In our last post, we examined a few of the common ways that lawyers overcharge their clients. Sadly, there are so many ways that attorneys have tried to financially exploit their clients that we had to create a second blog post to cover them all. This post will conclude our examination of the most common methods that lawyers may use to overcharge the people who trust them.
5. Expense account reimbursements
Expense accounts are fairly common in the world of business. If an attorney has to travel somewhere and stay in a hotel, they may charge it to an expense account. But this becomes exploitative if an attorney charges for expenses that they did not actually incur. Other attorneys may overcharge for certain expenses and pocket the difference—for example, flying coach but charging for first-class seats.
6. Charging ridiculous rates
Yes, lawyers tend to be expensive. But their rates should be commensurate with their experience and the services they provide. Attorneys who charge in the high three figures—or even four figures—per hour are almost certainly overcharging you, and they are almost certainly not worth the money.
7. Inefficiency or negligence
In a similar vein, lawyers should be able to provide effective counsel for their clients-- especially considering their high fees. Some lawyers accept high payments but do ineffective, shoddy work in return. Other lawyers may be completely negligent. Some clients have experienced rotten attorneys who charge an upfront fee only to disappear without doing any work at all.
8. Working in their sleep
Lawyers have notoriously grueling schedules-- but how about lawyers who claim to never sleep? In the past, some unscrupulous attorneys have charged clients for seemingly 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.
Recourse for clients
It is unfortunate that some attorneys try to get away with professional malpractice. Clients who have been bilked by their lawyers do have legal options, though. A reputable and trustworthy lawyer who specializes in professional malpractice law may be able to offer justice and compensation to victims of dishonest attorneys.