Corporate and Association Counsel Division
Federal Career Service Division
Senior Lawyers Division
Fall 2011 Younger Lawyers Division
Inside this Issue Corporate and Association Counsel
2 CACD “Who Are by Ashleigh Jones
Hello! The Corporate & Association Coun- leaders in the Corporate & Association Coun-
2 Senior Lawyers sel’s Division represents members of the Fed- sel’s Division. Please consider joining the lead-
Division Chair’s eral Bar Association who are past or present ership team as vice chair for programs, vice
Message corporate or association counsel staff. I am chair for membership, or as treasurer. There
thrilled to report that we are progressing in this are opportunities for involvement on various
3 YLD Chair’s year’s goal of redeveloping the division. The committees. Specifically, the leadership is cur-
Message mission of the division’s leadership is to mold rently in the infancy of program planning and
this division into your division. would encourage you to participate by provid-
3 YLD Editor’s
Recently, the division’s leadership has met ing fresh ideas. If you are interested in apply-
Message with chapter presidents. Our goal was two ing or nominating someone for a leadership
4 Calendar of fold: We hope these types of interactions will position or committee (publications, programs,
Division Events 1) expose the Corporate & Association Coun- etc.) please submit a resume or letter of recom-
sel’s Division to FBA members, and 2) pro- mendation to me with the subject line “FBA
4 FCSD Career Fair vide a forum for suggestions of services and Corporate & Association Counsel-Leadership.”
resources. We welcome further ideas from you For further information regarding the positions
5 FCSD Chair’s regarding services and resources you’d like to available, please contact me at Ashleigh.Jones@
Message see from this division in the future. LSGSkyChefs.com. I hope you will embrace
Opportunities remain to become involved as the opportunity for progress and leadership.
6 CACD Feature
Corporate and Association Counsel
Division—Letter from the Vice Chair of
by Melissa D. Green
It is an exciting time for our division! I re- the practice area.
cently joined a team working to revive the With the re-emergence of the Corporate
Published by the Federal Bar Association’s Corporate and Asso-
ciation Counsel Division (CACD). One of our
and Association Counsel Division, our mem-
bers will have the opportunity to learn new
Divisions of the team’s goals is to reinvigorate this division’s
newsletter. We are confident that by bringing
things, share ideas, and get involved with other
members of the Federal Bar Association on the
Federal Bar back our newsletter, it will breathe new life front lines of corporate practice. Membership
back into the division. The CACD Newsletter in the CACD is open to any member of the
Association hopes to keep its members aware of current
trends, legislation, and other relevant news in CACD continued on p. 2
Corporate and Association Counsel Division—
Who Are You?
In this issue 3. Where did you go to law school?
of Divisions Di- I graduated from the Salmon P. Chase College
gest, we intro- of Law at the Northern Kentucky University in May
duce a new fea- 2008.
ture called “Who
Are You?” In this 4. What did you do before becoming a lawyer?
feature, we will Before I became a lawyer, I worked full time in the
shine the spot- legal department of a collection agency while going
light on fellow to law school in the evenings.
members of the
CACD. 5. What’s the best job you ever had and why?
Today, we are The best job I’ve ever had is working for U.S. Bank!
pleased to in- It’s exciting because no two days are ever the same!
troduce you to
Melissa Green, 6. What’s the best advice you ever received?
who is the cur- Always deliver bad news immediately.
rent vice chair of
publications for the CACD. 7. Tell us about your family!
My husband and I have 2 sons (ages 17 & 12) and
1. How long have you been an attorney? 2 dogs (ages 4 &1).
I have been an attorney since November 2008.
8. What’s your dream vacation?
2. Where do you work/what kind of work do My dream vacation would be to a deserted beach
you do? house with my husband and our dogs for a week or
I work in the Retail Collections & Recovery De- two!
partment of U.S. Bank. In my position, I generally
do litigation management. I strategize and forecast 9. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
for the outcome of about three dozen cases at any In 10 years, I hope to still be with U.S. Bank and to
given time. I also focus on our department’s regula- be responsible for litigation management within this
tory compliance, potential bankruptcy issues, poten- division. Also, by then, I hope both our sons have
tial fraudulent transactions, and training issues. graduated from college as well!
Senior Lawyers Division—Editor’s Message
by E.A. Charron
Recently, I addressed an appeal to our Membership countless examples of pro bono positive efforts by so
for written contributions briefly detailing instances or many of you. Permit me to say that your taking the
examples of Senior Lawyers’ civic or church efforts precious little time to e-mail the FBA is NOT brag-
to help relieve the extensive suffering endured by so ging; it is sharing the good works of our Profession!
many of our fellow citizens. I KNOW there have been
Divisions Digest • Fall 2011
CACD continued from p. 1
FBA working in a corporate in-house capacity, to those If you are interested in writing a short article, I en-
who may represent corporations, or to those who are courage you to contact me. I can answer any questions
simply interested this area of law. you may have and provide some guidelines. I hope
As vice chair of publications for the CACD, I am you will consider sharing about your practice area in
reaching out to our membership to provide informa- an upcoming issue of our newsletter. Sharing your in-
tive, yet brief, articles for the re-tooled CACD newsletter. sights with others helps them to learn and grow pro-
I hope you will consider this opportunity. I am positive fessionally. In addition, writing about your field keeps
the FBA community would benefit from the vast legal you sharp, too. Again, I thank you in advance for your
knowledge our membership represents. consideration!
Younger Lawyers Division—Chair’s Message
by Kelle S. Acock
In the words of the late, great Harry Caray, “Holy incredible accomplishments.
Cow!” It’s time for the annual meeting! On behalf of the As I conclude my time as chair of the YLD, I would
Younger Lawyers Division, I encourage all younger law- like to extend special thanks to the members of the
yers and FBA members to attend this year’s annual meet- YLD Board of Directors who worked diligently this past
ing and convention in Chicago. This year’s convention year to provide quality programs and events for the
will provide excellent CLE programs, exciting forums to YLD membership and FBA members. The YLD’s moot
meet fellow FBA members, and opportunities to experi- court competition and summer law clerk program set
ence some of the most exciting city attractions. records for participation. I applaud all members of the
I invite all FBA members to attend the luncheon YLD for their hard work and effort. I would also like to
presentation of the Younger Federal Lawyer Awards extend a very special thank you to the FBA Board of
on Friday, September 9th. The YFL Award recognizes Directors and the FBA staff whose assistance and sup-
younger federal lawyers who have attained the high- port was invaluable.
est standards of professional achievement. Please join Thank you again for an amazing year! See you in
the YLD to congratulate this year’s recipients on their Chicago.
Younger Lawyers Division—Editor’s Message
by Glen R. McMurry
As we come to the end of another term of the FBA, cluding Chair Elect Matthew Moschella. Under Matt’s
we should take the time to thank our outgoing, continu- leadership, we will continue where we left off, starting
ing, and new leadership. With leadership comes sacri- with our continued contribution to the FBA’s Divisions
fice—sacrifice of evenings, weekends, time with family, Digest. Included in this month’s issue is a letter from
friends, and the billable hour. And yet, without this sac- our outgoing chair, Kelle Acock (Holy Cow!).
rifice the achievements of our organization would not Finally, we hope you are all present for the FBA’s
be possible. In particular, special thanks is due to the Annual Meeting in Chicago beginning on Sept. 8, 2011.
Younger Lawyers Division outgoing chair, Kelle Acock. Many members of our current and incoming Younger
Under her leadership, our division has hosted a na- Lawyer leadership will be present and we hope to leave
tional moot court competition boasting more than 25 our meeting with an abundance of new and exciting
competing teams. We also organized and executed our ideas for the upcoming year.
annual U.S. Supreme Court Admissions Ceremony and Thank you again to our outgoing leadership. Our
Summer Law Clerk program (including over 25 agen- division is better because of your creativity, your dedi-
cies and 200 law interns). None of this would be pos- cation and your sacrifice. See you in Chicago.
sible without the dedication of our leadership.
This month we are excited to announce the new
leadership panel for the Younger Lawyers Division, in-
Divisions Digest • Fall 2011
CHICAGO FBA Annual Meeting and Convention
September 8-11, 2011
Check www.fedbar.org for more information!
Calendar of Division Events
September 8–10, 2011
FBA Annual Meeting and Convention
January 27, 2012
FCSD Washington, D.C./Baltimore
Public Service Career Fair
FCSD Sponsors Public Interest Law Fair
For those with headquarters or offices in the Wash- There is no fee to participate in this fair. By regis-
ington, D.C./Baltimore area, please pass the follow- tering through the online registration system, agen-
ing on to your state, federal, or local agency or public cies and public interest law groups can participate in
interest law office. this one-day event, which includes both structured
Please participate in the 10th Annual Washington, interviews and more informal table talk sessions. If
D.C./Baltimore Public Service Career Fair! We hope your group is unable to be present, resumes can be
that you will join us on Friday, January 27, 2012, collected on your behalf and sent to you after the
from 9:00 a.m.–4:30 p.m. at George Mason University event for your consideration.
School of Law. The event brings together more than The registration deadline for the career fair will
50 employers and 200 students through interviews, be in early December, and more specific information
table-talk sessions, and resume collections to meet will be available this fall at the FBA’s website, www.
and discuss public interest and government opportu- fedbar.org. If you would like to add your agency or
nities in the Washington, D.C., area. organization to the contact list, please send your in-
Hosted by seven area law schools and the Federal formation to Sarah Geyerman at George Mason Uni-
Bar Association, the career fair offers law students versity School of Law’s Career, Academic and Alumni
an opportunity to learn about participating organiza- Services: firstname.lastname@example.org.
tions and agencies, including available summer and We hope to see you at the event in January!
Divisions Digest • Fall 2011
post-graduate positions. The career fair is an excel-
lent opportunity for employers to meet our talented
students seeking public service careers, and for stu-
dents to develop their job search strategies and inter-
Student participants attend from American Uni-
versity Washington College of Law; University of
Baltimore School of Law; The Catholic University of
America, Columbus School of Law; University of the
District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law;
Howard University School of Law; George Mason
University School of Law; and University of Maryland
School of Law.
Federal Career Service Division—Chair’s Message
by Mark A. Flessner
Dear Federal Career Service Division Members: Vice Chair for Communications: Mani Dabiri, Law
I wish to introduce myself and the new officers of Offices of Mani Dabiri
the Federal Career Service Division. Prior to forming the Law Offices of Mani Dabiri,
Mr. Dabiri was an Assistant United States Attorney in
Chair: Mark Flessner, SNR Denton US LLP Los Angeles and Orange County, where he conducted
Mark Flessner is a partner at SNR Denton in the investigations into and prosecutions of a wide range
Litigation and Arbitration practice and is one of the of federal crimes. These included white-collar offens-
U.S. chairs of the White Collar and Government Inves- es such as mail, bank, and wire fraud; access-device
tigations practice. He was a federal prosecutor at the fraud; identity theft; and money laundering as well as
U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago for 12 years. He led bank robberies; narcotics offenses; firearms charges;
major investigations involving sophisticated and com- and immigration matters. Before serving as an AUSA,
plex financial fraud. His prosecutions included pub- he clerked for the Honorable Manuel L. Real of the
lic corruption, bank fraud, insurance fraud, securities United States District Court in Los Angeles and liti-
fraud, white collar crime, gangs and narcotics cases. gated complex civil cases as an associate at O’Melveny
He has traveled extensively investigating international & Myers LLP
money laundering, terrorism and cases involving na-
tional security. Immediate Past Chair: Neysa Slater-Chandler
Neysa M. Slater-Chandler is an Associate Gener-
Chair-Elect: Ila Deiss, assistant U.S. attorney, North- al Counsel for the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety
ern District of California Board in Washington, DC. Neysa is a graduate of the
Ila Deiss has been an AUSA in the Civil Division of US Naval Academy, Defense Intelligence College, and
the NDCA USAO for the past six years, based in San Catholic University of America Columbus School of
Francisco. She is in the Affirmative Civil Enforcement Law. She has completed her coursework and examina-
Unit, handling all aspects of civil fraud litigation on tions towards a doctorate in public administration and
behalf of the United States. She is also a civil rights policy at Virginia Tech.
coordinator, focusing on ADA and FHA enforcement, Secondly, I would like to learn what the Division
and supervises the student law clerk program. Be- can do to serve its members. Traditionally, the Divi-
fore that she clerked in the Ninth Circuit, the Second sion has served to stimulate contacts within the public
Circuit, and the Southern District of New York, with sector and provide CLE. The new officers of the Divi-
a year and a half stint working for the Republic of sion think that we can provide other support for cur-
Palau’s Supreme Court. rent and former federal employees.
Please provide your comments/suggestions by
Secretary/Treasurer: Christie Green, Schmidt & emailing Sherwin Valerio at email@example.com no
Green Law Offices later than August 12, 2011. Thank you for your as-
Christie Ann Green is a licensed attorney authorized sistance.
to practice in Arizona State and Federal court. Prior to
attending law school, she served honorably with the
Army branch of the United States military as a combat
medic attached to a field infantry unit. Green defends
all of her cases with the same sense of dedication and
passion with which she proudly served her country.
Vice Chair for Legislative Issues: Ronald Crump
Divisions Digest • Fall 2011
Ronald Crump has a small private practice lending
the benefits of legal experience to those in need on
a pro bono basis and occasionally contract discovery
work. He has enjoyed a stellar career as an attorney
in Washington, D.C., first clerking for then associate
judge Hon. Frank Q. Nebeker of the D.C. Court of Ap-
peals then working at the Office of General Counsel
at the Department of Veterans Affairs. Subsequently,
he became assistant U.S. attorney for the Office of the
U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia doing crimi-
nal cases in the late 1980s. This was followed by years
of service in as counsel on several House and Senate
Committees on Capitol Hill.
CACD Feature Article:
Lean Enterprise and the Practice of Law—Focus on
the Process and Eliminate Those Termites that Eat
Costs and Erode Quality
by Howard L. Janco, retired general counsel of LSG Sky Chefs
While the practice of law does include intellectual conversation: “Who is [xxxxx] that is reviewing the
challenges, it is also filled with mundane and repeti- document and what happen to [yyyyy].” The reply:
tive work – so writes Sally Kane in describing one of “Well [xxxx] is a new associate that we want to get
the 5 Myths Regarding the Practice of Law. http://le- up to speed since [yyyy] quit”. It reminded me of the
galcareers.about.com/od/practicetips/a/lawyermyths. dialog between Tevye and the peddler in Fiddler on
htm. Much of the practice is tasked with definable, the Roof when Tevye responds “I have no alms, I had
repeatable steps which when completed transforms a bad week” The peddler replies, “ So you had a bad
the inputs into value added output for the client. week, why should I suffer!” So you lost a lawyer, why
It has been my experience that little regard is given should I suffer!
to the repetitive work other than it is believed to be The failure to focus on repetitive steps, the silo op-
required. The focus is on the output—the result. The erating environment, the thrusting of massive human
repetitive work may or may not be documented in capital at a problem, the need to work more efficiently
writing. The tasks to be done may be tribal knowl- and the need to control legal costs all have a common
edge. Rarely will in the course of describing the re- thread. The processes that drive the work are ignored.
petitive tasks consideration include fit or flow of the As a result there is an increase cost and time without
work of other departments of law within the firm/ adding value. This is “waste”. Waste in the practice of
law department or the work the client or other de- law may include having to stop work for any number
partments. Yet this work is critical in the value added of reasons, reworking documents because all of the
output. The view that this “other” work is needed but facts were not known or were inaccurate, over pro-
not considered as part of the repetitive or repeatable cessing, performing unnecessary services, sequencing
steps is a function of the silos practiced in law as well of tasks in an order that causes delays or rework, un-
as in an office environment. If there is a glitch in the necessary multi steps, unnecessary tasks, mismanag-
repetitive steps, typically more resources are added at ing workflow requiring staff overtime to complete the
an additional cost. tasks timely, filing processes that result in duplication
The repetitive steps may also be layered with the all of tasks and or unnecessary steps and so on. With
attack comfort approach. How often has an in-house waste comes complexity. With complexity comes po-
counsel extolled the virtues of the outside counsel by tential quality issues.
stating “they have put five lawyers on it!” Why is that So, eliminate the waste, reduce the complexity and
needed? If the cost of that averages $400 per hour the costs and time are reduced and quality improves.
first two weeks is likely to exceed $100,000! Waste in the office environment and in the practice
Then when the economy dips and the financial of law tends to be masked and thus not realized. It is
pressures mount, the cries abound with must work more akin to termites gnawing at the studs and inte-
more efficiently and seminars pop up with subjects rior sides of the walls. It’s there, but you don’t know it
on how to control legal costs. The irony is that work- so you think all is fine….until there is structural dam-
ing more efficiently and controlling legal costs is or age! On the other hand if you look for it and expose it
Divisions Digest • Spring 2011
should be part of the operating culture regardless of you can treat it. So it is with waste in office practices
the economic times. and the practice of law. It’s there; you may not see it
To drive this sudden need to control cost devices unless you look for it and treat it.
are suggested such as budgeting, aligning objectives, If it appears that this paper is addressing Lean
strategy, billing rules and invoice review strategy etc. Practice, it is. I have simply avoided the term since it
Each has value, but may increase work and possibly is typically thought as a manufacturing environment
offset any savings by other costs. practice1 and not in the office world and particularly
Consider the following: I have had this debate over not in the practice of law. Mentioning the term at the
an invoice. “Why am I being charged for staff over- outset normally results in multiple defenses why it will
time?” The answer was: “Because the staff had to work not work in the practice of law or in the office. The
overtime to get it out”. The reply: “But you had two result is not focusing on the lean principles that work
weeks to complete the project”. And the answer: “Well so well in the practice of law setting. The office and
we were backed up”. And the retort: “So charge your the Practice of Law are perfect environments for its
other clients for the overtime!” I have also had this application. Again, eliminating waste and complexity
in processes saves time, costs and improves quality. voice or drive that is always questioning, never satis-
I do believe the hourly rate of a lawyer is not as im- fied, and always striving to make things better.
portant as the cost of the total project. If the rate is Participants in the Kaizen event should include
$100 per hour but it takes 100 hours, the total cost is those who have involvement in the process under
$10,000. On the other hand if the hourly rate of the analysis. However, employees not involved in the pro-
lawyer is $500, but the lawyer completes the project cess under review can add value as a “fresh” pair of
in five hours the total cost is $2,500! Obviously the cli- eyes viewing and analyzing the process. The form of
ent is better off cost wise and the Lawyer makes much that map is the Swim Lane Process Flow Chart. The
more per hour. chart layout is rather simple. Completing it may be the
The Lean concept is simply the continuous, sus- challenge.
tainable improvement of processes by removing waste A horizontal band is created for each function in-
and complexity from those processes with the result of volved in the process. Of course if only one function
reducing time, costs and improving quality. It means is involved then no band is needed. The initial set up
developing standard processes, simplifying processes
and stabilizing processes. The focus is on processes,
not on the outcome of the problem.
Lean is not setting targets such as reducing costs
by 50%. In fact such an approach may miss oppor-
tunities for further process improvement and may re-
sult in a decline in quality as a result of inappropriate
cuts made in costs to meet the 50% requirement. Lean
is not (as I have read claims) just empower people;
though personnel are absolutely critical. Lean is not
about “home runs” though that may occur. It is about
“singles”. It is not about massive changes at once, but
one or two changes to the process. Do not let perfect
get in the way of doing it better! It is about sustain-
able improvements and continuing to improve. Do it
better today than yesterday and do it better tomorrow
than today. In order to properly focus on improving a
process there is need for a problem solving tool. This
tool is value stream mapping. It provides visualization looks like this:
of the process. Through visualization, waste and com-
plexity can be seen and addressed. Next label the functions. Normally the first band is
Before illustrating value stream mapping, a couple the customer, client (internal or external), or the pri-
of preliminary comments are in order. Practicing lean mary driver in the process. Normally the functions are
is not an occasional thought. Its success is dependant listed in descending order of the function’s activity in
upon it being engrained in the organization’s culture. the process. An example of this is:
In other words it must be how the organization ad-
dresses problem solving. It must be engrained not just
in leadership, but through out the entire organization.
It must be part of the organization’s philosophy. The
road to changing the organization to embrace Lean
as part of its cultural is a steep slope. After several
years of striving for that in our company, there are still
those not on board and tendencies to lapse to the old
Divisions Digest • Spring 2011
ways….which must be vigilantly stopped.
One way to improve the process is using Kaizen
events to focus on improving the process. Kaizen
means continuous improvement. The more clear ex-
planation of Kaizen was provided to me by Roger Kei-
rn, Sky Chefs, Inc. Vice President Lean Manufacturing.
Kaizen means any activity aimed at transforming what
is in place into something better. As Roger further ex-
plained, it is developing the ability to look at a situa- In the above case the vertical column is the areas or
tion or process and being able to see clearly what can departments that are part of the process for entering
be improved and more importantly to some degree, into a Master Purchase Agreement for food. Since so
how to improve it. Of course it can not be “continu- much of the process flows through the legal depart-
ous” unless you do it over and over again. Roger adds
that as it was explained to him, it is having an inner LEAN ENTERPRISE continued on p. 8
LEAN ENTERPRISE continued from p. 7
ment, the legal department is listed in the first band.
Now begins the recording of the steps making up each
function in the process. Post-it™ Notes are handy for
this purpose since they can be moved. Enhancing the
visual is the use of various colors and shapes. As an
example is the following:
pleted in the first attempt. More likely changes will
be made in a follow up meeting including adding to
the group for missed functions. Do not use names of
people. It only personalizes it and may lead to con-
frontations!! Do not spend more than five minutes es-
tablishing a notation. If there is debate on it, move on
and comeback to it later. Beyond laying the founda-
tion for improving a process, the mapping provides
an excellent documentation of the current process. If
Each participant records on the Post-it™ the steps a current process is not documented, it is likely when
that make up their function’s portion of the process the mapping commences that there will be varying
and places the Post-it™ on the map in the approximate opinions of what is the process. This in and of itself is
sequence. Thus the horizontal swim lane indicates the a great indicator of waste and complexity.
sequence or time or milestones of the activity. Once The above completed map is one from our mapping
the Post-it™ Notes are completed, re-sequence them of the Master Food Purchase Agreement beginning
until the group is satisfied that the process is accu- with the initial submission to the vendor to approval
rately mapped. At this point add and label any inputs by the contract committee. The problem was an aver-
and outputs. age time of 100 days even though the contract was a
An example of a completed value stream mapping standard agreement. The Kaizen event was composed
looks something like this: of persons from legal, procurement and quality. The
swim lanes are those functions that had some respon-
sibility in the process.
The mapping was not an easy process and it actu-
ally required 4+ sessions of approximately one hour
each to have it correct. As a result of the mapping sev-
eral changes were made to the process. The principle
change was the vendor required recall program and
Health supplement agreement were moved to the be-
ginning of the process. Thus the vendor was required
Divisions Digest • Spring 2011
to submit recall programs and the supplemental health
agreement before starting the contracting process. If
the vendor could not do this or was unwilling to do
this, the contract process would terminate. The partici-
pants anticipated the average time would improve.
Master Purchase Agreement Contract Approval Process
• Supplier Procurement
Or as a power point presentation (see graphic at • Quality
top of the next column). • Agreement
There are several guidelines. Allow sufficient time • Quality
to get a good first pass at the mapping. However, it • Ris
should not an all day event. Indeed, two hours is a
good start. The mapping does not have to be com- The next step was to implement the change, then
check the result and then to adjust as necessary. In it eliminated the need to follow special instructions. It
terms of lean parlance this referred to as the Plan, Do, simply had to internally and proficiently manage the
Check and Act. case. For those interested the average settlement de-
As a consequence of the several changes the pro- cline was staggering! So much for the advice we once
cess to an executed agreement was reduced to less received that such a setup will result in poor quality
than 7 days. There was no goal to reduce to a certain services. By the way, I do not accept that at all. Once
number of days. In fact all participants were highly the case was accepted the duty to do the best of the
surprised by the result. Again the undertaking was to lawyer’s ability attached.
improve the process and those changes will drive the The value stream map must be properly focused.
result. If the value stream mapping is too broad it will be
The participants only made several changes to the unmanageable.
process in order to accurately monitor their impact. Avoid the silo effect. Cross functional involvement
The approach is akin to a scientific experiment. Usu- and flow are typical in legal processing and must
ally only one but not more than three elements are be considered part of the mapping process team. It
changed in order to understand the impact of the has been our experience that low hanging fruit (i.e.,
change. waste) exists where the flow of information crosses
Earlier I had stated that not having the process doc- functions.
umented or poorly documented may lead to surprises Of course within the firm or law department there
once it is mapped. So was the case when the mapping are processes for document filing and management.
of the handling process of EEO Claims at our com- Map the process. It may be that changes result in time
pany. Those responsible shocked at the complexity savings of one or more individuals as well as saving
in the process. That complexity adds waste and thus disk space.
costs. If looking for a starting point, start with the most
Another lean project identified waste in the man- frustrating issues. Map the process associated with
agement and cost of litigation. That waste was not that issue. Propose changes and Plan, Do, Check and
recognized until the process was reviewed. Various Act. Revisit the process. It is continuous improvement
methods were attempted in managing litigation costs that is critical to lean.
including creative budgeting processes and mandato- Resistance to lean practices may be great. It will in-
ry billing rules and case handling. While some success clude the recalcitrant associate who claims the process
was obtained it did require in-house lawyers pouring is broken, it should be scrapped and old ways used.
over invoices of firms insuring compliance with com- In truth the process is not broken, it will require im-
pany guidelines or rules At times this led to telephone provement. Remember without continuous improve-
conversations or meetings reviewing and challenging ment lean practice has not been achieved. Thus im-
line items on the invoice. Oft times in house lawyers plementing a Kaizen event to review the process and
reported the value of reviewing invoices and demand- how to improve it is the driver to make the process
ing compliance by claiming eliminating $1,000 or more better. Resistance may also include that the nature of
in charges and firms have to alter billing practices for each transaction is unique and not possible to review
the particular case. While there appeared to be value the processes. Such statements are made without ever
in saving costs, was that in fact value. The challenge focusing on a process.
here is creating a value stream map for this process. Finally by improving the process through identify-
The following became apparent. No matter how ing and eliminating waste and complexity reduces the
perfect the Company operates it will have and has cost of services, improve the quality and maximizes
had a certain number of litigation claims in the em- the value the services provided.
ployment and or risk management area. Historical le-
gal costs and settlement amounts were analyzed and Endnote:
mapped. The process of managing the claims was 1
The roots of Lean Practice are in Toyota and the
Divisions Digest • Spring 2011
complex. However if legal fees were fixed set at a cer- Toyota Production System.
tain amount much of the complexity and waste were
eliminated.. The feasibility of this was tested through
a nationwide request for a proposal for a fixed fee for
employment cases. The company would pay the fee
upfront and that would cover all fees up to trial. If
the case settled in 30 days the firm kept the fee. If the
case took 18 months, the firms kept the same fee (and
better manage it well!). What was eliminated from the
in house staff is the reviewing of invoices, the con-
stant telephone discussions and meetings respecting
invoices fees. That time is now redeployed to a value
added activity. Moreover the fees proposed were 60%
less than the average historical case cost. For the firm