Even with a fixed-fee arrangement, the department needs to receive and review bills

A fixed-fee arrangement with a law firm (See my post of April 5, 2006 with definitions of fixed and flat fees.) should reduce bill review precipitously. Nevertheless, the law department should continue to receive bills as it normally does and it should periodically check some of them (See my post of May 1, 2006 that doubts the ability of inside lawyers sometimes to review bills well.).

The department, after all, does not want its law firm to squander the fee and either seek a supplemental appropriation or scale back work and risk legal gaffes. Then too, when the term of the arrangement ends, the law department may want to compete the work again. The next time the department wants good data to inform its effort. A third reason is quality control: are the right outside lawyers doing the right tasks? And one final argument for some review: it is important that inside counsel keep their hand in the game.

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