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    How to Feed a Lawyer (and Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground)

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January 26, 2006

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Anon

Why shouldn't the client have to pay for bringing a new lawyer up to speed? If multiple lawyers are needed on the case, the client needs to pay for all of their efforts.

Anyone? If I'm wrong about this please inform me. I expect to bill for these things.

mythago

I'm a little puzzled about that one, too. Does the client only allow a single lawyer to read the case file, on the assumption that any other review by any other lawyer (to 'get up to speed') is wasteful?

mobar

Some clients refuse to pay to bring another lawyer up to speed because they spent years watching high dollar attorneys pad the bill with bimonthly entries of ".5 Review file for status."

In this case, I'd say the client would be perfectly justified refusing to pay for Unnamed Associate's review time. It was all unnecessary. UA seems to have missed the moral of the story. If you're being sent out of town for a depo on a file you've never worked on, first - be happy. Travel time is good billables. Second, understand that they wouldn't be sending a first year associate out of town for a depo on a new file if the associate was expected to do any actual lawyering at the depo. Third, whenever you get sent out on a depo - for heaven's sake... find out who is being deposed and what their relation to the case is. How she managed to look at the entire voluminous case file without realizing in advance the deponents had nothing to do with her defendant is amazing to me.

And now, in violation of the rule of triples, the fourth and most important thing - never skip the hotel bar. What the hell were you thinking?

Ted

The way to stay awake at a deposition when you're the cannon-fodder third-party there to ensure that noone is smearing your client -- and to maximize its learning value -- is to mentally take the role of the deposing or defending attorney and critique the questioning or objecting. How would you do it differently? Why?

Mobar's critique is spot on.

Telly

Bring a newspaper to those depositions. Or play games on your blackberry. Hit on any cute attorneys present. As for "hitting the town", you have to be proactive on that one. Too tired after sitting at a deposition where you didn't do anything? Really? You must be really boring, UA.

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