Recently, Matthew Ryan has been the second contract lawyer who had taken on BigLaw in a lawsuit and didn't get far. The first had been David Lola whose case was dismissed and seems to be blackballed from the business. He is living in his car.
As Alex Rich reports in Abovethelaw.com, Ryan has fared a bit better. His case, which involved age discrimination against Buckley Sandler, will go to arbitration. Here is Rich's coverage. Let's how he gets a couple of bucks from the process. As with Lola, the odds are against his receiving any more contract assignments.
At one time the ethos of psychological analysis, not making a ton of money fast, preoccupied educated people. Especially the Chattering Classes along the Northeast Corridor. After all we Baby Boomers and Generation Xers all had Introductory Psychology, had probably done our time in psychotherapy, and then branched out into DIY with self-help books.
So, some of us have been giving plenty of thought to why contract lawyers, the lowest and most vulnerable on the legal-sector food chain, would take on BigLaw. What may be possible motivations include:
Delusion born of frustration. The dark fiction of Edgar Allen Poe shows how the resentful can hatch convoluted plans to right perceived wrongs. Focus on all that for long enough and the line of thought can become delusional.
Chase after big money. Most settlements are secret. Therefore, few really know the numbers. That promotes magical thinking about the possibility of being awarded big big money. It would be possible to start a new life, maybe in an exotic location like Paris. Therefore, who cares about being shut out of the inane work of document review.
Schoolboyish belief in supposed justice. Grown-ups, even who aren't lawyers, know justice is an abstraction. It has no reality. That shouldn't even be rattling around anyone's mind. Not anyone over 14 years old.
Ability to at least annoy the powerful. It is seductive to imagine how the powerful looked when they read the complaint. There could be endless focus on how much time it is taking them to focus on the lawsuit.
Should bystanders observing these train wrecks feel compassion for the two little guys who took on BigLaw and didn't get what they assumed they would? Not if we are all grown up.