Joint Statement – Class Action Representatives

[Editor’s Note:  As you probably know, the Heller Ehrman LLP estate and the Unsecured Creditors’ Committee recently filed a Joint Plan of Liquidation https://hellerdrone.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/plan.pdf, that incorporates a proposed settlement of the employee Class Action litigation.  See Exhibit C to the Plan (the Compromise and Settlement Agreement) https://hellerdrone.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/plan-ex-c.pdf, especially pp. 13-23.  You should also note that Exhibit A to the Plan (Assumed Contracts) https://hellerdrone.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/plan-ex-a.pdf, while currently blank, will eventually provide details of the payout for individual class members.  We expect that Heller Ehrman LLP’s law firm, Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones LLP, will be transmitting shortly to each class member his or her individual proposed payout details.

The Class Action counsel at Blum Collins will shortly post here at Heller Highwater some answers to FAQs related to the proposed settlement.  In the next few weeks, each member of the class will receive more information by mail about the plan and the settlement.

The following article was jointly authored by the four class representatives, who express some thoughts on their involvement in the litigation.]

* * *

Why We Support the Proposed Settlement

by Debora Biggers, Carl Goodman, Marjorie Norris and Anna Scarpa

As the four named plaintiffs in the employee class-action matter triggered by the collapse of Heller Ehrman, we’d like to provide our views on the proposed settlement.

Background

We each relished working at Heller Ehrman.  We felt blessed to be associated with such talented attorneys and staff.  Heller Ehrman’s culture really did seem to distinguish itself from other law firms.  We worked hard, believed in our product and our clients, and we were proud of the significant commitment Heller Ehrman made to a wide variety of pro bono matters in the United States and abroad.

Our tenures at the firm ranged from a few years to more than two decades.  The demise of Heller Ehrman was a shock.  But even more shocking was the way in which the firm violated basic state and federal employment statutes, including the payment of accrued vacation and adherence to WARN Act regulations.

We haven’t been shy about asking questions.  Participating as the named plaintiffs in this class action has required having a bit of backbone.  The excuses offered by management for its inability to pay wages could not be taken seriously.  How could a law firm with a notable 118-year history suddenly collapse and then deny the payment of statutorily mandated staff wages?

The Class Action

Back in the fall of 2008, most employees were clearly reluctant to challenge publicly the pronouncements of the Heller Ehrman Executive and Dissolution Committees, as they feared that so doing could jeopardize their future employment prospects.  But, out of a sense of conviction, each of us did raise our hands and became known as the named plaintiffs in an attempt to secure the wages owed to us and to every other member of the class.  We were definitely of the opinion then, and remain convinced of the view now, that facing the cadre of attorneys representing the Heller Ehrman estate without our own counsel would not produce a favorable result.  We did not think that the mere act of filing a proof of claim with the bankruptcy court would provide either corporate accountability or a just result.

Our class includes all special counsel, associate attorneys, and non-attorney professional staff – that’s a pretty varied bunch.  As it turned out, no attorney volunteered to serve as a named class rep, resulting in all of the named class reps being non-attorney staff members.

Reading through the large number of comments posted on the Heller Highwater blog over the past year, a lot of self-righteous ire about the firm’s demise has been expressed (anonymously) by attorneys and staff members alike, with much denigration directed at the final set of shareholder leaders at Heller Ehrman.  Our motivation to become the public face of the litigation was premised not on ire but on a more straightforward desire simply to recover our statutorily mandated wages.  So we stuck out our necks as class reps and tried to engage in a fairly basic dispute-resolution process with the Heller Ehrman estate.

Blum Collins

Working at Heller Ehrman, we naturally didn’t have much personal familiarity with plaintiffs’ law firms.  But now we were in need of hiring one.  We were fortunate to find and select a terrific one:  Blum Collins.  Each of the four principal attorneys who has worked on our matter has had considerable prior litigation experience at large and prestigious law firms.  In fact, one of them, Steve Blum, got his professional start at Heller Ehrman in the 1980’s after graduating from Yale.  Among his co-workers at that time was a stalwart Heller Ehrman secretary, who remained at the firm until its October 2008 demise and who serves now as one of the named plaintiffs.  Another of our core counsel, Doug Thorpe, was for many years the managing partner of the L.A. office of Perkins Coie.

Over the past year, Blum Collins gave each of us an intensive tutorial in employment, class-action, bankruptcy, and partnership law.  Without a doubt, that tutorial, combined with a real sense of unity and fellowship among the named-plaintiff group (who previously did not know each other), was the best thing about our sometimes-stressful involvement as named reps in a class-action lawsuit.  We think we’ve put that knowledge and cohesiveness to good use to collaborate closely with Blum Collins, resulting in the achievement of the current proposed settlement.

The Reality of 100% Recovery

Throughout our involvement in this matter, we think we’ve taken a pragmatic approach.  Given our understanding of the context of the players arrayed against us and our developing knowledge of bankruptcy law, we never expected to achieve 100% of what we are owed.

Among other things, Blum Collins educated us on the politics of the Unsecured Creditors’ Committee.  Blum Collins tried mightily to obtain Committee representation by a non-shareholder employee, but did not succeed.  Membership on that Committee could have provided insight on what was being done to collect debts owed to Heller Ehrman.

In addition to what are now very old accounts receivable, we understand that other significant sources of potential revenue for the Heller Ehrman estate include the reversion into the non-priority bucket of some of the $50 million paid to Bank of America after its UCC security interest lapsed; funds from potential malpractice claims against Greenberg Traurig and Ernst & Young; monies potentially recoverable from various Jewel v. Boxer successor-liability arguments; and theories such as piercing the corporate veil to achieve independent shareholder liability.

Of course, we don’t know how successful, if at all, the estate or the Unsecured Creditors’ Committee will be in achieving revenue from any of these sources.

Simultaneously, we also understood that hundreds of non-employee creditors also have valid claims against the estate, and that our employment priority amounts can reach a maximum of only $10,950, leaving us to fight with the various landlords, vendors (e.g., Williams Lea), retired shareholders, and others for the remainder.  Some of us felt that our litigation would drag out for numerous years and, ultimately, we’d end up receiving perhaps 10 cents on the dollar.

The Proposed Settlement

We feel that Blum Collins has succeeded in reaching a richer and much quicker settlement for the employee class than we originally expected.  Significantly, because of our involvement as named plaintiffs representing California, New York, the District of Columbia and Washington state, Blum Collins negotiated hard and won the estate’s agreement to pay the class several million dollars of WARN Act damages.  And, as we all know, we’re fighting over wages that should have been paid in 2008.  Each additional month that we wait for an eventual payout reduces the present-day value of that payout, and bankruptcy court does not assess interest on any awards that it orders to be made.  The rapidity of our settlement helps us all.

While we still don’t have the exact figures for the individual payouts we should be receiving under the proposed settlement, the estimates we’ve seen reinforce our belief that we achieved a significant victory in the face of long odds.  The proposed settlement will result in a good number of us and our former co-workers, especially those who did not have that many hours of accrued-but-unused vacation and whose annual salary was in the lower half, receiving close to 100% of their owed wages (excluding any waiting-time penalties given that the proposed settlement treats those as subordinated claims).

Others of us won’t fare as well percentage-wise, but will receive larger overall awards.  Bankruptcy court treats employment claims in excess of $10,950 as non-priority.  Given that, when the final distributions from the non-priority buckets are made, some of us in the highest income brackets and with lots of hours of accrued-but-unused vacation still will have received tens of thousands of dollars, even if such awards won’t be much more than 20-30% of our respective entitlements.

But like a progressive taxation scheme, it seems equitable that some of our lower-paid brethren will receive a higher percentage of their wages under the proposed settlement.  Further, and highly significantly, in our proposed settlement, we achieved payment of the Blum Collins fees and costs from the estate, rather than from the employee class, meaning that we won’t have to discount our individual payouts to pay for our attorney representation.

Conclusion

We hope you share most of our sentiments and agree that the proposed settlement is a decidedly positive development and worth accepting.  We have been truly impressed by the advocacy and talent devoted on our behalf by our counsel at Blum Collins and feel that the proposed settlement provides us with much more timely relief, and with a richer payout, than we had expected.

As you read through the Plan of Liquidation and companion documents, as well as the upcoming FAQ that Blum Collins is preparing, feel free to address any questions directly to either Steven Blum or Craig Collins at blum@blumcollins.com or collins@blumcollins.com.

Compromise and pragmatism are not always thought of as virtues, but in this instance, we feel that our voices have been heard and that we have achieved a significant victory, not just for the four of us but for our former colleagues as well.  We’re at the threshold of concluding our battle and we hope you join us in celebration of that feat.  Best of success to all in your post-Heller Ehrman endeavors!

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32 Responses to “Joint Statement – Class Action Representatives”


  1. 1 P-OWED 29 October 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Assuming everything is approved, when will the class members receive their respective payouts?

  2. 2 John 29 October 2009 at 3:40 pm

    I guess one of the things that I still don’t understand is whether or not non-Blum clients are part of a “Class.” When I read the settlement plan it suggests that this is the case, in which case we’ll be given an opt-out option. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

  3. 3 Thomas MacEntee 29 October 2009 at 4:23 pm

    John

    As I understand it, as part of the Plan of Liquidation and Settlement, you are correct – it will be assumed that as a former Heller Ehrman employee you are part of the class. Everyone will receive a form in the mail explaining the process and what they should do if they DON’T want to be part of the class (basically designate that on the form and return it). If you don’t object by opting out, it is presumed you DO want to part of the class.

  4. 4 LA Associate 29 October 2009 at 8:57 pm

    You have the choice to be a part of the class or not.

    There are no secrets.

    The document just tells you in it’s fancy wording of your options.

    Uncle Sam will want his share of the money. That’s a give-in on this.

  5. 5 Observer 29 October 2009 at 9:29 pm

    “You will be given a choice to be a part of the class or not.” Well, sort of. If you don’t do anything, you will be in the class whether you wanted to or not. You have to be careful here that you are not exercising a choice that is by default, and not what you really wanted to do.

  6. 6 Observer 29 October 2009 at 9:38 pm

    “Blum Collins tried mightily to obtain Committee representation by a non-shareholder employee, but did not succeed.”
    — That is basically nonsense. You don’t get Committee representation by sending Minnie Loo letters that she ignores. If the U.S. Trustee is not responsive, you have to file an applicatin with the court asking the court to force the UST to name a non-shareholder ex-employee to the committe. So far as I am aware, Blum Collins never filed such an application. So of course nothing much happpened.

    “While we still don’t have the exact figures for the individual payouts we should be receiving under the proposed settlement, the estimates we’ve seen reinforce our belief that we achieved a significant victory in the face of long odds.”
    — I don’t quite know what that sentence means. Do they really not know what the settlement payout under the settlement will be? They should; the debtor and committee have a master claims list with that information, that they refuse to share with you and me.

    (I am not necessarily anti- or pro- settlement; I truly havent’ made up my mind yet.)

  7. 7 Observer 29 October 2009 at 9:54 pm

    From a story in the Recorder tomorrow: “Heller Ehrman’s creditors now want $150 million from former partners, contending in a confidential mediation brief that the firm fraudulently conveyed that much to partners after it had become insolvent. ”

    Somebody apparently leaked the mediation briefs to the Recorder; read the story yourself, in the News Articles tab here on Heller Highwater.

  8. 8 Former Associate 1 November 2009 at 9:55 pm

    After reading the self-righteous, self-serving “joint statement” of Debora Biggers, Carl Goodman, Marjorie Norris and Anna Scarpa, I am now pre-disposed to voting AGAINST the proposed settlement. Most offensive were the not-so-subtle jabs at attorneys for not joining as named class representatives. Just as nauseating was the self-congratulatory rhetoric that permeates the statement.

    Putting that aside, why should there be a “progressive taxation scheme” by which the people who took more vacation get paid a greater percentage of what they are owed than those who worked harder on the firm’s business and couldn’t take as much vacation? Shouldn’t a “progressive” system work the other way? The people who drank pina coladas on the beach are being paid a greater percentage than those who actually worked. I guess the people in the latter class wanted to continue working so they went about looking for employment rather than spend time with the incompetents at Blum Collins.

    This statement reminds me of the kind of “doublespeak” that we received from Heller Ehrman management in the final weeks of the firm.

  9. 9 Another Former Associate 2 November 2009 at 1:13 am

    I don’t necessarily share the anger of my former colleague above, but I was definitely tweaked by the joint statement. I also understood some of the statement to be intended as a jab at the attorneys, whether or not that was the intent of the named plaintiffs. So, yeah, I’m not thrilled, either. That said, I cannot find a job for the life of me, and I’m inclined to accept the terms of the settlement because I need the money now.

  10. 10 John 2 November 2009 at 8:20 am

    I just re-read the statement after reading the comments and I am a little peaved now as well. Why is any employee entitled to a larger percentage of their unpaid vacation than another? Under that logic, employees that don’t have a working spouse or have children should also get a larger percentage because they need the money too. (Note: I picked this example because, just like the named-plaintiffs did, I would like to see a re-payment system set up that disproportionately favors me over my hard-working, single, non-vacationing co-workers.)

  11. 11 Former Associate 2 November 2009 at 9:53 am

    The jabs at the attorneys are designed to “guilt” the attorneys into swallowing a plan that is directly contrary to their interests and is essentially an illicit payoff for the people who served as class representatives. But Blum Collins was tasked with representing all of the class, including the attorneys. And the attorneys shouldn’t feel any guilt because they need to get jobs in the legal industry, while a recruiting person can do the same job at a non-legal organization.

    The fairest way to do this would be to give everyone the same percentage interest of their legitimate claims. So, for example, if Person A is owed $60,000 in WARN Act pay and unpaid vacation and Person B is owed $20,000 in WARN Act pay and unpaid vacation, both will get say 15% of their total legitimate claims. What is happening now is that Person B is getting 100% of his claim, while Person A is getting 50% of hers.

    That’s unfair, no matter how you slice it. It’s especially unfair when Person B took 3 weeks of vacation in the 10 months prior to the firm going under and Person A took 2 days of vacation.

  12. 12 Former Associate 2 November 2009 at 10:00 am

    By the way, it’s not just attorneys who are hurt by this settlement, it is also non-legal staff that stayed in the office and worked and took less vacation. In fact, this settlement hurts those, attorneys or non-attorneys, who took less vacation, and provides a windfall to those, attorneys or non-attorneys, who took more.

    I’d like to know how much vacation Anna Scarpa, Deborah Biggers, Carl Goodman, and Marjorie Norris took, and let’s see if this settlement doesn’t disproportionately help them. I’ll report after I look at the filings.

  13. 13 Former Associate 2 November 2009 at 10:22 am

    Turns out that all four named class reps had accrued significant vacation time, so the settlement DOES NOT disproportionately favor them. Nevertheless, they issued an offensive statement and the deal that Blum Collins struck is unfair, so I will vote against.

  14. 14 Former Associate 2 November 2009 at 10:39 am

    Blum Collins wrote the letter.

    This settlement is unfair. People who worked harder, or served at the firm longer — attorneys and non-attorneys — are getting screwed.

  15. 15 Sad in San Diego 2 November 2009 at 5:59 pm

    I’d like to thank the named plaintiffs for their efforts. I certainly wasn’t doing anything to advance my claim (other than file a claim in the BK action). I was on the deck of the former good ship Heller sank and as I watched the last life boats row away I was too depressed to do anything. At least the named plaintiffs got off their butts and did something. I’ve been content to watch from sidelines, waiting to see what would happen. I had and have no expectation that I would ever receive anything close to the amount due me.

    We are not going to be made whole. There is no satisfaction to be had here, beyond the certain knowledge that the Heller BK will hanging around the necks of the former shareholders for the next decade or so.

    And thank you Thomas, for all your efforts keeping this site up!

  16. 16 And then there were none... 2 November 2009 at 7:23 pm

    Just so everyone is on the same page, that Joint Statement was clearly authored by Blum Collins. Let’s get real.

  17. 17 Thomas MacEntee 2 November 2009 at 11:35 pm

    Whether or not you all believe it – and I really don’t care – but I will tell you that the Joint Statement is the product of the four name plaintiffs. I know this because I saw each of the drafts as it was worked on via email.

    I’ll also have more to say about the vitriolic comments here on the blog – I’ve been on the road traveling back home to New York and have not had much access or time to check in.

    To start with, for all those pissing and moaning about the Joint Statement being self serving – who else was willing to put their necks out? Does anyone realize that NO ONE – not one person in the DC office was willing to be a name plaintiff until Marjorie Norris was contacted?

    While you may not agree with the settlement or even the Joint Statement, it does represent their own words and they have the right to state them. Just as anyone does here in the comments.

    The second point I’d like folks to consider – and I’ll probably just post an “open thread” and let people have at it since the gloves seem to be off – is who else has been organizing and representing the employees here? Anyone? Or did you think you’d just wait around and see what the name plaintiffs and others who signed on with Blum Collins would get and then if you didn’t like it you’d figure out what to do? The Unsecured Creditors Committee and the Heller Ehrman LLP estate would like to see nothing more than what is beginning to happen – the employee group becoming fractured and suffering from infighting.

    And I also hope everyone is ready to hire their own counsel to defend their WARN Act claims. Because you can bet the WARN Act claims will be litigated.

    This is not the perfect settlement – I doubt there ever would be one. But to begin to demonize the name plaintiffs just for stating their opinions – not even mentioning the risks they took – is just mean spirited.

    Over and out.

  18. 18 Anon2 3 November 2009 at 12:28 am

    Thomas, you tell em! Are we going to demonstrate the same behavior that brought Heller down? The inside bickering and disagreeing. Then the terrorists have won.

  19. 19 Former Associate 3 November 2009 at 12:50 am

    You said it Thomas! You are one million percent correct!

    You are not the liar, they are!

    You are not the cheater, they are!

    You’re just telling us what the news is, day in and day out…..as up to the point as you can GIVE.

    To those of you mad, take it out on the people that deserve it, not the messenger, hence, Thomas.

    Kudos Thomas on your excellent website!

  20. 20 Another former associate 3 November 2009 at 1:55 am

    I too find the named plaintiffs’ statement extremely offensive and off-putting. And specifically, I would like to respond to the sentiment expressed in their statement and emphasized in Thomas’ response above that these plaintiffs did us all a favor by hiring class counsel and pursuing the class action when and in the manner that they did. Although I believe that the sentiment is sincere, I think it is misguided and misinterprets the failure of associates to act.

    Rather than an unwillingness to “put their necks out,” associates likely were unwilling to join the class because they neither agreed with the selection of class counsel, nor with the timing of filing the class action suit, nor with the specific strategy later followed by counsel–which was to everyone’s detriment and was only motivated by the initial class lawyers’ desire to be “first to the courthouse” and, later, by Blum Collins’ desire to get large attorneys fees from the estate. In fact, I find it telling that class counsel was hired without any associates (to my knowledge) being even asked their opinion, despite the fact that the named plaintiffs had access to numerous talented associates who were likely their friends and colleagues, and whose knowledge and savvy could have been used to everyone’s advantage. Once this was done and the class action filed, nothing meaningful could be done to “unring the bell.”

    As to the suggestion that there was something wrong in waiting to see what happened after Blum Collins was hired, although Thomas makes this sound like an attempt to free-ride, in fact it again was simply the product of us having no other choice. The named plaintiffs made their choice, and largely took the ability to choose away from the rest of us.

  21. 21 concerned 3 November 2009 at 9:19 am

    I agree with the right of the named plaintiffs to voice their opinion.

    I disagree with the statement that no one in the DC office was “willing to stick their necks out.” I seriously considered being a named plaintiff. But after discussing my decision with the people who matter most to me, my family, I decided not to. My reason for not being willing to “stick my neck out” was the fact that the very people I would be suing, former Heller shareholders, were also my present employers. I just couldn’t reconcile the two — sue the people paying my check. As we all know, jobs are very, very hard to come by and despite my compassion for my fellow employees, my allegiance lies first to my family. So please don’t lump us all in one category especially if you don’t know the circumstances.

    I commend each of the named plaintiffs for taking the risk. I await the information from the Estate counsel to make my determination regarding settlement.

  22. 22 Anon123 3 November 2009 at 10:27 am

    This is getting good. Class warfare between associates and staff.
    Victim mentality run amok.

  23. 23 Former Associate 3 November 2009 at 8:13 pm

    The post by “Another Former Associate” hits the nail right on the head. Thomas, I hope you understand that there were many associates who were willing to spend their time and money to help the common cause. But once Blum Collins filed suit, the whole landscape was changed for good.

  24. 24 Former Associate 3 November 2009 at 8:17 pm

    First off, I do appreciate the named plaintiffs for sticking their necks out. Many of the attorneys were in an impossible situation, i.e., suing present employers, and the strategy outlined by Blum Collins included suing those employers’ estates. The staff at Heller was excellent, but they do not necessarily need to work at law firms. The attorneys do, if they want to continue to practice law. In any event, the named plaintiffs should be commended for stepping forward.

    That said, I think the staff learned alot from their time at Heller, including how to write memos that try to sell you on something that is not in your interest by claiming it is in your interest, and, in any case, you have no right to disagree because we are morally and intelectually superior.

    Here, the named plaintiffs start by congratulating themselves on having the courage to do what no one else did — especially the attorneys — and that they did so for everyone’s benefit, including the attorneys. There’s the guilt trip. We’re morally superior.

    Then they say that Blum Collins consists of very talented attorneys, one of whom even went to Yale Law School, so we’re smarter than you. And Blum Collins achieved more than anyone could have expected (although they don’t tell us what they achieved or why we shouldn’t have achieved as much as we did). We’re intellectually superior.

    Then they say that the people who took MORE vacation will get more of their claim than those who took LESS. Before you can even question the fairness of that, the plaintiffs introduce the analogy to a “progressive taxation scheme,” in which the people who made less money should get more of the pot. Only right-wing arch-conservatives like Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity would be against “progressive taxation” so you can’t argue this point. We’re morally superior.

    Let’s ignore the fact that the people who are benefitting here are the people who took MORE vacation; and the people who are getting screwed are the people who took LESS vacation. Let’s ignore the fact that people were who made a lower salary (say $2000 per week) may be collecting all the salary and vacation they were owed, while people who made a higher salary (say $4000 per week) may be collecting only a fraction of the salary they were owed and no vacation. So that now the people who made less money have a windfall now while the people who made more money get screwed.

    This, of course, deprives the truly neediest among us — the very beneficiaries of the ACTUAL progressive taxation system in the U.S. — of the funds they should be getting. Assuming everyone has jobs now with roughly the same pay (a bigger assumption for the attorneys, who have had trouble finding equivalent positions in other big firms), the people at Heller who made more money still pay taxes at the same higher rate. So that instead of getting a percentage of the pie based on their outstanding claims (say 15% of $1000, or $150), they are getting $100, 33% of which is taxed and redistributed to programs helping the poor and the jobless. Meanwhile the people who took more vacation or made less money, instead of getting a percentage of the pie based on their outstanding claims (say 5% of $1000, or $50), they are getting $100, which is taxed at a rate of 20%. In other words, the “Progressive Taxation Scheme” argument is b.s. and unfair. But we won’t ask those questions because we’re dumber than the named plaintiffs and the Yale-educated Blum Collins attorneys.

  25. 25 Anon123 3 November 2009 at 10:45 pm

    OMG! Just when I thought it couldn’t get anymore dysfunctional, some asshole former associate (BTW you were on the “list” – and yes it did exist – to be laid off when we merged because you are such an arrogant schmuck) comes out and asserts that staff must have “learned” to write memos by virtue of working with such learned dicks like you. Jesus, you can’t make this shit up. Again, victim mentality runs amok. Nothing, NOTHING, stopped you or others from filing your own objections, etc. I agree, WHOLEHEARTEDLY, that this deal is suspect and that Blum, like most other lawyers involved with the case, will unjustifiably make out. But to now chime in to this level is just a joke.

  26. 26 Former Associate (But Not That One) 4 November 2009 at 12:34 am

    I will have more thoughts on the settlement later, but I would like to say, first, that a lot of the anger here is misdirected–it is the shareholders who screwed ALL of us. Let’s remember who our common enemy is.

    Second, I know many of us associates initially had a negative reaction to the prospect of the employee class action because the first firm to file it did so prematurely. I think most of the associates who had done even preliminary research on the labor code quickly learned that filing a lawsuit for unpaid wages immediately cuts off the 30-day waiting time penalty period. Thus, the first firm to get involved would have cost us all about three weeks worth of waiting time penalties. Then the bankruptcy came.

    So, at least my own personal assessment was that prompt (class) action was not required, and indeed, proved to be potentially detrimental. You’ll notice that Blum Collins abandoned the Werth case (the premature one that cut off waiting time penalties) in favor of the Biggers case.

  27. 27 Former Associate 4 November 2009 at 9:35 am

    Anon123:

    A) I didn’t mean it like that. I actually meant to say the “named plaintiffs,” not “staff,” and when I said “learned” I mean as in “picked up” from the disingenuous memo writing at Heller Ehrman;

    B) How do you know who was on the “list”?

  28. 28 Former Associate (also not that one) 4 November 2009 at 11:03 am

    Anon123, you are way out of line. We’re talking about the disingenious memos that management sent us in the dying days of the firm.

    Why do I keep coming back to this site to read this stuff? It must be a masochistic streak.

    “Over and out”

  29. 29 Observer 4 November 2009 at 4:57 pm

    I’ve ssaid this before, anfd I’ll say it again:

    We need to stay focused on where we are now, and what will happen to us going forward. Pissing, moaning, pointing fingers at each other — all completely useless for where we are now.

    Is this a good settlment? What is good about it? What is bad about it (hint: Blum Collins gets a million dollars, for what?)? What do you want to happen here? Can you do anything about it?

    Everything else is a waste of space and distracts from what is important.

  30. 30 Living on the Edge of Poverty 5 November 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Associates that will be partners someday…I hope you are learning something from all of this. It is getting harder and harder to trust. Think about that. There is a reason there are “lawyer jokes” out there.

  31. 31 Former Associate 5 November 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Observer: I am the former associate everyone seems to be distancing themselves from (although not disagreeing with). To the extent your criticism is directed at me, read carefully. I am not “pissing” or “moaning” or “pointing fingers.” I am addressing the questions you say should be addressed. It is a bad settlement for many of the members of the class and a good one for others.

  32. 32 Observer 5 November 2009 at 7:42 pm

    FA: My comment was intended generally, and not directed at you or anyone else specifically. To the extent you made substantive points, I’m treating them as food for thought.


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- a place to keep up on the latest news as to how Heller Ehrman management intends to treat its support staff as it winds down its operations - will it be every woman for herself? or will it be "let me hold the door for you and is there anything else I can do for you"?

- a place of refuge.

Note: in no way, shape or form is Heller Highwater sanctioned, supported or even recognized, (but it is very likely monitored) by the management of Heller Erhman, LLP. The opinions represented here and on each and every page of Heller Highwater do not constitute the opinions of Heller Ehrman, LLP or its shareholders or its management. In addition, the comments left by visitors do not reflect the opinions of Heller Highwater.

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