August 20 2007 Legal Blog Roundup

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The August 2 post titled "Wheelchairs of Fortune" at The Legal Reader describes how "Attorney Tom Frankovich and his disabled clients sue small businesses to make them accessible—and make millions in San Francisco." The Legal Reader's August 1 post, "Missing Lawyer Admits Embezzlement in Confessional Letter," which is followed by news about the escalation of the turmoil surrounding the finances of deceased lawyer William Huggett's law firm in Miami, also makes for interesting reading.

The August 6 post in the laterals/hiring section of The Blog of Legal Times explains how Clifford Chance succeeded in luring three top attorneys from Sidley Austin's white-collar practice. Clifford Chance has also managed to woo Wendy Wysong to join as a new partner. Looks like Clifford Chance is really packing power into its litigation and dispute resolution group.

The August 6 post at Eric Turkewitz's New York Personal Injury Law Blog, "Former Client Running Ads Against Hogan & Hartson," reports on a mysterious and anonymous person advertising that people disgruntled with Hogan & Hartson should call his or her number to complain. We love mysteries, as does Turkewitz.

The August 2 post on legal sanity emphasizes that "business relationships are personal" and continues an excellent series of posts on lawyer-client relationships.

In his August 3 post at Amazing Firms, Amazing Practices, "Doom and Gloom for the Legal Profession—It's Coming," Gerry Riskin advises law firms to keep contingency plans ready since those disregarding the indications of an imminent recession may be the worst affected. Riskin considers the following factors, along with a host of others, specific indications that the legal fraternity may be in for a setback:
  • the visible disparities between views of general counsel and law firms

  • associate starting salaries (and their impact on all salaries)

  • the trend toward "de-equitization of partners"

  • "law firms going public" (an anticipated trend)

  • partners' obsession with remuneration

  • expectations of continually increasing revenues, PPP, and PPL

  • the surrealism of the financial expectations of new lawyers

  • comments from Citigroup's law firm market specialists
Riskin advises law firms to be prepared for:
  • dramatic drops in demand for attorneys in many traditionally hot practice areas

  • overstaffing (at all levels and in most practice areas)

  • internally competitive behavior as the pie shrinks
And, he adds, "Those inclined to tell me I am crazy I ask to wait six months following the next U.S. election—then I will eat this post if I was wrong."

That's all for this week, folks. Take care.

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