Attorneys are expensive. When they submit their bill to you, it may be even more expensive than you expected. If a legal bill seems extraordinarily high or you frequently work with lawyers, you may be thinking about hiring a legal fee auditing company to look over the bills for you. An auditing company reviews the bills and ensures they are appropriate and that you are not overcharged. Here are a few of the key elements that legal fee auditors are looking for as they review your legal bills.
One of the things that legal fee auditing companies are looking for when they are reviewing your legal bills is excessive fees. Auditors are familiar with how long it takes attorneys to complete normal tasks. For example, an attorney may have billed you an hour to send off an email, when it should take no more than ten minutes to compose and fire off emails. Or, an attorney may have charged you two hours to fill out a subpoena form, when that may only take 30 minutes. An auditor will look to see if they are charging excessive amounts for the tasks they are completing.
Another thing that a legal fee auditing company will look for as they review your legal bills is duplicate fees. The average person usually doesn't understand legal terms. As such, an attorney may charge you two hours for a court appearance but then charge you an hour for discussions in a judge's chambers. Those discussions take place during the court appearance, so you may be billed twice for the same thing, just under different terms. Therefore, an auditor will look over your bill to check for duplicate fees.
The final thing that a legal fee auditing company will look for is unnecessary fees. For example, if you supplied a lawyer with the accident or police report, they do not need to turn around and obtain that police report and charge you for it. An auditor will look for fees they feel are not based on the circumstances of your case.
Legal fee auditing can only be done to give you an idea as to whether a lawyer is overcharging you and why they feel you are being overcharged. You can then use that information to try to negotiate a lawyer's fees down or even take them to court for overcharging you. However, it is important to note that an auditor can only audit the bills; they can't help you to reduce the bills or obtain money back. That is up to you to do once the audit company provides you with their findings. Contact a legal fee auditing service to learn more.