Tuesday, June 20, 2017

The Hottest, Longest Day Of The Year


  • We're still waiting on a decision about whether sales of recreational marijuana will go forward on July 1. [TNI]
  • The City of Las Vegas is deciding whether to further clamp down on rentals of party houses. [Las Vegas Sun]
  • Of chokeholds and neck restraints (and lawsuits against Metro). Video features Paola Armeni and Kory Kaplan. [thenowreport.vegas]
  • Nevada Legal Services is having a trivia night benefit at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 27, 2017, at Pizza Rock downtown. Email rsung@nlslaw.net by tomorrow if you have questions or want to form a team.  

34 comments:

  1. Bored. Hey, does anyone know some good free porn sites?

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  2. Too hot to post

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  3. Let's blog about this bit of fascism, set for hearing before the NSC on July 17: http://blog.simplejustice.us/2017/06/14/will-nevada-supremes-buy-the-rule-8-4g-lie/

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    1. The part I find more interesting in the Blog Post is not that Nevada will stupidly take up a rule rejected so many other places (It is the SBN BOG. It is our idiotic Supreme Court that is so out of touch with reality). No the more interesting part for me what the comments section which contains the comments of Richard Kopf, who many may remember was the Chief Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Nebraska, who opines quite eloquently about the fallacies of the rule.

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    2. What a bad idea. There is a reason why I don't waste my money on ABA membership.

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    3. Even though my firm will pay for my ABA membership, I refuse to be a member. In addition to bullshit like this, the ABA is responsible for the glut of law schools and law school graduates. The ABA's only real power is to accredit law schools. Unfortunately, the ABA has been captured by law school administrators. As a result, for the last 15 years they accredited any Tom Dick or Harry with a fax machine and a 5th edition of Black's Law Dictionary. The federal loan money flowed freely to law schools, especially private and for profit endeavors. Thanks to the ABA, from 2000-2011, administrators and professors were lavished with truckloads federal loan dollars while teaching two classes as semester and writing articles useful to practitioners such as, "Legal Positivism, the Rule in Shelley's Case & Post-Modern Critical Legal Studies Within the Context of Gender Identity"

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    4. I second that. ABA is run by fifth column fascists.

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    5. 10:19 gets it. It would be interesting to know the default rate on student loans taken out at the bottom half of ABA-accredited law schools. My expectation: >50%

      Anyone who pays federal income tax should be outraged.

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  4. I'm interested in a discussion on attorneys' hourly rates in Nevada. What are typical, car accident insurance defense rates? Construction defect defense rates? Commercial litigation rates? IP rates? I'll start.

    Regional firm, 100 lawyers, non-insurance defense litigation and general business. Associates are $175-$275 for non-insurance defense work. Partners are $275-$525.

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    1. I think the proper way to look at it is "what wold the Court approve as an hourly rate?" Obviously it then goes to years of experience, whether you did all the work, solo v. firm, etc. I think anything up to $300-350 goes (mostly) unquestioned. Beyond that it becomes more scrutinized

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    2. Insurance defense rates are still around $175 for partners/$155 for associates in many cases. The "effective" rates are even lower than those after the insurance company's auditor slashes the attorney's bill. The upside is that once the account has been established, the work flows in pretty regularly.

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    3. Those are horrific rates. Is it really that low? Jesus. I sometimes shake my head at our collection rate, but even after getting stiffed by some clients we're coming out WAAAAAAY ahead of $175.

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    4. I believe that hourly rates is often misleading as a barometer of how much some attorneys are actually charging.

      Depending on the billing procedures, and the integrity, and relative intelligence and efficiency of the attorneys in question, sometimes the higher rate may be much more of a bargain.

      A few things to consider, along with many other factors:

      1. In the most blatant example of wrong doing, some attorneys simply pad the bill and claim matters took a lot longer than they did, or even bill for nonexistent work

      2. Less egregious and unethical, but just as potentially damaging to a client's wallet, is the performing of absolutely pointless work. For example, many Family Law attorneys charge inordinate sums for "legal research" in purely fact-driven custody matters involving no complex or disputed issues of law.

      3. Some attorneys simply take a lot longer to perform certain tasks than others.

      4. Many attorneys bill for every little thing, while some write off some charges.

      5. Some attorneys , rather than billing, let's say, in increments of one-tenths of an hour, will bill in terms of one-fourth of an hour, and everything gets rounded up.

      6. The small print will often indicate that the attorneys are billing for support staff, which means it is a billing event every time a client is told by a secretary that the attorney is unavailable, and things of that sort.

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    5. @ 11:32, you forgot some of the other billing abuses:

      1) Assigning the matter to multiple billing units (attorney, paralegal, etc.) and billing the client for intra-office conferences between those billing units.

      2) Assigning multiple people to cover the same event without specific authority from the client. [For example, billing for 2 attorneys, paralegals, support staff etc to attend a hearing]

      3) Billing the full time to the client when the attorney is representing multiple clients at the same event [representing multiple clients; having multiple cases set for hearing before the same judge on same calendar, etc.]

      4) Charging the client for costs that are properly costs of doing business. [Secretarial time, cost of legal research (that is a substitute for maintaining a legal library), etc.]

      5) Billing for creating documents/pleading as researching and drafting when in actuality they had their assistant do a simple cut and paste (and a bad effort at that (forgetting to remove the name of the person from the last use)); sending discovery requests that are clearly boilerplate and irrelevant (asking about custody issues in a divorce with no children), etc.

      The list could go on ad nauseam.

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    6. These are great suggestions for the next time I'm a little short on billable hours. Any more?

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    7. 11:32, I agree with all of those except for #1. I know that's the general rule with all outside counsel policies and I begrudgingly abide by it, but I think the rule is a crock, and unless you're talking amongst yourselves about your love of Office Space then its hardly an "abuse." Some of the best breakthroughs in a matter come to light when you're talking to the other attorneys on the case. Either that, or more senior attorneys can keep associates from going down a rabbit hole that wastes the client hours of billed time. The value a client gets from an occasional 15 minute conversation among the attorneys on a case is almost always worth the hourly rate - at least in my experience.

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  5. Technically, my standard billing rate is about 475 per hour, but most of my work consists of 300-375 per hour volume work for larger clients. Associates bill anywhere from 250-325. Paralegals 125-175 per hour.

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  6. We charge 25% - 40% of what we recover after we file suit. We do this for matters that are not simply personal injury. The problem with Nevada is everyone wants to do car crashes or insurance defense work. There is a ton of untapped potential in this state. Technology will soon eliminate many positions. You are seeing it happen with mergers and acquisitions already. Lawyers better to learn to think out of the box and look for new revenue streams. Take a business litigation case on a contingency. Amazingly enough when you have akin in the game you work on tasks that are necessary for the case, not just for billing. This equates to a win-win for you and the client.

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    1. Be very careful with this. Personal injury works on contingency because of the presence of insurance proceeds for a definite pot of money which is easy to value. Take a business case and watch your client dispute that the value of the shares you recovered is not what it is purported to be. Get a Judgment and need to execute on Debtor's assets? Watch the client state that your contingency fee is based upon the value of assets. I am all for thinking outside of the box with the understanding that the box did not come into being without any reasoning, experience or logic.

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    2. 12:05 here. You are absolutely correct 1:08. Just like with PI cases you must pick good cases. There are many times a small business gets taken advantage of by a large corporation (publicly traded or large private corporation) and these are the cases I am referring too. As with any case you must carefully pick your cases, whether it is PI (insurance issues come up in most PI cases as the limits are always an issue), Bad Faith cases, business litigation cases, etc... The point is people need to think out of the box as the hourly billing has already died somewhat and will continue to die. Even in insurance defense firms take cases on flat fees. As wall street takes over America profits will become more and more important and attorneys' fees will get trimmed or eliminated.

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    3. 1205 is an idiot. Milking insurance companies for hourly billings will be around forever and firms who do this will never have issues.

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  7. Random topic. Been practicing about 10-11 years, do better than most but not better than all. I feel like I have gotten more scrutiny from the bar in the past year than ever before and it is burning me out. I haven't done anything wrong, not stealing not lying to the court, just feels like they're making it a point to look at me. Never had a grievance upheld, never been charged with a crime, nothing. Is it a function of me having practiced for so long, is the bar just making themselves more of a nuisance or what?

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    1. Without knowing the particulars: (1) The OBC rarely just randomly picks attorneys. It starts with client complaints (even if unjustified). Fee disputes, etc. So figure out if you are having in an inordinate amount of client complaints and why (for example, do you do consumer law or PI or debtor side bankruptcy where client expectations are off the charts). Second analyze if there is something about your practice that is likely to draw scrutiny (see practice areas heavy on advertising or heavy on clients likely to complain; is the Supreme Court sending complaints saying you aren't filing stuff on time, etc.).

      With that said, once you are in their crosshairs, they are ridiculous and merciless.

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    2. With the exception of trust account notifications from banks, they won't bother you if people don't file grievances against you. Are more of your clients mad at you recently? Or have you had a batch of crazy clients?

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  8. Random link of the day. Turns out Rob Graham, he of the multi-million dollar trust account and hundreds of thousands in monthly operating expenses, got his logo from a 99designs contest. https://99designs.com/logo-design/contests/guaranteed-contest-law-firm-needs-logo-397372

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  9. Which of our illustrious colleagues filed this?
    http://m.lasvegassun.com/news/2017/jun/21/parents-sue-over-death-of-son-at-2015-electric-dai/

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