Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
October 29, 2002
LAW: A Word In Favor Of The Billable Hour

The NY Times calls out the usual parade of horribles to denounce the billable hour. I'm no fan of the billable hour, to be sure, but critics invariably lose most of their steam once they try to come up with a workable alternative. Clients pay the bills, and for large law firms engaged in defending civil litigation or in many types of corporate transactions, clients have generally preferred to have the bills determined on the basis of hourly rates. In areas like bankruptcy, it's the courts themselves that often determine the bills, and they do it by the hour. There are intermiediate steps that can be taken to help clients keep a watchful eye, like the ABA's task-based billing codes that some clients prefer. None of this excuses the egregious cases of fraud, like people billing 44 hour days, but at the end of the day, as long as clients are reviewing the bills and are happy with what they are paying for what they are getting in return, the billable hour system will endure.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 7:07 PM | Law 2002-04 | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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