341 Stories: Law Firm Pay-Cut Shaming; I bought a boat; Wear Pants to your Zoom Hearings

I wanted to get a blog post out before everybody went home for the long weekend, but then I remembered that everybody is already at home…

My beef with the TBA Today’s COVID Coverage. I love the Tennessee Bar Association and the TBA Today daily email. You know this, because I talked about it 7 years ago. This email is an awesome resource that provides daily updates about legal news, career moves, awards, events, and new and notable Tennessee and Sixth Circuit appellate opinions.

But, early in the COVID crisis, the email started running stories about law firm pay cuts in Tennessee, with mentions of specific law firms. Yeah, it’s legal news, but it also felt like it was none of my business.

Plus, it led to two things: (1) Local lawyers started gossiping about other law firms’ financial stability (which was a terrible look, considering people lost jobs); and (2) Other law firms who really, really needed to take a hard look at their financial decisions and consider smart cuts may have elected to do nothing, in order to stay out of the news. Lose / Lose, right?

This is probably the Bankruptcy Lawyer in me talking, but a few financial adjustments made on the precipice of the biggest economic crisis of our era shouldn’t be considered a bad thing. Trust me, the law firms I’d be most worried about right now are the ones who haven’t changed their financial model at all.

But, as Kermit the Frog likes to say, that’s really none of my business either, and I’d rather it all be left out of my daily news. Especially as more layoffs, hiring freezes, and pay cuts are on the horizon.

In other questionable financial planning news… During the COVID crisis, I bought a boat.

My debtor bankruptcy lawyer friends tell me that an ill-advised boat purchase is Step 3 in a five-step process for a potential bankruptcy filing. Great news for the Anthony household, right?

Well, it made national news, when a reporter from USA Today called to talk about my purchase for his story, “Everyone is buying boats” during the pandemic, and it’s causing a short supply.

It was a funny, half-hour long conversation about boat ownership, with the final article coming across a bit more complain-ey than I actually feel.

“I absolutely regret purchasing it.”

In truth, I am merely luke-warm about boat ownership. See you out on the water this Labor Day weekend!

Zoom Hearing Advice. In actual legal news, here’s a great twitter thread with tips and advice from a Judge for your Zoom video court hearings.

All of these are spot on. In the past month, I’ve participated in 2 – 3 video hearings, and I’ve seen pant-less people and also background art that I would describe as “tasteful nude ballerina” art.

Don’t do any of that, say the Judges.