The Incoming Associates and Moving Expenses

Now here’s a right ugly situation to which we’ve been alerted.  We all know that the class of Incoming Associates at Heller had their start dates moved back to January and were promised a $10K stipend which never came through.

Also, in preparation for starting at Heller, many moved to their respective cities with the promise that Heller would pay the moving expenses.  Little did some of the New York people know that when they signed the bill of lading with Atlas Van Lines for their move, that they also agreed to this provision: if Heller Ehrman did not pay the moving expenses, then they (Incoming Associates) would be held responsible for the costs.

According to our source, here are the details:

– the bills were submitted to Accounting way back in October 2008 if not earlier

– some Incoming Associates insist that they never signed such forms despite Atlas Van Lines’ statements but Atlas refuses to make copies of the forms available to people who are trying to resolve the situation

Some of the Incoming Associates have asked whether they should file a Proof of Claim during the bankruptcy process and the answer is Yes not only for the moving fees but for the stipend, bar exam fees, and anything else contractually promised to them by Heller.

One thing you could do which would help, is contact Atlas Van Lines using their email contact form on their website (http://www.atlasworldgroup.com/contact/send-mail.aspx?dept=custsrv) and let them know that they should be filing a claim against Heller and need to prove that the forms were signed and the process of collecting from the Incoming Associate is in fact part of the bill of lading.

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2 Responses to “The Incoming Associates and Moving Expenses”


  1. 1 Observer 30 January 2009 at 5:01 pm

    A claim amount for the moving expense will be subject to objection, and likely disallowed, unless the incoming associate has actually paid that moving expense. Per express provision of the bankruptcy code on contingent co-liability claims.

    (Facts of life: Moving company bills of lading all make the actual recipient of the moved goods co-liable with any third party who has the top-level liability for the moving expense.)

  2. 2 Thomas MacEntee 30 January 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Thanks Observer – I figured it was pretty standard language on the moving bill but I’m trying to help out these people as best as possible and I think the more attention the situation gets the better.


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