Red Flags in Legal Bills: Excessive Conferencing

[Note: This is another in a series of posts on “red flags in legal bills.”  The posts are taken from my article “Red Flags in Legal Bills: What Warning Signals are Attorneys Sending?”]

The Claims and Litigation Management Alliance (CLM) model “litigation guidelines” provide that “intra-office conferences” are “non-reimbursable.”  This reflects a belief among many litigation management professionals (and attorneys) that most billed for intra-office conferences among attorneys and staff are not necessary.

Where company litigation or billing guidelines do provide for payment of “intra-office conferences,” they generally provide that the company will not pay the fees for interoffice conferences that are “of a supervisory, educational, or administrative nature.”  This is because time spent on these tasks should be viewed as part of an attorney’s “overhead” for which an attorney should not bill the client. See, e.g., Restatement (Third) The Law Governing Lawyers, Sec. 38(3)(a).

Company litigation and billing guidelines that do allow  compensation for intra-office conferences generally also provide that only the handling attorney may bill for the conference and that the billed for conference should be of a “strategic” nature.  One large problem with this is that . . . . .

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