“Reconstructed” Time Sheets: How Attorneys Make Up For Lost Time and Them Some

I recently reviewed a December bill from an insurer’s panel counsel that included time entries for work done in February. This reminded me that at this time of the year, I often see attorneys billing for work that may have been done many months earlier.

This billing for work done long ago occurs because attorneys (and paralegals) will go back through their files and review previously sent legal bills to see if those legal bills reflect all work undertaken in their files. This is being done as attorneys and paralegals scramble to get all their time billed out to clients in order to meet firm billing minimums or be eligible for firm bonuses.

When an attorney finds that work that has not been previously billed for, it is often due to the fact that the time for the work was not recorded on the attorney’s daily timesheet that is used to generate the attorney’s legal bills.  And when time is not recorded contemporaneously when the work was done, the attorney will attempt to try to “reconstruct” that time by relying upon memory. Continue reading