Category Archives: Civilian’s Guide to Lawyers

Biglaw Trouble: Big client fee savings are bad for biglaw

Big savings in legal fees for big clients is really bad news for “biglaw.”  There are perhaps 50 US law firms grossing over $1 billion per year and the gross legal product, last time I checked, was a little under … Continue reading

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Human Experimentation: Lawyers may “moonlight” outside expertise

Most lawyers must have a bachelor’s degree (in any subject), plus an advanced degree from an accredited law school (usually a Juris Doctor, with some exceptions), then they must satisfy various state licensing requirements and pass a bar exam (with … 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 Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Human Experimentation: Lawyers may “moonlight” outside expertise

Eyeballing It: The eyewitness myth

Our legal system regularly runs over the rights, and lives, of criminal defendants who are legally innocent until found guilty.  In addition to faulty verdicts and unsupported charges, common issues include the scarcity of competent, affordable legal representation for the … Continue reading

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Peer Review: Florida juries, not judges, must find death penalty facts

Thanks to TV and the occasional real-life experience, most Americans know that juries consisting of ordinary citizens are involved in many trials.  What the jury actually does, and how that works in conjunction with judges, is a bit of a … Continue reading

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Year In Review: “Sophisticated” clients missing the point of legal fee review

My firm has been reviewing legal bills for over 23 years, including over $1 billion in fees from thousands of firms.  (We review both “for” and “against” the law firms — we’re on the side of the reasonable fee.)  For … Continue reading

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Fee Forfeiture: “Deceptive” legal bills backfire on lawyer in arbitration

Can a lawyer bill one or more clients twice (or more) for the same hours of work?  No.  (You can only bill each particular hour one time when you bill by the hour.  We’re not talking about doing similar work … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Ethics, Firing a Lawyer, 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 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Fee Forfeiture: “Deceptive” legal bills backfire on lawyer in arbitration

Peace Breaks Out: Litigation mega-clients give peace a chance, at lawyers’ expense

What would happen if some of the largest, most litigious clients in the country suddenly decided to settle their differences?  This isn’t a hypothetical:  It’s an actual trend.  Google and Microsoft recently settled a basket of their US and European … Continue reading

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Flying Blind: Law firms grasping analytics straws instead of self-awareness

Some law firms apparently have trouble knowing their own internal costs, typical path of their legal projects, and potential outcomes to be able to quote fees and then meet the quote. Instead of studying what they do, they just “analyze” … Continue reading

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Voodoo Economics: Firm replaces billable hours quotas with revenue tracking

Billable hours certainly create some problematic incentives for lawyers and law firms.  They put all the risk on the client and can reward delay and complication, encouraging lawyers not to solve problems but to see imaginary problems or avoid efficient … Continue reading

Posted in All CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Tips, Devil's Advocate, Hiring a lawyer, In-House Lawyer Notes, Lawyer Advertising, Lawyer Management, Legal Bill Reviews, Legal Commentary, Legal Fees, Legal Fees: Law & Management, Legal News Notes, Trial Practice Checklists 2d | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Voodoo Economics: Firm replaces billable hours quotas with revenue tracking

Bad Guess: Law firm charging six times its fee estimate escapes fraud claim

We always suggest that clients request and law firms provide estimates for their legal fees and expenses.  The first estimate needs to come as part of the firm selection process, but then it needs to be updated regularly, especially when … 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 | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Bad Guess: Law firm charging six times its fee estimate escapes fraud claim