What are the Common Ways Lawyers RIP Off?
Everyone in this world wants to make money, many want to make it easily and others want to work hard for it. In law, the same goes for lawyers.
In as much as they want to win the case for you, they also want to make money from it so that they will be able to take care of responsibilities that life brings for them.
In other words, you might find yourself in a situation whereby a lawyer wants to charge you a whole lot of money for the case you brought for him or her.
Once they see your financial background, that you are capable of paying such amount of money, they will surely place a price tag on the case that is quite high compared to the standard fee for legal services.
This is why it is always advisable that you do not allow our lawyer to know your financial capability before you get to know the person very well.
During this article, I will be revealing to you the various ways by which lawyers can overcharge their clients and make them pay what they are not meant to.
Many of you might have been in this situation before and many might have not experienced it.
For those of you who haven’t experienced it, this will serve as useful information for you to use for future purposes.
The below are ways by which lawyers overcharge their clients;
Here are the 10 Common Ways Lawyers RIP off and Overcharge Clients:
- Padding their hours: Lawyers can try to increase their pay by lagging their hours of work. They send forty-five minutes working, possibly they’ll call it an hour. Sometimes, if they work two hours, they will extend the number to three hours. In one dishonorable case of paddling hours, a lawyer in West Virginia attempted to bill 26 hours in a 24 hours days. Padding hours is a form of fraud and it can cause serious penalties. Paddling hours is a basic building block of consulting billing excess.
- Inefficiency or negligence: Similarly, lawyers should be able to give deliver essential guidance for their clients- particularly considering their high fees. Some lawyers accept high payment but do ineffective, sloppy works in return. Other lawyers may be completely neglectful. Some attorneys charged an upfront fee only to disappear without doing any work at all for the clients. There has been a growing problem in the past year in which the high number of foreclosures case, which often involves initial payments, also the pay on an upfront fee do risk the lawyer not doing much or any work.
- Charging for overhead expenses: Most clients have been shocked to learn that their bills include charges for their lawyers’ overhead expenses. A client was charged for his lawyers’ air conditioning and taxi rides. The attorney should charge you a fair rate for the work that they do and not for their overhead costs.
- Expense account reimbursements: Expense information is always a great overture to practice greed. Expense accounts are fairly common in the world of business. In some cases the attorney has to travel somewhere and stay in a hotel, they may charge it on their expense account, it becomes unfair if an attorney charges for expenses that they did not incur. Other attorneys might overcharge for certain expenses – for example, flying coach but charging for first-class seats.
- Working in their sleep: Lawyers have very tough schedules– but how about lawyers who claim to never sleep? In the past, some devious attorneys have charged clients for apparently impossible hours. How impossible? Try 15 hours a day, every day, for a year. One lawyer even charged his client for a supposed 52 consecutive all-nighters. Lawyers have very tough schedules—and they claim to never sleep. In the past, some devious attorneys have charged clients for apparently impossible hours. How impossible? Try 15 hours a day, every day, for a year. For instance, a lawyer even charged his clients for a supposed 52 consecutive all-nighter
- Double-billing clients: Double billing is the action whereby there is a charge in an hourly fee to two or more parties for the same hour of work. When a lawyer double-bill that means that they charge the same hours of work to two or more clients. This action is not only unethical but it is illegal. Double-billing is widely condemned the majority of lawyers and also American lawyers admitted to rarely double-billing clients in a 2007 survey from Samford University’s Cumberland law school. According to the study, the percentage of attorneys who believed that the practice was unethical fell from 64.7 percent in 1995-96 to only 51.8 percent in 2006-07, even though this practice was condemned by the American Bar Association and most legal commentators
- Charging ridiculous rates: Yes, lawyers tend to be luxurious, their rates should be appropriate with their experience and the services they render. Lawyers who charge in the high three figures or even four figures per hour are most certainly overcharging you and they are almost certainly not worth the money
- Overcharging for certain tasks: Yes, of course, you can expect to pay reasonable fees for a skilled attorney’s counsel, but how about for secretarial work? Or Custodial work?. Another way that your attorney may be ripping you of is by charging excessive rates for menial tasks.
- Block Billing: Block billing is a situation when an attorney delivers an inadequate description of the work performed.
- Change in Personnel: It is not right that a client will be charged for the addition of a new member to the staff of the law firm, handling this case. Any costs that come up due to the addition of new staff should not be charged to the client but overhead.
Yes, there you have it, the various ways by which lawyers can be very smart and want to take advantage of you by extorting more money than required from you.
You should look at all these points when you want to begin negotiations and even after you hire the lawyer to avoid losing a lot of money which is not certain you will gain at the end of the case.