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Unread 09-02-2011, 12:10 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Giving serious thought to selling the firm or just firing the whole lot of everyone. The idea on the sale would be to allow a few of the attorneys to become shareholders up to 49% and for me to retain 51% of the ownership, but to distribute equity along different lines. In other words, I want to leave from the day to day stuff and still collect a paycheck, albeit a smaller check. I want share majority to avoid being forced out. But I think I'm tired of the day to day shit. I don't think it's realistic for anybody to come up with the funds to purchase their shares, mainly on the umpteen variations of restrictions of who can purchase them. So this would have to be something done over time and that does not thrill me at all.

My other thought is to just shut down all together and maybe just try this again as I originally planned for it to be. Just work enough to pay the day to day shit on stuff that I like to do and spend the rest of my time just jerking off or whatever. I don't know. But I'm getting pretty tired of doing shit that is no longer enjoyable.

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Unread 09-02-2011, 12:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
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My other thought is to just shut down all together and maybe just try this again as I originally planned for it to be.
What does this mean?
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Unread 09-02-2011, 01:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I hope it works out for you, AP. I hope you look back at this decision happily.


The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.
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Unread 09-02-2011, 01:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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AP, could you sell the firm in it's entirety and just retire?
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Unread 09-02-2011, 03:28 PM   #5 (permalink)
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AP, could you sell the firm in it's entirety and just retire?
I could just end the firm and retire if I wanted to. That's a real option. I'd like to sell it, but only lawyers could buy it. And let's face it,

I started this one out with the intentions of keeping things small and just having a part time practice. Now I really don't even know what's going on for most things. I have to ask others. I don't know some of the names of some of the people who work here. I've become a way full time manager and only a part time lawyer. I don't like this.

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Unread 09-02-2011, 03:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Anyway we can move this to the White People's problem thread? Seems like it's more suited for that when a 35 is talking about retiring.

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Unread 09-02-2011, 03:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The ol' pancake is a bit older than 35, sorry to say.
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Unread 09-02-2011, 04:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Older like could run for President old, or older like he smells like moth balls?

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Unread 09-02-2011, 04:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If he was 35 he could run for president, so bad example on your part.
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Unread 09-02-2011, 05:12 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Another reason Shocktooth shouldn't be allowed to vote.
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Unread 09-02-2011, 05:51 PM   #11 (permalink)
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What exactly are the rules on ownership? I know I just read an article on some jurisdiction making the ownership of a law firm legal for non-lawyers, but that isn't the norm.
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Unread 09-02-2011, 06:22 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Sounds like a shitty situation, AP. I'm actually not going to give you any advice on the grounds that my advice is always terrible.




















BURN IT TO THE GROUND!!!!

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Unread 09-02-2011, 06:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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What exactly are the rules on ownership? I know I just read an article on some jurisdiction making the ownership of a law firm legal for non-lawyers, but that isn't the norm.
Most places have very strict rules on sharing fees with non-lawyers. It's one of the best and most common ways to lose your license. They've done nothing but tighten these rules around here and the two other states I've practice in. There's been all sorts of shit regarding if having in-house/captive firm is an unauthorized practice of law. Texas has allowed it within certain parameters in insurance defense cases. Could always use your own when the company is a party. Could never do so when representing third parties, with very few exceptions.

I have heard of a jurisdiction every now and then talk about a state passing legislation to allow this. But it's usually in the context of a state legislature forgetting it doesn't have that ability.

I'm curious to see what you read. I'm really having trouble getting my mind around a bar in the U.S. that would allow non-attorney ownership of a private law firm.

Cocktooth, shut the fuck up. I could buy your ass.

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Unread 09-02-2011, 09:58 PM   #14 (permalink)
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There is just as much chance the article wasn't about the US, could have been on a foreign newspapers site when I was looking at soccer news.
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Unread 09-02-2011, 10:02 PM   #15 (permalink)
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I believe it was an article on this lawsuit, but by another source.

Jacoby & Meyers Sues to Overturn Bans on Nonlawyer Ownership of Law Firms - News - ABA Journal

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Personal injury law firm Jacoby & Meyers has filed suit in an effort to overturn the ban on nonlawyer ownership of law firms.

Jacoby & Meyers is challenging bans in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where it has a strong presence, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) reports. The lawyer representing the firm, Jeffrey Carton, said the litigation could have a broader impact because the ethics rules banning nonlawyer owners are essentially the same in all of the states. Only Washington, D.C., allows such ownership.

The suit filed on Wednesday claims the ethics rule against outside ownership "perpetuates economic inequity" because smaller firms don’t have the same access to capital markets for expansion that the larger firms have.

The ban is intended to protect lawyers’ professional judgment from outsider influence. Australia and England have passed laws allowing nonlawyer ownership, and the issue is being debated in the United States.

The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 is seeking comment on whether to change the model ethics rules to allow some kind of joint ownership. The commission is seeking comment on possible approaches, including one that would cap nonlawyer ownership, require nonlawyers to pass a “fit to own” test, and restrict a law firm with nonlawyer owners to law practice.
I can see the argument, but I can also see the conflict of interest likely to arise.
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Unread 09-02-2011, 11:48 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Thanks for the link. We will have to wait to see if they're successful. A successful ruling in the petitioners favor essentially over turns the ban on fee sharing. That's unlikely to go through. Believe it or not, the legal profession is very aware of it's negative image. It much more tightly regulated than most would ever imagine. Didn't know DC allowed this. Bet you $5 as soon as they figure out it's not prohibited, they're going to close that.

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Unread 09-03-2011, 02:02 AM   #17 (permalink)
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This is all bullshit and you guys know it.

Here's why non-lawyers can't own law firms: lawyers make the laws!

Let's say we allowed non-lawyers to own law firms the way we allow non-anything else to own anything else firms. These firms would surely be taken over by more savvy investors who were able to cut the fat at a law firm, and compete in the law firm industry more effectively. They'd be better at marketing, hr, fucking everything.

The first firms to have non lawyer ownership would have a large competitive advantage and this would threaten lawyer owned firms. Especially the big ones. Suddenly tallented lawyers at small firms could have a chance to access investor capital to attract marketing, research, paralegals, not to mention the client list that a big time investor can bring.

So what are some of the effects of these changes:

A more efficient law firm industry.

But more importantly, the share of profits would shift away from the lawyers to the non-lawyer owners. Because the non-lawyer owners would be providing an economic service and their input and additional competition would be valued.

The system, as it is now, resembles a cartel. Lawyers don't have to compete in this manner because they aren't allowed to. It's in the lawyers' interest for the system to remain inefficient.


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Unread 09-03-2011, 02:21 AM   #18 (permalink)
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You're pretty wildly misreading the situation; a lot of firms would love to be able to attract outside owners.

Plus, while the believability of it is up for debate, lawyers think of themselves somewhat like doctors, that sacrificing efficiency is not just acceptable, but a requirement of the profession.

Again, that should probably be taken with a grain of salt, but there is something in it.
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Unread 09-03-2011, 08:58 AM   #19 (permalink)
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Cocktooth, shut the fuck up. I could buy your ass.
I'm not opposed to slave work. Price? Lodging? Let me know.


And egg on my face! I thought the min. age was 45. I'll never vote again.

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Unread 09-03-2011, 11:33 AM   #20 (permalink)
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That's pretty fucking retarded FC, it isn't us who has this problem. It's the restrictions on who we're allowed to share fees with. I would love to be able to give you a cut of the fees for everybody you brought in to me. I'd start running commercials promising $500 for referring a friend. Fuck, I'd start having college kids hanging out in emergency rooms passing out card and paying them on a percentage of what I collect. I'd go absolutely apeshit.

It eliminates the idea of malpractice as a practical matter because I always get to point the finger at corporate. That's an excuse we don't have now. "Hey, sorry client, we didn't do that deposition because a six-sigma black belt told management that we weren't getting enough of a return off of them. Sorry, you're fucked, would you like their number?"

The most interesting part of FC's take is that non-lawyer ownership will somehow make thing more efficient and better. I have no fucking idea why he would think this. Currently there are a lot non-lawyer owned law firms. Almost every bank and insurance company has them. They are absolutely allowed to have their lawyers represent them. And in Texas insurance company lawyers are allowed to represent their policy holders when sued. Want to guess who does the shittiest work and is the least efficient? Who shows up for trial with 5 boxes of files that have never been read and didn't answer discovery? Want to guess who routinely gets their ass handed to them because they're efficient and cut waste? Nobody fears Bank of America, etc. when they start suing. We all know "that guy" in Houston files about 2,500 cases per month with just him and 40 part time contract workers. We all know that when we subpoena his documents that he can't produce them in the time allotted and he loses his case. He knows this game as well as anybody.

See, we used to allow fee sharing with non-lawyers. It didn't get the death grip it has now until recently. The public demanded it, not us. The public got pissed when they signed up at one place and their cases were bought and sold, er "referred out." The public got pissed with the guys passing out cards at accident scenes and direct mail ads every time they got a ticket. The public got pissed when the guy would get on TV with actors advertising how he gets millions in judgments, but leaves out that he collect nothing on the worthless judgment. The marketing rules aren't going to change because an outside source bought the firm.

I can't emphasize this enough. It's not us who asked for this shit. I'd be happy as hell if I could sell my firm to a hedgefund. I'd get paid what I want. Go across the street and watch the same corporate clients follow me there like they've done that last few times I've moved. Let's face it, the firm's value is only tied to it's clients. They get to choose who they want to do their work.

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Unread 09-03-2011, 06:24 PM   #21 (permalink)
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It would be more efficient. Open up options and things become efficient. In general.

There are always exceptions.


The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.
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Unread 09-03-2011, 06:28 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by angry pancake View Post
That's pretty fucking retarded FC, it isn't us who has this problem. It's the restrictions on who we're allowed to share fees with. I would love to be able to give you a cut of the fees for everybody you brought in to me. I'd start running commercials promising $500 for referring a friend. Fuck, I'd start having college kids hanging out in emergency rooms passing out card and paying them on a percentage of what I collect. I'd go absolutely apeshit.

It eliminates the idea of malpractice as a practical matter because I always get to point the finger at corporate. That's an excuse we don't have now. "Hey, sorry client, we didn't do that deposition because a six-sigma black belt told management that we weren't getting enough of a return off of them. Sorry, you're fucked, would you like their number?"

The most interesting part of FC's take is that non-lawyer ownership will somehow make thing more efficient and better. I have no fucking idea why he would think this. Currently there are a lot non-lawyer owned law firms. Almost every bank and insurance company has them. They are absolutely allowed to have their lawyers represent them. And in Texas insurance company lawyers are allowed to represent their policy holders when sued. Want to guess who does the shittiest work and is the least efficient? Who shows up for trial with 5 boxes of files that have never been read and didn't answer discovery? Want to guess who routinely gets their ass handed to them because they're efficient and cut waste? Nobody fears Bank of America, etc. when they start suing. We all know "that guy" in Houston files about 2,500 cases per month with just him and 40 part time contract workers. We all know that when we subpoena his documents that he can't produce them in the time allotted and he loses his case. He knows this game as well as anybody.

See, we used to allow fee sharing with non-lawyers. It didn't get the death grip it has now until recently. The public demanded it, not us. The public got pissed when they signed up at one place and their cases were bought and sold, er "referred out." The public got pissed with the guys passing out cards at accident scenes and direct mail ads every time they got a ticket. The public got pissed when the guy would get on TV with actors advertising how he gets millions in judgments, but leaves out that he collect nothing on the worthless judgment. The marketing rules aren't going to change because an outside source bought the firm.

I can't emphasize this enough. It's not us who asked for this shit. I'd be happy as hell if I could sell my firm to a hedgefund. I'd get paid what I want. Go across the street and watch the same corporate clients follow me there like they've done that last few times I've moved. Let's face it, the firm's value is only tied to it's clients. They get to choose who they want to do their work.

I will thoroughly respond to this tomorrow when I'm sober, but I don't have to be sober to tell you that when only one group of people is allowed to own stock in an industry and that industry is mandated to exist by law (which lawyers esentially are) that group is minted. Lawyers need to exist by law, the law requires that lawyers own law firms, and lawyers keep it that way. You guys should really be more like doctors, working hard for the big man earing what you deserve. Imagine what it would be like if the law said only doctors could own hospitals. Doctors would be king shit.


The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter. But I should mean that every man should receive those papers and be capable of reading them.
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Unread 09-03-2011, 07:09 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Dude you need to just quit. Your doctor only owning hospitals analogy is more like lawyers owning court houses. With few exceptions, hospitals typically do not employ doctors here either. And guess what, there's the same restrictions on who gets to own a medical practice. And the US has the most expensive, yet incredibly shitty health care system in the industrialized world. My doctor doesn't decide if I get an MRI, Blue Cross does. So, that's an incredibly shitty example you pulled out there.

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Unread 09-03-2011, 07:18 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Blue Cross does not decide if I get an MRI, my doctor does.

Blue Cross just doesn't fucking pay for it, my parents do.
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Unread 09-03-2011, 10:49 PM   #25 (permalink)
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I will thoroughly respond to this tomorrow when I'm sober, but I don't have to be sober to tell you that when only one group of people is allowed to own stock in an industry and that industry is mandated to exist by law (which lawyers esentially are) that group is minted. Lawyers need to exist by law, the law requires that lawyers own law firms, and lawyers keep it that way. You guys should really be more like doctors, working hard for the big man earing what you deserve. Imagine what it would be like if the law said only doctors could own hospitals. Doctors would be king shit.
I think the idea is mainly checks and balances.

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