Category Archives: Civilian’s Guide to Lawyers

Divorced From Reality: Divorce lawyer says spend more to spend less

Here are some warnings from a divorce lawyer who wants to warn you about the surprisingly high cost of divorce.  That really shouldn’t surprise anyone, unless you’ve been in a coma for a few decades or don’t use google.  One … Continue reading

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Exit Stage Right: Immigration lawyer migrates from courthouse when government reneges on deal

The legal system is schizophrenic:  Lawyers are supposed to owe a high professional duty to do whatever they can, but within some vague bounds, for their clients.  To be the client’s legal champion, but to dial it back for the … Continue reading

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Flat World: Flat fees aren’t a legal billing panacea

The legal industry press is forever proclaiming the demise of hourly billing in favor of flat fees.  Despite all the hype, nothing has really changed:  In the part of the legal and business press catering to “biglaw,” hourly fees are … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Ethics, Hiring a lawyer, In-House Lawyer Notes, Lawyer Management, Legal Bill Reviews, Legal Commentary, Legal Fee Arbitration, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Rating Your Lawyer: Setting hourly rates is an art, like collecting them

In the legal and business press, as well as the general public impression of lawyers, setting hourly rates for lawyers is thought to be a mysterious but quasi-scientific process.  Court cases would encourage you to believe that, too, with their … Continue reading

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No Way Out: Court blocks lawyer’s attempt to dump non-paying client

There are lots of stories about the games some lawyers play to induce reluctant or poor clients to pay up.  The usual theme is that the lawyer will undermine the client’s position to gain leverage to force the client to … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Ethics, Firing a Lawyer, In-House Lawyer Notes, Lawyer Management, Legal Bill Reviews, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

To The Victor: State officials fight over legal spoils cloaked in secrecy

There is an entire sub-industry of private lawyers catering to federal, state, and local governments, paid directly or indirectly out of taxpayer or government money (or some other pile of cash at the disposal of government agencies, like government fees, … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Hiring a lawyer, In-House Lawyer Notes, Lawyer Management, Legal Bill Reviews, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

In The Beginning: Hourly fees are relatively new for lawyers

Hourly billing for legal or any services raises all sorts of potential issues, not only with quantity, but also quality of work, staffing, and distorted incentives for the lawyer and impact on the legal system and clients.  Hourly billing is … Continue reading

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No Closure: Law firms among scammers diverting mortgage payments

Although the Great Recession is slowly fading, there are still thousands of people whose homes are subject to foreclosure.  While federal and some state governments have attempted to help, their efforts have provided a cover story for scam artists claiming … Continue reading

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Innocent Targets: Target class action settlement worthless to consumers

Consumer class actions are supposed to bundle many small consumer claims together so justice will be done.  Normally, such small claims wouldn’t be viable on their own because there’s not enough at stake to justify the legal fees, even a … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Hiring a lawyer, In-House Lawyer Notes, Lawyer Management, Legal Bill Reviews, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Legal Roulette: Malpractice insurer seeks to drop claims after the fact

Insurance is a form of gambling:  You put your bet down (call it a premium), then the wheel of life starts spinning, and you see what happens while the wheel spins for the term of your policy.  If the ball … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Firing a Lawyer, Hiring a lawyer, In-House Lawyer Notes, Lawyer Management, Legal Bill Reviews, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off