Law Practice Management

Well-Known PI Lawyer Follows Management Book Advice, Causing Half His Firm's Attorneys to Leave

Michigan plaintiffs lawyer Geoffrey Fieger is a big fan of the book You Can’t Teach Hungry: Creating the Multimillion Dollar Law Firm.

Authored by another PI lawyer, John Morgan of Morgan & Morgan, the book argues that too many attorneys settle with insurance companies too quickly, the Detroit Free Press reports. The successful firm will oust lawyers who aren’t “warriors,” Morgan argues, hiring instead litigators who “love the smell of napalm in the morning.”

After reading the book, Fieger decided he needed hungrier lawyers at his own 18-lawyer firm, the story says. Any lawyers with fewer than 30 active lawsuits by an April 1 deadline would not get a paycheck, he warned in a memo. And any lawyers who tried fewer than three cases in a year would be fined $25,000.

Nine lawyers have since left the firm or given notice, although Fieger has hired six new attorneys. One of the departing lawyers told the Detroit News he was worried that the potential fine could create a conflict with clients who want to settle. Many departing lawyers criticized Fieger for an autocratic management style and said he had apparently overlooked parts of the book with good management advice.

For his part, Fieger tells the Detroit News he thinks his firm is stronger now. “Sometimes you gotta have spring cleaning,” he said.

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