A good rule of thumb for prevailing parties in litigation is this: If you want something, be sure to include that in the court order.
Well, duh. The Judge can’t give it to you if it’s not expressly written in the order.
A recent opinion from the Tennessee Court of Appeals (Hartigan v. Brush, No. E202001442COAR3CV, 2021 WL 4983075 (Tenn. Ct. App. Oct. 27, 2021)), however, makes clear that post-judgment interest applies on all monetary judgments in Tennessee, no matter if the order expressly says so.
There, the Court noted that, under Tenn. Code Ann. § 47-14-122, “Interest shall be computed on every judgment…,” and, as a result, post-judgment interest is “mandatory.”
It’s an issue that’s unlikely to come up often, partially because every prevailing party generally includes an express grant in their judgment. But, when the order doesn’t expressly say it, have this recent case ready to go.
In the grand scheme of things, it’s not much, but, to my little firm, a day’s worth of revenues is a lot.
This has been a law firm fund-raising concept that I’ve pondered for a while.
With the demands and time constraints that so many lawyers face, it’s hard to make time to volunteer at Legal Aid. But, if lawyers are already sitting at our desks, why not cut out the transit time and simply donate an hour (or more) of billable time per month to a good cause?
Of course, this grand idea works best at a big firm, where one hour a month is just a blip on an individual lawyer’s hourly billables report but, at the same time, results a substantial amount of money each month when you’ve got 40-50 lawyers participating.
Get a few law firms doing this instead of the standard “sponsor a table at a dinner” contribution, and you’re talking real money going to local charities.
So, to put my money where my mouth is, I’ll continue to do this each month, supporting different charitable causes by direct cash payments representing a billable hour.
The initial decision was based on the terrible early images from the War and, in the past week, things have only gotten worse, as the Russian attack has ravaged residential areas and evacuation routes. If families are able to make it to the border, it’s only after losing everything they owned, after hard travel in the cold, and after days with no food.
Before law school, I majored in English, not Political Science.
So, as I see the news about the war in Ukraine, I don’t understand the politics behind the invasion (probably because there’s no just reason for this), but I absolutely see the tragedy. The fathers saying goodbye to their families. The injured and scared kids. The destroyed houses.
I also see the bravery of the Ukrainian leaders and in the Ukrainian people. I bet there’s a hot-shot Ukrainian lawyer out there whose “to-do” list today didn’t consist of legal research, but instead defending their city from armed forces.
What would I do if that happened to my family? To my country?
Other than a few sympathetic tweets offering the typical “thoughts and prayers,” what can I do to help? I’m just a lawyer in Nashville.
Oh right. My time is valuable. Let’s donate that.
Next Thursday, March 10, I’ll donate all of my billable hours from legal work to humanitarian efforts supporting Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees.
I’m a lawyer (see above), so I’m sure you all will expect some fine print.
I will donate all billable hours, but don’t forget that I’m a small shop (so don’t expect a 24 hour day–I also do the IT and bookkeeping)
I’ll show my math, though, and I will post both the final tally at the end of the day, as well as the receipt for the donation (to be made on March 11)
I haven’t yet decided on the organization, but I’m open to suggestions for worthy organizations (my children and I are going to vote) (Edited: We are supporting World Central Kitchen)
If you’re a new or existing client who would like me to work on your file specifically on March 10, let me know
If you’re a lawyer or law firm who wants to out-donate me, you are welcome (and encouraged) to steal this idea
That last point is important.
I have the privilege and the luxury to donate my entire day to this cause. Some big law firms may not want donate 100% of the day. But can you imagine if some of Nashville’s largest law firms donated just one hour of each lawyer’s billable hours on March 10 to this?
As an aside, I also hear the skepticism about the Western world’s support for Ukraine, when there’s been an absence of similar responses for black and brown people facing similar crises. I also don’t know the answer for that, but I agree.
So, assuming this isn’t a massive failure and doesn’t send me into bankruptcy, let’s plan to do this again next month, on April 13, to help Syrian refugees.