Hey, does your firm still pay for that courthouse news roundup of new filings?
Mine stopped, plus we fired 4 attorneys and 32 staffers, but let me tell you -- the Gevalia coffee is still delicious!
Anyway, I just came across this one from the Tampa area, forwarded by a dedicated reader:
Professional negligence and breach of fiduciary duty action claiming the defendants failed to settle an auto negligence claim against the plaintiff within the amount of available insurance coverage, resulting in a lawsuit with a verdict of $26 million. At the time of the crash, the opposing party's insurance counsel was also employed by the defendant, GrayRobinson, resulting in a conflict of interest and breach of lawyer-client confidentiality in regards to the plaintiff's case. The plaintiff was advised to sign a purported assignment, as the defendants knowingly withheld knowledge of the assignment of the insurer subrogation rights. The assignment improperly placed the interests of the defendants ahead of the plaintiff.Sheesh, people make such a big deal about conflicts nowadays!
And I really enjoyed this Alana Roberts story about litigation fees and how clients and firms are dealing with them. I liked this quote:
Clients also are taking a closer look at the cost-alternative dispute resolution such as arbitration and mediation, said Miami litigator Jose Astigarraga, chairman of Miami-based Astigarraga Davis and co-chair of the event.Mediation I understand and agree with. But arbitration, Jose? Really? I know that's been your thing, but come on.
In fact I would argue the trend is the opposite -- more businesses with arbitration clauses are foregoing mandatory arbitration to litigate their claims in court, where they don't have to pay three arbitrators $600 an hour to preside over the same discovery disputes that the taxpayers pay our judges to worry about.
Also, Marty Steinberg says move along, there's nothing to see here:
But litigator Marty Steinberg, managing partner of Hunton & Williams’ Miami office, said alternatives to the billable hour model haven’t caught on.None have caught on, or none have caught on...at Hunton & Williams?
“There are all kinds of arrangements that have been tried; none of them have replaced the hourly rate,” he said. “I generally think clients that are satisfied with the service at the end of the day are fairly satisfied with the fees.”
Steinberg said he sees more clients pushing for budgets that offer detailed estimates of potential costs of litigation and are basing their decisions on those estimates.
“Clients now are insisting on budgets that identify each of the steps and estimate the cost of each step,” he said.
And everybody, raise your hands if you've ever done a litigation budget for a heavily-litigated case that has proceeded as budgeted.
And yet we still do them.....