Celebrating 10 years! 2007-2017

The worst thing about doc review (work wise) are the coding protocols

Back in the day, doc review was simple. You would put on yo tedandlisa12312/01/17
That's actually for higher end doc review stuff. First level notreallyalawyer12/01/17
Also factor in the solos who are supplementing with doc revi nighthawk12/05/17
Good points all, but if anyone is freaking out about either wolfman12/01/17
I think the boredom is a major issue, not an anxiety issue ( notreallyalawyer12/01/17
I have never deducted time for taking a dump. Generally, I tedandlisa12312/01/17
You can’t bill time you are in the bathroom. You could get notreallyalawyer12/01/17
If I am earning barely above minimum wage in a hourly job th tedandlisa12312/02/17
Not as a billing attorney you cannot bill while taking a dum notreallyalawyer12/02/17
Coding monkeys are not “billing attorneys,” they are non tedandlisa12312/02/17
Yes they are. I had to account for every minute of my day wh notreallyalawyer12/02/17
What the agency, firm, or discovery outfit ultimately bills tedandlisa12312/02/17
It may be different if you work on a doc review company site notreallyalawyer12/02/17
Not different. If a firm is employing you as a non-exempt h tedandlisa12312/02/17
That still doesn't mean you are excused from attorney ethica notreallyalawyer12/02/17
If the firm doesn’t want me to bill for time In the bathro tedandlisa12312/02/17
Let alone the firms billing out people doing as doing attorn notreallyalawyer12/02/17
They can fire you whenever they want, but while there I expe tedandlisa12312/02/17
What happens if you have the runs one day and you spent 45 m notreallyalawyer12/02/17
In that case, I would deduct the time because a 45 minute ba tedandlisa12312/02/17
You should bill for your next dump. It may help you start gr booyeah12/05/17
This. I've done doc review for three years pretty much strai wolfman12/05/17
If you worked as a staff attorney you’d get fired doing th notreallyalawyer12/06/17
My God. Just bill the time you're taking a dump. Your employ flyer1412/06/17
That’s like saying at a law firm your firm is your employe notreallyalawyer12/06/17
If you get the kind of runs where you have to hold onto the flyer1412/06/17
Is this passionate stand on bathroom breaks powered by all t booyeah12/06/17
Gosh. My job at a small firm sucks in many regards and the themapmaster12/01/17
Where are you losers coding? I know a couple coders in NY isthisit12/02/17
If they get caught they'll get fired. If they were doing tha notreallyalawyer12/02/17
1) I work two jobs and I consider it a great success if I ma flyer1412/05/17
Regarding #2,New York found differently: https://www.emplo jackofspeed12/05/17
DC considers it law but it was fine so they could get bar du notreallyalawyer12/05/17
Can you waive into the DC bar entirely on doc review work al flyer1412/05/17
The five year rule in DC only requires that you be admitted booyeah12/05/17
5 year rule? I waived in after 2-3 years of my first admissi notreallyalawyer12/05/17
Sounds like you waived in with the MBR, not the five year ru booyeah12/05/17
What is mbr? notreallyalawyer12/05/17
Sorry, meant MBE. https://barreciprocity.com/d-c-bar- reci booyeah12/05/17

tedandlisa123 (Dec 1, 2017 - 7:18 pm)

Back in the day, doc review was simple. You would put on your rubber finger and pull the relevant docs out of banker boxes. Hot docs were marked with red sticky tags and redactions were made with actual tape. It was miserable work, but rather simple and straightforward. After the legal boom, associates must be desperate to justify their billings and have too much time on their hands. There are now thirty-five page protocols with twenty five issue codes. Combine that with bad oversold technology and horrible predictive coding algorithms and performing doc review nowadays feels like receiving root canal. Furthermore, if you are lucky enough to perform QC and stay on the project longer, it is equally as torturous. With the dumbing down of bar exams, you have many more mouth breathers on the circuit and getting people to understand 4 simple concepts let alone 25 is hopeless. QC nowadays is like redoing all the work, but only worse because more is at stake, there is more time pressure, and many outfits don’t even increase the pay.

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 1, 2017 - 7:58 pm)

That's actually for higher end doc review stuff. First level review, which I'm doing again, has much simpler coding protocols since nobody knows anything about the case or the documents. Once they know more, then you get a more complex tagging structure.

There are two worst things about document review besides the obvious, well one may be obvious...

1. Coping with the boredom. It's really difficult, and those on projects with OT, I still don't know how someone can work 10-12 hours a day somethings 6-7 days a week and keep their sanity given how boring the work is.

2. Bathroom issues. If things are going well for the firm or the doc review firm (if you are doing a review at the doc review company) they simply don't have enough bathroom space for the people. My current place has probably 150 people for the next two months most likely, my project is longer, but this new project that started recently added about 100 people. For the men, there's one bathroom that can only handle two people at a time. There's got to be 80 guys working there. At multiple times there was a line to use the bathroom. I feel horrible for anyone who has IBS that works there, they might not be able to get to the toilet in time. Plus you have to use a break time to go to the bathroom to have enough time. you can't just walk into a bathroom and out in 1-2 minutes given there are so many people. So that will temp many people to be "billing" during that time, as it's really unfair that they need to use unpaid break time because there's such a long time. My solution is I don't even eat or drink water until after my day is over. That's not healthy, but what am I supposed to do if I have to go badly and there's a 10 minute line to use the bathroom?

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nighthawk (Dec 5, 2017 - 12:33 pm)

Also factor in the solos who are supplementing with doc review and use the mensroom as their branch office.

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wolfman (Dec 1, 2017 - 8:50 pm)

Good points all, but if anyone is freaking out about either of these things, they have anxiety issues.

Re 25 codes or whatnot, it's makework sh-tpaper for the firms, and if you put in a 10% effort trying to follow it you'll be doing better than most.

Re bathroom, I have never accounted for bathroom breaks and never will, despite taking 20-minute sh-ts on occasion; I wouldn't protest, or stand on my rights, I just won't do it, and that's that. How are you going to enforce it if people don't comply?

Having said that, not having adequate bathrooms does suck, not because of billing (see what I said above), but because it's inconvenient and unpleasant. Have you thought of going to another floor in the same building, maybe one with regular offices? Having only a couple of stalls for dozens of people on a project (I mostly went to the other floors, but it still sucked) is what pushed me finally to take my current full-time paralegal job (which pays about the same haha) and get out of doc review, at least for a while...

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 1, 2017 - 9:14 pm)

I think the boredom is a major issue, not an anxiety issue (Doc review is boring, your mind wants to drift), I agree with bathrooms, and I have a lot of bathroom anxiety as it is, but when you add in this factor, of a line, then wow...

DC has some new law where employers have to pay non exempt employees for all time they are working and not on break. That makes it complicated when you are billing your time. You basically if you are taking a break, have to take at least a certain amount, like 30 minutes. So unless it takes you 30 minutes to go to the bathroom, you aren't likely to use an official break period for that time. However you can't bill the client for the time you are in the bathroom, so if they notice you weren't coding in relativity for 4 minutes and can see on the time stamp with your key card you were in the bathroom, they could fire you for that reason if they wanted to. It gives them a reason. So basically what you have to do when you are billable is make up the time you were doing stuff like walking to get a coffee from the pantry, using the bathroom, and work extra time, to make up for the time you weren't billing on those short little bathroom breaks. Too much time doing that and they'll fire you for that as well.

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tedandlisa123 (Dec 1, 2017 - 9:52 pm)

I have never deducted time for taking a dump. Generally, I try not to take dumps during the workday because those bathrooms tend to be rather unpleasant. You have to be careful about using bathrooms on other floors because other tenants might not like it. On one review I was on, if a secretary caught you going into “her” bathroom, she would bang on the door and chase you away.

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 1, 2017 - 10:44 pm)

You can’t bill time you are in the bathroom. You could get disbarred. Over billing is over billing. It’s unlikely your employer would report you but you are probably obligated to tell your bar if you got fired for that . It’s so complex when you are non exempt yet have a billing requirement

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tedandlisa123 (Dec 2, 2017 - 9:09 am)

If I am earning barely above minimum wage in a hourly job that doesn’t pay benefits, you better believe that I am going to get paid for taking a dump. Just because these outfits label as us “attorneys” (which many state bars don’t even consider us btw) doesn’t mean that they get to exempt themselves from labor regulations that were explicitly enacted to protect low wage workers.

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 2, 2017 - 9:14 am)

Not as a billing attorney you cannot bill while taking a dump

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tedandlisa123 (Dec 2, 2017 - 9:38 am)

Coding monkeys are not “billing attorneys,” they are non-exempt hourly employees that could be fired at any moment. They have more in common with the dishwasher in the Skadden cafeteria than any actual Skadden employee. Obviously, spending 30 minutes in the restroom is one thing, but any failure to compensate for reasonable restroom breaks of short-term duration would run afoul of OSHA and many state labor regulations. Good luck getting any state bar to censor a coding monkey for taking too long of a bathroom break, when all of them (aside from DC) don’t even view them as real lawyers.

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 2, 2017 - 10:15 am)

Yes they are. I had to account for every minute of my day when I had my job. I had to time conversations I had with my supervisor asking questions about docs, because if my time reviewing relativity didn't match up with my time billing, I would get fired.

You cannot bill the time you are in the bathroom. You'd have to make up that time, and make sure the time isn't billed to the client. Say you had an 8 hour work day and you needed to account for all those 8 hours. If you spent say 12 minutes a day getting coffee and using the bathroom, and the rest of the time was all billing the client you could only bill 7.8 hours, and you'd need to account for that time as some kind of other thing, if allowed to, otherwise you eat that .2 hour and then work another .2 hours to make up for it. Also say if someone did have IBS? What do they do? Bill the client for their 10 trips to the bathroom daily?

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tedandlisa123 (Dec 2, 2017 - 10:44 am)

What the agency, firm, or discovery outfit ultimately bills to the client isn’t your business. If Relativity is messed up, let them write off that time. Your relationship is with the agency and that relationship is governed by labor regulations that govern non-exempt hourly employees. Those rules carefully dictate on how you are to be paid for every minute that you on the employer’s worksite and under their control. The IBS example is a red herring. That potentially brings in a medical disablility and reasonable accommodation which brings in a whole other set of issues and regulations. Coding monkeys are for the most part not independent contractors nor full time salaried employees. When an employer chooses to exercise direct control over an employee’s schedule and working conditions, yet pays them on an hourly, non-salaried, hourly, non-exempt basis, they are subjecting themselves to certain state labor regulations. Just because they say that you are a “billing attorney” doesn’t mean that those rules don’t apply to them and go out the window, Cant have your cake and eat it too. Frankly, it sounds like you are being bamboozled into giving away free work. So, yes, if bathroom breaks were taken out of my paycheck, or I was asked to stay late because I spent 10 minutes on the craoper during the day, my local DOL office would definitely be getting a call. On the other hand, if I am on a 1099 working at home on a remote project, I DO account for every one minute bathroom break. Different standard. It’s pathetic when I see people who went to law school and passed a bar exam be exploited and give away free work because they don’t know the law.

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 2, 2017 - 11:15 am)

It may be different if you work on a doc review company site, and not at the firm, but if you are working at the firm, as a contractor, you need to bill like how their staff attorneys/discovery attorneys do. At my last job, where I was on staff, contract attorneys had to account for every minute, had to separate out discussions, meetings, and I would assume also bathroom time, and they couldn't bill the bathroom time to the firm for certain.. We spent probably 5% of each meeting agreeing on a billing description as even temps had to enter their time into the firm's time management software.. At my current doc review gig they only ask for start end and break times. I'm deducting my time in the bathroom. If you work over a certain amount each day, you are required to take a certain amount of break anyways, it would be unfortunate to spend that entire time waiting to use the bathroom.

The law may be one way, but ethical billing is another thing. Literally my old firm would fire you over a tenth of an hour.

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tedandlisa123 (Dec 2, 2017 - 11:31 am)

Not different. If a firm is employing you as a non-exempt hourly employee, they are still subject to the applicable labor laws. They can have me fill out all the billing sheets they want, but I will still expect to be compensated for all the hours that I am in the office which I am legally entitled to, which includes reasonable bathroom breaks. If a firm wants to doc me for bathroom breaks, they can go ahead and treat me as an independent contractor, but then they would be giving up direct control over my time and working conditions.

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 2, 2017 - 11:46 am)

That still doesn't mean you are excused from attorney ethical rules. You CANNOT bill the client for time you spend in the bathroom. You cannot bill the client for time you take to go to the pantry to get coffee or filtered water. It's unethical, you will get sanctioned or worse, and you will surely get fired at a minimum.

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tedandlisa123 (Dec 2, 2017 - 11:56 am)

If the firm doesn’t want me to bill for time In the bathroom, fine; I will put it down on the sheet, but I still expect to be compensated for that time as per the labor regulation. The firm is probably billing me out at ten times more than what they are paying me. Let them write it off if they want.

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 2, 2017 - 12:21 pm)

Let alone the firms billing out people doing as doing attorney work yet having them do redactions, or other legal assistant work, deduping docs, etc... Very unlikely they'll get caught unless there's whistleblower, but you'll get fired for sure.

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tedandlisa123 (Dec 2, 2017 - 1:03 pm)

They can fire you whenever they want, but while there I expect to be paid for my bathroom breaks. If they demand for me to bill for every minute I am there, I will ask for the bathroom or administrative billing code that charges my time back to the firm.

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 2, 2017 - 1:19 pm)

What happens if you have the runs one day and you spent 45 minutes in the bathroom that day?

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tedandlisa123 (Dec 2, 2017 - 1:38 pm)

In that case, I would deduct the time because a 45 minute bathroom break is not reasonable in light of the regulations, but several 5-10 minutes breaks throughout the day would be. Now, one or two 45 minute breaks every couple of months or so might be fine (we are all human after all), but I would honestly probably just write it off. Furthermore, if it was honestly starting to take me 45 minutes to use the bathroom on a continual basis, I might start to think there was something wrong with me and seek out a medical diagnosis. Also, if there was a long line because the review agency overpacked the review center, I would definitely expect to be compensated. Other people try to get around this by using restrooms on other floors, but I never enter areas that I am not explicitly authorized to. Now, that would be a reason that could justifiably can you with cause.

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booyeah (Dec 5, 2017 - 12:09 pm)

You should bill for your next dump. It may help you start growing the spine to get out of doc review but it probably won’t.

Thanks for the laugh though, like filling out a time card for Epiq or whatever agency is equivalent to billing the client. Double for thinking that any doc review agency or real lawyer is going to put together a bar complaint for a few pee breaks with an occasional #2 in the mix.

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wolfman (Dec 5, 2017 - 10:50 pm)

This. I've done doc review for three years pretty much straight, and have never taken out time for a bathroom break, getting coffee, or whatnot. If anyone tried to enforce something like that (I did both FL reviews and English ones) they would have gotten laughed out of the room, and people just wouldn't cooperate.

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 6, 2017 - 7:15 am)

If you worked as a staff attorney you’d get fired doing that.

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flyer14 (Dec 6, 2017 - 9:12 am)

My God. Just bill the time you're taking a dump. Your employer is a temp agency, not a client. Dare them to fire you. Make a stand, because as other poasters have said, failing to allow reasonable accommodations will cause the employer to run afoul of state regulations and labor laws.

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 6, 2017 - 10:01 am)

That’s like saying at a law firm your firm is your employer not the client . What happens if you get the runs and are on the Can half the day?

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flyer14 (Dec 6, 2017 - 11:09 am)

If you get the kind of runs where you have to hold onto the seat to keep from lifting off, the partner or team lead will have sympathy because they'll likely be acutely aware of your situation. That sort of putridity is an egregious assault on all five human senses.

In which case, it's not your fault. Again, dare them to fire you in a situation like that. If they do fire you for being stuck on the can, odds are it's not an employer you'd want to work for anyway.

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booyeah (Dec 6, 2017 - 11:59 am)

Is this passionate stand on bathroom breaks powered by all the kool-aid you’re drinking?

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themapmaster (Dec 1, 2017 - 9:58 pm)

Gosh. My job at a small firm sucks in many regards and the pay has been really crummy. But every time I read a doc review thread, I feel thankful for my position. I might not make as much money as many doc review workers but at least I have access to a proper bathroom, vertical mobility, and I have dignity. Sh!t law, although bad, is better than doc review, it seems.

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isthisit (Dec 2, 2017 - 10:55 am)

Where are you losers coding?

I know a couple coders in NYC and they're legit chilling and billing.

One dude is doing language lessons as he bills so he can do doc review in another language. I have another friend who is going through full seasons of shows while billing. And there's a broad who bills the maximum amount of hours a day while taking 2-3 hour lunches so she can work out, shower, and eat every day.

I'm hustling between Immigration court and my office in Newark like some jamoke while dudes are getting paid to watch TV and code.

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 2, 2017 - 11:48 am)

If they get caught they'll get fired. If they were doing that as associates or staff, they'd probably get disbarred for doing that. However you can technically work while listening to audiobooks, though it probably slows you down.

Also if a firm likes a person, they will overlook things, and if they don't they will not overlook things. At my last job, if I even loaded up youtube, I would have gotten fired, while others, who were in project management positions, had youtube videos playing all day...

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flyer14 (Dec 5, 2017 - 10:22 am)

1) I work two jobs and I consider it a great success if I manage to take a dump at both jobs in the same day. (It doesn't happen very often.)

2) Doc review is not legal work. https://abovethelaw.com/2015/07/federal-appeals-court-says-doc-review-is-not-real-legal-work/

3) On the flip side, it means that doc reviewers would be non-exempt from FLSA and likely would have to get overtime and breaks and whatnot (unless they are purely on a contract).

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jackofspeed (Dec 5, 2017 - 1:02 pm)

Regarding #2,New York found differently:
https://www.employmentlawworldview.com/after-further-review-no-overtime-for-new-york-contract-attorneys-engaged-in-document-review-assignments/

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 5, 2017 - 1:55 pm)

DC considers it law but it was fine so they could get bar dues from all the doc reviewers . It’s about $300 a year

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flyer14 (Dec 5, 2017 - 2:04 pm)

Can you waive into the DC bar entirely on doc review work alone or do they require actual practice experience?

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booyeah (Dec 5, 2017 - 2:13 pm)

The five year rule in DC only requires that you be admitted elsewhere for five years; there is no requirement that you do anything at all law related during that time. Doc review is just as good as actual practice, and is just as good as manning the gas pump on the New Jersey turnpike provided the applicant is active and in good standing for the five year period.

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 5, 2017 - 2:26 pm)

5 year rule? I waived in after 2-3 years of my first admission

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booyeah (Dec 5, 2017 - 2:36 pm)

Sounds like you waived in with the MBR, not the five year rule.

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notreallyalawyer (Dec 5, 2017 - 2:38 pm)

What is mbr?

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booyeah (Dec 5, 2017 - 2:41 pm)

Sorry, meant MBE.

https://barreciprocity.com/d-c-bar-reciprocity/

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