Sunday, April 6, 2008

Hudson sends hundreds home on AZ project

Thats right, many people on the Hudson McCarter English project have been laid off. The project had staffed up to numbers around 1000 attorneys total. These contractors were all needed to meet the Mid-March discovery deadline. I believe that Hudson and McCarter both had hopes that these contractors would be kept on for the long term, but at some point a realization that there might not be enough work coming down to necessitate keeping all of them on resulted in laying off a large portion (something like 600 or so total).

The interesting aspect of this lay off is that even after that Mid-march deadline, Hudson and McCarter were both trying to fill seats at both the NJ and PA sites. In fact, someone sent me an e-mail from Law Crossing that McCarter was looking for direct hire contractors on March 18.

There were assurances from some that there would be more documents on Monday, that the servers were being reset over the weekend, and that this was just downtime like they had earlier on the project. However, with the size of the project it was evident that without more work coming down, cuts would have to be made.

This type of mass staff up and mass layoff is endemic to poorly managed document reviews. The layoff was poorly managed by Hudson; it sounds like McCarter is not doing a good job planning out their document productions (and has not since the case started); there have been apparently a lot of computer problems with both the older Zantaz system and the newer FTI Ringtail system; and of course the client Astra-Zeneca does not seem to have a cohesive document management system or policy, and thus are delaying the production by scrambling around trying to find everything.

AS for Hudson's part, here's the email one person got from Hudson:
Good morning, we hope all is well.

We at Hudson are writing to you in reference to your contract position with McCarter &

English. We have received word that McCarter & English is making significant cuts in
staffing on the Seroquel project in New Jersey, Philadelphia, and New York City. If you have received this email, your participation on the Seroquel project for AstraZeneca has ended.
Due to the volume of those whom we need to contact this morning, we are emailing you
rather than calling you, but we hope to speak with you in person early in the coming week.

Please respond back to this email with a short note today to let us know you have received

this message.

We hope that the project has been rewarding for you, and we very much appreciate all of

your hard and terrific work and dedication to the project.

If you would please forward a copy of your updated resume to us at,

we would be very pleased to contact you regarding upcoming projects for which you qualify.
We have been quite busy and will hopefully have new opportunities for you in the near

Again, we appreciate all of your hard work and look forward to a continued relationship.

With our best regards,

The Hudson Placement Team

It was sent by the recruiters, not the team leads as some people have noted. From what I have heard thus far the Philly site lost between 100 and 125 contractors. Newark lost from 300-500. The last in were the first out, but there may have been a few underperformers or troublemakers that have been around awhile were let go as well. Some of those who were kept on received calls or e-mails from their leads to let them know that they were safe.

For all those laid off, make sure you contact the unemployment office immediately. Hudson will get hit with a bunch of unemployment claims at one time, and they will want to try to minimize that damage and find new placements for you. Also send your resume to every other contract agency in town and give them all follow up calls the next day. If you have enough money to sit tight for awhile, then do all of these things, but be selective and try to find something that will give you a career path and that you like. Play the game, and forget about the idiots with the poor business plan.

I will be posting the list of Doc Review jobs in the city that I am aware of within a week, but I do not have a great deal of new information about what is out there, so I will need your help in adding to it. I am also going to be attempting to post about the Philadelphia Magazine article and another post on unions soon.

The Black Sheep


Anonymous said...

There was no "last in, first out" in Philly: team leads were asked for a list of 7-10 names to cut per team. Half of the project consisted of teams made entirely of people hired in January and later.

Curmudgeon said...

It was cruel for the "Site Manager" to expressly state that it was fine to purchase monthly bus passes for April.

That is far from the only sin.

I wonder: Should I write my manifesto and post it here? Or should I send it to the GC of AZ? And some disciplinary mechanism?

Really angry.


Anonymous said...


Can you elaborate on the other sins of those in charge of the AZ project?

I'd say post it here, and send it to AZ's general counsel. However, I honestly don't think AZ cares that much about a few disgruntled contractors.

The Black Sheep said...


If you want to write a manifesto, then send it to my email: I would be more than happy to post it on the main portion of the website, and not just in the comments.

As for those out of work, I just heard that there is another project in Philly through Juristaff. Good luck to the swarms looking for more work, here are some of the vitals:

Philadelphia Document Review Project

Potential upcoming project with a Philadelphia firm. Seeking candidates that can make a commitment of at least 3-6 months. Bar admission required. Previous multi-month document review strongly preferred. Commercial litigation project – may also consider candidates with products liability project experience. Please send resumes to PA Document Review Recruiter at

Anonymous said...


I worked on Vioxx, and I was angry too. I took all the review materials home and considered sending them either to the plaintiffs or the media. I planned on writing a letter to Merck to describe how mismanaged the product was.

However, eventually time passes, and you get over it. I doubt Merck/AZ would care, and the review materials aren't really worth anything. I still am considering looking for some of the more interesting things and anonymously posting them to Wikileaks or another site like that.

Good luck with your anger, and I'm all for contacting the client if it makes Hudson look bad.

Lawyer in name only said...

I haven't received one of those emails or phone calls, so it looks like I'm still on the SQL project (for now).

I've been called by Special Counsel and Kelly have some short term projects coming up.

I don't think the media or AZ would be interested in the review materials.

Projects ending unexpectedly and questionable recruiters with the territory.

Anonymous said...

It's pretty infuriating and annoying at the same time... but truly comes with the territory.. let's just say its going to be a long hot summer... However, just posting to say that I've been told you will recieve a personal call if you don't reply to the email. If that's any consolation...

Anonymous said...

Projects ening early is one ting, LYING to people is another.

Anonymous said...

I was on the Hudson/McCarter project for 2 weeks. I was told that it would last "most likely through June at least." I was surprised and am left angry at the sudden termination. Does anyone know of any other contract positions out there -- student loan payments don't pay themselves. Thanks!

TempAttorneyPA said...

How would threatening to leak review materials to the media or the opposing party encourage law firms to keep hiring us?

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