A book of myths that endanger external counsel, and three that in-house counsel would endorse

A slim book sent me for review from Abacus Law humorously describes 35 dangerous myths lawyers in private practice might succumb to. Three of them, at least, pertain to services provide to legal departments. I have refashioned summaries of them below to clarify their importance to in-house attorneys, but essentially I draw from Judd Kessler, Gunter Enz, Michael Quade, Lawrence Kohn, Albert Barsocchnini, Thomas Hauck, and Brian Whitaker, Dangerous Law Practice Myths, Lies and Stupidity (Fortune House Publishers 2009).

Myth 5 emphasizes how much legal department managers of outside counsel want to be told “any time something happens on their matter, and attach every document that goes into their files” (See my post of Jan. 21, 2009: “we hate surprises”.).

Myth 8 points out that in-house lawyers do not like the meter ticking every moment outside counsel works for them: “Meters are good for taxicabs, but there are better alternatives for a law practice” (See my post of May 6, 2009: hourly billing discourages clients from calling.).

Myth 9: is the low fee myth. The way the book summarizes this point is memorable: “Big checks fix big problems” (See my post of May 3, 2009: billing rates other than increases and fees, with 32 references and 8 metaposts.).

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