May 2, 2006, - 1:04 pm

Oil Exec’s Salaries? How About Lawyers?

By Debbie Schlussel
Yes, gas prices are outrageous. As are the salaries of some oil execs. But as outrageous and excessive as they are, they are a result of what the free market will bear.
We compare calls by liberals (and some Republicans) to limit oil execs’ salaries to their absolute silence regarding some of the nation’s lawyers and THEIR salaries.
USA Today reports that the average profit per partner at one of America’s Big 100 law firms is over $1 million. The top 10 firms all topped $2 million per firm, with one, Wachtell, garnering $3.8 million per partner. All of the top firms made at least close to a million, if not much more, in firm revenue per attorney.
To be sure, the average lawyer in America is not making that kind of money, but then neither is the average oil company executive.

lawyerssalaries.jpg

(Graphic From USA Today)

The figures were compiled by The American Lawyer (scroll down & click on various charts), which puts out the “Am Law 100″–a sort of Forbes 100 version for law firms. Their gross revnue ws a whopping $51 billion, and seven of the big law firms garnered over a billion EACH!
Since lawyers are often an unnecessary tax on society, and oil companies actually produce a commodity that Americans need to be mobile, which is more deserving of regulation? Well, that depends on whether you are asking a Member of Congress or Senator, most of whom are lawyers, and most of whom get a significant portion of their campaign contributions from the fattest cats of the wealthiest law firms.
When Sen. Charles Schumer, for example, whines that their are too many mergers of oil companies and less competition (and he’s right about that), why does he not whine about the mergers of so many giant law firms, which ALSO leads to less competition and higher prices both for legal services and every other good and service that’s ever been a victim of unscrupulous lawyers? While Schumer talks tough about oil, he’s a ninny when it comes to tort reform.

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9 Responses

Lawyers in this Country have written laws that benefit them and only them, for far too long. They have given themselves the right to steal and loot anyone that has money like rich people and corporations.
An example is the Tobacco Companies that sold a legal product under US Law yet were sued by Attorneys whose only aim was to raid the companies coffers to enrich themselves not any aggrieved victims.
The Judicial and Legal system today has been so perverted that Average Americans cannot go to court or defend them selves because the fees that most lawyers charge are so outrageous that it will bankrupt even millionaires.
They have invented a system where you can file a case on contingency basis where by the time the lawyers get done,even if you get awarded a million dollar settlement, they get 60% plus itemized expenses like 5.00 per photocopy or 50.00 to mail a simple letter. You end up with virtually nothing for all your trouble.
God help you if you find yourself in a situation like Rush Limbaugh. He had to spend over a million dollars to keep an over zealous prosecutor from putting him jail. The Average person would have ended up in the poky with an idiot that probably got an mail order diploma from the Public Defenders office making a plea bargain.
In American, if you are an Attorney, you have the right to steal with impunity.

ScottyDog on May 2, 2006 at 2:44 pm

scottydoggie:your pal Rush. is a drug user.Your pal Rush says drug users should be in jail.Your pal rush + helpers keep Rush out of jail.Now tell me of Rush.

danny on May 2, 2006 at 2:52 pm

scottdoggie:Your pal Rush has millions saying drug users should be in jail.Your pal Rush has millions teaching the way.Now go listen to him on the radio + buy his products so he can stay on the radio telling you(Scottydoggie)what to do.poor Rush.

danny on May 2, 2006 at 2:57 pm

WOW…i worked for #3 [according to http://www.law.com/jsp/nlj/PubArticleNLJ.jsp?id=1069170401903 ...forgive me Debs, but i NEVER take anyone's WORD as a mitzpah]…so what was YOUR profession again???

EminemsRevenge on May 2, 2006 at 4:18 pm

I’m confused, how is it that Lawyers & Executives (Big Oil or otherwise) can be compared. Aren’t they hats are to feet as socks are to hands. The WSJ chart is funny peculiar- what does it prove showing profit per partner & revenue per lawyer? To be comparable we must see per The Same, in law firms there are associates, & jr. associates- more lawyers than partners. I don’t think Execs get what the free market will bear, they are hired to do a job at a salary, then when they do (& sometimes when they don’t) that job they re-negotiate the deal. We disparage athletes who thru their agents do that, & if they get away with it we are upset that the principle of contract is compromised. At least an athlete entertains us. Try to re-negotiate your mortgage, it may be possible & you may be better off in the long haul, but their are up-front cost. Small shareholders are powerless to prevent this form of legalized thief. This must be a major factor why people don’t save more money thru equity investment. Exec salaries should be no more than 100 times the pay of the lowest paid employee of any public stock traded company, & no exec should get any gift bonus (cash, stocks, car, plane, meals, etc.) nor stock option lest it be available to all employees, pro-rated to all employees in the same 100 times ratio.

enemaofthestatusquo on May 3, 2006 at 2:45 am

Danny
You are ignorant and your hatred of Rush Limbaugh has nothing to do with the illustration that I tried to make about the Judicial system.
Rush Limbaugh became addicted to a Legal Painkiller yet people like you equate his addiction to illegal drug use.
Using your remarks as a guide, I guess you think that pain patients should all be called Drug Addicts.
Pathetic

ScottyDog on May 3, 2006 at 12:48 pm

News reports say CBS will pay Couric $60 million over 5 years. Were she to work 365 days a year, that would equate to $32876 a day. Were she to work just 5 days per week, with no holidays off, that would $46153 per day. I guess Democrats won’t complain about that, because Couric shills for them.

Bachbone on May 3, 2006 at 2:05 pm

Rush is and was the most vocal to have drug arrest people put in jail.Twist around that(Scotty doggie)now pray at his feet.

danny on May 3, 2006 at 5:54 pm

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