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Discussion in 'The Mainboard' started by Jax Teller, Apr 8, 2015.
You would hate it exponentially more if you had to word it so insurance companies didn’t reject it
Billing for one off cases as in house counsel that only OC and a judge would review was easy. Doing it for an insurance billing specialist when I worked at a defense firm was hell.
This is probably true.
Do they do that to local counsel like they do primary? I’ve never had one give me any grief. wes tegg probably edited it for me.
No, they typically don’t question anything as long as it’s within the budget. IIRC, we just submitted yours as a cost like you would an expert.
Billing as you go is great in theory, but it doesn't really work in the real practice when you're doing insurance defense. Especially when your billable hour goal is set at 2000+ hours per year. There were days where you would sit through an 8-hour depo and were exhausted at the end of the day, but still had to find another 3-4 hours in the day to add on, and make sure you didn't surpass the upper daily limit for a given carrier. Shit like that meant you could only partially keep contemporaneous time on the easy chunk hours, but you'd have to come in on weekends to figure out how to add on and spread out your time and it was soul-crushing.
billable hour life hack: just lie
"Make up your time elsewhere"
Billable hour lifehack: be a plaintiffs attorney.
I enter my time daily. It’s really not hard with electronic billing systems. I have no idea how some of our associates are 6+ days behind on their time entry.
Fucking amateurs. At my last defense gig we sent out bill’s quarterly and because I hated our administrator I would purposely wait until the end of the quarter to start submitting my time.
What the fuck? Really? Seems like a really bad business decision to keep the client guessing how much they owe their lawyers for that long
In my last gig before making the jump to the plaintiff side, the firm we run by my partner and his wife. The could tell hundreds of anecdotes showing how utterly shitty they were about running a law firm and how toxic they both are, but the most relevant to the billing issue is that the wife hated doing billing so she only wanted to do 4 cycles a year so she wouldn’t have to work all the time.
I just got fired from a pretty decent commercial vehicle case because the holy spirit told my client not to accept money from a lawsuit. I think that's a first for me.
god works in mysterious ways
At least your conscience is clear after that one.
getting some trial experience has definitely increased the value of my cases. i think both because they know we will actually try them. and just honestly because we aren't taking like 90% of the value of cases to avoid trials.
like we just got a 13k offer on an underinsured case and i'm policy limits or bust where in like 2020 i would've tried to get to 15k and settle it
Them knowing you will show up and be prepared/competent adds value.
One thing I love about my current gig is the ability to just say “fuck you, pay me” during negotiations, and to mean it. The firm will stand behind me 100%.
yep i'm doing this on so many more cases right now. pretty liberating.
I have an adjuster from travelers about to short circuit because I won’t move off of my policy limits demand when the case is clearly worth the limits.
is it in lit?
Yes. I put a time limit on it, so she’ll end up paying. It’s just bizarre that she feels like I’ll automatically cut her a discount.
These are always fun.
A few months ago I settled a case for a new roof. I call to tell the client. Since the last time I spoke with the client she had fallen ill (she sadly passed a few weeks later) so now I'm dealing with the daughter of the client. She doesn't want the money. Says the roof wasn't damaged by the storm and they don't want the money. I told her that I already got the carrier to agree that the roof was damaged by wind and the money is there. She just has to agree to the settlement.
Fought me tooth and nail saying that the roof wasn't damaged and that she didn't want the money.
Finally a brother got involved and made her realize that 10k just fell out of the sky to help pay for the now deceased mother's funeral.
Do you not have to go through the estate?
No because the husband was still alive and the carrier didn't want to deal with it so we just removed her from the case and they wrote a check to him.
Any of you guys move states while practicing?
Really growing sick of florida and i'm eligible for admission on motion to must of the rust belt.
having to learn all new laws is intimidating though.
Different procedure is a way bigger issue than the new laws in my experience.
with zoom, find a firm that will let you work remote then move wherever you want. I just did a depo last week with an OC who lives full time in colorado but only works in Florida.
I love when defendants try to take a hard line stance on a med mal case where liability is as clear as it gets, but they just don’t think the case is worth that much. Just need to get the formal presuit rejection letter tomorrow and they want me to file suit because the offer is trash. This poor doctor is going to get so fucked because when I file suit I am required to send a copy of the complaint to the Board of Medicine and this is the type of case where he has a real chance of getting severely disciplined.
that will be a very fun demand letter to write/depo to take
dear defense lawyer
please send this to your client asap. did you know your defense lawyer has put your license at risk by rejecting our very reasonable settlement demand, you should be asking him why your life is fucked and be consulting with a lawyer who knows what they're doing
Did this from AL to WA once I could waive in after 5 years.
You could move to Oregon where there's no discovery and just try everything.
Are there states that don’t require reporting of settlements, regardless of litigation status?
no discovery you say?
doesn’t compute, can only hope it’s true if he deserves the discipline
Co-sign as a Tennessee to Colorado mover.
Also, don’t let learning new stuff keep you somewhere you don’t want to be.
i have moved my practice to three different states
The National Practitioner’s Data Bank and Florida’s Board of Medicine both require the reporting of settlements. But settlements alone don’t trigger Board of Medicine investigations, and you can sometimes protect the doctor by settling on behalf of an entity or surgery center if the facts line up right.
He definitely fucked up in a way that violates a specific Board of Medicine rule that was adopted specifically to avoid complications like what happened to my client. I now have a woman in her early 30’s with a permanent drop foot and obvious atrophy in her leg following an outpatient cosmetic surgical procedure.
seems like he should face some professional discipline
If the case is as serious as you described above, I'm almost certain it would trigger an investigation. Hell, I've handled Medical Board investigations from states where a doc is licensed even when the incident, claimant, and settlement all occurred in another state.
Also, 9 times out of 10, the doc is more of a pain in the dick about a settlement than the insurance company.
That's nuts that you have to send a copy of the complaint to the board of medicine. Definitely not required here.
My cases hardly ever go to trial because I'm getting offers that are either as good or better than what a trial will yield in our conservative jurisdiction. And that's without the trial expense coming out of the client's bottom line. And then the ones that I do tee up for trial and litigate hard always still end up settling right before trial. The harder I work up a case, the more likely the carrier is to want to settle. I need a good denied claim, $0 offer, or shitty low ball offer on a case with good facts and a good client so I can go try another one. That just isn't happening though.
Come to Houston half of your car wreck cases will be like that
just say no
I should add that a decent amount of the time the offer is below what I valued the case at and my client knows that but my client still wants to settle against my advice because they don't want to go through litigation.
They just make all of the other auxiliary services to litigation wait six months to a year to get paid.
Also, since I’m here, this is some absolutely bonkers shit that Indiana is trying to slam through:
Trial Rule 74
The proposed amendment to Trial Rule 74 would require all courts (including city and town courts) to record hearings in all case types, prohibit recording through shorthand or stenography, and delete provisions covered in other Rules or statutes.
I know several states have opened the door to notaries recording sworn statements to then be transcribed after the fact. I got to a depo in Georgia this morning where that was the case. I went ahead and stipulated because it was an insignificant witness and I didn’t want to have to have to do it again. But, here the transcript is insufficient. Opposing counsel had no idea.