The ethics of the legal profession requires lawyers to inform their clients “at the outset of the representation” just how they intend to bill for fees and costs and, just as importantly, the basis or how those fees and other charges are going to be determined.  See American Bar Assoc. (ABA) Model Rules of Professional Conduct...

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It’s been said with good justification that “a lawyer’s pen gets heavier during the fourth quarter.” Invariably, as the year nears an end, lawyers (and paralegals) scramble to find things to do in their files in order to make their firm’s hourly billing “targets” (i.e., goals) for the year.  I also invariably see more “drop-in” or “transient...

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Getting involved in a billing dispute with a lawyer can be a long and drawn out process. And you legitimately may be wonder if you ask your lawyer questions about his legal bill or get into a prolonged discussion with him about his charges if you will not just be digging yourself into an even deeper financial...

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If you think so, you are not alone. Overbilling by lawyers has long been considered a problem in the U.S.  Not only do clients of lawyers think that lawyer overbilling is a problem, but also many legal ethics experts and bar association leaders think so as well.  Here is just a sampling of what some...

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Here’ something very important to know about resolving legal bill disputes that maybe your lawyer does know. In any dispute over a legal bill with a client, the ethics of the legal profession as well as “black letter” law very clearly provide that the “burden of proof” is squarely on the attorney.  See Restatement (Third)...

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Finding good as well as economical attorneys can be difficult, but certainly not impossible. You may think that the term “good, economical attorney” is an oxymoron.  But in my legal bill review work for corporations, I very often see examples of economical attorney who get good results.  When I do, I always take the time to...

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One influential legal commentator called it the legal profession’s “not so hidden shame.”[1] An American Bar Association president called it the intersection of “many of the profession’s contemporary woes.”[2]  And the ABA’s Committee on Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility termed it a “major contributory factor to the discouraging public opinion of the legal profession.”[3]  The...

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Does you attorney charge you full rate for when she travels?  If so, she is making more money by travelling than she would if she were working in her office. Although I feel like a magician who betrays the profession by telling how magic tricks are done, I am going to let you in on a little...

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Many law firms today are moving away from hourly billing and going to "alternative fee arrangements" in which clients pay a single fee.  While this certainly eliminate disputes over hourly billing issues, many types of alternative fee arrangements also have the potential for disputes. That is, while alternative fee arrangements seem simple, they are not always as simple...

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