Update: Affected by the Equifax Data Breach?
In September 2019, I shared information in this column on how to see whether your personal information was affected by Equifax’s 2017 data breach. In September 2017, Equifax announced it had experienced a data breach, which impacted the personal information of approximately 147 million people.
Equifax recently announced on its website that claimants who elected to receive credit monitoring services will receive instructions with an activation code by email or mail by Feb. 25, 2022.
Claimants who elected to receive monetary compensation or reimbursement will have to wait longer; no deadline has been set.
According to Equifax’s website, “Initial claims period and extended claims period claims for time spent and out-of-pocket losses are under review. You will be contacted if additional information is needed regarding your claim(s). Settlement benefits for eligible out-of-pocket losses and time spent are estimated to begin issuing in the fall.”
For more information, visit https://www.equifaxbreachsettlement.com/.
Source: Christopher C. Shattuck, Practice Management Advisor (Practice 411™), State Bar of Wisconsin
Lawyer Jon Levin Represents Band He Plays Guitar In
More than a few entertainment lawyers are former musicians – suits who stand on the side of the stage watching their clients perform, wondering what might have been.
Not Jon Levin.
Levin is both lead guitarist and lawyer for Dokken, an American hard rock band that burst onto the scene in the 1980s and still performs.
During the late 1980s, Levin landed a paying gig with Warlock, a German heavy metal band. But the rise of grunge music, which shunned metal’s leather and lipstick for flannel, convinced Levin to go to law school.
“In an instant, you saw the entire Sunset Strip going from guys with long hair looking like they wanted to play in Whitesnake to, all of a sudden, everyone’s wearing flannel,” Levin said.
Levin graduated cum laude from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, in 1996 and hung out his shingle in Century City, Cal., ground zero for the entertainment industry.
Levin maintained his guitar chops during law school. So when a member of Dokken invited him to play on a demo recording several years after he obtained his J.D., he jumped at the chance.
Levin joined Dokken in 2003. He continues to practice law and often finds himself playing on bills with clients in other bands.
Source: LA Weekly
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“God has gifted me with a special talent to coach the game of football, but the need for change is bigger than my personal goals.”
– Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores, announcing on Feb. 1 that he’d filed a lawsuit against the NFL and three teams alleging racism in hiring practices.
Flores, who is Black, announced the filing of the lawsuit three weeks after he was interviewed by the New York Giants for their head coaching job.
At the time of the interview, Flores claims, the Giants had already decided to offer the job to Brian Daboll, who is white.
In January, Flores was fired by the Miami Dolphins after coaching the team for three seasons – the last two with a winning record.
By the Numbers
Since Alan Zimmerman founded the Law Finance Group in 1994, the company has provided $750 million to fund lawsuits.
“Law firms that maybe two years ago would not have been inclined to look for litigation financing are now open to litigation financing,” Zimmerman said.
Law Finance Group and other litigation financiers fund, with loans, some or all of the expenses of a lawsuit. In exchange, they receive a share of any proceeds recovered as part of the suit’s resolution.
It’s a high-risk investment: the loans are nonrecourse, so a loss in court or a broken agreement means the financier is left holding the bag.
But the return on investment can be substantial – 200-400%.
The industry got its start in Australia and the U.K in the 1990s and made its way to the United States in the 2000s.
In 2018, Wisconsin became the first state to require the disclosure of litigation-funding arrangements.
Source: ABA Journal, State Bar of Wisconsin
Did You Know?
Registration for H-1B Visas Opens March 1
The period for registering for an H-1B visa for fiscal year 2023 begins at noon (Eastern Time) on March 1 and closes at noon (Eastern Time) on March 18, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced.
No petition for cap-subject H-1B status will be considered unless registration for the petition is submitted during that period.
Employers must submit a registration for each foreign worker they want to sponsor and name each worker. Multiple registrations may be submitted in a single session.
If the number of submitted registrations is greater than the number of available visas, registrations will be randomly selected. Employers may file petitions only for those workers whose applications are selected.
USCIS plans to contact employers whose registrations are selected by March 31 with instructions for submitting visa petitions.
Source: DeWitt Law Firm
New York State Bar Recommends Hours Cap
A New York State Bar Association task force has issued a report that recommends capping annual billable hours at 1,800.
According to the report, overwork and lack of down time exert a heavy toll on lawyers’ well-being. But industry experts say the cap is likely a non-starter at big law firms.
“I think a 1,800-billable-hours cap is going to be a challenge,” said Vertex Advisors Group founder Robert Kamins. “Law firm profitability and compensation is largely driven by hours worked.”
There’s more law firm work than ever.
According to a survey by Wells Fargo Legal Specialty Group, demand, rates, and productivity each increased 6% at the nation’s 200 highest-grossing law firms during the first half of 2021.
Lisa Smith, with the legal consulting firm Fairfax, said it’s probably not realistic to expect first-year associates making $205,000 and eighth-year associates making between $400,000 and $500,000 to work only 40 hours per week.
Wisconsin attorneys earn an average of $248 per hour and their firms bill an average of $235, placing the state on the more affordable end between the high of New York ($372, $351) and low of West Virginia ($163, $161). When adjusted for cost of living, Wisconsin’s rates rise to $265 and $251.
Attorneys in the Milwaukee metro area earn the highest average salary ($139,170) in the state, followed by Madison ($119,970), Racine ($113,770), and Green Bay ($107,230).