A Recession Will Push More Lawyers Back to the Office: The Morning Minute | Law.com

MISERY LOVES COMPANY – Or, perhaps, companies love misery. According to a new report, firm leaders could start to push even harder for office returns if there’s a recession in 2023. Law firm leaders have gained additional leverage as demand has fallen off and the talent wars have calmed, and that trend is likely to continue next year, according to the 2023 Client Advisory from the Citi Global Wealth at Work Law Firm Group and Hildebrandt Consulting. “This will be as the challenging economic environment sees the broader talent war subsiding and enables leadership to be more forthright in directing people back to the office,” analysts wrote in the 30-page report, according to Law.com’s Andrew Maloney. As we previously noted in this space, some firms have also reportedly tied bonuses and job security to office attendance and recent layoffs around the industry are likely already having some effect on lawyers’ willingness to show up in person. “If I’m a young lawyer and I’m sitting at home, I might wonder if I have a job next month,” said Brad Hildebrandt, founder of Hildebrandt Consulting and a co-author of the client advisory.

EXERCISE IN FUTILITY?: Lawyers in other states have tried—with mixed results—to do what Florida attorney Fan Li is attempting: to hold Amazon liable for allegedly defective products that third parties sell on its website. Litigation in New Jersey, California and Pennsylvania has succeeded on those grounds, with courts finding litigants may sue. But attempts in Maryland, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and New York have fizzled. Now, Lisa Willis reports on a new Florida lawsuit seeking to hold Amazon.com Inc. liable for injury allegedly caused by defective exercise equipment that a third party sells on the Amazon marketplace. Tanya Monestier, who tackled the subject of Amazon product liability in an in-depth paper published in the Cornell Law Review, said she thinks Li’s argument that Amazon commingles products from third-party sellers with other similar products at its warehouse for distribution could be “the straw that breaks the camel’s back.” “If I had to predict, that’s going to be the argument that really troubles the courts down the road,” she said.

ON THE RADAR – Whiteford, Taylor & Preston filed a lawsuit Friday in New York Southern District Court against Clean Energy Nexus LLC for allegedly breaching a joint development agreement. The court action, which arises from a solar energy production project, pursues claims on behalf of SRI Energy LLC. The lawsuit seeks a declaration that the defendant owes SRI a payment of 50% of the cost savings for the project. Counsel have not yet appeared for the defendant. The case is 1:22-cv-10431, SRI Energy LLC v. Clean Energy Nexus LLC. Stay up on the latest deals and litigation with the new Law.com Radar. 


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