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Here’s The Scoop…Words From The Past….Familiar Lawyers…Familiar Politics…Familiar Practices?…

OH THOSE LAWYERS…AND THEIR BILLABLE HOURS…

http://www.afn.org/~afn54735/legalday1.html

  1. ‘THERE ARE CRITICS:
  2. Lawyers who work for local government grumble about petty politics and boring meetings. But the pay is decent and they never get stiffed.
  3. They’ve rarely had to vie for local government business the same way as other professionals. Some critics say it’s because many of the public officials who make the laws — and write government charters — are lawyers. Others say local politicians are too deferential to the legal establishment, evidenced by the careless way many cities and county agencies review and pay lawyers’ bills. The state’s top legal official warns that local governments are failing taxpayers if they are not poring over legal bills. Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth said it’s the only way governments can get a sense of the quality of the work and can catch costly billing errors.
  4. But even when agencies such as the North Broward Hospital District carefully check lawyers’ bills, mistakes slip through. The district paid the firm Conrad, Scherer & Jenne $2,500 when it was accidentally billed for 20 hours to review a letter in October 1996, records show.
  5. “We’re going to make mistakes,” said Ken Jenne, a partner in the firm. “It’s mortifying when you find it. It’s just the way it is.” This type of billing blunder, uncovered by Sun-Sentinel reporters, appears to be rare. It can occur in the private and public sectors, but when it happens in government, taxpayers — not shareholders — foot the bill.———-
  6. DETAILS MISSING
  1. ‘Sea Ranch Lakes and Lauderdale-by-the-Sea, for example, use Josias, Goren, Cherof, Doody & Ezrol as their town attorneys. They paid the firm $80,264 last year. Neither town receives invoices with billable time or a breakout of which lawyers did what — just brief summaries of work performed. Bills are reviewed by the town attorneys, then by town officials. “I look at them pretty carefully,” said Lauderdale-by-the-Sea Town Manager Bob Baldwin. “It wouldn’t matter if they put their hours on the bill or not.” In Oakland Park, Donald J. Doody, a Josias, Goren partner who served as city attorney until April, billed the same way.’…..

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