When lawyers bill you for what is essentially on-the-job training

When you hire an attorney to represent you in a criminal or civil matter in California, you probably have high hopes that this person will do everything to help you due to the substantial investment typically involved. When lawyers fail to do all that you expect of them, however, it can be difficult to know where to turn. At Lange Law Corporation, we understand the frustration that you feel when your lawyer fails to live up to your expectations, and we have helped many clients after the actions of their attorneys crossed the line of legal malpractice.

According to the American Bar Association, many lawyers struggle with setting rates, and in some cases, this can cause them to “pad the bill” or otherwise charge you for work that may not directly relate to your case. Relative new attorneys, in particular, often struggle with setting rates, and while some are prone to underbilling because they may not recognize their own value, others may overbill due to naivete, or, in some cases, malicious intent.

In law firms that have multiple partners, for example, you may not always know who is performing work on your behalf, and it may take a “green” attorney, say, eight hours to complete something a senior partner could do in two. In one recent instance, a law firm was the subject of a lawsuit because a plaintiff’s legal team argued that the plaintiff was essentially paying for junior law partners in the firm to undergo training.

Determining whether billing issues constitute legal malpractice is not always easy, but the American Bar Association’s Rules of Professional Conduct dictate that lawyers cannot collect fees that are “unreasonable” in nature. You can find more on professional malpractice by exploring our webpage.