Today was the monthly Kaufman County Bar meeting. We had an excellent civil law roundup by Crandall, Texas Attorney Keena Greyling. I’m very limited in my civil practice and I don’t follow all the latest developments in insurance law etc. That being said, it’s easy to predict the trends in Texas civil cases.
Anyone can predict 90% of the decisions that the Texas Supreme Court will make by answering this question- What verdict will help big business? (For the Court of Criminal Appeals just ask- what verdict saves the conviction?)
I remember this trend from my consumer law class at Tech. The neutering of the DTPA (consumer protection act) was in direct correlation to a big business/GOP takeover of the Supreme Court. Funny how that happens.
Another topic was legal outsourcing. Big Law firm has found a way to outsource legal work to India, making a fortune for the partners. Big Law hires Indian attorneys to do research which. American attorneys must “supervise” to ethically pass muster. This is troublesome as Indian lawyers are not usually licensed in Texas.
Big Law clients are prevented a menu of legal fee options. If a Big Law client wants legal work actually done by an attorney in Dallas you pay $XXXXX per hour. If you want Big Law to outsource your case to an Indian lawyer you pay $XX.
It’s being presented as no different than a paralegal drafting documents for an attorney to review. Outsourcing lets Big Law cut out the licensed Texas associates and pass those savings onto the consumer. The potential win (if the work is of sufficient quality) for consumers is also a huge red flag to those considering law school. Future Big Law associates of the world, your job has been outsourced. Unless you can work for $20 an hour or open your own law firm, get your MBA.
Temporary Attorney chronicles the flight of legal work to India and the devastating impact of outsourcing on non-partner attorneys. TA should be required reading for anyone applying to law school.
Criminal law has usually proven resistant to economies of scale. One reason is that criminal cases require an actual body in the courtroom. I have to appear in Dallas or Kaufman or Waxahachie. I can’t sent my Indian counterpart to speak with the DA or select a jury. An area in which the falling price of research could impact criminal law is appeals. Could an appeal or writ be outsourced to India? We’ll know in a few years.