Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Jones Vargas' Final Hours?

As a few of you recently commented, the latest word on the street is that Fennemore Craig will be acquiring what's left of Jones Vargas, effective July 1, 2012.  Apparently, a letter confirming this just went out to all of JV's clients.  On a related note, I've also heard that a few more associates/shareholders were still looking to jump ship, and may be headed over to Holland and Hart.

Can anyone verify/fill in the details?

Thanks for the tip, tipsters!

36 comments:

  1. What happened at JV? That firm was an absolute powerhouse in its day. Bad management? Financial difficulties? "The econonmy"?

    Will anyone expose how such a venerable firm became such a scrap heap?

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  2. I believe it started about four years ago when I applied for a summer associate position and they rejected me.

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  3. Might it have something to do with having 3 "stockholders" for every associate?

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  4. Greenberg's website lists 11 associates, 5 of counse, and 19 stockholders

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  5. Good luck to the leftovers of Jones Vargas who join Fennemore Craig. What a match. Fennemore's so-called leaders are out to line their own pockets and further exalt their privileged status, while the rest of the directors are treated like employees. Put up and shut up, or else. Ethical and professional issues that once had bright-line answers at FC are now treated situationally depending on the director's or client's influence. What a sad de-evolution for what was for generations one of the best firms in the Southwest. Adding a bunch of leftovers from JV could truly tank FC.

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  6. FC is an amalgamated mess of attorneys without any coherent direction. Some good pieces that do not mesh as a whole.

    Precisely why FC thinks adding the mess from JV will make things better is preposterous (other than a headhunter called and tried to make the match). I have never understood the mentality that injection of a cancer will make a weak body stronger.

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  7. Wow, that is sad about Jones Vargas, but not unexpected. Their forthcoming demise has been expected by many for years. They were quite a firm when the economy was better, but don't think they were as nimble or transitioned as well as others when the economy turned way south. There were also some significant partner departures over the last few years that really weakened them. Kirk Lenhard to Brownstein, the group from Reno that left to Gordon & Silver, the bankruptcy people in Reno that left for Armstrong Teasdale, the recent departure of certain lobbying people--the list goes on and it all became a slowly sinking ship. Since I have been practicing, Jones Vargas also always seemed to have the problem of being way too top heavy with way too many partners.

    As for the remainders joining Fennemore Craig, I'm not sure why there is all the hating on that firm. Sure, it is somewhat of a loose confederation of people from various places, but some of the people I have dealt with there do some very solid work. I do agree though that many of the best partners from Jones Vargas had already left (with a few notable exceptions) and thus what Fennemore is getting is not close to what Jones Vargas once was.

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  8. I heard that in the final hours of Jones Vargas all of the JV attorneys not moving on to Fennemore Craig shat on their desks and removed all the "f" and "c" keys from their keyboards.

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  9. Copied from email from Doug Cohen:

     
    I am pleased to inform you that as of July 1st, Jones Vargas and I  join the large prestigious  law firm, Fennemore Craig. The new firm is named Fennemore Craig Jones Vargas, located in the Bank of America building at 300 S. Fourth St., #1400, Las Vegas, Nevada 89101.  Although my old telephone number and email address should transfer, after July 1st, my new email address is dcohen@fclaw.com.  The telephone number is  692-8000.
     
    Thank you,
     
    Douglas Cohen, Esq.

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  10. Does the Arizona Whale know that it is taking on the name of the Nevada minnow that it is swallowing?

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  11. The partners and at least one associate at JV now have profiles on Fennemore Craig's site.

    For those associates who don't - there may be something they haven't told you...

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  12. Too many has-been kings. No long-term vision. Years of weak management. Jones Vargas' shipwreck began years ago.

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  13. But look at the FC-LV (or FC-JV) Website now and tell me it does not suffer from the same disease that JV suffered.

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  14. I'm surprised there aren't many details. Anyone who was part of this happy about it? Anyone pissed off about it? Any attorneys given their pinkslips? Any attorneys start their own new firm? What went on at Jones Vargas that caused the downfall? Come on, people, juicy details, please!

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  15. What about the JV folks in Reno? There is no FC Reno office. Did they go to H&H?

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  16. JV-Reno is now FCJV-Reno

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  17. Does anyone know the salary progression for the big firms in Las Vegas? NALP lists the first year, but nothing else. It's relevant information when weighing jobs and it is annoyingly absent.

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  18. http://www.fclaw.com/news/Materials/JV_PRESS%20RELEASE%20-%20AZ%20CO%20NAT'L%20.pdf


    It appears that a substantial number of JV's attorneys did not make the move. Also, it will be known as FCJV here and just FC everywhere else.

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  19. Precisely how many associates from JV made the move in Las Vegas? According to the Press Release, 0.

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  20. All the associates left JV prior to the move. The writing was on the wall. To my knowledge no attorneys were left high and dry - but quite a few took huge pay cuts. Some support staff was royally screwed, also.

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  21. I heard from a descent source that it will only be FCJV for two years. Then back to FC. I guess that's to benefit from any name recognition JV has.

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  22. Actually, a few associates stayed on almost to the bitter end. Will it be difficult for former JV associates to find jobs? No. Will it be difficult for former JV to find jobs making the kind of pay they were making at JV? Yes.

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  23. When two "weak" firms (FC LV and Jones Vargas) come together; hopefully, they will make each other stronger. Time will tell shortly...Yes, it is very top heavy and "packed" on the 14th Floor of the BOA building.

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  24. What's with all these firms failing or at least not prospering? Is the problem that once you get more people than one person can manage, the firm suffers? Is the leadership that bad? Why so many partners and so few associates at JV? Do the partners suck that much at rainmaking that they can't "feed" enough people? Do attorneys just suck at management skills, business skills and rainmaking? No offense by this rant, but someone needed to ask these questions. There's so much business out there that I don't get what's so difficult.

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  25. Blast e-mail I received:

    Fennemore Craig is pleased to announce that 23 lawyers from the distinguished Nevada firm of Jones Vargas will join the firm, effective July 1. In Nevada, the firm name will be Fennemore Craig Jones Vargas with 36 lawyers and offices in Las Vegas and Reno. This expansion strengthens the firm’s competitive position as a strong, regional firm in the Mountain West with nearly 200 attorneys across offices in Reno, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tucson, Nogales and Denver.

    The addition of the Jones Vargas attorneys adds even greater depth to Fennemore Craig’s robust Labor and Employment, Real Estate, Corporate, Commercial Litigation, Government Affairs, and Mining practice areas among many others across the firm, including Intellectual Property, Bankruptcy, Benefits, and Natural Resources. Now among the largest 250 law firms in the nation, Fennemore Craig continues to help entrepreneurs and companies move the economy forward.

    If you have any questions or for additional information about Fennemore Craig, please visit our website at FENNEMORECRAIG.COM or contact Tim Berg, Managing Partner, at tberg@fclaw.com.

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  26. How much do you think JV associates were pulling in?

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  27. I don't know that it's true that "[t]here's so much business out there."


    Things were blowing up in Las Vegas from 1900 to 2005, and there was
    less competition. Boyd law wasn't around. National firms weren't
    coming to town. Casinos and other big businesses were fine with using
    LSC/Jones Vargas/Schreck Brignone.

    Then, things stopped blowing up, big
    firms came in to town looking for the work, and UNLV graduates another
    class every year. I think this was inevitable. I think national firms will become the norm for big work, and I doubt we'll see the type of excitement that happened from 2000-2005 ever again.

    I don't think it's anyone's fault. Just an end of an era.

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  28. Also, imagine you are an all-star rainmaker partner at JV, and every year you split a lot of what you bring in with a lot of former all-star, e.g., real estate partners that are no longer making it rain (because their clients aren’t doing deals and bringing them work). Then, you hear that another firm will pay you a lot more for your book of business, and that firm isn’t saddled with a bunch of idle partners. What do you do? You move. What does JV do when this happens over and over and they’ve lost all the people that make money when the economy isn’t booming? You’re seeing it.

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  29. Another significant issue is first generation firms. A common problem with first generation firms (defined as firms who still have one or more founding partners or original associates still involved as partners)is that the more senior partners begin to look more at securing their retirement than leaving a "legacy". While often the idea of leaving a legacy firm bearing their name is appealing to an attorney's ego, the issue of money and control can be at odds with that desire. A multitude of firms do not survive beyond the first generation, or if they make it to the second generation, they begin a slow death spiral.

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  30. Anon at 9:49, that is an interesting comment. I wonder whether LS&C may suffer the same fate (another old Vegas firm similar to JV). I think LS&C is much stronger than JV, but it would seem they also have some primo older attorneys but no solid class of lower or junior partners to really provide for the future. When the older senior partners think more about cashing out than the future, firms can implode just as well. It is a difficult balance.

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  31. Could not disagree more about LSC. LSC has a fine group of Associates/Jr. Partners who will ensure its long-term stability

    (PS: not now and never have been an LSC employee)

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  32. @ 3:39

    That may be true, but that does not mean there will not be pressures/issues as described above that first generation firms encounter. I predict that within 5 years LSC will merge with a regional or national firm.

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  33. 3:39 definitely works at LSC

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  34. You have to love "anonymous" posts where it's clear that the anonymous post came from someone from a law firm who claims he doesn't work there.

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  35. For the most part the attorneys and staff at Reno Jones Vargas practiced with the utmost respect and professionalism. Having seen the firm operate from the inside, I can say that I'm truly sad to see this happen to such nice, hardworking people (with the exception of Ann Morgan who has no soul).


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  36. Yes, really bad management and clicks/groups at JV. If you were part of the group, apparently you didn't have to work anymore, as your job was safe. Most of the elite group went to FC, wonder how that is working out for them now? Do they still have the same power? Wonder if the attorneys and their secretaries have to work now and show a real effort? Doubt it.

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