Double billing – A new twist

New York’s Attorney General announced a settlement with two law firms who will pay $500,000, plus, to avoid prosecution.

There is a new twist raised in these cases.  Under the "double billing" phenomenon, a lawyer cannot bill two clients for the same minute of time. When using the hourly billing system, you can bill only one client for each segment of time to be billed.  In other words, when waiting in court for a matter to be called, and billing client A for that time, the lawyer cannot bill client B for that same waiting time though he/she is doing other work for client B pending the call of the court.  Or, while charging client A for travel time, the lawyer cannot charge client B for working on his matter on the plane.

The new twist is that lawyers in two law firms were listed as employees of the New York State’s pension funds. This gave them retirement credits from the funds even though they either did no work at all for the funds or were gainfully employed and paid by the law firms, not the funds. This takes "double billing" to entirely new level!

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