Please explain firm case loads to me

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Please explain firm case loads to me

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:25 am

I am a 2L working for a solo practitioner doing mainly plaintiff med-mal cases. He takes, at most, 6 or 7 cases at a time. All of these cases are serious cases: wrongful death, paralysis, amputations etc. The cases last years, cost a TON of money to litigate (dude has won well over a hundred million dollars in judgments in his career- no idea how much in settlements), and we go all-out on them: every case gets treated as if it will go to trial. Settlement is not in his vocabulary - he loves a big judgment. Every day involves research, case strategy, writing pleadings, focus groups, depositions, etc. Both of us, plus 4 legal assistants, have a full days work, day after day, month after month, just on these half-dozen cases.

So, how the HELL can firms have caseloads of 30 to 100 cases per associate? Is the work just divided up among a bunch of people, or are most of these cases just demand letters, settlement negotiations, etc that are handled in an assembly line manner such that they don't require much effort because they will never make it to trial?

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Re: Please explain firm case loads to me

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:57 am

I worked at a personal injury firm, 2 attys, and they had about 200 ongoing cases. Zero were litigated, and all were straight forward car crashes, so insurance companies always settled. The work was basically just writing down what happened, confirming with police report, then getting medical records from treatment, and sending insurance company a demand letter.

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Lacepiece23

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Re: Please explain firm case loads to me

Postby Lacepiece23 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 9:06 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am a 2L working for a solo practitioner doing mainly plaintiff med-mal cases. He takes, at most, 6 or 7 cases at a time. All of these cases are serious cases: wrongful death, paralysis, amputations etc. The cases last years, cost a TON of money to litigate (dude has won well over a hundred million dollars in judgments in his career- no idea how much in settlements), and we go all-out on them: every case gets treated as if it will go to trial. Settlement is not in his vocabulary - he loves a big judgment. Every day involves research, case strategy, writing pleadings, focus groups, depositions, etc. Both of us, plus 4 legal assistants, have a full days work, day after day, month after month, just on these half-dozen cases.

So, how the HELL can firms have caseloads of 30 to 100 cases per associate? Is the work just divided up among a bunch of people, or are most of these cases just demand letters, settlement negotiations, etc that are handled in an assembly line manner such that they don't require much effort because they will never make it to trial?


Just sounds like you're working for a legit solo who is a really good lawyer.

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First Offense

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Re: Please explain firm case loads to me

Postby First Offense » Wed Sep 20, 2017 10:43 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am a 2L working for a solo practitioner doing mainly plaintiff med-mal cases. He takes, at most, 6 or 7 cases at a time. All of these cases are serious cases: wrongful death, paralysis, amputations etc. The cases last years, cost a TON of money to litigate (dude has won well over a hundred million dollars in judgments in his career- no idea how much in settlements), and we go all-out on them: every case gets treated as if it will go to trial. Settlement is not in his vocabulary - he loves a big judgment. Every day involves research, case strategy, writing pleadings, focus groups, depositions, etc. Both of us, plus 4 legal assistants, have a full days work, day after day, month after month, just on these half-dozen cases.

So, how the HELL can firms have caseloads of 30 to 100 cases per associate? Is the work just divided up among a bunch of people, or are most of these cases just demand letters, settlement negotiations, etc that are handled in an assembly line manner such that they don't require much effort because they will never make it to trial?

A Medmal lawyer that actually litigates is not going to have a huge caseload. An ambulance chaser who is just looking for a quick settlement works on volume.

And to give an even more narrow view - right now about 85% of my time is on one case that is a few months away from Summary Judgment. The idea of being on 6 or 7 active litigations at a time gives me shakes.

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Re: Please explain firm case loads to me

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:15 pm

And to give an even more narrow view - right now about 85% of my time is on one case that is a few months away from Summary Judgment. The idea of being on 6 or 7 active litigations at a time gives me shakes.


Six-ten cases is a huge workload. The only thing that makes it manageable is that only a couple of the cases are scheduled for trial within the next 6 months, and we spend the lions share of our time on those 2 cases. And even then, every day is balls-to-the-wall busy, and that's often crisis management: for example, one of the defendant's med-mal insurer went bankrupt, and we are having to figure out how to deal with an automatic stay (injunction, really: LOTD- insurance company bankruptcy is a whole different ballgame than regular bankruptcy) because we've got like 10 witnesses who are needing to be depo'd, and the scheduling for that is a huge PITA.

I talked to my boss today and we're now up to 10 cases, including a class action. He's hired another law student and 2 more assistants, but there is still a ton of work. He said the class action case involved review of something like 600 charts, and he and an physician spent weeks in the records dept of the hospital doing it. Unreal.

The good thing about this, is that as a student, I am right there for the strategy involved in litigating a case. I don't make much, but I consider it invaluable experience.

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Re: Please explain firm case loads to me

Postby sparty99 » Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:I am a 2L working for a solo practitioner doing mainly plaintiff med-mal cases. He takes, at most, 6 or 7 cases at a time. All of these cases are serious cases: wrongful death, paralysis, amputations etc. The cases last years, cost a TON of money to litigate (dude has won well over a hundred million dollars in judgments in his career- no idea how much in settlements), and we go all-out on them: every case gets treated as if it will go to trial. Settlement is not in his vocabulary - he loves a big judgment. Every day involves research, case strategy, writing pleadings, focus groups, depositions, etc. Both of us, plus 4 legal assistants, have a full days work, day after day, month after month, just on these half-dozen cases.

So, how the HELL can firms have caseloads of 30 to 100 cases per associate? Is the work just divided up among a bunch of people, or are most of these cases just demand letters, settlement negotiations, etc that are handled in an assembly line manner such that they don't require much effort because they will never make it to trial?


The firms that have like 100 cases are toxic tort firms...I also don't know how they do it b/c I do 6 or 7 larger cases as well.

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kalvano

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Re: Please explain firm case loads to me

Postby kalvano » Wed Sep 27, 2017 12:14 am

I had to catalogue all of my active matters recently. I’m directly responsible for somewhere around 80-100 active matters and supervising another 35-50.

Each firm varies in workload and types of matter handled.



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