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Henry Ford

The Lawyer Thread Where We Stop Ruining Other Threads

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This is like hell on earth.

You just described the careers of all the posters in here.

If I could keep doing what I'm doing and getting paid what I get paid for the foreseeable future, that would suit me just fine. No need for me to work harder so I can earn more and more year over year. Pretty content with things as they are.

I'd prefer to make what I make as a bartender on a beach in the Keys to be honest. I could so pull off the beach bum with a heart of gold and hidden trust account life style.

Well I'd prefer to make what I make as a rock star. Everyone has their dreams. But as far as the practice of law goes, I'm pretty darn content where I'm at. The problem, however, is that it is unlikely that I can just keep doing what I'm doing and getting paid what I get paid for the balance of my career. There is increasing downward rate pressure from clients with respect to the area in which I practice, and increasing upward rate pressure from my firm as they seek to increase firm profitability. At some point, probably in the next 5 years or so, the numbers just won't work. So I'll need to specialize my practice in certain less rate-sensitive areas (something that I've already been doing), or I'll need to figure out a different model. So as much as I'd like things just to stay as they are for the rest of my career, that's probably as much a pipe dream as a profitable career as a rock star.

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Great story Y23. Its very inspiring to hear.

For sure it is, thanks for sharing it.

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I'm an IP attorney (biotech patents mostly) and did 10 years at one of the biggest big firms before taking an in-house gig at a little biotech company 2 years ago. I'm about 1000% happier here. I do all the stuff I like to do and none of the stuff I don't - if I never write another patent application it will be too soon - I send all that #### to outside counsel.

My take home went down by about 20%, but if we make it to exit the stock should more than make up for it, and I'm optimistic we'll make it to exit. Frankly, even if we don't, the improvement in my quality of life is more than worth it.

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So..... in court yesterday and a lawyer friend asked me a question. She worked for a firm. She left and went someplace else for more money. Not a bad break at all. Just a typical move. In her new place now. Client from the old firm comes to her and wants her to take the business so she does. She does some small things, nothing major. Client is happy. She tells me that the client came in last week furious. The old firm is suing for unpaid legal fees that client claims are not owed. Client wants her to represent him.

So, how underhanded is it to defend someone being sued by your old firm specifically for fees due to that old firm? I didn't have a good answer to that one. And it turns out that before she left that firm she actually did some work for this client and she is willing to be that the money claimed due would likely be from time she worked on the file.

It's an interesting question.

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So..... in court yesterday and a lawyer friend asked me a question. She worked for a firm. She left and went someplace else for more money. Not a bad break at all. Just a typical move. In her new place now. Client from the old firm comes to her and wants her to take the business so she does. She does some small things, nothing major. Client is happy. She tells me that the client came in last week furious. The old firm is suing for unpaid legal fees that client claims are not owed. Client wants her to represent him.

So, how underhanded is it to defend someone being sued by your old firm specifically for fees due to that old firm? I didn't have a good answer to that one. And it turns out that before she left that firm she actually did some work for this client and she is willing to be that the money claimed due would likely be from time she worked on the file.

It's an interesting question.

I don't think it's underhanded per se, but she's sure to have information she wouldn't have had if she hadn't worked there, and is almost certainly a witness in the case. Does your jurisdiction have an ethics hotline? I'd recommend calling it. She may be conflicted out under your rules.

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So..... in court yesterday and a lawyer friend asked me a question. She worked for a firm. She left and went someplace else for more money. Not a bad break at all. Just a typical move. In her new place now. Client from the old firm comes to her and wants her to take the business so she does. She does some small things, nothing major. Client is happy. She tells me that the client came in last week furious. The old firm is suing for unpaid legal fees that client claims are not owed. Client wants her to represent him.

So, how underhanded is it to defend someone being sued by your old firm specifically for fees due to that old firm? I didn't have a good answer to that one. And it turns out that before she left that firm she actually did some work for this client and she is willing to be that the money claimed due would likely be from time she worked on the file.

It's an interesting question.

I don't think it's underhanded per se, but she's sure to have information she wouldn't have had if she hadn't worked there, and is almost certainly a witness in the case. Does your jurisdiction have an ethics hotline? I'd recommend calling it. She may be conflicted out under your rules.

We do and she's not. We have an arbitration process for this specific kind of case. No witnesses. And our conflict rules changed a lot recently and many things you would think could be a conflict might not be any more. For example, if we can get information through normal discovery in a case, then just because we know that information already about the other side in a potential conflict question doesn't a conflict make. In other words, if we are going to find out anyway there is no conflict. Dumbed down of course. Obviously the more technical and difficult the case and question the harder the answer.

But, I can represent a couple when they buy a house and see and deal with all of their financials and then a few years down the line represent one of them in their divorce against the other. There is nothing I know from the real estate deal that isn't admissible and proper in normal discovery in a divorce. Now whether it's smart to do stuff like that is a whole other story.

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So..... in court yesterday and a lawyer friend asked me a question. She worked for a firm. She left and went someplace else for more money. Not a bad break at all. Just a typical move. In her new place now. Client from the old firm comes to her and wants her to take the business so she does. She does some small things, nothing major. Client is happy. She tells me that the client came in last week furious. The old firm is suing for unpaid legal fees that client claims are not owed. Client wants her to represent him.

So, how underhanded is it to defend someone being sued by your old firm specifically for fees due to that old firm? I didn't have a good answer to that one. And it turns out that before she left that firm she actually did some work for this client and she is willing to be that the money claimed due would likely be from time she worked on the file.

It's an interesting question.

I don't think it's underhanded per se, but she's sure to have information she wouldn't have had if she hadn't worked there, and is almost certainly a witness in the case. Does your jurisdiction have an ethics hotline? I'd recommend calling it. She may be conflicted out under your rules.

We do and she's not. We have an arbitration process for this specific kind of case. No witnesses. And our conflict rules changed a lot recently and many things you would think could be a conflict might not be any more. For example, if we can get information through normal discovery in a case, then just because we know that information already about the other side in a potential conflict question doesn't a conflict make. In other words, if we are going to find out anyway there is no conflict. Dumbed down of course. Obviously the more technical and difficult the case and question the harder the answer.

But, I can represent a couple when they buy a house and see and deal with all of their financials and then a few years down the line represent one of them in their divorce against the other. There is nothing I know from the real estate deal that isn't admissible and proper in normal discovery in a divorce. Now whether it's smart to do stuff like that is a whole other story.

If she's at all involved in the billing, I'd recommend outside counsel.

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I would never want to represent and be paid by a client in a case where my testimony as a fact witness may be the reason that the client loses the case.

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So..... in court yesterday and a lawyer friend asked me a question. She worked for a firm. She left and went someplace else for more money. Not a bad break at all. Just a typical move. In her new place now. Client from the old firm comes to her and wants her to take the business so she does. She does some small things, nothing major. Client is happy. She tells me that the client came in last week furious. The old firm is suing for unpaid legal fees that client claims are not owed. Client wants her to represent him.

So, how underhanded is it to defend someone being sued by your old firm specifically for fees due to that old firm? I didn't have a good answer to that one. And it turns out that before she left that firm she actually did some work for this client and she is willing to be that the money claimed due would likely be from time she worked on the file.

It's an interesting question.

Wow - no question imo, no way she can do this.

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I don't know. My first reaction is always if you have to ask you already know the answer... but I'm not so sure on this one. Glad it's not me but it is an interesting question to me.

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I don't know. My first reaction is always if you have to ask you already know the answer... but I'm not so sure on this one. Glad it's not me but it is an interesting question to me.

If it helps, I'm extremely sure on this one. But of course, I'm in a different state with different rules.

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Yeah, a quick glance at the NJ Rules suggest the conflicts rules (R.P.C. 1.7-1.9) don't apply on their face, but the lawyer/witness rule (R.P.C. 3.7) does. So I suppose she could represent the client to the extent that she insists she isn't a necessary witness. But if she is, she would be disqualified, so a Chinese Wall seems appropriate.

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Interesting scenario- curious what the group thinks about this-

7 or 8 years ago I represented a law firm on an IP matter, really just a series of letters, nothing came of it. It was a one off thing, and I never heard from them again.

Cut to earlier this week, and I hear from a longstanding client who received a threat letter on an entirely unrelated matter from this same law firm acting on behalf of its client.

No conflict in representing my longstanding client here, right?

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Interesting scenario- curious what the group thinks about this-

7 or 8 years ago I represented a law firm on an IP matter, really just a series of letters, nothing came of it. It was a one off thing, and I never heard from them again.

Cut to earlier this week, and I hear from a longstanding client who received a threat letter on an entirely unrelated matter from this same law firm acting on behalf of its client.

No conflict in representing my longstanding client here, right?

So long as you don't reveal information related to the earlier matter, you're fine under Model R.P.C. 1.9

http://www.americanbar.org/groups/professional_responsibility/publications/model_rules_of_professional_conduct/rule_1_9_duties_of_former_clients.html

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Interesting scenario- curious what the group thinks about this-

7 or 8 years ago I represented a law firm on an IP matter, really just a series of letters, nothing came of it. It was a one off thing, and I never heard from them again.

Cut to earlier this week, and I hear from a longstanding client who received a threat letter on an entirely unrelated matter from this same law firm acting on behalf of its client.

No conflict in representing my longstanding client here, right?

The fact that you describe this as an "interesting scenario" is why people don't think much of lawyers.

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Interesting scenario- curious what the group thinks about this-

7 or 8 years ago I represented a law firm on an IP matter, really just a series of letters, nothing came of it. It was a one off thing, and I never heard from them again.

Cut to earlier this week, and I hear from a longstanding client who received a threat letter on an entirely unrelated matter from this same law firm acting on behalf of its client.

No conflict in representing my longstanding client here, right?

I wouldn't be terribly concerned, but I'd remind the law firm who I am with a phone call before writing any letters. Something like "Hey, Jim, it's me Ned. I represented your firm on an IP matter many years ago. Listen, I have this longstanding client who received a letter from your firm..."

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Can this double as the complaining lawyers thread??

I am being paid for full-time work yet haven't had any work to do since Wednesday and <10 hours this week in total. Pay your dues, grasshopper. ;)

Wtf?!

Really looking forward to paying my dues for about the next decade do that I can pay off the house, sock away a cushion, and then open up my own small practice out of my home. WIN

Can the folks who went out on their own chime in? I spoke to a guy recently who was working at a big firm in DC and finally had it. He joined one of those virtual firms and moved his family down to Palm beach. He said life is wonderful and he works when and where he wants and spends all the time he wants with his kids. Sounds like he is making pretty solid money too. I feel I am doing something wrong.

These two posts are related. The work I'm doing now is for "one of those virtual firms". I get paid more than I expected (about the same in salary, but no bonus, stock, etc. so still significantly less I did before I tried to retire), pick and choose the assignments I want and am right now on a long-term (at least a year) assignment where I work from wherever I want. I'm getting paid for what they call full-time, which is theoretically 50 hours per week, but no one has seemed to care that since October I've only reached 50 hours once. I call it to people's attention frequently and ask for more work, and I've volunteered for projects that are outside of what I'm hired to do, but still I don't work that much, do all my work from my couch, and have no stress.

It's an nice break after so many years of 80-100 hour weeks, but I'm not sure I can do it long-term. I miss having a team and having more responsibility.

Edited by krista4

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Can this double as the complaining lawyers thread??

I am being paid for full-time work yet haven't had any work to do since Wednesday and <10 hours this week in total. Pay your dues, grasshopper. ;)

Wtf?!

Really looking forward to paying my dues for about the next decade do that I can pay off the house, sock away a cushion, and then open up my own small practice out of my home. WIN

Can the folks who went out on their own chime in? I spoke to a guy recently who was working at a big firm in DC and finally had it. He joined one of those virtual firms and moved his family down to Palm beach. He said life is wonderful and he works when and where he wants and spends all the time he wants with his kids. Sounds like he is making pretty solid money too. I feel I am doing something wrong.

These two posts are related. The work I'm doing now is for "one of those virtual firms". I get paid more than I expected (though still significantly less I did before I tried to retire), pick and choose the assignments I want and am right now on a long-term (at least a year) assignment where I work from wherever I want. I'm getting paid for what they call full-time, which is theoretically 50 hours per week, but no one has seemed to care that since October I've only reached 50 hours once. I call it to people's attention frequently and ask for more work, and I've volunteered for projects that are outside of what I'm hired to do, but still I don't work that much, do all my work from my couch, and have no stress.

It's an nice break after so many hours of 80-100 hour weeks, but I'm not sure I can do it long-term. I miss having a team and having more responsibility.

You guys need anyone in Louisiana? Come on, everyone needs local counsel in Louisiana. Napoleonic Code, #####!

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Question for non-Louisiana lawyers:

How much does "consideration" actually play with your contractual issues? Is this something that's actually litigated on a regular basis? I never have to deal with this.

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Question for non-Louisiana lawyers:

How much does "consideration" actually play with your contractual issues? Is this something that's actually litigated on a regular basis? I never have to deal with this.

The only case where it's ever mattered for me wasn't a contract case. It was a gambling case concerning internet sweepstakes cafes.

The gambling statute required "valuable consideration." We argued that the cafes sold internet time and that the sweepstakes were just promotional vehicles like McDonald's Monopoly game. Because nobody could just buy sweepstakes points, there was no consideration. We were about to lose anyway, but it was all rendered moot when the legislature explicitly made sweepstakes cafes illegal.

I still think we were right under the statute, but it's definitely a situation where I was representing people I didn't particularly like (in fairness, I thought the State's Attorneys were bigger weasels than I've ever been adverse to in a civil case).

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I just hear lawyers talk about consideration a lot in other jurisdictions, and foam at the mouth a bit. It's nice to be able to say "oh, sorry, my client's suing under Louisiana law in this MDL. I don't have any idea what you're talking about."

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I just hear lawyers talk about consideration a lot in other jurisdictions, and foam at the mouth a bit. It's nice to be able to say "oh, sorry, my client's suing under Louisiana law in this MDL. I don't have any idea what you're talking about."

Weird. I guess I have been in K cases where it's mattered, but only in one specific context. The underlying contract almost always states that there's consideration, but I've been in cases where one side has claimed that a subsequent agreement modified the contract and the other side has claimed it didn't because the modification lacked additional consideration.

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only time I've ever had to worry about consideration was in the context of non-competes. Washington requires separate consideration beyond continued employment.

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Napoleonic Code, #####!

:lmao:

We do play this up more than is probably warranted.

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I can't recall a case where I had to get in depth on consideration as anything other than a dispute as to how much is owed or was agreed to be paid.

Now, Accord and Satisfaction? That came to bite me in a big way one time in a summary judgment motion where my adversary pulled that one out in oral arguments, not in his papers, and the judge allowed it because frankly he was entertained by the whole case. Fricken accord and satisfaction.

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I just hear lawyers talk about consideration a lot in other jurisdictions, and foam at the mouth a bit. It's nice to be able to say "oh, sorry, my client's suing under Louisiana law in this MDL. I don't have any idea what you're talking about."

Do you have to prove that actual cause stuff? That sounds ten times more abstract than consideration.

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If you can't prove consideration, you go for promissory estoppel instead of breach of contract.

I only have to deal with "cause."

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I just hear lawyers talk about consideration a lot in other jurisdictions, and foam at the mouth a bit. It's nice to be able to say "oh, sorry, my client's suing under Louisiana law in this MDL. I don't have any idea what you're talking about."

Do you have to prove that actual cause stuff? That sounds ten times more abstract than consideration.

It's pretty tough to even suggest that a contract doesn't have cause. Cause is most often litigated when trying to void a contract.

In order to say that the contract doesn't have cause, you'd pretty much have to be able to ask the party why they signed the thing and get the answer "I don't have any idea."

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Since we are doing questions / horror stories...

Anyone do anything before the federal tax court? I may have to get a case up there for a client. Guy got defrauded about 13 years ago by a family member and tricked into pulling all the money out of his retirement accounts to , he thought, help pay for his sick parent's care - but the money was stolen by evil sibling. County prosecutor was notified eventually and the sibling was prosectued, so it's clear there is a criminal case sitting there showing my guy was a victim - but the IRS just this year dropped a 100K tax bill on him for the withdrawal. Client thought this was taken care of when the criminal thing was done and has never been notified of money owed, there are no judgments, etc. But now I have two notices on my desk for a crap ton of money to the IRS - and we all know I would love nother better than to stick it to the IRS.

So...... whose got some solid info on fed tax court trials for me?

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Since we are doing questions / horror stories...

Anyone do anything before the federal tax court? I may have to get a case up there for a client. Guy got defrauded about 13 years ago by a family member and tricked into pulling all the money out of his retirement accounts to , he thought, help pay for his sick parent's care - but the money was stolen by evil sibling. County prosecutor was notified eventually and the sibling was prosectued, so it's clear there is a criminal case sitting there showing my guy was a victim - but the IRS just this year dropped a 100K tax bill on him for the withdrawal. Client thought this was taken care of when the criminal thing was done and has never been notified of money owed, there are no judgments, etc. But now I have two notices on my desk for a crap ton of money to the IRS - and we all know I would love nother better than to stick it to the IRS.

So...... whose got some solid info on fed tax court trials for me?

I refer all my tax stuff to a friend in Texas. I'd be happy to ask any questions you'd like, though. He owes me.

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Since we are doing questions / horror stories...

Anyone do anything before the federal tax court? I may have to get a case up there for a client. Guy got defrauded about 13 years ago by a family member and tricked into pulling all the money out of his retirement accounts to , he thought, help pay for his sick parent's care - but the money was stolen by evil sibling. County prosecutor was notified eventually and the sibling was prosectued, so it's clear there is a criminal case sitting there showing my guy was a victim - but the IRS just this year dropped a 100K tax bill on him for the withdrawal. Client thought this was taken care of when the criminal thing was done and has never been notified of money owed, there are no judgments, etc. But now I have two notices on my desk for a crap ton of money to the IRS - and we all know I would love nother better than to stick it to the IRS.

So...... whose got some solid info on fed tax court trials for me?

Don't forget to get admitted!

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Since we are doing questions / horror stories...

Anyone do anything before the federal tax court? I may have to get a case up there for a client. Guy got defrauded about 13 years ago by a family member and tricked into pulling all the money out of his retirement accounts to , he thought, help pay for his sick parent's care - but the money was stolen by evil sibling. County prosecutor was notified eventually and the sibling was prosectued, so it's clear there is a criminal case sitting there showing my guy was a victim - but the IRS just this year dropped a 100K tax bill on him for the withdrawal. Client thought this was taken care of when the criminal thing was done and has never been notified of money owed, there are no judgments, etc. But now I have two notices on my desk for a crap ton of money to the IRS - and we all know I would love nother better than to stick it to the IRS.

So...... whose got some solid info on fed tax court trials for me?

Don't forget to get admitted!

Yeah I saw that. $35 bucks client costs to do so. Not so bad. The certificate from the New Jersey Supreme Court is going to be interesting though.

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I just received the strangest pleading from a defendant. I think opposing counsel forgot what we're suing his client for.

There are multiple defendants, and we alleged multiple causes of actions related to some industrial activity. We didn't know who did what until we got the contracts.

Opposing counsel just filed for MSJ and dismissal, and in arguing against one cause of action, actually admitted to all of the other causes of action.

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I just received the strangest pleading from a defendant. I think opposing counsel forgot what we're suing his client for.

There are multiple defendants, and we alleged multiple causes of actions related to some industrial activity. We didn't know who did what until we got the contracts.

Opposing counsel just filed for MSJ and dismissal, and in arguing against one cause of action, actually admitted to all of the other causes of action.

neat.

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I just received the strangest pleading from a defendant. I think opposing counsel forgot what we're suing his client for.

There are multiple defendants, and we alleged multiple causes of actions related to some industrial activity. We didn't know who did what until we got the contracts.

Opposing counsel just filed for MSJ and dismissal, and in arguing against one cause of action, actually admitted to all of the other causes of action.

neat.

I just don't know how to react. It's weird.

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Since we are doing questions / horror stories...

Anyone do anything before the federal tax court? I may have to get a case up there for a client. Guy got defrauded about 13 years ago by a family member and tricked into pulling all the money out of his retirement accounts to , he thought, help pay for his sick parent's care - but the money was stolen by evil sibling. County prosecutor was notified eventually and the sibling was prosectued, so it's clear there is a criminal case sitting there showing my guy was a victim - but the IRS just this year dropped a 100K tax bill on him for the withdrawal. Client thought this was taken care of when the criminal thing was done and has never been notified of money owed, there are no judgments, etc. But now I have two notices on my desk for a crap ton of money to the IRS - and we all know I would love nother better than to stick it to the IRS.

So...... whose got some solid info on fed tax court trials for me?

Has anyone contacted the IRS yet?

I used to work in the pension industry and got fines/penalties dismissed quite a few times for employers just by simply talking to someone at the IRS or by having letters sent.

I have all sorts of questions though.

The first is why a medical hardship distribution was even allowed. Unless the parent was somehow a legal dependent or beneficiary of you client, he didn't qualify for a hardship distribution. Medical hardship distributions are only allowed for the employee, the employees spouse, dependents or beneficiary.

So it seems like it's very possible that your client does actually owe the tax penalty on the distribution amount. But that begs the question of why the plan administrator allowed the distribution in the first place. If this is the case, your best outcome may be to plead for a reduction in interest and penalties for paying it on time, especially since it sounds like a long amount of time has passed before notice was given. (although it's certainly possible that your client did receive previous notices).

If your client's parent was a dependent or beneficiary for some reason, then it's a different ballgame and there are a lot more questions to be answered.

Either way, I'd certainly try contacting the IRS first before planning anything in tax court.

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Since we are doing questions / horror stories...

Anyone do anything before the federal tax court? I may have to get a case up there for a client. Guy got defrauded about 13 years ago by a family member and tricked into pulling all the money out of his retirement accounts to , he thought, help pay for his sick parent's care - but the money was stolen by evil sibling. County prosecutor was notified eventually and the sibling was prosectued, so it's clear there is a criminal case sitting there showing my guy was a victim - but the IRS just this year dropped a 100K tax bill on him for the withdrawal. Client thought this was taken care of when the criminal thing was done and has never been notified of money owed, there are no judgments, etc. But now I have two notices on my desk for a crap ton of money to the IRS - and we all know I would love nother better than to stick it to the IRS.

So...... whose got some solid info on fed tax court trials for me?

I'm a tax guy, but I mostly do planning, so I'm not going to be of much help. I had a case that I worked on pro bono, which was filed with the Tax Court, but got dismissed at Appeals before trial date. Getting admitted to the Tax Court was pretty easy. I think it's probably similar to what you are used to, but (at least in my case) principally talking with Appeals agent to settle instead of opposing counsel beforehand.

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If you can't prove consideration, you go for promissory estoppel instead of breach of contract.

I only have to deal with "cause."

Obligations, #####!!

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This is like hell on earth.

You just described the careers of all the posters in here.

If I could keep doing what I'm doing and getting paid what I get paid for the foreseeable future, that would suit me just fine. No need for me to work harder so I can earn more and more year over year. Pretty content with things as they are.

I'd prefer to make what I make as a bartender on a beach in the Keys to be honest. I could so pull off the beach bum with a heart of gold and hidden trust account life style.

Well I'd prefer to make what I make as a rock star. Everyone has their dreams. But as far as the practice of law goes, I'm pretty darn content where I'm at. The problem, however, is that it is unlikely that I can just keep doing what I'm doing and getting paid what I get paid for the balance of my career. There is increasing downward rate pressure from clients with respect to the area in which I practice, and increasing upward rate pressure from my firm as they seek to increase firm profitability. At some point, probably in the next 5 years or so, the numbers just won't work. So I'll need to specialize my practice in certain less rate-sensitive areas (something that I've already been doing), or I'll need to figure out a different model. So as much as I'd like things just to stay as they are for the rest of my career, that's probably as much a pipe dream as a profitable career as a rock star.

Biggie, the bolded is so true for so many of us in big firms. Ultimately, we can't all get pushed out of practice by these economics...

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Can this double as the complaining lawyers thread??

I am being paid for full-time work yet haven't had any work to do since Wednesday and <10 hours this week in total. Pay your dues, grasshopper. ;)

Wtf?!

Really looking forward to paying my dues for about the next decade do that I can pay off the house, sock away a cushion, and then open up my own small practice out of my home. WIN

Can the folks who went out on their own chime in? I spoke to a guy recently who was working at a big firm in DC and finally had it. He joined one of those virtual firms and moved his family down to Palm beach. He said life is wonderful and he works when and where he wants and spends all the time he wants with his kids. Sounds like he is making pretty solid money too. I feel I am doing something wrong.

These two posts are related. The work I'm doing now is for "one of those virtual firms". I get paid more than I expected (about the same in salary, but no bonus, stock, etc. so still significantly less I did before I tried to retire), pick and choose the assignments I want and am right now on a long-term (at least a year) assignment where I work from wherever I want. I'm getting paid for what they call full-time, which is theoretically 50 hours per week, but no one has seemed to care that since October I've only reached 50 hours once. I call it to people's attention frequently and ask for more work, and I've volunteered for projects that are outside of what I'm hired to do, but still I don't work that much, do all my work from my couch, and have no stress.

It's an nice break after so many years of 80-100 hour weeks, but I'm not sure I can do it long-term. I miss having a team and having more responsibility.

Pretty cool freedom that gig brings. Awesome.

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Hooper, I am not a lawyer but I work closely with them and I can tell you straight out that most lawyers absolutely prefer to settle rather than go to court. That doesn't mean that either side will capitulate just to avoid trial but if there's a settlement to be had they'll take it with pleasure. Doesn't mean there aren't evil, money hungry, jackholes out there but most are out to help their client more than to aggrandize themselves

Most "litigators" rarely go to trial...mostly because it's hard, and it cuts into profits.

Well that's not true. Trial is profitable. And it's stressful but many litigators look forward to it. Usually you don't go to trial a whole lot because the cases in your particular practice area settle often.

sorry, I'm a plaintiff so I never think about that. trial is less profitable for contingent fee lawyers, since it cuts into your effective hourly rate.

for defense guys and people getting paid hourly, I guess it just piles on the billable hours.

Pretty much. Occasionally, however, there are cases that just need to be tried in order to get the full value of the case. Typically this is the proverbial "all-or-nothing" case where liability is hotly disputed and there are huge damages which aren't as much in dispute. You just have to suck it up and disappear into your trial submarine for two or four weeks or whatever and get it done.

But yeah, having done defense work, nothing beats trial and trial prep for piling on the billable hours. It's downright easy to hit 250 hours for a month when you're in trial.

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So..... in court yesterday and a lawyer friend asked me a question. She worked for a firm. She left and went someplace else for more money. Not a bad break at all. Just a typical move. In her new place now. Client from the old firm comes to her and wants her to take the business so she does. She does some small things, nothing major. Client is happy. She tells me that the client came in last week furious. The old firm is suing for unpaid legal fees that client claims are not owed. Client wants her to represent him.

So, how underhanded is it to defend someone being sued by your old firm specifically for fees due to that old firm? I didn't have a good answer to that one. And it turns out that before she left that firm she actually did some work for this client and she is willing to be that the money claimed due would likely be from time she worked on the file.

It's an interesting question.

I don't think it's underhanded per se, but she's sure to have information she wouldn't have had if she hadn't worked there, and is almost certainly a witness in the case. Does your jurisdiction have an ethics hotline? I'd recommend calling it. She may be conflicted out under your rules.

:goodposting:

Plus, to the extent that she hasn't burned that bridge, she'd be incinerating it by rep'ing that client against her old firm. I'd find a close friend who won't steal the client and refer her.

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Can this double as the complaining lawyers thread??

I am being paid for full-time work yet haven't had any work to do since Wednesday and <10 hours this week in total. Pay your dues, grasshopper. ;)

Wtf?!

Really looking forward to paying my dues for about the next decade do that I can pay off the house, sock away a cushion, and then open up my own small practice out of my home. WIN

Can the folks who went out on their own chime in? I spoke to a guy recently who was working at a big firm in DC and finally had it. He joined one of those virtual firms and moved his family down to Palm beach. He said life is wonderful and he works when and where he wants and spends all the time he wants with his kids. Sounds like he is making pretty solid money too. I feel I am doing something wrong.

These two posts are related. The work I'm doing now is for "one of those virtual firms". I get paid more than I expected (about the same in salary, but no bonus, stock, etc. so still significantly less I did before I tried to retire), pick and choose the assignments I want and am right now on a long-term (at least a year) assignment where I work from wherever I want. I'm getting paid for what they call full-time, which is theoretically 50 hours per week, but no one has seemed to care that since October I've only reached 50 hours once. I call it to people's attention frequently and ask for more work, and I've volunteered for projects that are outside of what I'm hired to do, but still I don't work that much, do all my work from my couch, and have no stress.

It's an nice break after so many years of 80-100 hour weeks, but I'm not sure I can do it long-term. I miss having a team and having more responsibility.

You poor thing. I'll happily take over for you.

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