Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

Personal Injury Litigation/Insurance Defense Litigation

Hi all, I saw an ad a while back on a job listing page ab ambulancechaser201301/25/17
Here is the thing. ID attorneys absolutely go through all th shikes01/25/17
I've done both. This response is credited. ID (even high tdkerabatsos01/25/17
It's certainly not business litigation. bucwild01/25/17
That's funny. I have seen plenty of postings that say they n jj1001/25/17
This seems like a very simple case of an attorney cautioning trickydick01/25/17
Pretty much what shikes said. It's not that PI/ID attorneys pauperesq01/26/17
My ID experience was very different. Complex cases. All MM. mtobeinf01/26/17
These are good responses. Personally I'm trying very hard to t3success01/26/17
My only counter to this would be a "grass is greener" situat shikes01/27/17
how many years experience do they have at 100K? sounds like prestiiigiousone01/27/17
Some also use a fair amount of creative billing to work far loblawyer01/27/17
Gotta bill creatively. It's an art. prestiiigiousone01/27/17
Much of PI is rote and boilerplate. Very often not a whole l retard01/27/17
Credited. The first firm I ever worked for gave me 6-8 ca shikes01/27/17
Maybe it's just me and my crap memory, but I work on the typ 3lol01/27/17
While this is true about PI generally, there are always pote ginganinja01/27/17
After doing this for 10 years, no one case is alike. If your mississippilawyer01/28/17
ambulancechaser2013 (Jan 25, 2017 - 6:20 pm)

Hi all,

I saw an ad a while back on a job listing page about a business litigation post. It said the applicant needed the usual 3-5 years of experience. It then said something that somewhat stood out to me, which was "Personal injury litigation/Insurance defense litigation does not count." So, I have a good idea why it said that, but I wanted to see what the views of senior and/or experienced attorneys like yourselves is on this matter. Is PI/ID litigation "civil lite" and not really "real" litigation?

Thanks.

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shikes (Jan 25, 2017 - 9:47 pm)

Here is the thing. ID attorneys absolutely go through all the steps of litigation. They know the tips an tricks of civ pro, discovery, deps, etc etc etc.

However, they deal with mostly lower level cases. Business litigation typically has complicated multi-layered contracts, products liability cases with highly technical details, etc.. An ID attorney dealing with slip and falls and motor vehicle accidents has never dealt with that level of complexity, and likely has no clue on how the law works in those types of places. I do ID, and I can tell you that if you handed me a business litigation case between Samsung and some supplier I'd probably be screwed without major guidance.

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tdkerabatsos (Jan 25, 2017 - 10:22 pm)

I've done both. This response is credited.

ID (even high level, like high dollar med mal) just isn't the same thing.

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bucwild (Jan 25, 2017 - 9:37 pm)

It's certainly not business litigation.

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jj10 (Jan 25, 2017 - 9:56 pm)

That's funny. I have seen plenty of postings that say they need someone with specific type of experience but never excluding an entire class of attorneys. Some time back I met with a recruiter who said ID attorneys are a dime a dozen and that firms don't really need to recruit for them.

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trickydick (Jan 25, 2017 - 10:57 pm)

This seems like a very simple case of an attorney cautioning against submissions from attorneys without the necessary experience. Family law and criminal defense attorneys probably go to court more often than I do, but both would be clueless handling a personal injury case since they'd be unfamiliar with the type of medical reports and expert testimony typical of PI cases.

I once worked at a business litigation firm as a paralegal. It's much more detail oriented and complicated than anything you'll see in a typical tort case short of a toxic tort or some kind of class action suit. But keep in mind that business litigation is the primary facilitator of doc review, the bane of the legal profession.

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pauperesq (Jan 26, 2017 - 12:13 am)

Pretty much what shikes said. It's not that PI/ID attorneys aren't doing "real" litigation - they absolutely are. But not all litigation experience is created equal and an attorney that has only been reviewing medical records and arguing over the severity of a soft tissue injury probably isn't going to have the first clue what to do with a seven figure shareholder dispute, a dissenter's rights case, etc.

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mtobeinf (Jan 26, 2017 - 6:12 am)

My ID experience was very different. Complex cases. All MM. CGL policies. Then separately doing business litigation like sh deritiave suits, subrogation claims, plane crashes, product liability, or employment law, etc. It was a boutique whatever the hell that means.

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t3success (Jan 26, 2017 - 6:08 am)

These are good responses. Personally I'm trying very hard to leave ID in order to get into a more complex, desirable litigation niche.

I had an epiphany the other day looking at some of the old slip and fall ID attorneys who have done nothing but soft tissue injuries and churn out form pleadings and discovery for years. Simply, that is no way to go through life. They have no real skill set. Any attorney with a brain can do what they do on a daily basis. I don't want to get trapped in this boring, simple, relatively unskilled area of law. ID used to be attractive when trials actually happened, but those days are long gone. Now that you can't even build trial skills in ID, what is the point? The rates are awful low and the work is so mundane. You are routinely dealing with bottom barrel solo attorneys on a regular basis who have every interest in settling asap rather than actually litigating.

So, if they want an experienced business litigator, it makes perfect sense to exclude ID applicants.

This is another reminder to me to get out of this crap asap.

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shikes (Jan 27, 2017 - 7:05 am)

My only counter to this would be a "grass is greener" situation.

I know many attorneys who make ~100k in ID and work 50 hours a week. Boring and repetitive, yes, but having a relatively easy job (hours-wise) for low six figures isn't something to sneeze at.

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prestiiigiousone (Jan 27, 2017 - 11:50 am)

how many years experience do they have at 100K? sounds like maybe 4-5 yrs?

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loblawyer (Jan 27, 2017 - 11:58 am)

Some also use a fair amount of creative billing to work far less than 50 hours a week (at the office for about that but not working) to make that same ~$100k. For the less ambitious or those who don't really care about what they do at work as long as the checks clear, it is not necessarily a bad route.

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prestiiigiousone (Jan 27, 2017 - 7:53 pm)

Gotta bill creatively. It's an art.

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retard (Jan 27, 2017 - 8:14 pm)

Much of PI is rote and boilerplate. Very often not a whole lot of thinking goes into the case. From what motions and arguments to make to what documents to seek and what questions to ask at ebt.

Knowing how to juggle 100 cases at a time where the issues are all similar does nothing for a firm where attorneys will have 10 cases and be expected to conduct intense legal and factual analysis.

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shikes (Jan 27, 2017 - 8:31 pm)

Credited.

The first firm I ever worked for gave me 6-8 cases and basically told me that there better not be a single possible stone left unturned at the end of the month. The partner I worked under literally said he wanted any single question he asked beginning with "Did you...?" to be answered with a yes.

I sort of miss those days. I juggle so many files they blend together many times. I hate when someone asks me "What did the MRI show?". Do you know how many MRIs I look at in a day? I can't possibly remember every cases injuries. I'm lucky if I remember what type of case it is or the very basics of a factual pattern.

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3lol (Jan 27, 2017 - 8:34 pm)

Maybe it's just me and my crap memory, but I work on the type of sophisticated cases that you mentioned in your first paragraph, and I typically don't remember what the hell the case was about by the name of the client after a week or so passes without prompting.

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ginganinja (Jan 27, 2017 - 10:02 pm)

While this is true about PI generally, there are always potentially very complicated collateral issues in big PI cases. In the smaller cases it's just not worth anyone's time to play.

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mississippilawyer (Jan 28, 2017 - 1:53 pm)

After doing this for 10 years, no one case is alike. If your job is to have a high volume of cases and settle X cases per month, then the work is not terribly complicated (expect trying to convince clients to settle their cases).

For those that litigate, it is a different story. Every car wreck case I have tried has a novel issue or two. Also, even in trying a car wreck case, you have to make hundreds (yes, hundreds) of decisions when you try the case. This is why trying a case is so mentally taxing (unlike settling one).

Only 5 percent of lawyers who handle civil cases try cases. A little larger percentage litigate them and settle them almost always. Most just do a demand and take whatever the liability insurer gives them.

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