Unbundling Legal Services: The Small Firm's Secret Weapon


Much has been written lately about whether the Great Recession will bring the death of the billable hour. Certainly billable hours have more than their share of negatives, but it's unlikely to disappear. The most important reason is the ethical requirement, under the ABA and State Bar Rules of Professional Conduct and regulations, that fees charged must be "reasonable. "If a client wants to dispute whether a value charged for a service was reasonable, a time record is usually the focus of review. This is specific documentation and understandable, not hocus pocus or subjective -the reason why corporate clients and their insurance carriers first demanded billable hour statements in the 1960s. Hourly rates may not be the best or fairest, but they certainly are the easiest to understand.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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