Saturday, October 20, 2007

Recapturing Time

We just received a comment seeking advice on the proper method for billing for review of 500+ emails in connection with an estate matter. The problem is that the reviews have taken place over a period of time without recording the time as it was expended. I have linked to an advisory opinion of the California Bar that gives some guidance regarding appropriate methods of hourly rate billing (or, at least, explains how arbitrators identify improper methods of bill padding). I would welcome the input of readers in answering the question. My own advice is to devise a fair method of computing the overall time and carefully explaining the calculation method in the final bill. Far better to acknowledge that the calculation is not based on records made at the time than to be accused of misrepresentation in connection with the bill. Note that the question comes from a non-lawyer who clearly wishes to do the right thing. (Mike Frisch)

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