Priced out of the market

February 11, 2009
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A handful of partners and attorneys are leaving Bingham McHale in Indianapolis to start their own insurance litigation firm because as one partner said, “We were pricing ourselves out of the market.”

The amicable split between the attorneys and the fifth-largest firm in Indianapolis raises a few eyebrows and questions. An article in today’s Indiana Lawyer Daily about the new firm quotes partner Jim Strenski as saying an increase in overhead costs and pressure to raise client rates contributed to the new firm’s creation.

If this is happening in one practice area in one firm, it must be happening in other areas and in other firms. Could this be contributing to the layoffs of legal support staff and rumored layoffs or departure of attorneys around town?

This is a smart move by these attorneys and support staff creating Cantrell Strenski & Mehringer. There seems to be a trend among businesses to take their business to smaller firms when economic times get tough because smaller firms are able to provide their services for a lower price. Why stay with a firm where you are struggling to keep or attract clients because of high rates and costs when you can start a small firm that may be more attractive to businesses? And if the firm is struggling economically, it wins too because it’s reduced overhead, salaries, and benefits without having to fire anyone.

I’m usually not a betting person, but I think this move may spur other attorneys in Indianapolis at larger firms to take a look at starting a new firm. With the economy how it is and with no signs of it getting better soon, smaller firms may be more attractive to clients and the wave of the legal immediate future.

Plus, if this same issue of having to raise clients’ rates and meet increasing overhead costs is happening elsewhere, larger firms are going to be struggling to maintain clients and attorneys. A struggling firm may lead to attorney cuts. Why not jump ship and start your own firm before things get really tough at your firm or you’re let go?
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  • This type of thing is really relatively old news within the insurance defense bar all across the country. Since the early 1990\'s larger firms literally kicked out their lower billing insurance defense attorneys as they grew fat on the profits of higher billing corporate clients. The larger firms felt that their insurance defense lawyers were literally taking up space that could be used by higher billing attorneys. The only thing that appears to be different about the Bingham-McHale situation is that this time, the insurance defense attorneys are apparently taking the initiative to leave.

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  1. My mother got temporary guardianship of my children in 2012. my husband and I got divorced 2015 the judge ordered me to have full custody of all my children. Does this mean the temporary guardianship is over? I'm confused because my divorce papers say I have custody and he gets visits and i get to claim the kids every year on my taxes. So just wondered since I have in black and white that I have custody if I can go get my kids from my moms and not go to jail?

  2. Someone off their meds? C'mon John, it is called the politics of Empire. Get with the program, will ya? How can we build one world under secularist ideals without breaking a few eggs? Of course, once it is fully built, is the American public who will feel the deadly grip of the velvet glove. One cannot lay down with dogs without getting fleas. The cup of wrath is nearly full, John Smith, nearly full. Oops, there I go, almost sounding as alarmist as Smith. Guess he and I both need to listen to this again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRnQ65J02XA

  3. Charles Rice was one of the greatest of the so-called great generation in America. I was privileged to count him among my mentors. He stood firm for Christ and Christ's Church in the Spirit of Thomas More, always quick to be a good servant of the King, but always God's first. I had Rice come speak to 700 in Fort Wayne as Obama took office. Rice was concerned that this rise of aggressive secularism and militant Islam were dual threats to Christendom,er, please forgive, I meant to say "Western Civilization". RIP Charlie. You are safe at home.

  4. It's a big fat black mark against the US that they radicalized a lot of these Afghan jihadis in the 80s to fight the soviets and then when they predictably got around to biting the hand that fed them, the US had to invade their homelands, install a bunch of corrupt drug kingpins and kleptocrats, take these guys and torture the hell out of them. Why for example did the US have to sodomize them? Dubya said "they hate us for our freedoms!" Here, try some of that freedom whether you like it or not!!! Now they got even more reasons to hate us-- lets just keep bombing the crap out of their populations, installing more puppet regimes, arming one faction against another, etc etc etc.... the US is becoming a monster. No wonder they hate us. Here's my modest recommendation. How about we follow "Just War" theory in the future. St Augustine had it right. How about we treat these obvious prisoners of war according to the Geneva convention instead of torturing them in sadistic and perverted ways.

  5. As usual, John is "spot-on." The subtle but poignant points he makes are numerous and warrant reflection by mediators and users. Oh but were it so simple.

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