The Intellectual Property Law Server

Welcome, Guest. Please Login or Register.
Feb 2nd, 2023, 9:23am

Forums Forums Help Help Search Search Members Members Calendar Calendar Login Login Register Register
   Intellectual Property Forums
  
  
Becoming a Patent Agent/Lawyer
(Moderators: Forum Admin, JimIvey, JSonnabend)
   Billing Ethics Question
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1 2  Reply Reply Send Topic Send Topic Print Print
   Author  Topic: Billing Ethics Question  (Read 1814 times)
patentsusa
Junior Member
**




   
WWW

Posts: 81
Re: Billing Ethics Question
« Reply #5 on: Apr 17th, 2007, 9:12am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

From the ABA model rules of professional conduct:
 
(a) A lawyer shall not make an agreement for, charge, or collect an unreasonable fee or an unreasonable amount for expenses. The factors to be considered in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:
 
 (1) the time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly;
 
 (2) the likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the lawyer;
 
 (3) the fee customarily charged in the locality for similar legal services;
 
 (4) the amount involved and the results obtained;
 
 (5) the time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances;
 
 (6) the nature and length of the professional relationship with the client;
 
 (7) the experience, reputation, and ability of the lawyer or lawyers performing the services; and
 
 (Cool whether the fee is fixed or contingent.
 
Hmm, I see a lot of possibilities there other than just billing on an hourly basis.  As long as you agree in advance on how you are going to bill, you do not have to strictly bill on an hourly basis.
 
Of course, not each state adopts the model rules verbatim.
IP Logged

Deepak Malhotra, JD, BSEE
Registered Patent Attorney
Malhotra Law Firm
www.patentsusa.com
Ryan Johnson
Guest
Re: Billing Ethics Question
« Reply #6 on: Apr 18th, 2007, 10:05am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify Remove Remove

Thanks for all the comments. I would like to complicate the discussion somewhat, however. I've been told that large corporations that offer capped fee patent work understand that attorneys will likely always bill the cap regardless of the number of hours worked. The corporations are said to be happy with this arrangement since it gives them some kind of predictability in their patent budgets. The claim is that since the corporations know about this billing practice and since the caps are to their advantage it is ok to bill more hours than worked for a particular patent transaction. What do you think of this claim? Do the corporations know about this practice?
IP Logged
patent_type
Junior Member
**




   


Posts: 81
Re: Billing Ethics Question
« Reply #7 on: Apr 21st, 2007, 10:11am »
Quote Quote Modify Modify

See also 37 CFR 10.36, governing the representation of others before the PTO (below).  
 
Fixed fees are perfectly fine for many tasks, which may result in actually *working* more or fewer hours than would would be worked for the same fee if billing per hour.  Clarity with the client is key.
 
Sec.  10.36  Fees for legal services.
 
 (a) A practitioner shall not enter into an agreement for, charge, or collect an illegal or clearly excessive fee.
 
  (b) A fee is clearly excessive when, after a review of the facts, a practitioner of ordinary prudence would be left with a definite and firm conviction that the fee is in excess of a reasonable fee. Factors to be considered as guides in determining the reasonableness of a fee include the following:
 
    (1) The time and labor required, the novelty and difficulty of the questions involved, and the skill requisite to perform the legal service properly.
 
    (2) The likelihood, if apparent to the client, that the acceptance of the particular employment will preclude other employment by the practitioner.
 
    (3) The fee customarily charged for similar legal services.
 
    (4) The amount involved and the results obtained.
 
    (5) The time limitations imposed by the client or by the circumstances.
 
    (6) The nature and length of the professional relationship with the client.
 
    (7) The experience, reputation, and ability of the practitioner or practitioners performing the services.
 
    (Cool Whether the fee is fixed or contingent.
 
 
 
IP Logged
Pages: 1 2  Reply Reply Send Topic Send Topic Print Print

« Previous topic | Next topic »
Powered by YaBB 1 Gold - SP 1.3.2!
Forum software copyright 2000-2004 Yet another Bulletin Board