Pushing risk across the table

We came across this excellent post by Patrick J. Lamb at In Search of Perfect Client Service awhile ago, and recently passed it on to colleagues whose outside counsel are doing the “alternative fee shuffle”.  We’re all kidding ourselves when we define “alternative fees” as “anything that’s not straight hourly rates.”  As Patrick says: Continue reading

Your R&D is not my capital investment … it’s yours.

So last weekend, on a quiet nondescript morning, coffee freshly poured I thought, “No finer time than right now to review some law firm invoices.”  Ok, I didn’t really think that, but since this past week was going to be highly unproductive (it didn’t disappoint) it was time to get the mundane out of the way.

I pulled the first one off the stack.  The General Matters invoice.  There was only one entry:

“Review recent court decisions concerning intellectual property rights.  0.6 hrs.”

The expense statement was even better.

“LEXIS/NEXIS case searches for recent court decisions concerning intellectual property rights . . . . . $467.00”

Now all this would be perfectly acceptable if we had actually engaged the firm to do some research.  But we hadn’t.  Hmmm… this was probably just another time entry foul-up (expense charge too — same day, probably automated).  No big deal.  We’ll just call and have it fixed. Continue reading

Serving lawsuits

Attention plaintiffs’ bar:

If you’re suing a corporation, a limited liability company or a limited partnership, please go to the secretary of state’s office website for that jurisdiction, look up the exact spelling of the entity and its registered agent’s name and address.

Draft and serve your summons & complaint accordingly.

Time spent: 5 minutes. Time saved fighting over proper service of process: priceless. For both sides.