Sunday, October 19, 2008

Is "contract attorneys" a really good idea?


Last week was Karvachauth. That’s when North Indian women fast day-long for the prosperity and long life of their husbands, ending the fast by gazing first at the moon through a veil, and then on the faces of their husbands. Of all my women friends, only two observed this ritual. (Their husbands of course, do not fast. 'If I am happy; you should be’, seems to be their mindset.) One of the above husbands is frail as a reed, round-shouldered, stands 5 feet nothing in elevated shoes, and wilts if you even glance at him. The other husband has a head as hairless, smooth, brown, and knobbly, as a witch’s knee. Good men maybe. But gazing all misty-eyed at the moon and then at THEM through a veil, especially when the wife is well-versed with the issues he has with intestinal gas, or with his habit of always sniffing his socks after taking them off, is stretching the romantic charade a little too far!

Tina and her husband however, are a different story. They call each other Jaan, observe the fast together, and lovingly feed each other at the end of the day of fasting. Green is the color of the witch, my friend!

The peek-a-boo game played out at Jet Airways blistered the front pages this week. Jet has built up a reputation for total professionalism and customer service, second to none, much of which is due to Naresh Goyal and his team’s unswerving dedication to perfection. Last week shattered all my preconceptions of the man. In the span of 48 hours, he terminated 1000 employees and overnight re-employed them, blandly stating that he was moved by their youth and their tears. (Keep a straight face, witch! You shall not suspect any motivated manipulative maneuver .) But hey, whither the businessman I admired, with iron in his soul and steel in his sinews. Next I suppose, is Goyal and his crew togged in Santa costumes, distributing free goodies on their flights. Ho, Ho, Ho!

Lesson learned: The way to a man’s heart is through the glands. Not his babe- your lachrymal glands.

The Witch Endorses: I was brought up in a convent, the British way- stiff upper lip, no tears, no cuss words, and definitely no kicking. The result- in a bad situation, I am totally weaponless. But you read above what tears did. Even to a man like Goyal. So women, forget all you may have been taught to the contrary. Learn to weep; be not afraid to swear; and despite what momma told you, it is better to learn to kick than to cross those legs! (Absolutely no immorality intended.)

The Witch’s Brew:
Add one egg, a pinch of nutmeg, a spoonful of sugar, a pinch of kesar, (if you don’t have that, use turmeric powder, you beggar), and one tablespoon brandy to a cup of hot milk, and spin in a blender. That’s eggnog. Very healthy.
Witch lovers may substitute the egg, nutmeg, sugar, milk, kesar, with the remaining ingredient, and spin. Even healthier.

More on contract attorneys: Not a day passes, but one hears of someone looking at opening an LPO here in Pune. While starting an LPO may not be a big deal, what is really challenging is getting in enough legal work to keep it functioning without hiccups. For a fledgling organization there could be a gap between projects. At this time, those with full-time employees would be paying out hefty salaries with no inputs. This is why the idea of employing contract attorneys is attractive. It saves a lot of money. That’s bad news for legal professionals in outsourcing. However, it may not be very good news for employers either.
That's because client confidentiality is, and will always remain a major issue with legal outsourcing. The problem is exacerbated when a company employs contract staffers working for disparate LPOs, which might be handling processes for opposing parties. In such a situation, a contract employee learning of a defense tactic employed by the defendant in a particular litigation, might well be tempted to disclose the same to the opposite party in the same litigation or in a subsequent suit, if he happens to be working subsequently in an LPO that is handling litigation for that opposite party. This conflict of loyalties might be resolved by the outsourcing firms by not employing a contract attorney who has worked in a project for the opposite party. And while this might initially limit a contract attorney’s prospects further, what I figure out is that, in the long run it could end in law firms abroad not outsourcing work to LPOs employing contract attorneys and preferring to send out work to those that use full time regular attorneys whose loyalties are secured. What do you think?

Visited a friend. He has this huge house surrounded by trees, rooms filled with priceless, antique furniture AND a mother who cooks mouth watering Goan dishes. (Lunch was mutton cutlets, fried chicken and pulao.) During the visit, he promised to gift me one antique piece, “when you marry.” I was like, “Wow, someone thinks I still have a chance.” Having had time to think, I’m not so sure. Did he perhaps promise the gift, sure in the knowledge that he would never have to present it? Answer me, you twerp!

Oh, please note the signature-picture below, people. Unlike other witches, this witch does not sport a cat. She prefers bats hovering around, rodents though they are at heart!!

See you soon,


Manisha said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Manisha said...

Dear Rosemary, I see your chance of possessing that antique, because uncertainty would arise if the person would promise to give antique as return gift on his marriage, which is so very doubtful.
My verdict on contract attorneys is a big “No”. Their sincerity towards the work is poor and more over accepting confidentiality from them is a squander. Though, having contract attorneys might work for some exceptional situation but should not become a custom for the organisation (LPO).

It’s always a feeling of rejuvenation after reading your newsletter. Hope we get to read a copy daily. Am I greedy? For your newsletter, hmmm can say that. So read you soon.

Anonymous said...

In reference to contract attorneys and LPOs, there are LPOs that offer top tier and better quality services than most of the on-shore providers or contract attorneys. Best of all, LPOs charge a fraction of what the contract attorneys charge.
high-end legal outsourcing