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The Effect of These Uncertain Economic Times

October 6, 2008

It’s fair to say that the economy is having some issues.  That’s certainly an understatement.  Where Osama Bin Laden failed in his stated goal of destabilizing the U.S. economy, subprime lenders have seemingly succeeded.  Even with the recent rescue bill signed into law, economic stability is far from certain.  There’s reports that bank failures will only continue into the next year. 

So how does the current economic reality affect young lawyers.  The answer: a multitude of ways.  Those who perform work in the corporate and finance industry are probably most affected.  Companies that may be longstanding clients may all of a sudden be in the midst of a bankruptcy filing.  Workloads could then possibly decline (and not in a good way).  Those who work in-house for various companies are also “at risk.”  In-house counsel merely provide services and could be deemed expendable if layoffs are necessary. 

For those of us in “unrelated” litigation fields, like products liability or health care, we too are not immune.  We may find ourselves with clients paying bills late, requesting reductions in rates or switching to “cheaper” firms. 

On the flip side, for those young lawyers just starting out, it may be a good time to start boning up on your creditors rights and bankruptcy law and see if you can switch to that practice area.  Suffice it to say, we can expect a probable rise in bankruptcy work in the immediate future.

These are uncertain times in which we live.  We must prepare for all eventualities while at the same time maintaining our optimism.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Elaine Mays permalink
    October 6, 2008 3:31 pm

    I guess we will never know whether this 700billion bailout was necessary or not, if the economy continues in a downward spiral in spite of the “help” from US taxpayers. Many economists spoke against it saying that the bailout would have little effect on the economy and it appears that this will be proven over the next several months. But with bush and Paulson fear mongering and the stock market moving down, diminishing 401ks (thank goodness we don’t have our SS in the market) they ramrodded this bailout through congress and cleaned out the rest of the treasury for years to come. bush has now accomplished all of his goals. There will be no money for domestic programs. Of course our government doesn’t listen to the people. especially when wall street buys the government right out from under us. I thought about these fat cats being bailed out with my tax dollars while I was at home all weekend working in the yard after working a 60 hour week, while they have their gardeners and maids. We have indeed become an oligarchy.

  2. Liberty11 permalink
    October 27, 2008 2:57 am

    DON’T FALL FOR THE SWEET TALK!!!
    TEN COMPELLING REASONS TO VOTE MCCAIN
    1. CHECK ON LIBERAL CONGRESS. The only way the liberal Congress will be checked at all is if McCain gets elected. Otherwise Pelosi, Dodd, and Frank(the very same people who contributed greatly to the current crisis through resisting reforms to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and pushing “affordable housing” to those who weren’t credit worthy) will have unchecked freedom to cause further economic havoc and impose irresponsible, unaffordable spending programs on this country(we’ve had a Democratic Congress for the last two years and frankly they’ve done a terrible job—-the last thing we need to do is to give them unchecked power)
    2. OBAMA TAX POLICIES WILL TURN CRISIS INTO CATASTROPHE Obama, despite his promises, will turn a crisis into a catastrophe if his economic policies are implemented. This will not help the average “Joe”. Raising taxes in a weak economy is the worst possible economic policy one can do. In 1932, for example,(in an effort eerily similar to the rationale Obama is using) Congress raised taxes on the wealthy and the result was an 8 point jump in unemployment. Moreover, taking money from the pool of funds job creators have means less money to pay wages, less money to pay health care and other benefits, and less jobs. What good is a $500.00 government check if the tax punishment meted out by Obama on your boss forces your boss to cut salaries, health care benefits, raise prices on consumers or, in the worst case scenario, close the business?
    3. REAL OBAMA VIEWS MIDDLE CLASS AS “BITTER CLINGERS” AND OBAMA’S JOE THE PLUMBER ENCOUNTER SHOWS HIS TRUE DISDAIN FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS We’ve seen evidence of what Obama really thinks about the average “Joe” and it isn’t encouraging or pretty. Remember Obama’s remarks that Pennsylvanians were “bitter clingers to guns and religion”. These remarks were made when Obama wasn’t expecting them to be recopied(they thus represent the real Obama). And why should we be surprised at this elitist worldview given the fact Obama is a Ivy League lawyer who spent 20 years in the hate filled church of Jeremiah Wright? Further, look at Obama’s appalling treatment of “Joe” the Plumber. “Joe” is an average guy who wants to buy a business but his dreams can not happen under the Obama tax plan because Obama takes away any incentive to gross more than $250,000.00 in income. And both Obama and Biden essentially mocked “Joe the Plumber” once they learned he was probably a McCain supporter. They and the media made sure(within a days time) that this average “Joe” would have numerous embarrassing details about his life exposed worldwide in an effort to discredit him. And why, all because(when Obama came to his house—he didn’t seek out Obama—Obama sought him out) he dared to ask a reasonable straightforward question that any private citizen should be able to ask their President? Vote for other Democrats if you like(except Murtha who in my view shares the same elitist worldview as demonstrated by his comments Pennsylvanians are “racists” and “rednecks”) but we don’t need more elitists like Obama in leadership positions.
    4. DEMOCRATIC PARTY LARGELY RESPONSIBLE FOR CURRENT CRISIS. Obama, Pelosi, Reid, Dodd, and Barney Frank, and ACORN have pushed for the “affordable housing” policies that have encouraged or pressured banks into making loans to poor minorities and whites who weren’t credit worthy. These bad loans are at the root of the current crisis(not “deregulation” as Obama demogogically claims—there was little to no financial “deregulation” under Bush—in fact even more financial regulation in the form of Sarbanes Oxley—and Gramm Leach Bliley was under Clinton and may have helped the current crisis by making mergers between commercial and investment banks easier). Obama and Dodd were the top two recipients of Fannie Mae campaign contributions. Obama also picked Jim Johnson(former Fannie Mae executive) to lead his vice presidential team. According to the Washington Post, one of Obama’s economic advisers is Franklin Raines(another Fannie Mae executive who in Raines’ case raked in 90 million dollars from Fannie Mae). Obama represented ACORN, trained ACORN workers, he and Ayers gave $200,000 to ACORN, Obama’s campaign gave $800,000.00 to ACORN, the Democrats included a grant for ACORN in the original bailout bill and ACORN intimidated many banks into giving bad loans to minorities with discrimination lawsuits. John McCain, in contrast, called for reforms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while Obama, Reid, Pelosi, Frank, and Dodd, resisted those reforms. Bush called for numerous reforms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the Democrats also opposed these reforms. So why in the world, given the fact the Democrats largely caused this crisis, would we want to put Obama, Dodd, Reid, Pelosi, and Frank in total unchecked command of the country?
    5. HEALTH CARE PLAN DISASTROUS On health care, Obama’s plan is unaffordable and will lead to a total collapse of the system ultimately. Obama wants a single payer system(he doesn’t say that now outwardly but that’s what he wants—-in 2003 in a speech before the AFL-CIO he said he favored a single payer system—-further his plan will ultimately lead to single payer because private insurers will be crowded out of the market—-they will be subject to costly new mandates and won’t be able to compete with Obama’s government subsidized plan) And single payer is an abject disaster and the the worst possible choice for health care. Why? For one thing, if you have single payer, you never get rid of it and you have no other option if you don’t like the way the single payer treats you. Further, in single payer countries like Canada, you have enormous wait lines(many Canadians flock to the US for care because of these wait lines), health care gets rationed(the government covers less because they have to in order to cut costs), and quality doctors leave the system(because they are paid low wages under single payer systems or less than they could make elsewhere). So Obama’s health care plan will not only not help the average “Joe”, his single payer dream will only lead to further hardship for the average “Joe” and a collapse of the system.
    6. OBAMA ENERGY PLAN LEADS TO GREATER, NOT LESS DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL On energy, Obama’s energy policies will do next to nothing to help this country achieve “energy indepedence”. The last time a “windfall profits tax” was imposed(under Carter) our dependence on foreign oil grew and this happened because the windfall profits tax kills innovation on the part of oil companies(why should they drill more if they can’t make any profits from more drilling because Obama will take the money away) Moreover, Obama and the Democrats have historically railed against more drilling(Obama even scoffed we could save more energy by inflating our tires than we could gain from drilling for more oil) and nuclear power(two energy sources which are critical to helping us lessen dependence on foreign oil) so McCain and Palin are much more reliable in terms of drilling for more oil and building more nuclear power plants. Biden also said he and Obama wouldn’t build any “clean coal” plants. You should also note Obama wants to keep gas prices high(in fact he said he wasn’t upset about the fact gas prices rose, only that they rose too fast). Keeping gas prices high certainly doesn’t help the average “Joe”. And Obama also favors keeping gas taxes high while McCain has favored suspending the gas tax in the summer. The gas tax clearly hurts the average “Joe” because everyone has to buy gas(regardless of income level) yet it is McCain, not Obama, who is willing to give the average “Joe” the tax relief.
    7. OBAMA FISCALLY IRRESPONSIBLE There is also no reason to believe Obama will be more fiscally responsible than McCain. McCain has proposed a spending freeze while Obama propses a trillion dollars in new spending. The resulting debt burden created by these spending programs will place an incredible burden and yoke on future generations. McCain is much more likely to keep spending in check.
    8. MCCAIN MORE EXPERIENCED. OBAMA’S FOREIGN POLICY DISASTROUS In terms of foreign affairs, McCain has 26 years experience, Obama has 2. And Biden’s experience shows he has made the wrong judgment numerous times so he can’t be counted on to offer much help to Obama(after 9/11 Biden proposed giving $200 million to Iran—-a ridiculous idea, Biden also proposed partitioning Iraq—an idea Iraqis almost unanimously rejected, Biden and Obama opposed the surge while McCain’s judgment was vindicated on the surge). In terms of an unsteady hand, Obama has certainly shown an unsteady hand with his foreign policy gaffes already(e.g. wrong on the surge, 3 different answers on the Georgia situation, talking with dictators “without preconditions”, invading Pakistan). And, more recently, Biden said Obama would experience an international crisis if elected because he’s so inexperienced and that “America hang with us because our response won’t seem to be the right one”. There’s no evidence therefore Obama is capable of handling foreign policy crises better than McCain.
    9. PALIN MOST EXPERIENCED ON ENERGY ISSUES, PALIN AT LEAST AS EXPERIENCED AS OBAMA In terms of Palin, Palin has at least as much experience than Obama. And on the critical energy issues, it is Palin who arguably has the most experience and knowledge of ALL the candidates on energy issues(because Palin was an oil and gas regulator, her husband has worked in the oil business, Palin negotiated the natural gas pipeline deal in Alaska, and Palin has lectured and given speeches on energy issues). Palin also hasn’t been given a fair shake by the media so if you’re relying on CNN, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, or the New York Times for your information on Palin, you are not, in my view, getting a fair picture of her. You should know that in the ABC interview Palin had, portions of it were edited out and were not shown to the public(these edited out portions would have made her answers appear more complete).
    10. OBAMA’S ALLIANCES RAISE CRITICAL DOUBTS ABOUT HIS JUDGMENT AND SHOW HE LIKELY HAS RADICAL POLITICAL LEANINGS. And I haven’t even discussed Obama’s numerous alliances with radicals, party hacks or corrupt individuals such as
    a) Reverend Wright
    b) Bill Ayers/ACORN
    c) Tony Rezko
    d) Rashid Khalidi
    e) Khalid al Monsour
    f) Stroger
    g) Richard Daley
    h) Father Pfleger

    Ten compelling reasons to vote McCain over Obama.

  3. October 31, 2008 9:31 am

    During these uncertain economic times, its important more than ever to develop good business contacts and to network with other fellow lawyers. They can be a good resource during tough times.

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