How would the bar/ my firm interpret this?

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Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

How would the bar/ my firm interpret this?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:25 pm

I took a temporary job for $20/hr at a midsize law firm in January. They had a rush project they wanted me to do. The partner was very demanding, and asked me to work through MLK weekend to review 500 contracts in 5 days and fill out a spreadsheet that was approximately 100x500 cells. This was not made clear to me when he hired me. I did what I could and returned my work to him. His complaint was that I was not able to finish 100 contracts in one day. The contracts averaged between 50-70 pages. He acknowledged recipient of my work.

I never received payment. He never acknowledged recipient of my billing spreadsheet until months later, after I emailed him in March. In early March, I emailed him follow up on the payment. He said he mailed a check and that it was CASHED. I told him 1) I received no check and cashed nothing in the month of March matching the amount he owed me, 2) it's impossible for my neighbors (as he suggested) to cash my check because my name would be on the check, and 3) if he did send the check, could he provide a copy of the receive or any form of bank statement showing the cashing had occurred.

He ignored #3. This morning, I emailed him again asking about the check. He came lashing out, telling me I never made it clear to him I asked my neighbors. He demanded to know who I asked and which neighbors I spoke to. (How is this relevant?) I provided him with a copy of my bank statement showing that I did not cash any checks to the amount he owed me (or any checks in general) between the months of January and April.

All of the above exchanges were documented.

My question: I received some friendly advice to take this to the department of labor. Will the bar/ my firm care if I do? I do not want to seem litigious, but at the same time, this guy owes me a not insignificant sum and refuses to pay.

JAYINSD
Posts: 33
Joined: Sun Mar 29, 2015 12:21 pm

Re: How would the bar/ my firm interpret this?

Postby JAYINSD » Mon Apr 06, 2015 1:36 pm

Anonymous User wrote:I took a temporary job for $20/hr at a midsize law firm in January. They had a rush project they wanted me to do. The partner was very demanding, and asked me to work through MLK weekend to review 500 contracts in 5 days and fill out a spreadsheet that was approximately 100x500 cells. This was not made clear to me when he hired me. I did what I could and returned my work to him. His complaint was that I was not able to finish 100 contracts in one day. The contracts averaged between 50-70 pages. He acknowledged recipient of my work.

I never received payment. He never acknowledged recipient of my billing spreadsheet until months later, after I emailed him in March. In early March, I emailed him follow up on the payment. He said he mailed a check and that it was CASHED. I told him 1) I received no check and cashed nothing in the month of March matching the amount he owed me, 2) it's impossible for my neighbors (as he suggested) to cash my check because my name would be on the check, and 3) if he did send the check, could he provide a copy of the receive or any form of bank statement showing the cashing had occurred.

He ignored #3. This morning, I emailed him again asking about the check. He came lashing out, telling me I never made it clear to him I asked my neighbors. He demanded to know who I asked and which neighbors I spoke to. (How is this relevant?) I provided him with a copy of my bank statement showing that I did not cash any checks to the amount he owed me (or any checks in general) between the months of January and April.

All of the above exchanges were documented.

My question: I received some friendly advice to take this to the department of labor. Will the bar/ my firm care if I do? I do not want to seem litigious, but at the same time, this guy owes me a not insignificant sum and refuses to pay.


Department of labor? Small claim court first, see what reaction you can get from him?

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: How would the bar/ my firm interpret this?

Postby Anonymous User » Mon Apr 06, 2015 8:58 pm

I second small claims court

P.S. You mean he acknowledged "receipt" (not "recipient," which is a person who receives something). Just in case you have to write this up for a real person outside TLS

jarofsoup
Posts: 1952
Joined: Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:41 am

Re: How would the bar/ my firm interpret this?

Postby jarofsoup » Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:01 pm

The Department of Labor aspect of your question has me quite troubled.

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rpupkin
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Re: How would the bar/ my firm interpret this?

Postby rpupkin » Mon Apr 06, 2015 9:03 pm

Yeah, small claims court is the way to go. I don't think you run any risk of trouble with your state's bar or the firm.

Whatever happens, please update. I'm already entertained.

CanadianWolf
Posts: 10439
Joined: Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:54 pm

Re: How would the bar/ my firm interpret this?

Postby CanadianWolf » Tue Apr 07, 2015 12:43 am

I've heard of a solo practitioner who hires law students at $11 an hour with "urgent" matters, then trys to convince the students to accept future recommendations in lieu of pay.

OP: Contact the state bar & see if their fee dispute resolution service will handle your claim, if not, then file in small claims court. The state bar should see this as a legal dispute over wages. The problem, however, is that the hiring attorney may muddy the waters by asserting that you were somehow at fault. Be prepared for a fight.

As a side note: Seems like this attorney set you up by giving you more work than humanly possible to do in such a short time period. You may not be his first victim. Hopefully the bar will help.




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