Archive for September, 2008

Backing Up Personal Data

Many of us may have information such as Internet Explorer Favorites, etc. stored on our computers at Heller Ehrman.  Please review the issues and ideas below when backing up this data or storing it offline so that it can be accessed once you leave the S.S. Heller Ehrman.

Also, given the current storms we are navigating, review all data and consider taking copies of items such as reimbursement requests, vacation requests, etc. – any form which may be helpful at a later date if there is a dispute as to whether or not proper payments for expenses have been made.

1.  Use a flash drive.  Flash drives come in a variety of sizes and can be plugged into the USB drive to act as an extra storaged drive.  Use Windows explorer to copy the data to the flash drive.  Note:  please make sure your Flash drive has been scanned for viruses!   

2.  Use a free online storage website.  Many websites require users to pay a fee, but some are free and some have a limited amount of room for free.  Here are a few:

Xdrive (5gb free) –

Mozy (2gb free) –

Box (1gb free) –

DropBoks (1gb free) –

Read more about online storage:

3.  Open a gmail account.  Gmail offers a large amount of storage for free.  Remember, don’t use your Outlook account to email attachments to your gmail account – this will cause undue amounts of network traffic and certain file types may be blocked.  Instead, send from gmail to yourself.

Exporting Your Outlook Contacts

If you haven’t done so already, you may want to export your Outlook contacts so that they are available at your new position and/or at home.  This information is important for networking and keeping in touch with other soon-to-be ex-Hellerites like yourself.

The instructions below walk you through the process of exporting not only to Outlook’s native format (.pst) but other formats that will allow you to import them more easily to a new system in the weeks and months to come.

Export Contacts to Outlook .PST Format

1.  Open Outlook 2003.

2.  Select Contacts.

3.  On the File menu, select Import and Export.  The Import and Export Wizard appears.

4.  Select Export to a file and click Next.

5.  Select Personal Folder File and click Next.

6.  Select the Contacts folder and mark the Include Subfolders checkbox.  Click Next.

7.  In the Save exported file as: field, use the Browse button to select a location for the exported file (your Desktop is a good location) and then enter a filename.

8.  Under Options, select Replace duplicates with items exported and click Finish.


Export Contacts to CSV (Comma Separated Values)

Note: the CSV format can be opened in Excel as a table and then cut and pasted into a Word table.  The CSV format will allow you to import the data into a wide variety of applications.  It is strongly recommended that you export to PST as well as CSV formats.

1.  Open Outlook 2003.

2.  Select Contacts.

3.  On the File menu, select Import and Export.  The Import and Export Wizard appears.

4.  Select Export to a file and click Next.

5.  Select Comma Separated Values (Windows) and click Next.

6.  Select the Contacts folder.  Click Next.

7.  In the Save exported file as: field, use the Browse button to select a location for the exported file (your Desktop is a good location) and then enter a filename.  Click Next.

8.  Click Finish.

Health Care Update from Heller Management

Just received this afternoon via e-mail:

TO: All Hands (U.S. Offices)

We recognize that health insurance coverage is a very important issue for our employees and their families. CIGNA, our primary medical and dental care insurance provider, has confirmed that coverage for all personnel insured under that policy is in place for October. We can also confirm that our premium payment terms are current with our other providers, Kaiser and Group Health Cooperative, and we have no reason to believe that those benefits will be discontinued provided we continue to meet our premium payment schedule, something we have every intention of doing.

The situation concerning continued coverage for other benefits is more complex. We are currently working to address continued coverage and will have more information on these benefits shortly.

Kind Words

I continue to be amazed at the many kind words and offers coming in from ex-Hellerites such as Denise Bottarini. I don’t remember Denise but I am sure some of you in San Francisco do. Here’s what she sent our way:

“I’m writing this with a heavy heart – I was a litigation paralegal hired under Janet Kaplan’s reign back in 1977 and left the firm in 1982 to go in-house to Atari, Heller’s client at the time. I’ll never forget how I came to Heller. I was in the midst of an interview with the Paralegal Manager at now defunct SF law firm when she suddenly said “you don’t want to work here — you should be at Heller Ehrman! That’s where you want to work!” She picked up her telephone and called Janet who said “send her over right now”. 3 days later …I got the offer and began working at a firm where I met friends who I consider the best in the world. There was something special about the team that Janet hired – Patty Mordecai and Joan Fink to name two of them. Kathy Rogers and Bob Glick never left! I had the good fortune of also working with the best and the brightest of associates and partners who included me as part of their team and valued my contributions. And, no matter what the pressure or the deadline, we always managed to have a great time.

I’ve moved on in my career and have been a legal recruiter for the past 16 years on the Peninsula and in SF. If I can be of any assistance to any of the support staff, please contact me at the number or email address listed below.”

Denise Bottarini
Managing Director
Landmark Legal Professionals
T: 415.621.5400
F: 415.983.9541

References and Proof of Employment

Here’s another item or two to add to your to-do list: securing references and proof of employment. Realise that it is not easy to have a firm or company that no longer exists on your resume and it can actually make job hunting a bit more difficult. Here are some things to do over the next few weeks especially if you received a WARN notice:

1. Try to get one or more letters of reference on Heller Ehrman letterhead.

2. Also, get at least one person to agree to be a reference for you in the future.

3. Since you may not know where your references will be in terms of other law firms or companies, you will need to keep in touch with them. Rather than request their home contact info, ask that they sign up on LinkedIn and that they join the Heller Ehrman LLP Alumni group (

4. Save whatever documentation you have that shows how long you were with Heller Ehrman , your last job title, and your salary. Also, save a copy of your WARN notice and any other official documents related to your lay-off. In addition, save a PDF version of one or more of the news articles related to Heller’s decision to dissolve. The more documentation you have, the easier it is to wipe the skeptical look off that HR person’s face.

Over and out.

Heller Drone
Cruise Director

The Bakery Is Now Closed

Oy the problems with trying to run a ship-shape operation!  Last week the Hair Salon and now this.  I’m not sure how to put this . . . well, see for yourself:

Props go out to the wonderful people at Cake Wrecks for all their good work.  

One good thing about not having a bakery: management can’t say “Let them eat cake.”

End of the Day: 9/29/2008

Relatively quiet day compared to last week – I think many of us are out there actively networking and looking for new positions.  


– those who received the WARN Notice e-mail on Friday also received a hard copy via FedEx on Saturday.  Anyone want to wager how much that Saturday delivery cost?

– Heller management via Human Resources notifies us of an internal Placement Opportunities website:

Heller Ehrman is committed to helping employees throughout the firm find new job opportunities. To support this effort, we have created the Placement Opportunities Web site. This online tool is available to all employees and can be accessed from the intranet homepage.

The database is being supplied with opportunities from a variety of recruiters and placement firms that we have been in contact with. Many of these jobs are not posted on the Web site of external companies or firms. We encourage you to contact the hiring manager or recruiter listed for the opportunities that are available.

The database is sorted alphabetically by the company or recruiting agency seeking candidates. We will continually update this site and all recent postings will be marked as “new.”

If you have a job lead that you would like to have added to this database, please email an electronic copy to [redacted] in Firmwide Human Resources.

confirmation from Matt Larrabee that shareholder vote is complete and dissolution of Heller Ehrman is approved

Finally, let me just say something about the COBRA issue.  On the surface, most people think that the firm is going to fully shut down on November 28, 2008 and therefore there will not be any medical plans to be continued via COBRA.

To be clear, there will be a skeleton crew of people left to manage the still lingering business of the firm.  From what I’ve gathered, the Coudert Brothers dissolution in 2005 kept a small staff employed for months if not years.

So, it is well within the power of Heller shareholders to keep at least one of these skeleton staff people in each plan so that the rest of us have access to continued health care coverage via COBRA.  COBRA does not cost the shareholders a dime except to have that one person in the plan.  Staff who want to continue coverage via COBRA pay the full premium plus up to 2-3% for administrative costs.

Am I the only one seeing the sense and simplicity in such a concept?  Perhaps I am aspirating too much salt water and need a better flotation device.  You tell me.

Today’s shipboard entertainment: Erasure singing Ship of Fools.

Over and out.

Heller Drone
Cruise Director

Life preserver.jpg
Remember the words of Rev. Frank Scott (Gene Hackman in The Poseidon Adventure):

". . . sitting on our butts is not going to help us either. Maybe by climbing out of here, we can save ourselves. If you've got any sense, you'll come along with us."

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This blog has been created by Thomas MacEntee.

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