It's been a bad week to work at Big Law

Above the Law has been diligently covering what it charming refers to as the Valentine's Day Massacre of 2009, a substantial collection of layoff announcements at major firms.  Show compassion for your displaced brethren.  I do know how they feel.

It does make me wonder, though, about what's going to happen in the area of complex litigation and class actions.  There seems to be a uniform sentiment that the weak economy will lead to more litigation, especially in the employment class action realm (and employment claims generally).  If businesses are paying less for lawyers, and have less money to allocate towards negotiated class settlements, will more of these cases speed through to trial?  [This is where regular readers can express their opinions in the comment section, striking up a lively dialog.  No, really.]  We're also going to see a knowledge gap at big firms, if we have a multi-year discontinuity in hiring.

UPDATE:  More news coverage at JDJournal.

UPDATE 2:  The Recorder, via reports that several other shoes have yet to drop.