“Reviewing & Analyzing” Lawyer Speak in Legal Bills

In doing seminars for lawyers on the ethics of legal billing, I remind them that their clients may not read their 20 page brief that they sweated bullets over to prepare and is perfect in every detail, but they will read their legal bills. And, as I remind them, in addition to it being just good plain business sense to send out clearly worded legal bills that clients can understand, lawyers also have an ethical duty to do so.  See ABA Formal Op. 93-370 at p. 3.

But despite the common sense and ethical reasons for sending out clearly worded legal bills, I so often see legal bills that are not only not clearly worded, but downright sloppy. Whenever I see these types of legal bills, I get the feeling that some attorneys and their law firms have a sort of death wish. For not only do their legal bills only invite client angst, they also can result in delays in payment or reductions taken for questionable entries and often end with hurt feelings all around.

And it is not the small firms who cannot afford the sophisticated billing systems that have sloppy legal bills. I have reviewed legal bills from some of the largest law firms in the U.S. and find that their legal bills can be just as sloppy.  By sloppy, I mean such things as misspelled words, hard to figure out abbreviations, and insufficient explanations of tasks. Continue reading

A Retrospective on One Hundred LBR Blog Posts

The last blog piece on An Attorney’s Duty to Use Less Costly Personnel represented the 100th post on the LBR blog. In addition to the posts I have written, there were some excellent posts written by guest bloggers.

Picking out favorites from among all blog pieces that have appeared in the LBR blog is hard to do as they are all my favorites! So rather than do that, I will just provide a small sampling of the broad range of legal billing and litigation management related issues covered in the LBR blog over the past four and one half years. Continue reading