I wanted to fill everyone in on Blum Collins, the firm that is now representing the class action plaintiffs who had previously worked with Nichols Kaster.
First, as a matter of full disclosure, readers should know that I recently signed a retainer agreement with Blum Collins, for reasons which I’ll explain in a minute.
Second, due to the various issues involved with the class action suit, the named plaintiffs in the suit filed on October 20, 2008 felt that Blum Collins could better represent them and a possible ex-Heller employee class.
Third, if you would like Blum Collins to send you a retainer agreement outlining the areas of representation and the fee structure, then email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Several ex-Hellerites have asked me, “why in the world do we need to even have representation since the matter of recovering our money is in bankruptcy court?” as well as, “why should I let a percentage of my recovered money go to someone like Blum Collins?” Without revealing anticipated strategy, here’s why I’ve signed on:
– I know from experience that with a complex case like ours, you just don’t file a Proof of Claim with the bankruptcy court and then sit back and wait (and wait) for the money to eventually fall in your lap. You need to be aggressive to pursue all avenues available to recover the wages that were due to you by Heller.
– I can’t imagine myself hiring my own bankruptcy counsel and/or labor law counsel, and having to do so with money up front, and doing it from here in Chicago for a San Francisco case.
– Blum Collins already represents the former employees of Thelen Reid LLP, another SF-based global law firm which dissolved in late 2008. There are certain efficiencies and economies of scale built in to having them represent the Heller class since the cases are very similar.
– It is obvious so far that our attempts to get a seat on the Creditors Committee, or despite our email efforts with Minnie Loo at the US Trustee’s office, the creation of an Employee’s Committee, have resulted in nada, zilch, bumpkus. So again, we need to be aggressive and I’d rather have a firm that has experience in this area to fight for me.
– Blum Collins was willing to provide a sliding scale fee arrangement which benefits ex-Hellerites who have smaller claims and have provided an overall discount to their standard contingency fee.
– Although there is no guarantee, some of the court costs may be covered administratively in bankruptcy court.
– Blum Collins is willing to pursue all avenues available to recover as much money as possible for the employees,
Finally, going forward you won’t see much discussion as to strategy here at Heller Highwater. This is the main reason why I’ve had to delay the Proof of Claim instructions. I am working out those instructions with Blum Collins and again need to emphasize that you should wait to file – you don’t want to run the risk of underestimating your claim and lose out on money due to you. The April 27, 2009 deadline for filing still holds and we still have almost three months to do so.
If you have questions or want to comment on possible representation with Blum Collins either email me at email@example.com or make your opinion known in the comments section.
Over and out.