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Thanks to the economy and the election, much is happening in the legal profession right now. Some of it is good, some not-so-good. Based on information we gather from sources throughout the U.S. and around the world, we have selected these as the most significant or unusual developments.

Hot – many areas but particularly these:
• Sub-Prime Litigation of course. Jeff Nielsen, managing director of Navigant Consulting, reports the number of cases filed appear likely to eclipse the total filed in the Savings-and-Loan crisis of the early 1990s. Categories include borrower class action, securities and contract disputes.
• Immigration Law. A big issue facing companies and universities is a shortage of H-1B visas and quotas for green cards since the Federal Government instituted a cap for the visas last year.
• Foreclosures.
• Intellectual Property. More and more litigation.
• Environmental, Global Warming and related areas. Also many law firms now “going green”.
• Industries. Particularly Energy, Health Care, Telecommunications.

Getting Hot
• Bankruptcy. Although filings were increasing, this remained Cool until a few months ago. However, firms are being cautious in staffing up.
• Multi-jurisdictional Class Action Litigation in firms that are positioned to defend European companies because firms there don’t have the experience U.S. firms have.
• Construction Litigation. Always picks up in a down economy.

Hot or Cool
• Commercial Litigation. Mixed readings except for “bet the company” cases which are still Hot.


• Dubai. Continues to be Hot. Nearly 30 Western firms have a presence. While most are from the UK, at least 11 U.S. firms have opened or expanded offices there.

• Web 2.0 & Other Online Networking. LinkedIn (mostly for business networking) and Facebook (more for social networking) are just two options but neither should ever be the primary marketing tactic. Blogs continue to grow in number, scope, versatility and impact. Now it’s not unusual for courts to cite blogs.
• Advertising. While most states prohibit false or misleading ads, some – including New York, South Carolina and Florida – are going further with tighter-than-ever restrictions.
• Full-Time Client Interviewers. Ballard Spahr recently brought on board a full-time person whose sole job is to interview clients and report findings to the firm. Interesting move. But keep in mind two caveats: 1) As with any case of client feedback, the firm must do something with the information, particularly any negative aspects. 2) This still doesn’t replace the impact of the firm Chair or Managing Partner meeting with clients.
• Video Magazine. Baker & Daniels recently posted one in the recruiting section on their web site. A new example of creative marketing being applied to recruiting.
• Annual reports. What began 10 years ago as simply a letter from the Chair of Drinker Biddle & Reath has evolved into well-done, glossy reports, three of which received awards at this year’s Legal Marketing Association’s annual conference. Jenner & Block took a different approach with its “Pro Bono & Community Service Report”.
• Anniversary Celebrations. Freeborn & Peters recently celebrated its 25th with a unique approach.  It published a soft-cover book telling the stories of 25 of its clients and how the firm is “proud to have played a small role in their success.”
• Competitive Intelligence. Continues to grow but firms still struggling with how to create and use it. See Anne Lee Gibson’s superb article in the March issue of Law Practice for the answers.

• Layoffs. A slowly increasing number of firms, mostly large, are laying off associates and support staff. Others, including mid-size firms, are “de-equitizing” some partners. But few are addressing the critical issue of unproductive equity partners and retiring or releasing them.
• Contract lawyers. While only a small percentage of large firms use them, look for this to increase as the result of associate layoffs.
• Lateral partners. Despite layoffs, firms are still looking for lateral partners – with portable “books of business” in most cases.
• Summer associate programs. Some large firms have shortened their programs or hired fewer clerks this year. A steadily growing number of small and mid-size firms are discontinuing their summer programs due to cost and the fact that 50%-70% of the associates leave within five years.  Instead these firms are increasing their recruiting of two- and three-year associates.
• Non-equity partners. Various reports indicate that the total number of NEPs in U.S. firms now equals the number of equity partners.
• Mandatory retirement. The trend to end this began last year when the American and New York Bar Associations approved measures calling for firms to recognize the value of older lawyers.  According to one expert, “It’s a recognition that society has changed.”
• Diversity programs. Although more firms are hiring Diversity Managers, The National
Association for Law Placement (NALP) 2007 Diversity Report Card on the nation’s largest firms showed only modest increases since 1993 in the percentage of women and minority partners.
• Outside investors in law firms. As we reported a year ago, an Australian firm became the first publicly traded law firm in the world and, beginning this year, the UK Legal Services Bill (Clementi Reforms) permits firms located there to seek outside equity investors. Now third-party investors are funding litigation, including commercial cases, in Canada. Is the U.S. next?
• “Secondment” – a British Army term referring to officers assigned temporary duty in other regiments. Now, a growing number of U.S. firms are lending their lawyers to international organizations or to the legal departments of important clients.
• Retaining talent. Several major firms have appointed task forces to examine ways to reduce attrition. They would do well to learn from Husch Blackwell Sanders. The firm reported it has reduced its attrition 50% since cutting out lockstep evaluations of associates seven years ago.
• Going against the trend. As we have been reporting for several years, a growing number of the largest firms have created the full-time position of in-house general counsel. Now, for reasons that are not completely clear, 800-lawyer Sherman & Sterling has eliminated the job and designated one of the partners to handle risk management, conflicts and ethics issues while continuing his own practice. 

Further discussions of some items in this report, as well as of other timely issues, are posted in the Writings and Legal Communiques sections on our web site,

ROBERT DENNEY Associates, Inc.
110 W. Lancaster Ave., Wayne, PA • 610-964-1938 • fax: 610-964-7956
email: • web site:

The High Priestesses Tasha and Dotlyn cordially invite LSD girls to join us!

Tenets of faith to follow.  For right now, and to tide you over, shopping and chocolate will certainly be high on the list.

All hail the Cult of the One Shoe!

Well, it's really an interesting subject .. every so often as you're driving along there's just one shoe lying there on the road. There's never the other shoe in the pair, just that one shoe. Does someone throw their shoe out the window in disgust? Do kids throw their parents' shoes out the back of the station wagon? Do they sprout from seeds sewn by bird droppings in the pavement? This is a worldwide phenomenon: I've seen road shoes sit there, dusty and flattened, in India, Europe, and Mexico and on many highways and byways of North America.

Many great and not-so-great minds have wrestled with this phenomenon without arriving at any firm conclusions. David Feldman devotes 7 pages to the topic in his book When Do Fish Sleep, in the course of which he elucidates 13 theories on lone shoe origin. Clearly, what Dave needs is find himself a date.

There is disagreement on how widespread the phenomenon is. Some say it's confined to North America, and that you never see shoes on, say, the German autobahn. There is no single explanation for the lone shoes. One woman said she placed an extra pair of shoes on the roof of the car while she loaded some stuff, then forgot about them and pulled off. When she checked a while later they were gone. Another said a passenger had his feet up on the dash when the car hit a pothole, whereupon he became unshoed. Unshod. You know what I mean. Yet another claimed he personally had gone around the country strategically depositing shoes in order to sow panic amongst the populace. There's one in every crowd.

None of this really gets at the heart of the matter, however. One dedicated research team, including two short and irrepressible members who several times came perilously close to contributing personally to the lost shoe population, recently conducted a 1,500-mile cross-country car trip, traveling on everything from interstates to gravel roads. En route they passed thousands of identifiable items of roadside debris, chiefly pieces of retread tire on the interstates (how anybody can stand to drive on those things you will never know) and food packaging (mostly cans and bottles) everywhere else. Total shoe count: 4, including one each in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Louisville, Kentucky, and 2 on the road into Chicago. Granted this was in May, not (to hear some tell it) the height of shoe season. And they probably missed a few, such as when one of their little researchers was screaming at the top of her lungs. Still, considering the vast quantity of roadside junk, we are talking about a tiny number of shoes. I would venture to say people have the idea that the highways are littered with shoes because

(1) a roadside shoe is such an ineffably memorable sight, and
(2) virtually all other trash on the road is either anonymous or numbingly commonplace. 

As to why you always see one shoe, never a pair, what do you expect? Assuming most of the shoes are lost by accident, the chances of two randomly ejected shoes landing together is vanishingly small.

General Off-Topic Board / TSLSD: She was an American Girl
« on: February 03, 2008, 05:05:35 PM »
good lord, tom petty looks old

this april?  love to hook up and have dinner or something.

either before or after my team eliminates you  ;)

Incoming 1Ls / Things I wish someone had told everybody else
« on: April 28, 2007, 04:32:06 PM »
From my first year of law school.

1.  Do NOT be "that guy."  You KNOW who I'm talking about.  The guy who won't shut up, and offers his worthless opinion on EVERY topic.  With all the experience of 23 years of living at his command, this loudmouth cretin's hand shoots up so many times that by the second semester, you can actually hear the groans of dismay.  When the professor says, desperately, "Anyone?  Anyone else?" you will know that you have become "that guy."

And that we all hate you.

2.  Share.  Yes, it's a concept that you should have learned in kindergarten, but somehow your mommy forgot to teach it to you.  If a classmate is gone, grab them an extra handout.  Give them a copy of your notes.  Email them the next assignment.  I will promise you, especially if you will be practicing in a small market, that you will be remembered.  Wouldn't you rather that, the first time you argue before the judge that you went to school with, they remember you as the guy who gave them their notes when their computer crashed a week before finals?  Or the jackass that said, "Oh well, wouldn't wanna be YOU."  In this situation, just bend over and kiss your ass goodbye, because you are DONE, son.  Judges have long memories.

3.  Don't make fun of the old people.  Yes, maybe you think that us old folks who return to school at age whatever are pathetic.  Keep it to yourself.  In my class, there are at least two of us whom you would never even hear coming:  The 17-year special forces veteran who sits in my seat, and the airborne ranger with the bronze star and CIB who sits across the way.  Oh, and if you think that the 55-year-old ex-doctor is safe to mock, he's treated half the justices on the state supreme court, and can get a phone call through within minutes.  I've seen him do it.  The dumpy lady on the front row?  Her husband is managing partner at one of the biggest firms in Memphis.  The quiet, grey-haired guy that *always* sits by himself?  20 years as an IRS agent.  At least thats what he says.  I can smell CIA all over him, though, and once a company man, *always* a company man.

Play nice with us and we'll play nice with you.  @#!* with us, and we'll make your life a living hell. 

4.  Keep your family connections to yourself.  Those of us who have busted our asses to get where we are will NOT look kindly on your never having worked because your grandpa is a federal judge, or the fact that your 1.90 GPA will still get you a job in daddy's firm -- and he's paying your tuition, room and board, and even gives you an allowance.  If you are one of these fortunates, count your blessings and shut up.  Or better still, help those of us who aren't that lucky find something too, or at least buy us a beer every once and a while.

Oh, and btw, no we *don't* want to see your new beemer while we're driving a Honda Civic and eating ravioli.

5.  Don't kiss and tell.  Don't @#!* the professors.  Don't cheat.  Don't make life harder on your classmates.  Don't drink too much at social functions.  Don't hit on the dean's wife.  Anything I missed?  Oh, yeah, don't hit the "send" button on an angry email until you've let it sit overnight, no matter how "right" you are.

6. Don't talk about grades, exams, class rank, or anything else with anyone but your closest confidants.  Someone will *always* feel bad after one of these exchanges.  It is ok to female dog about a particular exam, but the old "What did you get for #3?  Really?  Man, the right answer was ......!"  needs to stay in middle school where it belongs.  Too many repeats of that and you will be found behind the dumpster with a Gilbert's stuffed down your throat.

7.   Don't pound on your keyboard during exams like it's halftime at the f-ing Rose Bowl.  Settle down, son, you're driving me nuts!

8.  Do turn your volume down and set your cell phone on vibrate.  The last thing I want to hear during a lecture is your newest rap ringtone.  I have enough trouble paying attention as it is. 

9.  Don't have side conversations while the professor is talking.  I don't *CARE* what you think about the way so-and-so is dressed, where you are going after class, how much you drank or who you screwed last weekend.  YOU are not writing the exam.  That's what IM is for, use it!

10.  Take a shower.  Please.

General Off-Topic Board / Law School Haiku.
« on: April 02, 2007, 07:10:31 PM »
as a leaf falling
my dreams of Columbia
remain unfinanced


As you write your exam, a crash.
The Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and the socratic method.
Guess which has occurred.

With searching comes loss.
The presence of absence.
"AppellateBrief.doc" not found.

You seek a precedent.
It cannot be located.
Countless more exist.

Chaos reigns within.
Stop, reflect, and drink heavily.
Order shall return.

     - rev

General Off-Topic Board / Rev's Ballad for a New Cycle!
« on: February 23, 2007, 06:57:03 PM »
An Ode to the Ladies, Part II

“It’s now a new cycle!” my friend Duck has said
“A new bevy of beauties you’ve not asked to bed!”
It’s time to get busy, there’s no time to waste!”
(Before getting back to pre-teens on MySpace)


I’d do Jillibean (Oh, that tar where her ass is!)
I’d do Flen och Paris in her cute little glasses

And I’d like to have Strad ‘fore she changes her name
(Though I think she and Meiji are one and the same)

I’d still like to get Chica away from the brit
(Then I’ve got a nice place for Cady to sit)

Oh, I’d make Aerynn howl like the dog in her tar
And I’d let Melbelle get my soft factors all hard

I’d hump Gengiswump and RN to JD
I’d like to give Molaw an orgasm (or three!)

Then I’d happily take a bite out of Ms. Cookie
(More girls should have names that rhyme nicely with nookie)

Yes, I’d let a girl be Boss for the day
Before I give Orangie a roll in the hay

I think Goaliechica should grab hold of *my* hammer
And Fergusondarlingsgf?  (Sure, I’d slam her!)

Oh, I’d put on a dress and high heels for MissP
Hey, how ‘bout a ménage a trois with 12(e)?

Then last but not least I’d Vive le Revolution Boheme!
(Hmmmm… I wonder how loud Sillyberry can scream?)

Now this tale is complete, yes you have all the facts
(And always remember – Practice safe Sax!)


I missed Para and Matokah, from another fine thread
And to forget Zamora a man would have to be dead

Throw in Goalie's straight roomie (I hear shes a fine kisser)
Is there anyone left?  (I did not mean to diss her)

General Off-Topic Board / it 2007. know where your emperor is?
« on: February 22, 2007, 05:50:27 PM »
well?  do you?

Email your representatives and ask them to vote for passage of this act.....

John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act of 2007 (Introduced in Senate)

S 442 IS


1st Session

S. 442
To provide for loan repayment for prosecutors and public defenders.


January 31, 2007
Mr. DURBIN (for himself, Mr. SPECTER, Mr. LEAHY, Mr. SMITH, Mr. KERRY, and Ms. COLLINS) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


To provide for loan repayment for prosecutors and public defenders.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,


This Act may be cited as the `John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act of 2007'.


Title I of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 (42 U.S.C. 3711 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:



`(a) Purpose- The purpose of this section is to encourage qualified individuals to enter and continue employment as prosecutors and public defenders.

`(b) Definitions- In this section:

`(1) PROSECUTOR- The term `prosecutor' means a full-time employee of a State or local agency who--

`(A) is continually licensed to practice law; and

`(B) prosecutes criminal cases at the State or local level.

`(2) PUBLIC DEFENDER- The term `public defender' means an attorney who--

`(A) is continually licensed to practice law; and

`(B) is--

`(i) a full-time employee of a State or local agency or a nonprofit organization operating under a contract with a State or unit of local government, that provides legal representation to indigent persons in criminal cases; or

`(ii) employed as a full-time Federal defender attorney in a defender organization established pursuant to subsection (g) of section 3006A of title 18, United States Code, that provides legal representation to indigent persons in criminal cases.

`(3) STUDENT LOAN- The term `student loan' means--

`(A) a loan made, insured, or guaranteed under part B of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1071 et seq.);

`(B) a loan made under part D or E of title IV of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1087a et seq. and 1087aa et seq.); and

`(C) a loan made under section 428C or 455(g) of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. 1078-3 and 1087e(g)) to the extent that such loan was used to repay a Federal Direct Stafford Loan, a Federal Direct Unsubsidized Stafford Loan, or a loan made under section 428 or 428H of such Act.

`(c) Program Authorized- The Attorney General shall establish a program by which the Department of Justice shall assume the obligation to repay a student loan, by direct payments on behalf of a borrower to the holder of such loan, in accordance with subsection (d), for any borrower who--

`(1) is employed as a prosecutor or public defender; and

`(2) is not in default on a loan for which the borrower seeks forgiveness.

`(d) Terms of Agreement-

`(1) IN GENERAL- To be eligible to receive repayment benefits under subsection (c), a borrower shall enter into a written agreement that specifies that--

`(A) the borrower will remain employed as a prosecutor or public defender for a required period of service of not less than 3 years, unless involuntarily separated from that employment;

`(B) if the borrower is involuntarily separated from employment on account of misconduct, or voluntarily separates from employment, before the end of the period specified in the agreement, the borrower will repay the Attorney General the amount of any benefits received by such employee under this section;

`(C) if the borrower is required to repay an amount to the Attorney General under subparagraph (B) and fails to repay such amount, a sum equal to that amount shall be recoverable by the Federal Government from the employee (or such employee's estate, if applicable) by such methods as are provided by law for the recovery of amounts owed to the Federal Government;

`(D) the Attorney General may waive, in whole or in part, a right of recovery under this subsection if it is shown that recovery would be against equity and good conscience or against the public interest; and

`(E) the Attorney General shall make student loan payments under this section for the period of the agreement, subject to the availability of appropriations.


`(A) IN GENERAL- Any amount repaid by, or recovered from, an individual or the estate of an individual under this subsection shall be credited to the appropriation account from which the amount involved was originally paid.

`(B) MERGER- Any amount credited under subparagraph (A) shall be merged with other sums in such account and shall be available for the same purposes and period, and subject to the same limitations, if any, as the sums with which the amount was merged.


`(A) STUDENT LOAN PAYMENT AMOUNT- Student loan repayments made by the Attorney General under this section shall be made subject to such terms, limitations, or conditions as may be mutually agreed upon by the borrower and the Attorney General in an agreement under paragraph (1), except that the amount paid by the Attorney General under this section shall not exceed--

`(i) $10,000 for any borrower in any calendar year; or

`(ii) an aggregate total of $60,000 in the case of any borrower.

`(B) BEGINNING OF PAYMENTS- Nothing in this section shall authorize the Attorney General to pay any amount to reimburse a borrower for any repayments made by such borrower prior to the date on which the Attorney General entered into an agreement with the borrower under this subsection.

`(e) Additional Agreements-

`(1) IN GENERAL- On completion of the required period of service under an agreement under subsection (d), the borrower and the Attorney General may, subject to paragraph (2), enter into an additional agreement in accordance with subsection (d).

`(2) TERM- An agreement entered into under paragraph (1) may require the borrower to remain employed as a prosecutor or public defender for less than 3 years.

`(f) Award Basis; Priority-

`(1) AWARD BASIS- Subject to paragraph (2), the Attorney General shall provide repayment benefits under this section on a first-come, first-served basis, and subject to the availability of appropriations.

`(2) PRIORITY- The Attorney General shall give priority in providing repayment benefits under this section in any fiscal year to a borrower who--

`(A) received repayment benefits under this section during the preceding fiscal year; and

`(B) has completed less than 3 years of the first required period of service specified for the borrower in an agreement entered into under subsection (d).

`(g) Regulations- The Attorney General is authorized to issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section.

`(h) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section $25,000,000 for fiscal year 2008 and such sums as may be necessary for each succeeding fiscal year.'.

General Off-Topic Board / Werewolves of London
« on: February 11, 2007, 06:33:30 PM »
i have been singing this song all day.  i suspect i should blame the "send lawyers, guns, and money thread"

i also seem to have cheese on my keyboard, and i do not know how it got there.

brief-writing blows goats.

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