Saturday, August 18, 2012

Dear RNC and DNC:

STOP IT.  Stop calling us at home.  We mean it.  It does you no good to call us, because there is literally nothing that you will say in your phone calls that will influence us, and all that you're doing is ticking us off by disturbing us at home.

This morning, the DNC called:

DNC:  Hi, is this Nancy?
Me:  Yes.
DNC:  We're from the DNC, and we're calling you to . . .
Me.:  Here's the thing:  we're sick of these phone calls, and so we've made a rule that whichever party calls us last is the party against whom we're voting.
DNC:  Oh, you're so full of it.
Me:  [click]

Dear DNC:  Your person was rude by calling me "full of it," so you're now at "vote -1."  PLEASE DO NOT CALL ME TO APOLOGIZE.  It's OK, though, if you find out who spoke with me this morning and reprimand her.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Missing the point about out-of-control fees and expenses.

See this story about a court disallowing some over-the-top expenses (here), especially the last three paragraphs.  Hat tip to Prof. Jessica Gabel for sending me the link to that article.

My take:  orders to show cause can be embarrassing.  Being the focus of a story about one's out-of-control expenses is always embarrassing.

Maybe the speed of law practice is such that it makes it difficult for those lawyers submitting fee apps to a court from reading the line-by-line detail of each bill, but scrimping on time reading attachments that get filed with a court is probably not the best place to save that precious time.  I would hope that the same billing judgment that should operate when sending bills to a client would also apply when submitting fees and expenses to a court.

I wrote a couple of articles about fees and expenses:  see here and here. The latter piece includes a long discussion about the book Professional Fees in Corporate Bankruptcies, by Professors Lynn LoPucki & Joseph Doherty.  I agreed with a significant portion of what LoPucki & Doherty said in the book.  (I disagreed with some other parts, but then, no book's perfect.)  The book is a good read:  useful and clear, with some striking discussions about their data.

Bottom line about this news story that started my post:  not everything is billable.  Not by a long shot.  And until lawyers return to the days where they understand that concept, there will be more stories like the one in