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View Diary: lawyer bills 26 hours in a 24 hour period (23 comments)

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  •  Isn't a billable hour only 50 minutes? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    elmo, Lujane

    If so you could have 26 in a twenty-four literal hour period with time to spare.  Just saying...

    •  Seriously? Can MallWart employees claim that? (4+ / 0-)

      Or is a fifty-minute billable hour only available to the 1% who make millions off of the people who work their asses off for the bare minimum?

      Maybe minimum wage people ought to adopt the fifty minute rule, and send invoices for a 26 hr day.

      "Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope." ~Robert F. Kennedy

      by Agent99 on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 06:57:00 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  No, but without having looked at the links, a (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, LSvendsen

      possible legitimate explanation if you receive a 26-hours-in-one-day bill is that 2-4 or more lawyers worked on your case.

      Or, you're being scammed, that's always possible too.

      "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

      by auron renouille on Sat Nov 10, 2012 at 07:24:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Okay, I wasn't sure but do know (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        auron renouille

        that 50 minutes is an "hour" for psychiatrists, professors, and other professionals.

        •  I can't speak for all states, but both California (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          LSvendsen, bythesea, kurt

          and Arizona bill in 6-minute periods (tenths of an hour).  There are many professional jokes about that (dreaming in 6 minute intervals, etc. etc.).  Boston and New York are 6-minute intervals too.  I could see small southern or midwestern states having different traditions but I doubt it, not with the standardization of legal software like TimeMatters, etc.

          So, I suspect any lawyer billing for a 50-minute hour is violating state bar guidelines and, at least in California and more-or-less in Arizona, is subject to pretty severe sanction.  Particularly in California - if you misplace so much as a dollar of your client's money and fail to immediately correct it, you're in deep shit.  No 50-minute hours in California. :)

          You can round up to the 6 minutes for a 30-second phone call, but if you bill 12 minutes for both checking the message and then making the phone call, you're in hot water.  Through secondhand knowledge, I've heard that many large firms and other institutional clients during the recession began really heavily scrutinizing the 50-page itemized bills they receive and cracking down, it's slowly changing the dynamic to a fee-for-service model.  Won't happen this year, this decade, or even during my career, but will happen eventually.

          Will it be better for clients?  Is it better for clients of medical services?  This public service lawyer is unconvinced.

          "The first drawback of anger is that it destroys your inner peace; the second is that it distorts your view of reality. If you come to understand that anger is really unhelpful, you can begin to distance yourself from anger." - The Dalai Lama

          by auron renouille on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 12:14:11 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Not for lawyers. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wilderness voice, kurt

      Today, most states require lawyers to bill in tenths of an hour, which are 6-minute increments. It's not a 50-minute work hour.

      The most common way lawyers bill more than the actual amount of time spent is by double-billing work that applies to multiple clients. This might be legal research that applies to several cases, or time spent working on one client's case on the plane while traveling for another client. It turns out that every state bar has adopted rules against billing more hours than time actually spent, but a surprising percentage of lawyers, especially older lawyers, are completely unaware of it, and many state bars have declined to impose sanctions against it. Quite a few big firms still do it routinely.

    •  on more than one occasion? (0+ / 0-)

      96 hours in a week? 22 hours three days a row? No evidence of any actual work (no paper)?

      Read this, a court filing:

      http://wikicoco.com/...

      I foiled any piece of paper the guy made, any one. Not a paper in sight.

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