Improving attorney quality of life one complex litigation project at a time

Virtual Paralegalism

The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism

Bank Pays $165.00 per Hour for Paralegal Time in Dumpster Diving Case

An unidentified Connecticut paralegal in the employ of Pullman and Comley is worth $165.00 per hour, at least on firm billing statements submitted to People’s United Bank. William Wenzel, a partner in the firm, represents the bank in a civil suit against James Hastings, who failed to appear in Superior Court on contempt charges earlier this week. Mr. Hastings threatened to publicize thousands of bank customers’ sensitive financial records (including Social Security numbers), which he found in the outside trash bins of the bank’s local branch offices. (Court records refer to him as a “dumpster diver”.) Last year, he was ordered not to disclose the contents of these records, but he posted a “documentary” on YouTube anyway (the site pulled the video).

In addition to suing James Hastings to prevent dissemination of this information, People’s Bank is now being sued by unhappy customers. According to Mr. Wenzel, the bank has spent almost $40,000.00 in its litigation against Mr. Hastings (including Mr. Wenzel’s billing rate of $395.00 per hour and a former federal prosecutor’s fee of $420.00 per hour). A bank employee testified that documents are now shredded daily and that its trash bins are locked and posted with “No Trespassing” signs – but Mr. Wenzel told the court that Mr. Hastings continues to attempt to raid the bank’s trash bins.

See Connecticut Post.

So, in conclusion, People’s Bank is paying really big bucks to an attorney and his staff to litigate a “hot mess” of legal issues, which arose out of throwing thousands of its own customers’ financial records in trash bins that any persistent and obsessive dumpster diver could find and try to post on YouTube.

One Response to Bank Pays $165.00 per Hour for Paralegal Time in Dumpster Diving Case

  1. Prior to becoming a paralegal, I spent 20 years in the U.S. Army in military intelligence (and yes, I know the joke – a contradiction in terms!). Because of the nature of my assignments, we had to shred not only classified material, but also unclassified material of a sensitive nature. As a result of my background, I’m almost obsessive about shredding anything that could even remotely divulge anything about our clients or our work product.

    In this day and age of rampant identity theft, what People’s United Bank did is absolutely unconscionable. Their customers are justified in suing, and their legal counsel should be duly compensated for having to zealously defend the indefensible.

Contact Info:

Lynne J. DeVenny, N.C. State Bar Certified Paralegal

Owner & Virtual Paralegal, DeVenny Paralegal Services

Email: lynne.devenny[at]

Telephone: 336-582-0003

Inquiries are welcome, with free quotes available.

Meet Lynne:

Lynne DeVenny is a North Carolina State Bar Certified Paralegal with over 27 years of experience working on complex litigation cases, including medical malpractice, personal injury, workers’ compensation, and Social Security disability.

Disclosure: I am not a lawyer and cannot provide legal representation or legal advice.

Website design by T.Marie Hilton-Girly Girl Geek Designs