Law firms reported a four percent increase in overall billing rates this year, according to a study released by consulting firm Altman Weil Inc. Firm leaders also reported that, on average, their firms gave discounts on 21 percent to 30 percent of all hourly rates.
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Legal writing expert Bryan Garner has rekindled the feud between Seventh Circuit Judge Richard Posner and U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia with the release of a commissioned study on Posner’s criticisms of Garner and Scalia’s 2012 book Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts. The report found that of a dozen critiques Posner made in his own 2013 book, eight were “unwarranted.” Posner quickly fired back and, not surprisingly, his scorecard reads a little differently.
Twenty years ago, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun wrote: “From this day forward, I no longer shall tinker with the machinery of death.” In a column for The New York Times, veteran Supreme Court reporter and Blackmun biographer Linda Greenhouse examines the many different varieties of “tinkering” that have occurred since Blackmun penned those words, as well as the degree of possibility that the current occupants of the high court’s bench might agree that America’s long-running experiment with capital punishment should end.
The Dewey & LeBoeuf clawback campaign went global this week, as the defunct firm’s liquidating trustee filed suits 11 new suits in an effort to recover a total $22.5 million for creditors. The nine former partners named had all been based in the firm’s overseas offices, and none signed on to the 2012 settlement between the estate and over 450 former partners.
A U.S. fund to compensate victims of Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme has received approximately 51,700 claims seeking to recover a whopping $40 billion plus, according to an official in charge of the fund. The official did note that he believes a “substantial” number of the claims are ineligible or inflated. Is it just us, or is trying to scam the compensation fund for a scam kind of … perverse?
An Arkansas man has been sentenced to a year in prison for the theft of five stainless steel bathtubs from a national park. Authorities say the tubs had been torched, broken down and sold to a scrap yard for about $700. Unfortunately for the tub thief, they happened to be historic tubs from Hot Springs National Park that had a replacement value of more than $15,000, so selling them for scrap was perhaps not world’s brightest idea.