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Just now, Zow said:

Are you using screenshare or simply holding documents up to the camera?

Oh, screenshare. On deposition I share it myself. At trial we have a hot seat guy from a vendor who operates it for me. He’s flashing documents and deposition transcripts on command at these witnesses all day long, and they look like the clueless paid guns they are. Two of my better crosses actually. 

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I don't know if there's a real pinnacle to this profession. Some times it really seems like there isn't one. But I do now know that when you're standing there waiting and hoping for two words instead

Made partner today. 

Big news for The_Son - just found out he got the Rubenstein Scholarship from Chicago! Full tuition + a $20,000 per year stipend. Last week he was fortunate enough to be offered a full-tuition scholars

Just now, Otis said:

Oh, screenshare. On deposition I share it myself. At trial we have a hot seat guy from a vendor who operates it for me. He’s flashing documents and deposition transcripts on command at these witnesses all day long, and they look like the clueless paid guns they are. Two of my better crosses actually. 

Ohhh that's pretty brilliant. I've never thought to do that and I haven't seen anybody else do it. I may have to look into this (any reason a paralegal or an associate can't simply do it via separate login?) for a trial where the client won't mind paying the extra coin for it. 

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9 hours ago, Zow said:

What's been everybody's experiences with doing settlement conferences/mediations by Zoom? 

I will say that a significant factor is whether my client and I are able to be in the same room. If they are, I can obviously still have those important discussions with the client when the mediator is with the other party whereas those same discussions on zoom don't seem to be as personal and/or impactful

rather than talking over zoom - use your cell  - you can text or have a call while on mute. It brings it off the impersonality of zoom. 

I give my clients my cell before the hearing and tell them if you have trouble getting in etc. just text me. Some use it, some  never reach out and with only one exception it does not get abused. 

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I am part of a company that's involved in a civil matter in the northern district of California.  We have been waiting for the judge to rule on some items since August.  Are others seeing long delays in civil rulings as criminal dockets take precedence?  This judge hasn't done much work on other civil proceedings FWIW.

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59 minutes ago, chet said:

I am part of a company that's involved in a civil matter in the northern district of California.  We have been waiting for the judge to rule on some items since August.  Are others seeing long delays in civil rulings as criminal dockets take precedence?  This judge hasn't done much work on other civil proceedings FWIW.

Yes. 

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1 hour ago, chet said:

I am part of a company that's involved in a civil matter in the northern district of California.  We have been waiting for the judge to rule on some items since August.  Are others seeing long delays in civil rulings as criminal dockets take precedence?  This judge hasn't done much work on other civil proceedings FWIW.

That’s not a particularly unusual delay even by non-pandemic standards. 

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23 minutes ago, thecatch said:

That’s not a particularly unusual delay even by non-pandemic standards. 

Really?  The lawyers involved seem to think that it is.

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On 2/11/2021 at 7:19 PM, Zow said:

Ohhh that's pretty brilliant. I've never thought to do that and I haven't seen anybody else do it. I may have to look into this (any reason a paralegal or an associate can't simply do it via separate login?) for a trial where the client won't mind paying the extra coin for it. 

Yup, anyone could do it from a separate login.  These guys are professionals and have that fancy software package (used to be called TrialDirector, not sure what it is today) that lets them do all kinds of callouts and snapshots of documents, highlighting, zoom in, side by side etc. In a deposition I can’t do all that, but I can at least throw up a PDF myself and zoom in and highlight stuff, or use my cursor to point to stuff. But that’s different from what these pros are doing for us at trial, where it’s important to have a really smooth flowing and great looking (and persuasive) examination.  I’ve found momentum and speed are important to keeping a witness back on their heels; spend too much time screwing around with documents and they have more time to think about the issues and react. 

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6 hours ago, chet said:

I am part of a company that's involved in a civil matter in the northern district of California.  We have been waiting for the judge to rule on some items since August.  Are others seeing long delays in civil rulings as criminal dockets take precedence?  This judge hasn't done much work on other civil proceedings FWIW.

Yes, long delays are common but it’s highly court and judge specific.

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On 2/11/2021 at 8:23 PM, Angry Beavers said:

rather than talking over zoom - use your cell  - you can text or have a call while on mute. It brings it off the impersonality of zoom. 

I give my clients my cell before the hearing and tell them if you have trouble getting in etc. just text me. Some use it, some  never reach out and with only one exception it does not get abused. 

What was the exception 

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12 hours ago, Da Guru said:

Did Henry Ford get a long vacation?  

pretty sure he willfully decided to limit his time here.  especially on the political forum.

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8 hours ago, Otis said:

Yup, anyone could do it from a separate login.  These guys are professionals and have that fancy software package (used to be called TrialDirector, not sure what it is today) that lets them do all kinds of callouts and snapshots of documents, highlighting, zoom in, side by side etc. In a deposition I can’t do all that, but I can at least throw up a PDF myself and zoom in and highlight stuff, or use my cursor to point to stuff. But that’s different from what these pros are doing for us at trial, where it’s important to have a really smooth flowing and great looking (and persuasive) examination.  I’ve found momentum and speed are important to keeping a witness back on their heels; spend too much time screwing around with documents and they have more time to think about the issues and react. 

That's pretty genuis. I may be hitting you up for their contact information in the event I have a trial proceed where this service would be cost-effective (kcking myself for not looking into something like this or realized it existed for a particular ugly high-dollar divorce trial I did right before the holidays). 

I agree wholeheartedly that momentum and speed are crucial for an effective exam (especially if the door is opened for an impeachment line) and it's just impossible to do that on one's own even with ideal prep as it takes a few moments to either screenshare or, worse, direct the witness who doesn't want to comply to look at the exhibits in front of him and the clunkiness of it isn't as impactful. 

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1 hour ago, Angry Beavers said:

A client who had my cell who thought that meant they should reach out at all hours 

Frankly you’re pretty fortunate to have only had one abuse it. 
 

I will still give out my cell on occasion (or the person referring me may give it), but I expect and anticipate it likely means irregular texts or calls. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hey Lawyer folks, what are the potential consequences of an old man in a memory care facility defaulting on his credit card debt?

 

My father (approaching 90 in age) has about $10k in credit card debt on 2 cards.  He has been in a memory care facility for about a year now.  My mother receives his SS check each month.  Medicaid status has recently changed from where we were paying zero for the care facility to now paying just over 40% of his SS check to the facility.   We are looking at trying to reduce some of my mothers expenditures.  She has been making minimum payments to those credit cards.  Her name is not attached to those cards.  At this point can we just stop paying them?  What would be the potential fallout?  

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2 hours ago, Galileo said:

Hey Lawyer folks, what are the potential consequences of an old man in a memory care facility defaulting on his credit card debt?

 

My father (approaching 90 in age) has about $10k in credit card debt on 2 cards.  He has been in a memory care facility for about a year now.  My mother receives his SS check each month.  Medicaid status has recently changed from where we were paying zero for the care facility to now paying just over 40% of his SS check to the facility.   We are looking at trying to reduce some of my mothers expenditures.  She has been making minimum payments to those credit cards.  Her name is not attached to those cards.  At this point can we just stop paying them?  What would be the potential fallout?  

 

Its not possible to give specific advice or state firm legal conclusions based on the info here, but there are a few broad statements one can make.  First, in many states general credit card debt will be a marital debt which can be satisfied through collection against all non-exempt marital property.  In short, depending on where they live, it may not matter that your mom's name is not associated with these credit cards for all practical purposes.  Secondly, for the most part, Social Security payments are exempt from collection for normal consumer credit debt.  This means, in most cases, a social security check can't be garnished by a typical consumer judgment creditor (as opposed to, for example, tax or other government debt.) Therefore, if she simply stops paying and defaults, what is her exposure?  The credit card company could sue, and (again, depending on the circumstances) could take a judgment against both mom and dad personally.  This would probably increase the debt somewhat as they would tack on fees/costs of the lawsuit. It is possible the interest rate would decrease though.  As a judgment creditor, they could then collect against non-exempt assets, bank accounts, etc.  The more difficult question is whether that matters - whether mom/dad have any non-exempt assets subject to collection on a standard commercial credit debt.  The answer, unfortunately but as is commonly the case, is -- "it depends."  It is extremely common these days in any city of any size to have a good number of lawyers who specialize in financial considerations for elderly folks.  It may be worthwhile to pay a few hundred dollars for a consultation on these issues.

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, CletiusMaximus said:

 

Its not possible to give specific advice or state firm legal conclusions based on the info here, but there are a few broad statements one can make.  First, in many states general credit card debt will be a marital debt which can be satisfied through collection against all non-exempt marital property.  In short, depending on where they live, it may not matter that your mom's name is not associated with these credit cards for all practical purposes.  Secondly, for the most part, Social Security payments are exempt from collection for normal consumer credit debt.  This means, in most cases, a social security check can't be garnished by a typical consumer judgment creditor (as opposed to, for example, tax or other government debt.) Therefore, if she simply stops paying and defaults, what is her exposure?  The credit card company could sue, and (again, depending on the circumstances) could take a judgment against both mom and dad personally.  This would probably increase the debt somewhat as they would tack on fees/costs of the lawsuit. It is possible the interest rate would decrease though.  As a judgment creditor, they could then collect against non-exempt assets, bank accounts, etc.  The more difficult question is whether that matters - whether mom/dad have any non-exempt assets subject to collection on a standard commercial credit debt.  The answer, unfortunately but as is commonly the case, is -- "it depends."  It is extremely common these days in any city of any size to have a good number of lawyers who specialize in financial considerations for elderly folks.  It may be worthwhile to pay a few hundred dollars for a consultation on these issues.

 

 

 

Clear as mud.  Thanks.  😉

Seriously, I appreciate you taking the time to respond.  I actually worked with an elder law attorney a couple years ago when applying for dad's Medicaid.  She always seems to stop short of giving me any direct answers/advise on the debt issues.  There was a whole bunch of shell game maneuvering through the Medicaid process.  But I thought much of that maneuvering was to dissociate dad from any assets and protect assets for mom.  My dad effectively owns nothing (except debt).  But you are telling me there is a good chance anything mom has as an asset is likely still vulnerable?  Could she be held financially responsible for his credit card debt?

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On 3/4/2021 at 4:18 PM, Galileo said:

Clear as mud.  Thanks.  😉

Seriously, I appreciate you taking the time to respond.  I actually worked with an elder law attorney a couple years ago when applying for dad's Medicaid.  She always seems to stop short of giving me any direct answers/advise on the debt issues.  There was a whole bunch of shell game maneuvering through the Medicaid process.  But I thought much of that maneuvering was to dissociate dad from any assets and protect assets for mom.  My dad effectively owns nothing (except debt).  But you are telling me there is a good chance anything mom has as an asset is likely still vulnerable?  Could she be held financially responsible for his credit card debt?

before we get there - how old is the credit card debt?  When did he make the application and sign the card holder agreement?  If it was years ago, chances are pretty good that the credit card company no longer has that documentation and could not prove what is owed in a court of law. I have litigated a number of these types of claims and you would be shocked at how often the credit card company does not have the documentation to support the claim. 

Have you thought about contacting the CC company and after explaining the situation tell them that you are willing to pay x( 50% or thereabout) as a lump sum to settle the debt and if not that is not acceptable, then they likely are not going to get any additional payments?

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19 hours ago, Angry Beavers said:

before we get there - how old is the credit card debt?  When did he make the application and sign the card holder agreement?  If it was years ago, chances are pretty good that the credit card company no longer has that documentation and could not prove what is owed in a court of law. I have litigated a number of these types of claims and you would be shocked at how often the credit card company does not have the documentation to support the claim. 

Have you thought about contacting the CC company and after explaining the situation tell them that you are willing to pay x( 50% or thereabout) as a lump sum to settle the debt and if not that is not acceptable, then they likely are not going to get any additional payments?

One of the accounts was opened in 1980 and the other in 2000.  I think most of the debt on those was accumulated about 10 - 12 years ago. My father was not a wise man when it came to finances and loved to live above his means.  Over the years, he also borrowed large sums against the house.   His financial situation was an absolute train wreck when we started the process of applying for Medicaid a few years ago.  

With regard to the second question, no I have not thought about that much, nor do I really wish to assume his debt.  But my primary goal right now is to try to protect mom and preserve her means of living which is why I was wondering if default on "his" debt would have any repercussions on her. 

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4 hours ago, Galileo said:

One of the accounts was opened in 1980 and the other in 2000.  I think most of the debt on those was accumulated about 10 - 12 years ago. My father was not a wise man when it came to finances and loved to live above his means.  Over the years, he also borrowed large sums against the house.   His financial situation was an absolute train wreck when we started the process of applying for Medicaid a few years ago.  

With regard to the second question, no I have not thought about that much, nor do I really wish to assume his debt.  But my primary goal right now is to try to protect mom and preserve her means of living which is why I was wondering if default on "his" debt would have any repercussions on her. 

I would talk to an attorney in your state about what are the chances your mom can be made to pay his debt.  Seems like based on what you have said that documentation would be difficult for the Credit card company to produce the evidence they would need if you simply said, we arent paying. 

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2 hours ago, HaFo SaFo said:

No one's posted this yet?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30Mfk7Dg42k

Zoom hearing for an assault case. Complainant/Girlfriend called cops against Defendant/Boyfriend. 

At about the 7-minute mark, the prosecutor calls attention to the girlfriend's weird behavior... and suggests that the defendant is actually in the room with her.

The judge asks her address, then asks if she can step outside so he can see the street numbers on the house. Then he asks the same from the boyfriend, but, 'I can't leave because I have 2% charge on my phone and it's plugged into the wall'. Uh-huh. 
 

 

Yeah, welcome to zoom hearings. 

Frankly, I'm more surprised that the defense attorney objected to hearsay when he did. 

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16 hours ago, HaFo SaFo said:

No one's posted this yet?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=30Mfk7Dg42k

Zoom hearing for an assault case. Complainant/Girlfriend called cops against Defendant/Boyfriend. 

At about the 7-minute mark, the prosecutor calls attention to the girlfriend's weird behavior... and suggests that the defendant is actually in the room with her.

The judge asks her address, then asks if she can step outside so he can see the street numbers on the house. Then he asks the same from the boyfriend, but, 'I can't leave because I have 2% charge on my phone and it's plugged into the wall'. Uh-huh. 
 

 

I didn't think she was acting that weird.  The prosecutor must have known this was happening already.  Crazy.  

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2 hours ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

I didn't think she was acting that weird.  The prosecutor must have known this was happening already.  Crazy.  

Yeah and she may have already seen something similar. I've seen it myself (had a funny one where a witness was hiding behind and trying to help coach the pro se litigant but we could all totally see her). 

Given how quickly law enforcement responded Ialso suggests to me a strong likelihood that the state knew this was likely going to occur. 

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1 hour ago, Zow said:

Yeah and she may have already seen something similar. I've seen it myself (had a funny one where a witness was hiding behind and trying to help coach the pro se litigant but we could all totally see her). 

Given how quickly law enforcement responded Ialso suggests to me a strong likelihood that the state knew this was likely going to occur. 

Yea, it was like the police were just waiting around the corner for the hearing to begin.  

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The 6-month+ saga is drawing to a close and my son has about a month to pick a law school. Still hasn't heard from Yale, but according to past years if you applied before January and haven't gotten in by now, you're probably not getting in. So the choices (including scholarships/financial aid) are:

UChicago, $0 tuition + $20K annual stipend, 3-year net cost about $10,000
NYU, $0 tuition, no stipend, net cost about $75,000
Harvard, $37K tuition, net cost about $180,000

These costs don't take into account summer income or any $ my wife and I are willing to kick in (which is probably about $10k per year if we have to). So he'd be likely to come out of Chicago with $0 debt and NYU with, I don't know, $25-50K, based on summer earnings and parental guilt. And he's pretty much already ruled out Harvard based on price as well as fit.

I think he is leaning toward NYU a little right now. He's a huge public interest guy and has been a little turned off by what he's heard about Chicago's conservatism/libertarianism. But in thinking this through  here are some questions that have come up that I'd love your thoughts on. Feel free to DM me if you prefer:

Cost - Is it stupid to pay $65k more for a slightly lower ranked school? $50k in student loan debt seems pretty manageable to me, but is it, and is it worth it?

Clerkships - All the law school kids today are obsessed with getting federal judicial clerkships. And Chicago is really, really good for that. But is a clerkship that big a deal for a someone who is 100% not going to pursue BigLaw? Are they a big deal at all, or are these kids just misguided status seekers?

Career - Would he be significantly advantaged/disadvantaged career wise by picking either of these schools? He has no specific idea what he wants to do, but broad strokes are non-profits with an international policy focus or maybe civil rights. He's fluent in Arabic and Chinese so I could see him doing international human rights, or immigration policy, maybe working as counsel on Capitol Hill. He's been named a finalist as an International Law and Justice Scholar at NYU, which would mean a free fourth year and International Law LLM if he got it. But the program seems really focused on preparing people to become law faculty and he's probably not up for that.

Culture - He's not shy, but is very self-contained and a bit reserved. Absolutely despises self-promotion or performative leadership (part of why he nixed Harvard). He's great at working one-on-one with faculty but I could see him struggling to form connections with faculty among a class of 425 at NYU vs 190 at Chicago. Also, Chicago pairs students in his scholarship program with faculty mentors, so he'd have that relationship pre-set. How important is having a close relationship with faculty to landing the kind of job he wants (or clerkship)?

Finally, if there's anything we're not thinking about that we should be, please let me know. Sorry this is so long and thanks for your help!

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30 minutes ago, The_Man said:

The 6-month+ saga is drawing to a close and my son has about a month to pick a law school. Still hasn't heard from Yale, but according to past years if you applied before January and haven't gotten in by now, you're probably not getting in. So the choices (including scholarships/financial aid) are:

UChicago, $0 tuition + $20K annual stipend, 3-year net cost about $10,000
NYU, $0 tuition, no stipend, net cost about $75,000
Harvard, $37K tuition, net cost about $180,000

These costs don't take into account summer income or any $ my wife and I are willing to kick in (which is probably about $10k per year if we have to). So he'd be likely to come out of Chicago with $0 debt and NYU with, I don't know, $25-50K, based on summer earnings and parental guilt. And he's pretty much already ruled out Harvard based on price as well as fit.

I think he is leaning toward NYU a little right now. He's a huge public interest guy and has been a little turned off by what he's heard about Chicago's conservatism/libertarianism. But in thinking this through  here are some questions that have come up that I'd love your thoughts on. Feel free to DM me if you prefer:

Cost - Is it stupid to pay $65k more for a slightly lower ranked school? $50k in student loan debt seems pretty manageable to me, but is it, and is it worth it?

Clerkships - All the law school kids today are obsessed with getting federal judicial clerkships. And Chicago is really, really good for that. But is a clerkship that big a deal for a someone who is 100% not going to pursue BigLaw? Are they a big deal at all, or are these kids just misguided status seekers?

Career - Would he be significantly advantaged/disadvantaged career wise by picking either of these schools? He has no specific idea what he wants to do, but broad strokes are non-profits with an international policy focus or maybe civil rights. He's fluent in Arabic and Chinese so I could see him doing international human rights, or immigration policy, maybe working as counsel on Capitol Hill. He's been named a finalist as an International Law and Justice Scholar at NYU, which would mean a free fourth year and International Law LLM if he got it. But the program seems really focused on preparing people to become law faculty and he's probably not up for that.

Culture - He's not shy, but is very self-contained and a bit reserved. Absolutely despises self-promotion or performative leadership (part of why he nixed Harvard). He's great at working one-on-one with faculty but I could see him struggling to form connections with faculty among a class of 425 at NYU vs 190 at Chicago. Also, Chicago pairs students in his scholarship program with faculty mentors, so he'd have that relationship pre-set. How important is having a close relationship with faculty to landing the kind of job he wants (or clerkship)?

Finally, if there's anything we're not thinking about that we should be, please let me know. Sorry this is so long and thanks for your help!

I'd pick Chicago.  Great muskie fishing just north of there in Wisconsin.

 

 

In all seriousness, I have no idea. I'm just a guy perusing this thread because I love the stories. This is really awesome for your son. Your pride comes out loud and clear here. Whatever he chooses he sounds like he has his act together. Congrats!

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These are all great considerations, but I would ask where he wants to live for 3 years.  Law School is hard work, but its still much more fun than working.  This could be the last 3 years he has to really just enjoy himself for a long long time. Both cities offer fantastic experiences for a young student, so I wonder if he has a preference, school / career factors aside, as to which City appeals to him more.  One thing I would note - although I absolutely love the city of Chicago, the law school is not in an ideal neighborhood for a young single guy, and the public transportation options getting down to the law school campus aren't great.  You can do it, but its not a nice convenient train stop or single bus ride in most cases.

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Oh man, either Chicago or NYU are great choices. I love the city of Chicago and the net cost for him is amazing. I actually typed Chicago hands down, but then I realized Univ. Chicago is further south than I thought. If you'd say Northwest then I'd say Northwestern hands down because it's an amazing location in addition to the other factors.

However, NYU is in a great location and who wouldn't love to be there at that age.

Really can't go wrong with either option. $65k isn't that much all things considered. I wouldn't worry about which one has better job prospects or anything since he'll do great either way. For me it comes down to where do you want to live. Personal preference, can't go wrong either way. 

 

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This is tough.
 

None of these student loan debts would be insurmountable. If it were me, knowing what I know now, I might pick Harvard. Because it’s on your resume till you die. That’s not to say every Harvard lawyer I work with is a phenom. But still. Harvard. 
 

Some other points: I don’t see relationships with faculty as mattering. I had, and have, none. But I’m in Biglaw, maybe it matters more for other paths. Clerkships are great for Biglaw or if you want to eventually become a judge. I’m not sure it matters a whole lot for anything else, but this is all I really know. 

As between Chicago and NYU, I don’t see a huge difference in prestige or doors that’ll be opened. I don’t even know where they are ranked these days. They’ve just always in my mind been in the category of “not quite Harvard; the next rung down.”  Which is still a great place to be. 
 

PS, I went to a school that at the time was probably ranked 25-30. I’ve done pretty well. But I often wonder if I’d be doing even better with a Harvard degree. What other doors would have opened for me?  What opportunities?  What other clients would have hired me?  We’ll never know. 
 

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Question for you guys regarding the DeSean Watson cases.  He's being sued by 2 women in civil cases for what sounds like  sexual assault.  Their lawyer is really sleezy and that takes away from the credibility of this, but why weren't there criminal investigations before these civil cases?  Is it common for people to pursue civil cases like this without filing a complaint with the police?

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3 minutes ago, RC94 said:

Question for you guys regarding the DeSean Watson cases.  He's being sued by 2 women in civil cases for what sounds like  sexual assault.  Their lawyer is really sleezy and that takes away from the credibility of this, but why weren't there criminal investigations before these civil cases?  Is it common for people to pursue civil cases like this without filing a complaint with the police?

Depending on the severity of the alleged assault (I haven’t read the lawsuits), I would think it’s quite common.  Also, I don’t know that I agree with your characterization of Tony Buzbee. He’s a marine, an extremely successful trial lawyer, and came in second in the most recent election for Mayor of Houston. 

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17 hours ago, The_Man said:

The 6-month+ saga is drawing to a close and my son has about a month to pick a law school. Still hasn't heard from Yale, but according to past years if you applied before January and haven't gotten in by now, you're probably not getting in. So the choices (including scholarships/financial aid) are:

UChicago, $0 tuition + $20K annual stipend, 3-year net cost about $10,000
NYU, $0 tuition, no stipend, net cost about $75,000
Harvard, $37K tuition, net cost about $180,000

These costs don't take into account summer income or any $ my wife and I are willing to kick in (which is probably about $10k per year if we have to). So he'd be likely to come out of Chicago with $0 debt and NYU with, I don't know, $25-50K, based on summer earnings and parental guilt. And he's pretty much already ruled out Harvard based on price as well as fit.

I think he is leaning toward NYU a little right now. He's a huge public interest guy and has been a little turned off by what he's heard about Chicago's conservatism/libertarianism. But in thinking this through  here are some questions that have come up that I'd love your thoughts on. Feel free to DM me if you prefer:

Cost - Is it stupid to pay $65k more for a slightly lower ranked school? $50k in student loan debt seems pretty manageable to me, but is it, and is it worth it?

Clerkships - All the law school kids today are obsessed with getting federal judicial clerkships. And Chicago is really, really good for that. But is a clerkship that big a deal for a someone who is 100% not going to pursue BigLaw? Are they a big deal at all, or are these kids just misguided status seekers?

Career - Would he be significantly advantaged/disadvantaged career wise by picking either of these schools? He has no specific idea what he wants to do, but broad strokes are non-profits with an international policy focus or maybe civil rights. He's fluent in Arabic and Chinese so I could see him doing international human rights, or immigration policy, maybe working as counsel on Capitol Hill. He's been named a finalist as an International Law and Justice Scholar at NYU, which would mean a free fourth year and International Law LLM if he got it. But the program seems really focused on preparing people to become law faculty and he's probably not up for that.

Culture - He's not shy, but is very self-contained and a bit reserved. Absolutely despises self-promotion or performative leadership (part of why he nixed Harvard). He's great at working one-on-one with faculty but I could see him struggling to form connections with faculty among a class of 425 at NYU vs 190 at Chicago. Also, Chicago pairs students in his scholarship program with faculty mentors, so he'd have that relationship pre-set. How important is having a close relationship with faculty to landing the kind of job he wants (or clerkship)?

Finally, if there's anything we're not thinking about that we should be, please let me know. Sorry this is so long and thanks for your help!

Obviously, there are no bad choices here. For what it’s worth, I know folks who have gone to all three schools, and the people who went to Chicago and NYU seem to have had more positive experiences than those who went to Harvard for law school (Harvard undergrad is a different story).  Anecdotal to be sure, but my brother went to Chicago and I went to NYU and we both loved our law school experiences.  I don’t think either of us had any particularly close relationships with faculty, and not too many of my classmates at NYU did as far as I am aware. 

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19 hours ago, The_Man said:

Cost - Is it stupid to pay $65k more for a slightly lower ranked school? $50k in student loan debt seems pretty manageable to me, but is it, and is it worth it?

Clerkships - All the law school kids today are obsessed with getting federal judicial clerkships. And Chicago is really, really good for that. But is a clerkship that big a deal for a someone who is 100% not going to pursue BigLaw? Are they a big deal at all, or are these kids just misguided status seekers?

 

Clerkships- they are very valuable to anyone who is litigating. A public interest shop won’t pay $50,000 in signing bonus to a court of appeals clerk, but have him take a look at the bios of top public interest litigators (I’m assuming he was interested in litigating, if not, disregard.). A lot of them will have fancy clerkships. Side note: I wouldn’t totally rule out BigLaw for a year or two either - few places are as good at (or have the resources for) training young litigators. It may be to his advantage to learn from the “bad guys” before fighting them. And even 1-2 years will set him up really nicely financially. 
 

that level of student debt isn’t crippling by any means, but again, if he’s set on never working for a firm, I’d be very cost conscious. I’m sure you’ve had him look at a debt repayment calculator to show how much per month he’ll be paying per month for 10 years or whatever to knock that out (assuming whatever public interest gig he’s interested in doesn’t do loan forgiveness).  

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I'd have a really hard time paying $60-75k more for functionally the same education if it didn't come with some kind of other major benefit (e.g., gorgeous weather!).

 

I'd hesitate to draw a conclusion that NYU would be better due to worries about Chicago being a "conservative" school. The most conservative law school is still wildly on the liberal side of the political spectrum compared to the average, based on all my friends across schools. Hell, even Booth (Chicago's business school) is still way more liberal than you'd think and has a reputation as among the most conservative educational institutions we have.

 

A clerkship is a pretty huge deal if you don't want to do biglaw. It's just one more step on the trail of getting where you want to go with the highest chances. You can do anything without it, but it sure is more likely/easier to do what you want with a good one.

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Honestly, I’d strongly consider doing a clerkship if I wanted to pursue anything other than Biglaw. 

Edited by bigbottom
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@The_Man  Great choices for your son - Congrats!  The cost is fairly insignificant in the long run. From what you have said, I might go for the smaller school but it is up to him and where he thinks he would be most comfortable and enjoy living for 3 years. 

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Had a Judge start a zoom hearing an hour late this AM and then be completely rude to everyone - the litigants, the attorneys etc. I have never filed a judicial complaint before in 25 years of practice but there is a 1st time for everything !!

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Did any law firms really lose business working from home? Just looking at PPP tracking website and see my former firm and several other IP firms in town all took large sums of PPP funds. my contacts have told me they were just as busy as ever. Seems fishy. 

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4 hours ago, FBG26 said:

Did any law firms really lose business working from home? Just looking at PPP tracking website and see my former firm and several other IP firms in town all took large sums of PPP funds. my contacts have told me they were just as busy as ever. Seems fishy. 

We had a down year overall - mainly due to a significant reduction in personal injury cases and some reduction in other areas (criminal defense and some transactional work). 
 

Family law and estate planning had their best years ever in my firm though and I had my most lucrative year to date. 

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So my office is making getting the covid vaccine mandatory (save for legitimate medical or religious exceptions). Thought process is we can’t all go back to work in the office without it. That said, it’s getting some harsh pushback from some of the staff and one of the partners. While I think it’s a good thing we get everyone vaccinated I admit the mandatory part of it makes me uneasy. 
 

How are your firms handling it? 
 

@bigbottom I guess I’ll shamelessly ask for a free take on this. I concede I’m a little worried about liability here and don’t know enough about employment law to gauge the level of exposure to the firm. 
 

 

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49 minutes ago, Zow said:

So my office is making getting the covid vaccine mandatory (save for legitimate medical or religious exceptions). Thought process is we can’t all go back to work in the office without it. That said, it’s getting some harsh pushback from some of the staff and one of the partners. While I think it’s a good thing we get everyone vaccinated I admit the mandatory part of it makes me uneasy. 
 

How are your firms handling it? 
 

@bigbottom I guess I’ll shamelessly ask for a free take on this. I concede I’m a little worried about liability here and don’t know enough about employment law to gauge the level of exposure to the firm. 
 

 

These are emerging issues and I’ve been out of the employment law practice for a few years now, but here are a few links on point (SHRM usually has pretty good guidance on employment law matters):

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/if-workers-refuse-a-covid-19-vaccination.aspx

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/03/06/workplace-covid-vaccine-policies/

https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws (scroll down to the vaccination section)

From a federal standpoint, it appears that an employer is permitted to require employees to get vaccinated so long as they are providing accommodations related to employees’ disabilities and sincerely held religious beliefs. State laws may provide otherwise, however. But if an employee is required to get the vaccine by your firm, and then suffers some sort of negative reaction, I wonder if there would be some sort of tort claim they could successfully bring.

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10 hours ago, FBG26 said:

Did any law firms really lose business working from home? Just looking at PPP tracking website and see my former firm and several other IP firms in town all took large sums of PPP funds. my contacts have told me they were just as busy as ever. Seems fishy. 

Just noting, the first round of ppp benefits was not tied to revenue. I think the main requirement was that the company not layoff its workforce and use the funds for payroll. The second round did require some level of reduction in yoy revenue between 2019 and 20. 

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6 hours ago, Zow said:

We had a down year overall - mainly due to a significant reduction in personal injury cases and some reduction in other areas (criminal defense and some transactional work). 
 

Family law and estate planning had their best years ever in my firm though and I had my most lucrative year to date. 

I heard the PI firms are hurting a bit, or were. I wonder if it’s because the courts were largely closed, at least for jury trials, or maybe because people weren’t out on the roads as much? I know M&A had a slow period but it seems to be back now. 
 

I also had a very strong year personally, but that was mostly due to one large contingent fee case that cashed. I had over two years into it. I do a lot of business insolvency work and that is picking up now. 

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11 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:
10 hours ago, FBG26 said:

Did any law firms really lose business working from home? Just looking at PPP tracking website and see my former firm and several other IP firms in town all took large sums of PPP funds. my contacts have told me they were just as busy as ever. Seems fishy. 

Just noting, the first round of ppp benefits was not tied to revenue. I think the main requirement was that the company not layoff its workforce and use the funds for payroll. The second round did require some level of reduction in yoy revenue between 2019 and 20.

Yeah, I should have been more clear. I wasnt suggesting they did anything illegal, or even in violation of legal ethics, but moreso did they really need the funds? The IP firms I looked at probably did use the money to pay payroll or rent, but they weren't going to lay anybody off anyway since they were doing just fine so they probably pocketed the money they otherwise would have used for payroll and rent. To be fair, they maybe didn't know that at the time and were worried about needing funds, but I'm skeptical that we gave them a bunch of free money and they made out like bandits. 

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50 minutes ago, CletiusMaximus said:

I heard the PI firms are hurting a bit, or were. I wonder if it’s because the courts were largely closed, at least for jury trials, or maybe because people weren’t out on the roads as much? I know M&A had a slow period but it seems to be back now. 
 

Our PI guys say both but more so the latter. Which means that PI will probably be down for another year as a residual effect. 

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5 hours ago, bigbottom said:

These are emerging issues and I’ve been out of the employment law practice for a few years now, but here are a few links on point (SHRM usually has pretty good guidance on employment law matters):

https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/legal-and-compliance/employment-law/pages/if-workers-refuse-a-covid-19-vaccination.aspx

https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2021/03/06/workplace-covid-vaccine-policies/

https://www.eeoc.gov/wysk/what-you-should-know-about-covid-19-and-ada-rehabilitation-act-and-other-eeo-laws (scroll down to the vaccination section)

From a federal standpoint, it appears that an employer is permitted to require employees to get vaccinated so long as they are providing accommodations related to employees’ disabilities and sincerely held religious beliefs. State laws may provide otherwise, however. But if an employee is required to get the vaccine by your firm, and then suffers some sort of negative reaction, I wonder if there would be some sort of tort claim they could successfully bring.

Thanks for this input. All those links were very helpful. 
 

Frankly, your last sentence is a concern of mine as well. We do have a staff member who is pregnant and I worry that she get the vaccine and something happens to the pregnancy then we could be in trouble. 

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1 hour ago, CletiusMaximus said:

I heard the PI firms are hurting a bit, or were. I wonder if it’s because the courts were largely closed, at least for jury trials, or maybe because people weren’t out on the roads as much? I know M&A had a slow period but it seems to be back now. 
 

I also had a very strong year personally, but that was mostly due to one large contingent fee case that cashed. I had over two years into it. I do a lot of business insolvency work and that is picking up now. 

I’m on the M&A tax side. It did seem like a lot of people were slower last summer.  Things picked up by the fall and it has been roaring for the past few months. We close our performance year in April, and this has been my busiest year ever (but, of course, firm-wide is not the same and all I got was a smaller bonus pool for my efforts).

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