8
   

Attention Lawyers, Attorneys, Paralegals, Please advise!

 
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 04:58 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
OCCOM BILL wrote:

Thanks for the link. Next time I'm in the Windy City; I'll buy you a beer... if you don't mind fraternizing with the non-attorney trash.

I'll drink beer with just about anybody. Even Wisconsinites.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 5 Mar, 2009 06:46 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
I'm enjoying reading this - first, really great to see/hear Bill; next, enjoying the business conversation. I seem to be retired re landarch practice now, so the very word business doesn't make me grimace. If I take up something else to whirl away my time, it'll be simpler re the business part.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 9 Mar, 2009 09:18 pm
@OCCOM BILL,
We use Westlaw and SUMMATIONS for much of case information and decsions in resource and mining.

I do a lot of forensic work for law firms in environmental practices and Ive found that most of them are

1high maintenance

2dont know much about money and can get themselves in financial troubles. (Its good that one has thrown up his (or her) hands and admits "I need help").

Records retention and just general information in complex cases needs real attention and sometimes the lawyers mind is the only case repository and the beagles on the other side can tell when somebody is bluffing.

We have examples of multi service practices here in PA. I do work as a subcontractor on specific cases and the law firms usually keep and engineer or geologist as a practice member. MAny of the problems I see( as an outsider) is when the technical support guys start acting like they were lawyers and the lawyers start believing that they are engineers or geologists. Laughs (and trouble) soon follow.

I know some tech services (mostly chem specialists) who serve on a "contingency basis" (with a reduced fee and a contingency). I dont know how I can do that as a non attorney because all I have is my credibility as a scientist and I dont think I can be part of the "divvy it up" crew with the attornies at the end. I always ask for retainers and I charge fixed hourly rates and my pay isnt dependent upon "winning or settling out" if Im gonna be the major forenic expert.

Ive worked for a lawyer who was a "Sole practitioner" He was a basket case when it came to knowing where anything was. He became kind of irrational at times when he lost something.Ive walked out on him several times during our case (our rules of engagement differ ) We always got back together and he won his case in depositions where the strength of our tech case settled it. I dont work for him again until he gets some help and maybe some partners.

I dont know if Ive added anything, I just see it from a position closer to yours than do Tico, Joe , Jes, or Debrah.

One thing about working WITH attornies, you learn how to exist on adrenaline alone
OCCOM BILL
 
  1  
Reply Wed 11 Mar, 2009 11:18 pm
@farmerman,
Good to see you Farmerman!

You too Osso!

And Joe; we've tipped enough beers back together for me to know if Bin Ladin sent you over a decent beer, it wouldn't go to waste.

farmerman wrote:

We use Westlaw and SUMMATIONS for much of case information and decsions in resource and mining.

I do a lot of forensic work for law firms in environmental practices and Ive found that most of them are

1high maintenance

2dont know much about money and can get themselves in financial troubles. (Its good that one has thrown up his (or her) hands and admits "I need help").
Here, I've got it made. As frustrating as it may be backtracking into a cave 10 times a day, "the man" does know he needs help... and appreciates it immensely. We’re making some serious progress.

farmerman wrote:
Records retention and just general information in complex cases needs real attention and sometimes the lawyers mind is the only case repository and the beagles on the other side can tell when somebody is bluffing.

We have examples of multi service practices here in PA. I do work as a subcontractor on specific cases and the law firms usually keep and engineer or geologist as a practice member. MAny of the problems I see( as an outsider) is when the technical support guys start acting like they were lawyers and the lawyers start believing that they are engineers or geologists. Laughs (and trouble) soon follow.
That does sound like a pending disaster. I keep track of facts and research law, quite efficiently actually, and frankly apply the latter to the former very well... but I do this for one person and one person only. The one who's qualified to keep, scrap or alter it. I don't offer any advice to clients because I’m not qualified to do so, and in fact, go out of my way to explain just that a half a dozen times a day. When someone's life is messed up enough to spend thousands of dollars trying to straighten it out; they don’t need someone talking out of their ass. That's what A2K is for. Wink

farmerman wrote:
I know some tech services (mostly chem specialists) who serve on a "contingency basis" (with a reduced fee and a contingency). I dont know how I can do that as a non attorney because all I have is my credibility as a scientist and I dont think I can be part of the "divvy it up" crew with the attornies at the end. I always ask for retainers and I charge fixed hourly rates and my pay isnt dependent upon "winning or settling out" if Im gonna be the major forenic expert.
Tough line to walk, that. Frankly, I'm surprised that any expert can testify on a contingency basis. That just doesn't sound right... (though I know of a certain case where an anesthesiologist’s testimony on a poorly placed shot which resulted in sciatic nerve damage would be worth a pretty penny… but it’s tough to get a guy who makes a half million dollars a year to testify against one of his own for a few grand. I haven’t found a willing one, yet.

farmerman wrote:
Ive worked for a lawyer who was a "Sole practitioner" He was a basket case when it came to knowing where anything was. He became kind of irrational at times when he lost something.Ive walked out on him several times during our case (our rules of engagement differ ) We always got back together and he won his case in depositions where the strength of our tech case settled it. I dont work for him again until he gets some help and maybe some partners.
I suspect there are a fair percentage of lawyers out there who don't realize the value of good support. It isn't a tough equation really: If you're worth hundreds of dollars an hour doing what you do, and have the wherewithal to stay busy doing it; find someone good at what they do to do everything else.

farmerman wrote:
I dont know if Ive added anything, I just see it from a position closer to yours than do Tico, Joe , Jes, or Debrah.
You've certainly added a perspective closer to my own and I thank you for it. Sorry it took me so long to respond. I’m trying to avoid Westlaw at work in favor of cheaper solutions, but so far the efficiency factor makes it seem worth the dough. And I know I’ll miss the comfort factor of being pretty sure I haven’t missed anything when (if) I no longer have the option. It’s possible I’m just most comfortable with it, but right now it feels like having the answer key to a test instead of just the research materials. I gather SUMMATIONS is another database of some kind?

farmerman wrote:
One thing about working WITH attornies, you learn how to exist on adrenaline alone
My guy is remarkably human for someone who's been in it a couple of decades. He still feels the pain... still feels the fire... and still tries his best to win. My job is simply to help him be better at his... and as much as possible to keep him from having to focus on jobs that aren't or shouldn't be his. It seems to be working out to be an excellent relationship, as his skills seem to end where mine begin and vice versa.

I've been pretty swamped. On the plus side; I talked the boss into taking on a divorce case for a tiny retainer today, knowing I can probably write a concrete Pendente Lite Motion to compel her husband into paying the bill. (I know the commissioner in the county I live in would sign a temporary order to leave him wearing a barrel, with tar and feathers for the exposed parts.) This prick emptied their joint accounts and opened his own, knowing full well she couldn't support the kids because she's a student with a part-time job, while he makes 6 figures. He figures he’ll starve her back to him. NOT! What kind of animal would do that to his wife and children? Told the boss man if the motion fails; I'll do the leg work on my own time... just so long as he nails this sumbitch to the wall. Dude’s an A-hole… and he’s toast! Evil or Very Mad
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 03:52 am
Don't get emotionally involved in the cases. If there's ever any advice I can give, that's it.

Oh and F'man is right. Most attorneys don't know their ass from their elbow when it comes to business, yet are expected to, which is insane. Courses in how to run a law firm (e. g. collect fees, hire personnel, etc.) are not mandatory in Law School, but should be.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  1  
Reply Thu 12 Mar, 2009 08:11 am
@OCCOM BILL,
OCCOM BILL wrote:
Frankly, I'm surprised that any expert can testify on a contingency basis. That just doesn't sound right...

I, too, am dubious. This article admits that the area is ethically murky, but specifically notes that, in Pennsylvania, the rule is that an expert may not be paid on a contingent basis.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 05/06/2021 at 10:17:38