I just received a bill from my local counsel on a very small case. The bill is less than $200, but I am annoyed. Why? Because I am getting billed (in 3 separate entries) for reviewing an order granting our pro hac vice motion (.1), drafting a letter to me forwarding the order (.2) and drafting a letter to our opposing counsel forwarding the order (.2). That’s the bill. In real time, what should this have taken? Say, 30 seconds to glance at the order, but be charitable and say 1 minute. Assuming you have no staff and scan the document yourself, another minute for the scan. Two separate emails (one could have done) at two minutes each (really slow typist). In real time, this should have taken 4 to 6 minutes. In truth, it all should have been handled by a secretary at no cost.
Moral of the story? Even if you bill by the hour, exercise some judgment in what you bill for. Every minute of what you do is not entitled to be billed. Clients remember stuff like this–I surely do–and THEY WON”T HIRE YOU AGAIN when they believe you are nickel and dime-ing them.