Thursday, August 31, 2006

Widespread Billing Fraud at the Nations Largest Firms! A Call To Action in a Crisis of Conscience

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that a partner at one of the nations largest firms, Holland & Knight, blew the whistle on its firm for billing fraud that potentially resulted in $100,00 in bills for time that was never put in! This is the first time that a lawyer has had the courage to speak up about what has been described as the "perfect crime" in law firms that bill by the hour. What's worse, having interviewed hundreds of attorneys, partners and associates alike, from some of the largerst firms in this nation I can tell you that many of them have readily admitted that billing fraud, bill padding, and "creative" billing practies are a part of daily business at their firms. It begs the question: How can you ever trust your law firm that bills you by the hour when they make more money by billing you for time and the client has no real way to ensure that the time was put in? This is precisely why we started Exemplar Law Partners and have abandoned the billable hour in favor of a fixed-price model. No surprises, no hidden charges, no FRAUD!

It is time for a call to action for attorneys and clients alike. I always go back to Malcolm X's saying: "If you are not a part of the solution, then you are part of the problem." To deny that billing fraud is a widespread practice is to have your head in the sand. To admit it and not speak up and DEMAND investigation and an end to the practices that ruin an honorable profession is to be no better than the firms and attorneys who commited the fraud on the clients they claim to serve. Will the true leaders in this industry please STAND UP? I welcome the leaders and change agents in this industry to stand with me in making positive change in the legal profession. The fact is that "You've got to stand for something, or you'll fall for anything." At Exemplar Law Partners, we stand for making a difference in our profession. For those attorneys out there with the courage to be a part of the solution, I welcome you to email me about opportunities to join a revolution that promises to bring consumers of legal services the integrity and service they deserve out of their law firm!! No Hourly Bull! - I promise to repond.

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