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Re: “The expected disagreement over John Walker's legal fee

The Attorney General should make sure that the legal bills are reasonable and that the law firms did not deviating from acceptable billing patterns and practices. While the fees and expenses may be reasonable, given the magnitude of these bills, the Attorney General should get a third party auditor to audit the legal bills.

Accountability Services, Inc., a legal bills auditing specialist, has the proprietary software and the lawyers with expertise to properly audit legal bills and time records. What most people do not recognize is that giving an opinion on reasonableness of attorney fees involves a lot of preparatory work before final analysis can be done. You cannot simply only run a computer program that says X amount of dollars is the proper legal charge for a deposition and Y amount of dollars is the proper charge for a telephone call. A proper audit involves first, reconstructing generally how the case was handled; and then categorizing and breaking down the time records to find out what was done, by whom and for how long. The time records must be in a format so that they can be placed into a computer and totals and comparisons run. Only when detailed preparatory work has been done, can an auditor or legal fees expert look for efficiencies and inefficiencies in how the work was done. For example, until you have allocated to the taking of a deposition all of the time billed for preparation, attendance, and follow up on the deposition can you determine whether: Was there an excessive number of timekeepers working on the matter? Did timekeepers duplicate the efforts of others? Was there attorney rotation on that inflated the legal fees? Did the person with the proper billing rate perform the work? Was too much time spent in internal meetings?
Founded in 1991, Accountability Services has grown into serving businesses of all sizes, including Fortune 500 Companies, international organizations and governmental institutions. The principal of Accountability Services is Judith A. Bronsther, Esq., who has written extensively on the subject of legal cost control and lectures on the subject. For more information on Accountability Services, go to http://www.legalbills.com or contact Accountability Services, Inc., at 212-245-0245

Posted by JBronsther on 03/21/2014 at 9:44 AM

 

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