Forthcoming May 2013 • $30.00 • 216 pp • paper • ISBN: 978-1-61163-126-5 • LCCN 2012015403
The legal profession is in crisis and respect for lawyers seems everywhere in decline. This is largely due to how lawyers bill their clients and lawyers’ denial that improper billing practices are causing the destruction of the profession. Fair Deal for All Clients is dedicated to improving the image of lawyers by educating the public about how lawyers bill clients and by convincing lawyers that their billing practices are harming the profession.
This book gives concrete suggestions on making clients more knowledgeable about billing practices, teaching lawyers to recognize improper billing practices, and having bar associations provide ethical guidelines to ensure that billing statements are honest. Every client and potential client should read this book to learn how to negotiate fair retainer agreements to protect themselves from unreasonable billing. Every lawyer and law student should read this book so that they can contribute to preserving the legal profession through proper hourly billing practices.
“Gerry Phillips has provided the legal profession a comprehensive and much needed ethical perspective for twenty-first century practitioners. The moral obligations of the legal profession are clearly articulated in a forthright manner that will inspire those coming into the profession and reignite a sense of purpose for those who have established themselves as members of the legal community. This is a book that should be on every legal professional’s bookshelf!” — Aine Donovan, Director of the Ethics Institute at Dartmouth College
“Gerald Phillips has done the legal profession a great service by digging deep into that most troubling of day-to-day issues: billing clients. His book [...] is a must read for all who practice law, and especially for those responsible for teaching how to bill, whether in law schools or firms. He teaches how to both protect oneself as well as how to be fair to clients. His many years of experience and intense, long-term interest in this subject has enabled him to collect in one place all you could ever want to know about this troubling and crucially important subject.” — Abraham D. Sofaer, Stanford University (USDJ, SDNY, 1979-85)
“Gerry Phillips aptly discusses the crime of bill padding that runs rampant in our industry. Our future, as 'holders of the public trust' means we need to do something about it...now! ...[This ] book provides us with a fascinating look inside what is happening behind the scenes, and the ugly story that is improper client billing by attorneys. He also gives us a good sit-down, talking-to, about why it has to stop.” — Mary Culbert, Loyola Law School Los Angeles
“...Fair Deal for All Clients: How to Rekindle Pride in the Legal Profession addresses an extremely important issue in the modern practice of law. The billing practices of lawyers have important implications relating to client relationships, integrity of the profession, ethical conduct, and a host of related issues. The many topics covered in this book are good guidelines for lawyers at all stages in their careers and in all kinds of law-related employment situations. I applaud Gerald Phillips for undertaking this timely and very helpful description of the many considerations involved in legal billing practices.” — Deanell Reece Tacha, Duane & Kelly Roberts Dean, Pepperdine University School of Law
“In this important and timely book, Mr. Phillips provides a wealth of highly practical suggestions to help attorneys bill their clients in a fair and ethical manner. The book is much more than a useful roadmap for billing procedures, however, for it explains how unethical billing has eroded respect for the bar and it admonishes attorneys to bill their clients in a manner that will honor the integrity of the legal profession.” — William G. Ross, professor of law at Samford University and author of The Honest Hour: The Ethics of Time-Based Billing by Attorneys.
“Gerry Phillips takes on and exposes the inherent conflicts in much of attorney billing methods. He offers/presents alternatives to financing legal services that better align both client and attorney interests — individual, financial, and moral. An important study for an important profession under scrutiny and stress.” — Maureen Weston, professor of law, Pepperdine School of Law