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.
Dealing with Independent Counsel Issues
Being that my specialty is auditing legal bills from independent counsel, it is only natural that I have written a number of posts on independent counsel billing issues. In The Lowdown on Why Independent Counsel Perform So Much Unnecessary Research, and in Being in the Know: What Knowledge Should Attorneys Already Have When Accepting a Case?, I discuss one of the most common issues I typically come across when reviewing legal bills from independent counsel: unnecessary research.
A common myth perpetuated by independent counsel seeking to capitalize on the blank check they thing they have been handed by an insurance company is that the insurer must provide the insured with the “best defense possible.” I dispelled that myth in my post The Urban Legend of An Insurer’s Duty to Provide The “Best Defense Possible” for An Insured.
Alternative Fee Agreements
I have written a number of posts on alternative fee agreements (AFA). In Can Polar Opposite Goals Form the Basis For a “Win-Win” Alternative Fee Agreement?, I called attention to what should be a obvious fact. That is the main reason insurers and other companies want to enter into an AFA is to save on legal costs while the main reason attorneys want to enter into AFAs is to make more money.
It should go without saying that diametrically opposing goals do not make for a good basis for a “win-win” situation. That most AFA do not save on costs for litigated matters was covered in Alternative Fee Agreement Savings: Real or Illusory?
Revealing Some Professional Secrets
Over the years, I wrote a number of posts that revealed some things that most attorneys would prefer you not to know. In revealing these things, I acknowledged that I felt a little like a magician betraying the magic profession by telling how magic tricks are done.
In my post, The ‘Does Anyone Have a Form That I Could Use’ Practice Section, I revealed that an awful lot of legal work is done using forms and recycled work product. Notwithstanding this fact, most attorneys will bill forms and recycled work product as if they were original work product.
In It’s About Time: Outing Attorneys on Travel Time, I revealed how attorneys actually make more money when traveling at a reduced hourly rate than than they do when they bill at their full rate for work done in their office. Despite this fact, most insurers cave into attorney whining on this issue and do not follow the CLM model litigation guidelines which recommends paying attorneys at one-half their normal hourly rate for travel over one hour.
And finally in Lying to Clients & Why Being Inefficient Has Rewards and in “Borrowing Time” and Other Deceptive Practice I wrote about the deeper problems that exist when using attorneys who purposefully overbill for their services. As I note in my posts, legal ethics experts believe that attorneys not trustworthy in one thing may not be trustworthy in other things.
Other Legal Billing & Litigation Management Issues
In addition to the topics noted, I have written on a wide variety of other legal billing and litigation management issues. I wrote a series of posts on different legal billing issues based upon my article Red Flags in Legal Bills: What Signals are Attorneys Sending?. Litigation management related issues covered have included such issues as the importance of focused litigation planning and how to find good economical attorneys. I also wrote blog pieces on factors to consider when working with or consolidating outside counsel.
Future Blog Posts?
After writing about legal billing and litigation management issues for almost five years, you might think that I am running out of issues to write about. But that definitely is not the case as I have ideas for many more posts. And on this point, I should note that many ideas for my posts come from people who read the blog. So if you have an idea for a blog piece or would like to see a particular subject matter covered, please let me know. You can contact me at either firstname.lastname@example.org or john.conlon@theCLM.org.