Sunday, August 16, 2009

Compare Legal Billing to ABA Guide

Alternative billing by law firms continues to be a hot topic. Here is a reference link to the ABA's Model Rule 1.5 on Fees in a Client-Lawyer Relationship.

(a) A lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an unreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses. The factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:
  1. the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly;
  2. the likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer;
  3. the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;
  4. the amount involved and the results obtained;
  5. the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances;
  6. the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;
  7. the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services; and
  8. whether the fee is fixed or contingent.
Read the full ABA Model Rule 1.5 on Fees. These factors can be used as a basis for formulating alternate billing arrangements that differ from the standard billable hour.

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