January 31, 2005
Recovering Online Legal Research Costs
The ResourceShelf reports:
Thomson Legal & Regulatory has published a white paper on Cost Recovery for Online Legal Research (PDF; 15 pages). The paper applies primarily to large and medium size firms.
Here's the conclusion:
"As law firms work through the complex issues involved in the cost recovery for online research, it is recommended that they segregate the analysis into its component elements. In analyzing these issues, most firms will seek to be paid a reasonable fee for valuable services provided to their clients, such as modern forms of online research. As discussed in this paper, firms should seek to recover online expense through the direct disbursement method by charging each client for the cost of research conducted in their behalf. As stated in Opinion 93-379, a lawyer “may recoup expenses reasonably incurred in connection with the client’s matter” where the expense can be equitably allocated based on usage, such as “photocopying, long distance telephone calls, [and] computer research.” The direct disbursement approach is more equitable to the firm’s clients, but may require the law firm to undertake additional expense to administer the necessary client tracking procedures. As noted above, firms may wish to add a reasonable administrative charge, and they may seek to reduce such tracking costs through the implementation of automated cost recovery systems."
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Tracked on Feb 1, 2005 7:27:31 AM