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Labor & Employment

‘Recession-Proof Practice’: Advising Employers on Layoffs

Posted Nov 17, 2008 5:01 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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With news of new layoffs being announced by major companies seemingly on almost a daily basis, attorneys who advise clients in this arena are not short of work.

In fact, many say, they've never been busier. Marc Mandelman, who heads the practice group at Proskauer Rose, has been in the field nearly a decade, and never seen anything like the current situation, reports the American Lawyer.

At management-side labor and employment boutiques such as Jackson Lewis and Littler Mendelson, billables for the entire firm are up significantly since last year. October is expected to be the busiest month his firm has ever experienced, says Marko Mrkonich, president and managing director of the Littler firm.

Meanwhile, plaintiffs-side practitioners say a number of employers aren't following legal requirements, such as advance notification called for by the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act, raising the possibility of a significant uptick in employment-related litigation work, too.

"This is a recession-proof practice," says Patrick Vaccaro, the managing partner for Jackson Lewis. "But we don't relish an uptick in business that comes as the result of people being laid off."

Updated at 10:08 a.m. Nov. 21 to correct a typographical error.

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