Really Dumb Things Really Smart Attorneys Sometimes Do

As a member of my state bar’s “legal ethics hotline,” I get to hear about some really dumb things that otherwise smart attorneys do that wind up creating an ethical dilemma for the attorneys.  Likewise as a reviewer of legal bills from throughout the U.S., I also get to see some really dumb things that otherwise smart attorneys wind up doing.

Brother, can you spare a dime?

One of the dumber things I have come across was an attorney who appealed a reduction for charging .20 per copy instead of charging .10 as the company billing guidelines required.   In appealing the reduction, he wrote that his copy of the company’s guidelines did not mandate a .10 per copy rate.  For support, he attached the guidelines to his appeal.  Although the guidelines he attached were the old company guidelines, he was correct in that the guidelines did not require a charge of .10 for copies.   What the old guidelines did mandate was that “in-house copies were non-reimbursable.”  Oops! Continue reading