Posts Tagged '80s Music Rulez!'

Heller Highwater – A One Hit Wonder?

The ABA Journal released its 2nd annual list of the top 100 legal blogs called the Blawg 100 and, sniff sniff, Heller Highwater was not among them.  Well, sort of. 

HH was deemed to be a One-Hit Wonder among the legal blogosphere meaning, as the article put it, “generated a lot of buzz in 2008, but they didn’t make it into the Blawg 100. And for whatever reasons, their moment seems to have passed.”  Oh well, there is something to say about being a fad, no?

But despite being the Pet Rock of the legal blogs, Heller Highwater will “keep on keepin’ on” as we used to say in the 70s.  And knowing my love of 80s music, I guess I should be content that I am in such good company as “I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow. Enjoy.


End of the Day: 10/16/2008

We haven’t had an “end of the day” post for a few days now and your cruise director thinks it is high time we had one – we deserve it.

Recap of the past few days:

– another round of terminations are planned, emails sent out to many, far too many, passengers of the S.S. Heller Ehrman. Tomorrow is the last day for them – if you know anyone please send them your good thoughts. Tell them how it is a week later if you’ve been let go. Welcome them with open arms – we know we’ll make it ashore eventually

– Heller management has seen fit to make the Placement Opportunities website available externally – check it out here

– there is an offer to our Los Angeles passengers for a free coaching session – check it out you might be surprised

– various updates on a class action lawsuit by the loyal employees of Heller Ehrman LLP with various posts

– several passengers have filed various wage claims and WARN Act claims – read through this site for their advice

– if you were terminated last Friday or will be tomorrow, please see this post as to what you can do

Just a closing thought or two: I’ve been off the S.S. Heller Ehrman for a week now and still don’t have my bearings – it will take time I guess.  As many thanks and kind words have come in via email, I really feel the need to thank you all for your support.  I know it takes effort to just get up some days but when you sit in front of your keyboard and take the time to send feedback – any feedback – about this site, I want you to know it is appreciated.  Now if only I could turn this skill into a new job!  Is Carnival Cruises hiring?  Do they need an on-board blog master/mistress?

On a more serious note, as we’ve seen week by week, more passengers are unceremoniously tossed off the ship, and then you have to wonder who or what will be left.  And if you are in the water and floating about like me, while it isn’t great, it could be worse.  I would much rather be treading water with this group of supportive, driven, determined, intelligent, creative, sometimes contentious, many times sad but more times angry group of ex-Hellerites than with anyone else in the wide open sea.  Heller Ehrman knew what they had when they had us.  They knew our work ethic.  They knew our skills.  They knew our creativity.  

And yet some of them, perhaps a small sheltered group living in their elaborate penthouse deck, thought that we’d just quietly paddle to shore and look for the next passing ship.  Go our separate ways and never look back.  But did they really think that at a firm known for fighting for those outside the margins, those often not seen, those thrown overboard – did they really think that we had witnessed all that good work and had not learned a few things?

Tonight out on the Lido Deck, is a real rocker that is a fave of your cruise director: from 1982 here’s Patti Smyth and Scandal singing Goodbye To You.

End of the Day: 10/7/2008

Not my best day, I’ll admit.  But readers should know that I have no problem with criticism and trying to listen to the other sides of a discussion.  And when I’m wrong I’m wrong and will admit it.  I will admit that I was too harsh in my criticism of today’s goodbye emails.   Perhaps it was the fact that they came one after another.  Perhaps it was the reminder that many of us haven’t made it off the S.S. Heller Ehrman.  Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps.


Tonight’s entertainment is over on the Lido Deck and we have the Icicle Works singing “Whisper To A Scream.”  Sometimes that’s very true.

End of the Day: 10/6/2008

Well this has been a busy day here on the S.S. Heller Ehrman as is typical of Mondays – over the past month all the “action” seems to take place on the weekends.

As evidence, I offer up the fact that on Sunday we had the 41st most popular post at WordPress: I Hate Mondays.  And in a bit of irony, guess what was #42?  What’s Next by John Heald, an actual cruise director for Carnival Cruises!  Coincidence? Bizarre? You decide.


  • the best torture is slow torture, wouldn’t you agree?  I offer up today’s Heller management communication concerning the fact that at least we’ll be paid this Friday, October 10th.
  • question: does Heller hold a week’s wages in arrears?  Meaning the check on Friday is acutally for work through October 3rd?  Can anyone answer this?  It has been so long since your Cruise Director first joined his shipmates that he can’t remember.  He believes his first paycheck was paid in salt and fur pelts though.
  • have you been backing up your personal data? collecting all your evidence for a possible wage claim? a few Hellerites have also suggested keeping a diary or a timeline of all the activities and communications – good idea!  If you need help, go back to when this blog started and you should be able to at least copy what you need to file a wage claim, possible unemployment if needed, and any other claim you might anticipate.
  • speaking of claims, we’ve secured WARN Act representation in case Heller Ehrman does declare bankruptcy or if the firm attempts to weasel its way out of its WARN obligations; we could use some counsel for wage claims/accrued vacation – we have calls out and are close to hammering out a deal on representation.
  • new positions posted for San Francisco area admin asst and litigation secretary 
  • new attorney recruiters posted for Los Angeles

And I know you’ve been waiting for this bit of entertainment from The Boomtown Rats over on the Aloha Deck.  Actually, the piano intro just absolutely slays me everytime.  “I Don’t Like Mondays.”

End of Day: 10/3/2008

Your Cruise Director is officially washed up today.  Wiped.  En toto.  Wrung out.

Read, re-read, and carefully read the previous posts.  Talk to your loved ones.  Call up co-workers and friends.  Discuss, compare and contrast.  Talk among yourselves.

More importantly – take care of yourself and do what you think is best for you.  If you don’t agree with some of the previous posts, all is good.  If you have a different opinion, feel free to let it fly via our comments section.  You can even post anonymously, goddess knows I do.

My plans: talk to counsel, attorneys, and my panel of experts.  But also take care of me.  Hot tub time, red wine, chocolate, certain migraine.  Watch old movies.  Think.  Plan.  Try not to obsess about Monday.  Know that I have friends.  Know that I have great co-workers, even great shareholders.  Tell those shareholders who aren’t happy with the current arrangement that they have more power than they think.

Be safe.  Tell someone you love them.  Call your mother, she worries.

And, for on-board entertainment, I bet you thought I was going to go with The Boomtown Rats and I Hate Mondays?  Heller Drone cannot be predicted in his ways – they are many, they are varied, and they are sometimes bizarre.  It is Howard Jones appearing on the Fiesta Deck singing Things Can Only Get Better.  Ain’t that the truth.

End of Day: 10/2/2008

We worry when it is so quiet.  This is when, as Frida so aptly put it in that great 80s song, “I Know There’s Something Going On,” stuff happens.

It has been confirmed that one or more Chiefs have resigned including Robert Meadows, Chief Information Officer and Steve Balcomb, Chief Administrative Officer.  It appears they had offered their resignations earlier during the storm as a way of lowering costs but they were rebuffed.  The fact that Heller management has now accepted their resignations worries us: is the cash flow situation a bit more dire than we’ve been told?

And if you don’t know it, both of these guys are straight-up in terms of their concern for staff, at least in my experience.  I truly believe they, and perhaps other chiefs, generals and majors, made the same offer.  They may realise that they are better positioned than most right now, in terms of economics and job prospects, and want to look out for their own people.  This is what we as Heller support staff know to be part of the “family spirit” that we often mention.  If this is the case, we say, “Bravo!” and thanks for holding the lifeboats steady as we get in.

Also, it has been confirmed that recent support staff who have departed the S.S. Heller Ehrman did receive their vacation accrual.  In fact, there are two people, at least, who were eligible for their sabbatical and received payment for that accrued benefit as well.  We hope the payment of vacation accrual is still the case when the last support staff person closes the door and turns off the light.

Other items you may have missed today:

Employment Legal Assistant position at Oracle posted

– The Recruiters – Staff section has been updated with listings for finance and accounting.

– A great article on the history of Heller Ehrman appeared in the OpEd section of the San Francisco Chronicle

And so another day ends.  We are off to watch the Vice Presidential debates – we have printed up our bingo cards, and we are all set.  It also sounds like Frida is set to take the stage over on the Riviera Deck to sing her hit song as well.  Enjoy. 

End of the Day: 10/1/2008

Weird day today.  Still trying to figure out these supposed FAQs which still dance around certain issues and give non-answers in place of answers.  Anyone have one of those neat Magic 8 Balls?  Perhaps we should consult that instead . . .

News articles are up to date but shortage of real news out there until other departures begin.  Certain offices are ghost-towns.  But also it appears that our brethren at another SF firm, Thelen are going through the same issues as on the S.S. Heller.  I know we have lots of Thelen visitors – if you know someone from Thelen call them up, send them an email.  Let ’em know you are thinking of them and ask if there is anything they need.  We’re all in this together.

And you mister: go home, relax if you can.  Watch some baseball.  Have a beer.  Kick back.  Take it all in.

Our on-board entertainment over on the Lido Deck, now appearing is The Jam singing That’s Entertainment.  No special reason – don’t read too much into it – the tune is a great one.

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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Heller Highwater (
Last Modified: September 14, 2008

- Don't be a dill weed.

- Treat other people the way you want to be treated.

- Ladies and children first.

- This is a rescue, not a bitch session.

- Help don't harm.

- Save the snarks for the attorneys and Above The Law.

Heller Highwater is not:

- a place to practice viscious and vindictive "whisper down the lane" rumour-mongering;

- a place to bad mouth co-workers;

- a place for diatribes against specific people or specific incidents;

- a place to heap pity on poor Heller Ehrman staff by outsiders;

- a place that discriminates or sets margins noting who is outside and who is inside - we even welcome supportive Heller Ehrman attorneys!;

- meant to further the demise of Heller Ehrman, LLP.

Heller Highwater is:

- a place for support, a place of empowerment, a place of passion;

- a place to learn about job leads, resume preparation, skill building, training, new opportunities, and how to succeed in a new workplace;

- 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.