In this post as well as a follow-up post, I want to discuss the sensitive subject of how to discuss fee bill issues with your lawyer. I say that this is a sensitive subject because I find that while many individual clients are often downright angry about their high fee bills, many are at the...

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“One of the most egregious forms of overbilling in many law firms is the almost infinite amount of time that is expended upon research into even the most minute legal issues.” William G. Ross, The Honest Hour, (Carolina Academic Press) at p. 113. Have you ever hired a lawyer based upon the lawyer’s claimed expertise in the...

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A story in the online ABA Journal on Feb. 21 told of a lawsuit filed against legal giant Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) in Federal Court in Houston. The suit alleges that the firm engaged in "egregious overbilling" after it was hired last May to wind down several companies. Of course, whether MoFo (that's how the firm refers...

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Ah, the beginning of a new year. And with the beginning of a new year often come a request or notice from your attorney that she is going to raise her hourly billing rate. As I often come across this issue in reviewing legal bills in cases or other legal matters which drag on for years,...

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Legal bills can be very complicated documents involving so many different parts. As a result, they can be very intimidating to people to understand even for people who see legal bills on a regular basis.  So, where do you start when reviewing a legal bill? In my seminars on How to Review Legal Bills Like a...

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Electronic filing (e-filing) of documents with state courts  is sweeping the country. If it is not yet in your state, chances are that it will be soon. Here is a list of the status of e-filing in state courts in the states. Preceding the implementation of e-filing programs, seminars and written material have been provided to lawyers...

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If you read my first blog piece in this series, you will recall that I noted ABA Ethics Committee Formal Opn. 93-379 (1993) on Billing for Professional Fees, Costs,  Disbursements, and Other Expenses stated that several Rules of Professional Conduct affect how lawyers ethically can bill for their services. The Opinion specifically mentions RPC 1.1, 1.4, 1.5, 3.2,...

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In my last post on this subject, I discussed the need to come to an upfront agreement with the attorney handling your case on the appropriate level and mix of any additional attorney staff that might be needed to handle your case. Notwithstanding the need to agree on the attorneys who might be regularly working...

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One of the most common complaints I get from individuals who submit gigantic legal bills for me to review is about the number of attorneys who billed to work on their case. The most recent variant of this complaint came from a couple who hired an attorney whom they had determined had the requisite knowledge and...

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