A view opposed to my own about getting bills in draft from law firms

A month ago I criticized the practice of reviewing draft invoices from law firms (See my post of Oct. 25, 2009: don’t waste time on draft bills.). Sure enough, I then ran across an in-house counsel who favors the practice.

The lawyer is Paul Cushing, litigation and compliance counsel of hospital and health care organization Partners HealthCare System Inc. His views came to my attention when Sheri Qualters, writing for the National Law Journal, on Nov. 24, 2009, noted some comments by panelists at a recent LMA conference in Boston. One was Cushing: “An outside lawyer who sent him a copy of the bill before submitting it internally at the law firm impressed Cushing because it opened up a discussion instead putting the onus on the in-house counsel to question the bill after the fact, he said.”

Discussions are excellent, but you can discuss a final bill without a debilitating onus. Why review twice?

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