't want to hear this" because she wants to make herself a water and a tea before going into our bedroom.  So, she gets to overhear several minutes of me discussing the forensic interview of a six year old child and the facts surrounding such whereby my client is alleged to have done something you'd expect to hear on Law and Order: SVU.

The next night I'm reviewing some audio recordings of some ugly phone calls between two parties going through a custody case.  My wife comes into the room and accidentally overhears some of that as well.  I shut it off when I realize she's there. My wife then asks me if this is stuff I deal with on a daily basis.  I explain that it is and it's part of the job.  She then takes a breath and explains that she's noticed, along with our extended family, that my stress and patience, which used to be at really good levels, has significantly decreased the last few years.  She says she gets why I come home so stressed and wound up -- and is sympathetic in realizing that home is the rare instance where I don't have to keep up the professional guard -- but that she's worried about me and asked me to consider counseling. 

She's probably not wrong. But my first thought upon hearing the suggestion was, "there's no way I have time for that." 

Make time.  

It’s worth it. 

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@Zow

You’re a dream client.  You don’t have mental illness, you just need someone you can talk to so you don’t end up severely mentally ill.  It’s a flu shot for your brain.  You don’t even need a good therapist, just a confidential one who will listen.

If your wife and rest of your family are starting to notice, it’s time.  If you can’t talk to your wife about your cases it is absolutely time.  

I’ve lost too many good friends who are great lawyers to “I don’t have time to save myself.”  Do it. 

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30 minutes ago, Zow said:

Monday or Tuesday evening of this past week I was on a scheduled phone conference with my child psychology expert preparing for a case.  It was about 10 PM and my wife got home earlier than expected from having dinner with some of her friends. Because I had assumed I'd be done before she got home I was working in our open living area with my work spread out a bit and the phone on speaker.  I shoot my wife a client look which she presumably reads as, "you don't want to hear this" because she wants to make herself a water and a tea before going into our bedroom.  So, she gets to overhear several minutes of me discussing the forensic interview of a six year old child and the facts surrounding such whereby my client is alleged to have done something you'd expect to hear on Law and Order: SVU.

The next night I'm reviewing some audio recordings of some ugly phone calls between two parties going through a custody case.  My wife comes into the room and accidentally overhears some of that as well.  I shut it off when I realize she's there. My wife then asks me if this is stuff I deal with on a daily basis.  I explain that it is and it's part of the job.  She then takes a breath and explains that she's noticed, along with our extended family, that my stress and patience, which used to be at really good levels, has significantly decreased the last few years.  She says she gets why I come home so stressed and wound up -- and is sympathetic in realizing that home is the rare instance where I don't have to keep up the professional guard -- but that she's worried about me and asked me to consider counseling. 

She's probably not wrong. But my first thought upon hearing the suggestion was, "there's no way I have time for that." 

I hear you. I go to counseling (at church so it's for more than just this). I've been told to stop practicing.

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3 minutes ago, Yankee23Fan said:

I hear you. I go to counseling (at church so it's for more than just this). I've been told to stop practicing.

Me too.  Not at a church, obviously.  My guy tells me I should stop practicing.  I usually tell him “not until I get it right.”

Once I just asked him, after hearing my stories about my clients and other lawyers, if it was his niece would he rather she gets me or one of the other lawyers who does these cases?

He’s not wrong, though. 

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26 minutes ago, Henry Ford said:

@Zow

You’re a dream client.  You don’t have mental illness, you just need someone you can talk to so you don’t end up severely mentally ill.  It’s a flu shot for your brain.  You don’t even need a good therapist, just a confidential one who will listen.

If your wife and rest of your family are starting to notice, it’s time.  If you can’t talk to your wife about your cases it is absolutely time.  

I’ve lost too many good friends who are great lawyers to “I don’t have time to save myself.”  Do it. 

yeah, too many end up turning to booze and drugs as a substitute to mental health.   I drink and do therapy.

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One of my best friends (groomsman in my wedding) quit his biglaw job ~2 years in after the mental health aspects got so poor that he had to take unpaid medical leave for 2 months to get it right, from both a sleep study and stress/well-being perspective. It was absolutely brutal. The entire preceding 6 months was me doing my best to A) not tell him how to live his life and B) show/convince him that it doesn't matter how many hours you bill if you die and/or never hang out with your wife and your friends.

 

I get that many of us, in particular those in defense work, feel a huge responsibility. I get that oftentimes there is a lot of money on the line for many. But seriously: the impact on people you care about, and the impact on your ability to perform well for the clients you are able to serve, are DRAMATICALLY altered by your personal health. Literally nothing should be more important than that, both mental and physical.

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On 2/23/2019 at 11:06 AM, Henry Ford said:

@Zow

You’re a dream client.  You don’t have mental illness, you just need someone you can talk to so you don’t end up severely mentally ill.  It’s a flu shot for your brain.  You don’t even need a good therapist, just a confidential one who will listen.

If your wife and rest of your family are starting to notice, it’s time.  If you can’t talk to your wife about your cases it is absolutely time.  

I’ve lost too many good friends who are great lawyers to “I don’t have time to save myself.”  Do it. 

I can and do talk to my wife about my cases.  She's also good about letting me vent about particularly unreasonable client. And that does help. But, for her sake, I don't talk about the really bad ones or the particular things I have to see/address that are truly bad/evil.   

After some of the comments in this thread I told my wife I'd look into a counselor this week.  My wife and I did a few counseling session when our foster son was reunited with his biological mother after two years.  Unfortunately he's moved away.  I intend to keep looking but, well, it's 10:00 PM, I'm still working, and I'm in trial the next three days. 

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20 minutes ago, Zow said:

I can and do talk to my wife about my cases.  She's also good about letting me vent about particularly unreasonable client. And that does help. But, for her sake, I don't talk about the really bad ones or the particular things I have to see/address that are truly bad/evil.   

After some of the comments in this thread I told my wife I'd look into a counselor this week.  My wife and I did a few counseling session when our foster son was reunited with his biological mother after two years.  Unfortunately he's moved away.  I intend to keep looking but, well, it's 10:00 PM, I'm still working, and I'm in trial the next three days. 

You don’t have to get it done today. Well begun is half done. Good work starting. 

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6 hours ago, Zow said:

I can and do talk to my wife about my cases.  She's also good about letting me vent about particularly unreasonable client. And that does help. But, for her sake, I don't talk about the really bad ones or the particular things I have to see/address that are truly bad/evil.   

After some of the comments in this thread I told my wife I'd look into a counselor this week.  My wife and I did a few counseling session when our foster son was reunited with his biological mother after two years.  Unfortunately he's moved away.  I intend to keep looking but, well, it's 10:00 PM, I'm still working, and I'm in trial the next three days. 

Good luck GB.  Take care of yourself.

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Yeah the mental health thing..... so true.   I'm actually planning my exit in the next few years.

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2 hours ago, CletiusMaximus said:

Helpful tip of the day:

When appealing an adverse ruling by a female judge, it is best to avoid referring to her ruling as "succubistic" in your notice of appeal.

https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/G054840.PDF

 

 

I don't even understand how doing that enters your mind.

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4 hours ago, Henry Ford said:

I don't even understand how doing that enters your mind.

I was once sanctioned for gender bias for pointing out that an attorney's claimed reason for a trial continuance (maternity leave) that was filed well after the deadline was simply a delaying tactic since she had (1) announced her pregnancy on the record during a deposition months earlier, and therefore clearly knew before the deadline to ask for a continuance that she would be unable to try the case as scheduled and (2) she was not going to be trial counsel in any case, as her firm was engaging in an intentional strategy of wasting the primary policy limits and then withdrawing in favor of the umbrella insurer.   

The judge ignored the facts that I presented and instead admonished me in open court and sanctioned me. 

Shortly thereafter, we settled with the defendant and took an assignment of bad faith rights against the umbrella insurer, which included a complete copy of the defense counsel's file, including the emails with the umbrella carrier's counsel laying out the strategy of wasting the policy limits, withdrawing and delaying the trial.

First time I got a written letter of apology from a judge.   I silver bullet her for bias every time I get assigned to her courtroom.

Had this turned out differently, I can imagine some colorful language I would have liked to use in the appellate brief.

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5 hours ago, Henry Ford said:

I don't even understand how doing that enters your mind.

Here's the full sentence from his notice of appeal:  "The ruling’s succubustic adoption of the defense position, and resulting validation of the defendant’s pseudohermaphroditic misconduct, prompt one to entertain reverse peristalsis unto its four corners."  I don't want to make light of mental health issues in our profession, which is a very real concern, but this is one lawyer who needs to consider taking a break.

 

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5 hours ago, CletiusMaximus said:

Here's the full sentence from his notice of appeal:  "The ruling’s succubustic adoption of the defense position, and resulting validation of the defendant’s pseudohermaphroditic misconduct, prompt one to entertain reverse peristalsis unto its four corners."  I don't want to make light of mental health issues in our profession, which is a very real concern, but this is one lawyer who needs to consider taking a break.

 

I think I read that the lawyer signed it, but it was written by the litigant.

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13 hours ago, CletiusMaximus said:

Helpful tip of the day:

When appealing an adverse ruling by a female judge, it is best to avoid referring to her ruling as "succubistic" in your notice of appeal.

https://www.courts.ca.gov/opinions/documents/G054840.PDF

 

In fairness, though, it refers to the ruling as succubistic.  Not the judge.  Sign me up for the appeal.

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45 minutes ago, Ramsay Hunt Experience said:

In fairness, though, it refers to the ruling as succubistic.  Not the judge.  Sign me up for the appeal.

“Your honor, it’s just a Men’s Rights Activist term for an idea that demonstrates women’s belief that all men exist to be manipulated for their benefit.  Nothing sexist about it at all.”

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Coming to this thread for advice for reasons that will become apparent.  I recently received a pretty good compliment from an opposing counsel: his firm is courting me to come join them.  I had a recent, very ugly divorce trial filled with the myriad of issues, positions, and unreasonableness that drives most family law practitioners to drink.  Trial was a full two days and by the end of it I'm sure the judge just wanted to stick the parties on a deserted island together for eternity.  But, contrary to a lot of these cases, opposing counsel and, perhaps to a lesser extent, myself kept the trial about as civil as possible.  Frankly, I thought I dipped my toe into the ugliness and did not walk away thinking I litigated my best but a week or so after the trial the opposing counsel (who apparently is a partner at his firm) asks me to call him back on a "personal matter" and, when I do, he tells me he was impressed with my professionalism in the courtroom, that his firm has done some research on me, and that he/they want(s) me to consider joining his firm as a higher end family law and criminal defense trial lawyer with a fast track to partnership. 

I'm presently a partner at one of the more prominent firms in a more rural county of my state.  I make very good money for more my area (albeit I work very hard for it) and I have a very strong reputation in the relatively small legal community here.  While my name isn't on the office door I basically enjoy all the freedoms of it being there without the stress that I'm super responsible for administrative issues.  Essentially, I'm left alone to work and I can come and go, take whatever case I choose, charge what I deem appropriate, etc. As such, while I'm working at an unsustainable rate and getting a touch burned out, I've done so at my choosing and I believe my firm would have my back if I let my numbers dip a bit.  I had planned to run for judge in a few years here and believe I'd have a very good chance of winning the election and, should a judge retire mid-term, my name would be a viable one for selection by the governor to fill that spot and my ends of retaining that position would be high.  Recently, however, my paralegal retired and I'm struggling to find a replacement which is putting me in a position where I need to slow down.  I do have some concerns about the long-term sustainability of the firm and I do not have a desire to open my own practice. Nonetheless I remain very loyal and genuinely enjoy my co-workers.  I've been there 6.5 years now and have been practicing for 10.5.  

The firm that reached out is the most prominent firm in either what can objectively be described as the most desired city or one of the most desired cities in my state.  It strangely really reminds me (based and what I have gathered from research and talking to attorneys I know in that jurisdiction) a lot of HHM from Better Call Saul in terms of size, reputation, and environment . When I told my wife about the invitation to check out the firm as an option she immediately became excited about the prospect of living in that area and is very in favor of exploring the opportunity. I cannot deny that while the cost of living is a bit higher there the quality of life and, more importantly, the educational options for my kids are much stronger there. So, while it felt like I was cheating on a girlfriend, I called the attorney back and expressed an interest.  After a few discussions we've settled on a date later this month to do a "meet and greet" (as the attorney called it) and they've offered to put my wife and I up in a hotel, take us to lunch and dinner, and show us around. At this point there hasn't been any specific discussions about numbers but the attorney made a comment which I inferred suggested a ballpark number close to what I'm making now with the opportunity to make even more in a couple of years. 

I'm posting because I haven't really done a job interview since law school (I'm not even sure if the purported day-long "meet and greet" counts as one) and I'm sitting here at home somewhat stunned and daunted at the notion of changing firms and moving about 3 hours away from my current home.  After my first job I've gotten my other offers super informally from people who routinely saw me in court. Hell, I got my job offer to work at my current firm after several bottles of wine amongst the partners and my wife and me. So, looking for some insight on a few things: 

1. Is it worthwhile putting together some sort of resume or, alternatively, like some sort of cover sheet/letter with brief descriptions of the areas of law I have practiced, some statistics about the numbers of trials I've done in each area, and reference to some of the more notable trials I've won? In addition should I provide my fee numbers and pay from the last couple of years? The firm hasn't asked for such and I don't know if that's overdoing it but, saying this as humbly as I can, I'm thinking they may be underestimating my experience and success -- particularly in the area of criminal defense. 

2. In the past I've always taken new jobs because the pay increase was obvious/substantial.  I am assuming this would be a lateral move (if they can provide me the opportunity to make more than I do now I'll be very surprised) with a possibility to earn more than my current position. For those of you who have made lateral moves what specifically caused you to make the move? How heavily did you weigh the impact on your personal life versus professional? In other words, how much value would you place working in a jurisdiction where you have a very favorable and positive reputation versus going to a different jurisdiction where judges and opposing counsel probably wouldn't know you? 

3. As I've expressed some in the past few months, my current hours and stressful cases have taken their toll on me.  My plan was to run for judge in a couple of years as I think I could serve well and it'd be some stress relief to be back on straight salary without feeling anxious every minute I'm not billing/working.  This obviously changes that drastically as this prospective firm probably offers significant stability but they would expect me to be there indefinitely and I would expect the same if I made the move. I imagine my hours (which currently hover around 60-65 per week) probably wouldn't change much. In all honesty I'm getting tired but I don't know if that's simply the hours or if it's the current monotony of my position and recent decrease in morale at my current firm. I genuinely don't know how to process this. I do really like the idea that this move is probably better for m kids in the long run since the educational and cultural opportunities for them are so much better than the current city we live in. 

My head is spinning a bit right now and I cannot help but feel guilty that I am considering leaving my firm because I consider the people there nearly a second family.  My wife and kids are away for the weekend and I'm exhausted but I need to express to somebody or some entity -- since my wife and I have decided to not tell friends or family -- my thoughts and concerns on this opportunity. 

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I have no frame of reference for that save one.

Pick whatever helps you truly be a good father and husband. Not just more money, truly a good father and husband.

That's all that matters. We bleed too much for this job and forget what matters most in the process. For all the lawyer jokes we face, most of them earned, very few see what this job does to us. Its rarely worth it.

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11 hours ago, Zow said:

 

1. Is it worthwhile putting together some sort of resume or, alternatively, like some sort of cover sheet/letter with brief descriptions of the areas of law I have practiced, some statistics about the numbers of trials I've done in each area, and reference to some of the more notable trials I've won? In addition should I provide my fee numbers and pay from the last couple of years? The firm hasn't asked for such and I don't know if that's overdoing it but, saying this as humbly as I can, I'm thinking they may be underestimating my experience and success -- particularly in the area of criminal defense. 

Not sure I could be much help on the rest, but yes to the resume and some sort of bulletpoint list of the other items you’ve described.  Offer to send it to the guy in advance.  No on fee numbers and pay.

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22 minutes ago, krista4 said:

Not sure I could be much help on the rest, but yes to the resume and some sort of bulletpoint list of the other items you’ve described.  Offer to send it to the guy in advance.  No on fee numbers and pay.

Thanks!

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3 hours ago, krista4 said:

Not sure I could be much help on the rest, but yes to the resume and some sort of bulletpoint list of the other items you’ve described.  Offer to send it to the guy in advance.  No on fee numbers and pay.

Agreed, and I'd also do a business plan if partnership at the new firm is your goal.  A business plan is a must for anyone at partnership level.  What practice do you have to bring over?  How do you source clients?  What contacts do you have?  Organizations?  Speaking engagements?  Profile in the industry?

And it should be an actionable business plan. Not like "attract more business" but rather "attend 2019 Crimlaw studs event and speak on third panel"

And also no way I'm going from partner to non-partner at a bigger firm in a more expensive place without a meaningful raise.

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1 hour ago, Sinn Fein said:

This probably deserves its own thread - but MillerCoors, LLC is suing Anheuser-Busch - over the corn syrup Super Bowl ad

 

:lol:

I guess the ad must have worked...

AB's chief of marketing needs to learn from the Pot Brothers.   If he hadn't admitted in an interview that he was purposely trying to confuse and mislead the public, there wouldn't be a case.   

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What’s a good gift for a Lawyer that just handled a case involving your daughter and gave the friends and family discount from someone on a tight budget?

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5 minutes ago, trogg78 said:

What’s a good gift for a Lawyer that just handled a case involving your daughter and gave the friends and family discount from someone on a tight budget?

Nice bottle of wine, scotch or bourbon.

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5 minutes ago, -fish- said:

Nice bottle of wine, scotch or bourbon.

Yup.

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@Woz From what you've said, this isn't really an "interview" situation but a true meet and greet.  Your interview was in the courtroom.  You're at a level now where you don't really interview.  It would be good to have a CV ready, but my bet is that this is just a matter of (1) can you agree on compensation and (2) do you fit in with their culture.

Not sure I can tell you much on the lateral move.  I recently switched from partner to of counsel/business owner, but it was leveraged on my local contacts.  I would let new firm know that you would be losing 10 years of becoming a known and valued commodity where you are now (which is HUGE), so for it to make sense for you to come over, they'd need to assist with that loss, either monetarily, via feeding you some cases, or both.

gll gb

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Posted (edited)
On 3/22/2019 at 9:03 AM, Thorn said:

@Woz From what you've said, this isn't really an "interview" situation but a true meet and greet.  Your interview was in the courtroom.  You're at a level now where you don't really interview.  It would be good to have a CV ready, but my bet is that this is just a matter of (1) can you agree on compensation and (2) do you fit in with their culture.

Not sure I can tell you much on the lateral move.  I recently switched from partner to of counsel/business owner, but it was leveraged on my local contacts.  I would let new firm know that you would be losing 10 years of becoming a known and valued commodity where you are now (which is HUGE), so for it to make sense for you to come over, they'd need to assist with that loss, either monetarily, via feeding you some cases, or both.

gll gb

Thanks.  Your thoughts are on plane with mine. My discussions with my wife have been solely based around compensation.  My wife really wants to move to this area (I can't say I blame her, it's one of the best areas to live in AZ and the cultural and educational improvements - along with not being on the surface of the sun - make it very appealing).  I'm trying to decide how to balance this against the current good will that I've developed in my current immediate jurisdiction. Because I've developed a good reputation there I do not have to worry about whether my next client will hire me (I've had to turn people away regularly now for two years) and, in my criminal practice, it's not a secret that the prosecutor's office is more willing to settle my cases more favorably and more quickly.  Also, since I've been in front of all the judges in my jurisdiction plenty and my reputation there is good too, the judges will give me the benefit of the doubt and some reasonable deference. These are big things that make an otherwise stressful practice easier. And they are positives about remaining with my current firm in my jurisdiction.  

I should note, because I don't think I did earlier, that my family law paralegal retired a month ago and, probably due to my area, I/my office have/has not been able to replace her.  She intentionally timed her retirement well because I have a surprisingly light March and early April (actually taking my first full week off in years) but come mid-April it's going to be near if not full crisis mode if I haven't been able to replace her with somebody competent. Further, while I cannot complain at all about my compensation with my current firm, I believe I have probably hit the financial ceiling of what I can make here. I think I could maybe squeeze out something like 10% more if we continue to grow (we now have several associates and they do both directly and indirectly help me make more) by increasing my rates on my criminal cases and being even more selective in family law but I also know that I cannot continue to work at the pace I did in 2017 and 2018 for much longer without the stress and long hours having too much of a negative impact on my personal life.  I do worry that long-term damage could be done to my health, my marriage, and my happiness. Finally, I should note that while I really do like the other two partners at my firm and I really appreciate the autonomy they let me have within my areas of practice they are a married couple.  As such, I have basically no real power and me being a "partner" is really just a hollow title/ego stroke in reality. I really don't mind this arrangement but just wanted to more aptly describe it. 

I did have a recent phone conversation with the partner at the firm I'm meeting with (the guy I referenced as my opposing counsel earlier) and he made a comment that I found promising. While we haven't talked about numbers he did say something along the lines of, "plenty of attorneys in our areas of practice can do a good job and make X pretty easily and be happy with that, but I believe at [insert name of firm] we are really set up in a way that, with good work ethic and hustle, somebody can make x + y."  X + y would be about a 20% increase from what I made this past year which would put me at exactly where I'd want to be (and it would make up the difference in the increased cost of living in the new area). So, I guess the discussion for the meeting, when it turns to numbers, is what's the path to getting to that number and how long would it take (recognizing some of that is on me). This is caused me to be cautiously optimistic.  The firm's hospitality (putting us up in the hotel, lunch and dinner are taken care off, and they set my wife up with appointments with a realtor, somebody from the schools, etc.) is all got me feeling pretty good. And, to your point, the attorney said that while I should send a resume/CV the day really is exactly about meeting the partners at the firm and seeing if it's a personality match. I do like Otis's and Krista's suggestions above about sending something detailing more my experience in certain areas of law so I want to take that up to. 

Edited by Zow
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So a more “prestigious” firm locally, but not a national firm.

A lateral move for pay (is this salary?), but if you work at least as hard as now, maybe a 20% bump?

A backwards move from partner to associate  (so no profit share?).  

A higher cost of living, but better location. 

Will your clients come with you?  Will your relationships matter at the new firm?  No more aspirations of judge then?

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

So a more “prestigious” firm locally, but not a national firm.

A lateral move for pay (is this salary?), but if you work at least as hard as now, maybe a 20% bump?

A backwards move from partner to associate  (so no profit share?).  

A higher cost of living, but better location. 

Will your clients come with you?  Will your relationships matter at the new firm?  No more aspirations of judge then?

1. Correct. 

2. Correct. 

3. Unknown yet.  I can't imagine taking a straight salary position at this point so that would be a deal-breaker for me. 

4.  Correct. But I think the increase in the cost of living is substantially outweighed by the improvement in the education and culture for my kids. It's also an area of AZ that doesn't double for the surface of the sun for 3-4 months every summer like where I currently live. Lastly, and this is a big thing for my wife, we'd be an hour closer to my in-laws and we'd be able to regularly use her family's cabin given that it'd be much closer in proximity to this new area.

5. These are all good questions that I don't have answers to yet.  The firm is still relatively close enough to my jurisdiction to take some cases.  I believe ethically I'd have to give my current clients the options of switching firms. I have three higher profile, week-long jury trials scheduled in the next 3 months as well that'd have to be figured out logistically should I accept a position at this new firm (just the thought of this causes an immediate stressful reaction). Regarding the judge aspirations I think the primary force behind those aspirations is that in my current county I really do believe I'm one of the best candidates.  If I make this move obviously I'd be in the for long haul and would have to shelve those aspirations for at least a decade or so but I don't think that'd be a huge issue for me.

 

As a further update, I was contacted today by the presiding judge of my county and the chief deputy county attorney.  They asked me to apply to be the head county public defender (basically I'd run the public defender's office).  This would be at the office I started out at ten years ago and, frankly, offers me probably the most job satisfaction I could have.  I'd be lying if I didn't say that a part of me really wants to consider this. It'd likely mean less hours, I wouldn't be dealing with my least favorite part of private practice (dealing with clients who don't pay their bills/complain about their bills), and I can't deny that I feel a call to service.  Unfortunately, there are some logistical hurdles (it'd be about a 50 minute commute one way) and very sizable pay cut (although the county offers better benefits than I'm currently getting).  I mentioned this opportunity to my wife whose initial reaction was a no because of the pay cut. But, man, if you had told me ten years ago I'd have had the option to run a public defender's office I'd have been so excited about the opportunity and would call current me crazy for not even exploring it. 

 

On top of all this I still feel some pretty fierce loyalty to my current firm and genuinely haven't been seeking these opportunities out. 

Edited by Zow

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Posted (edited)

I could use some assistance in reading something

Quote

 

(a) For purposes of removals of a child with a disability from the child’s current educational placement under §§300.530 through 300.535, a change of placement occurs if—

(1) The removal is for more than 10 consecutive school days; or

(2) The child has been subjected to a series of removals that constitute a pattern—

(i) Because the series of removals total more than 10 school days in a school year;

(ii) Because the child’s behavior is substantially similar to the child’s behavior in previous incidents that resulted in the series of removals; and

(iii) Because of such additional factors as the length of each removal, the total amount of time the child has been removed, and the proximity of the removals to one another.

 

 

Does that imply that  i,ii, AND iii are needed to show a pattern?

Does that imply that just one of them is enough to show a pattern?

 

Edited by Ilov80s

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2 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

I could use some assistance in reading something

 

Does that imply that  i,ii, AND iii are needed to show a pattern?

Does that imply that just one of them is enough to show a pattern?

 

(i), (ii), and (iii) are linked with an "and", so yes, you need all three to make part (2)

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Posted (edited)
52 minutes ago, Thorn said:

(i), (ii), and (iii) are linked with an "and", so yes, you need all three to make part (2)

Thank you. Having an argument with my boss and I appreciate your answer. 

Edited by Ilov80s

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what is "Federal Safekeeper - Statute 0001.00"???

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9 minutes ago, mr. furley said:

what is "Federal Safekeeper - Statute 0001.00"???

 

It's a Green Bay thing

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Posted (edited)
On 3/26/2019 at 1:50 AM, Zow said:

1. Correct. 

2. Correct. 

3. Unknown yet.  I can't imagine taking a straight salary position at this point so that would be a deal-breaker for me. 

4.  Correct. But I think the increase in the cost of living is substantially outweighed by the improvement in the education and culture for my kids. It's also an area of AZ that doesn't double for the surface of the sun for 3-4 months every summer like where I currently live. Lastly, and this is a big thing for my wife, we'd be an hour closer to my in-laws and we'd be able to regularly use her family's cabin given that it'd be much closer in proximity to this new area.

5. These are all good questions that I don't have answers to yet.  The firm is still relatively close enough to my jurisdiction to take some cases.  I believe ethically I'd have to give my current clients the options of switching firms. I have three higher profile, week-long jury trials scheduled in the next 3 months as well that'd have to be figured out logistically should I accept a position at this new firm (just the thought of this causes an immediate stressful reaction). Regarding the judge aspirations I think the primary force behind those aspirations is that in my current county I really do believe I'm one of the best candidates.  If I make this move obviously I'd be in the for long haul and would have to shelve those aspirations for at least a decade or so but I don't think that'd be a huge issue for me.

 

As a further update, I was contacted today by the presiding judge of my county and the chief deputy county attorney.  They asked me to apply to be the head county public defender (basically I'd run the public defender's office).  This would be at the office I started out at ten years ago and, frankly, offers me probably the most job satisfaction I could have.  I'd be lying if I didn't say that a part of me really wants to consider this. It'd likely mean less hours, I wouldn't be dealing with my least favorite part of private practice (dealing with clients who don't pay their bills/complain about their bills), and I can't deny that I feel a call to service.  Unfortunately, there are some logistical hurdles (it'd be about a 50 minute commute one way) and very sizable pay cut (although the county offers better benefits than I'm currently getting).  I mentioned this opportunity to my wife whose initial reaction was a no because of the pay cut. But, man, if you had told me ten years ago I'd have had the option to run a public defender's office I'd have been so excited about the opportunity and would call current me crazy for not even exploring it. 

 

On top of all this I still feel some pretty fierce loyalty to my current firm and genuinely haven't been seeking these opportunities out. 

That PD opportunity is interesting. You could always turn that into a judgeship or a bigger payday later.  

How big of a paycut?  Would you have to move?  50min commute isnt that bad, or is that without traffic?

Edited by Leeroy Jenkins

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6 minutes ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

That PD opportunity is interesting. You could always turn that into a judgeship or a bigger payday later.  

How big of a paycut?  Would you have to move?  50min commute isnt that bad, or is that without traffic?

1. Probably about 35%. Hard to say bc I currently fee share and get about forty cents on every dollar I bring in so really I control to an extent what I can make. PD is obviously straight salary. 

2. I’d prefer to move closer to PD job if I took it but I strongly doubt my wife would go for it and she’s got several valid reasons for taking that stance. 

3. 50 minute commute is without traffic (mostly straight highway). I currently make that a couple times per week. I don’t mind it at that rate and I’m usually still able to be productive on the drive by returning client calls or listening to recorded interviews or evidence or, frankly, it’s nice once in awhile on the drive home after a long day to just zone out to a podcast or whatever before getting home to become my kids’ jungle gym. Doing it daily though would suck. 

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Woz, just a couple thoughts based on my experience.   The more time you have for yourself and your family, the happier you'll be.  This includes commuting.  Unless you want to work the rest of your life, make selfish decisions regarding money now.   Working for a salary is ok for young attorneys, but if you can be taking a partner's share, it gives you more flexibility in the future.   After taking the leap from working in a firm and rejecting a partnership to forming my own firm, I've never been happier, can work just about any schedule I like, and after three years I'm making far more than I ever did with a firm.  

Fierce loyalty to a firm, unless you own a majority share, has been the undoing of many attorneys.   When it comes to making a business decision, you'll find that more often than not loyalty to a law firm is a one-way proposition.

Have a plan to do something that you'll be satisfied doing.   If you want to be a judge and you think you'd be good at it, work toward that.  Have a firm timeline that you establish to make it happen.

 

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5 hours ago, the rover said:

Woz, just a couple thoughts based on my experience.   The more time you have for yourself and your family, the happier you'll be.  This includes commuting.  Unless you want to work the rest of your life, make selfish decisions regarding money now.   Working for a salary is ok for young attorneys, but if you can be taking a partner's share, it gives you more flexibility in the future.   After taking the leap from working in a firm and rejecting a partnership to forming my own firm, I've never been happier, can work just about any schedule I like, and after three years I'm making far more than I ever did with a firm.  

Fierce loyalty to a firm, unless you own a majority share, has been the undoing of many attorneys.   When it comes to making a business decision, you'll find that more often than not loyalty to a law firm is a one-way proposition.

Have a plan to do something that you'll be satisfied doing.   If you want to be a judge and you think you'd be good at it, work toward that.  Have a firm timeline that you establish to make it happen.

 

:goodposting:

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This is a legal/political question - though, I don't think the political aspect is divisive enough to belong in the PSF.  (i.e. think about this as a lawyer)

 

So, by now, we all know that Barr has concluded that the evidence of obstruction against Trump is insufficient to warrant charges - i.e. DOJ does not think they could prove the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt.  Without seeing the underlying evidence, I still think Barr is probably correct here, and from a legal standpoint is on solid ground.

 

My question for the bright legal minds here, is:  "Should Barr have issued his opinion?"

 

The relevant Special Counsel Regulations:

(a) The Attorney General will notify the Chairman and Ranking Minority Member of the Judiciary Committees of each House of Congress, with an explanation for each action

(1) Upon appointing a Special Counsel;

(2) Upon removing any Special Counsel; and

(3) Upon conclusion of the Special Counsels investigation, including, to the extent consistent with applicable law, a description and explanation of instances (if any) in which the Attorney General concluded that a proposed action by a Special Counsel was so inappropriate or unwarranted under established Departmental practices that it should not be pursued.

 

My read of the Regulations is that Barr was not required to issue his opinion on the validity of an Obstruction of Justice charge.  The regulations state that the report has to explain each action taken by the SC - and, in this case the "action" taken by the SC was to not decide on the Obstruction of Justice charge - and that should have been, and was, reported by Barr.

 

In addition to the above regulations, there is long-standing policy at DOJ to not indict a sitting president, rather deferring to the constitutional process of impeachment.  In his letter, Barr said he reached his decision, notwithstanding that long-standing policy.  But, I think, that by issuing his opinion, he was stepping over that policy, and into the authority of congress.  

In this instance - Barr was reaching a conclusion, that he was not required to make.  Much like a court should not decide an issue that is not before it - I think it was improper for Barr to issue his opinion on the underlying crime.  DOJ was not going to indict the president, even if Barr reached a contrary conclusion.  The question of Obstruction of Justice (and even the conspiracy charges related specifically to Trump), is a question that the constitution says should be answered by Congress. 

Now, from a legal standpoint, Congress is still free to make these determinations once they get the underlying reports/evidence.  But, has Barr impermissibly injected his own opinion into the public discourse here - thereby influencing public opinion on a political question?

I think the answer is Yes - Barr has overstepped his bounds here, and ethically he should have remained on the sidelines (in terms of offering his legal opinion to a political question), unless Congress asked for his opinion.

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"Don't redline this thing to death or spend too much time on it, just spin through it for red flags and make sure we're protected and everything is fair."  [attaches 32 page, extremely one-sided LL-friendly commercial lease]

I love my clients.

 

 

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