The Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company of Kentucky (LMICK) is a malpractice insurer for lawyers. As a proud, long time member of the Kentucky Bar Association, I am on LMICK’s newletter mailing list.
In a recent LMICK newsletter, I noted that several pages were devoted to legal billing issues. Coming at it from a “risk management” prospective, the newletter admonished attorneys to engage in “good billing practices” and “avoid common billing mistakes.”
Here are some of what LMICK listed as “billing mistakes:”
- The bill is as big as the client’s file – looks like over-practicing the matter.
- Secret identities – no names and no billing rates for the work done.
- Over-qualified personnel for the work or conversely charging lawyer rates for administrative work.
- Too many meetings, telephone calls, and research hours – looks like over-practicing the matter.
- Billing for several lawyers reviewing or preparing to discuss the file – looks like over-practicing the matter.
- Billing for several lawyers attending a meetingwhen one would have been adequate – looks like over-practicing the matter.
- Itemized bills with generic terms such as “phone call” or “meeting” with no substantive information.
- All telephone calls take exactly .2 hour; all dollar amounts are nice round number or end in five.
The LMICK “common billing mistakes” are the same ones I see all the time in legal bills. Unfortunately, though, this list of billing mistakes does not come close to listing all of the common billing mistakes I find in legal bills.
If you believe your attorney’s bills have any of these or other “common billing mistakes” and your legal bills total $50,000 or more, you may submit them to LegalBillAudit.com for a free evaluation. Just go to the Request An Evaluation page and follow the instructions.