Wed, Aug. 23, 2006

Abuse in Hourly Billing

CK - Washington.   While lawyers in Germany decry the government's plan to open up legal services to body shops while not at the same time granting domestic relations lawyers the right to open, say, abortion clinics, another important development affecting the economic viability of legal services falls out of attention-grabbing headlines. law blog in Düsseldorf published an informative analysis of a Düsselfdorf appellate ruling of June 8, 2006 in the matter 24 U 196/04.

The court questions hourly billing practices based on 15-minute intervals. A one-minute activity could generate a fee for 15 minutes. A fifteen-fold markup is excessive or abusive, the court reasons. Therefore, such billing methods are improper. The August 21, 2006 article by Elbo Richter wonders whether one minute billing intervals will be in our future and triggers a raft of comments, some insightful, some confused.


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