can a lawyer charge you for the time it takes to make out your bill or for discussing it with you?
This question is subjective in the State of Maine. Under the Cannon Code Of Ethics, Rules Of Professional Conduct, this question is not answered at this time. However, I will say that in my opinion, the service you hired the lawyer to carry out, most likley had nothing to do with their ability to print out your bill.
Secondly, you should not be charged for feeling a need to discuss it with the lawyer as well. I dont think a 5 min phone call to your lawyer's office, a letter or an e mail sent, as a result of the client having concerns and questions regarding their bill, should warrent more fees and charges over the bill in the first place!
No one else in business can get away with that, so, a lawyer shouldn't either!
That would be like me going to a car salesman and buying a car at a (buy here pay here car sales business)
then after I signed the contract and bought the car, I received a bill which raised some questions.
So I called the car dealer about the bill, and the dealer then billed me for asking questions over the bill.
Even knowing I may have taken up some of the dealer's time by asking questions about my bill, the fact is, the dealer legally has no right to bill me a fee for having questions regarding the bill!
A lawyer in private practice gets away with much too much...balance is the key! I hope this put some light on this subject.
Contact the State Bar Assc. in your area and ask for a copy of the Professional Rules Of Conduct, Cannon Code Of Ethics Code book. If that doesn't help send a letter to your State Congress person and let them know your thoughts on this interesting question.
I will say that fees in excess, when proven, are against the law.
Thank you and I hope this helped!
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