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  #1  
Old 01-29-2020, 03:37 PM
dealingWithEvil dealingWithEvil is offline
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Default Lawyer overbilling - my rights?

I can't afford to switch lawyers right now.
My lawyer is over billing me and I believe they have now for several months.
I get bills from them weekly.

They often do not follow instructions and do what they feel like, sometimes I have to argue with them and I should not.
I often have to repeat instructions and correct their letters because they are not following written or verbal direction.
They reinvent the wheel by billing an amount to update a document like they created it from scratch, we are talking several hours of work each time.
The amount of time they take to read correspondence is unreasonable. how can 10 lines take 15 minutes to read?

I know I can appeal bills but how much can a lawyer get away with?
What do I need to do to be successful with an appeal?
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Old 01-29-2020, 10:39 PM
rvalentines rvalentines is offline
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I've had the same issues

Here is what you do:

1. Write instructions via email to them and say "This is my Final instruction. Please do not respond back"

2. Give them time-limits with anything you send. Tell them, please do not spend more than 10 minutes on this. Next, check your invoice, and if they exceeded it, ask for a refund.

3. Tell them straight up you want to do the leg work and you only want them to make sure you've got it right. Once again, give them a time-limit.

4. Let them know you're on a budget and they need to be more mindful

5. Ask for a refund. I've done this and got some back.
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  #3  
Old 01-30-2020, 10:02 AM
Berner_Faith Berner_Faith is offline
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Most lawyers bill in 10-15 min intervals... stop sending emails if they arenít absolutely necessary. Usually when people complain about over billing itís because they are sending a dozen emails and being charged 15 min each... compile your thoughts and send one email a week. Be clear and concise in your emails and donít partake in back and forth. If you donít think you can get your point across, book an actual appointment


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Old 01-30-2020, 10:20 AM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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You may want to review your retainer agreement before saying anything. Most of the time the lawyer will outline what they bill for and how their fees are calculated.

You may also want to check your behaviour against it as well. Did you over communicate? Argue little irrelevant details that required additional time? Many lawyer will start billing for time when their clients get into the weeds with them on an ongoing basis.

That said, you could also have a chat with your lawyer. My husband told his lawyer flat out he wasnít paying for a meeting on a document that they never sent out. That was a problem with the lawyers staffer who got fired. Lawyer took that fee off the bill. We also would discuss things together before calling the lawyer. We knew any communication with him would cost us so we agreed to not bother him or his staff unless it was ABSOLUTELY necessary.
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Old 01-30-2020, 11:46 AM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berner_Faith View Post
Most lawyers bill in 10-15 min intervals... stop sending emails if they arenít absolutely necessary. Usually when people complain about over billing itís because they are sending a dozen emails and being charged 15 min each... compile your thoughts and send one email a week. Be clear and concise in your emails and donít partake in back and forth. If you donít think you can get your point across, book an actual appointment


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It is actually 6 minute intervals that is industry standard. If an email comes in and it takes me 7 minutes to read and reply, that is a 0.2. Source - I work in a law firm as a billing member of the firm.
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Old 01-30-2020, 12:03 PM
Berner_Faith Berner_Faith is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerDad View Post
It is actually 6 minute intervals that is industry standard. If an email comes in and it takes me 7 minutes to read and reply, that is a 0.2. Source - I work in a law firm as a billing member of the firm.


Good to know, and you always round up


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Old 01-30-2020, 08:21 PM
Kinso Kinso is offline
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Sit down with the lawyer and review the concerning charges. Lawyers (myself included) will easily remove charges that do not have value for the client. If I canít explain the value it needs to come off.

Rvalentines suggestions are ridiculous. If that was my client they would be fired shortly thereafter.
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Old 01-31-2020, 11:41 AM
HammerDad HammerDad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Berner_Faith View Post
Good to know, and you always round up


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It isn't so much of rounding up. It is the first tranche of 6 minutes was used, leading into another tranche of 6 minutes.

While some may think this is unfair, there is actually a lot of time that is rarely captured or billed for. There are emails that I have to non-bill (docket my time, but to office) as the content may simply not be billable in the grand scheme.
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Old 02-05-2020, 10:50 AM
dealingWithEvil dealingWithEvil is offline
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Billing is on a 6 minute interval and that is set.

My lawyer received a copy of a letter sent to a hired Parental Coordinator that included 30 pages of old emails between the lawyers and a cover letter, I saw it as a way to increase fees. What do I need lawyers for if I have a Parental Co-ordinator?

I instructed my lawyer not to read them but lawyers they keep saying they have a "professional obligation" to review all items sent to him in regards to my file even if I instruct them not to. I seem to be at the mercy of the opposing counsel raising fees for fun and my lawyer playing willfully stupid. I am out tens of thousands of dollars or more over this tactic so far, I doubt the other lawyer even reads what he puts out most of the time.
Changing lawyers is very expensive so that works against me as well.
How do I stop this tactic?
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  #10  
Old 02-05-2020, 03:38 PM
StevenS StevenS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dealingWithEvil View Post
I can't afford to switch lawyers right now.
My lawyer is over billing me and I believe they have now for several months.
I get bills from them weekly.

They often do not follow instructions and do what they feel like, sometimes I have to argue with them and I should not.
I often have to repeat instructions and correct their letters because they are not following written or verbal direction.
They reinvent the wheel by billing an amount to update a document like they created it from scratch, we are talking several hours of work each time.
The amount of time they take to read correspondence is unreasonable. how can 10 lines take 15 minutes to read?

I know I can appeal bills but how much can a lawyer get away with?
What do I need to do to be successful with an appeal?
You can see your rights here: https://lso.ca/protecting-the-public...out-legal-fees
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