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Task-based billing taken to task

Once more into the lists I go, to joust with this knight-errant technique (See my posts of April 23, 2006 criticizing UTBMS codes; and May 1, 2006 on their decline in popularity.). The charger I ride now carries five favors (court ladies gave their valiant knights favors – handkerchiefs – to honor and inspire them).

Lawyers in law firms are less than scrupulous about accurately sub-dividing their time into code tasks and activities. Then too the codes are rigid – as are all descriptive taxonomies – and exact a Procrustean toll on the multifarious, emergent services forced into them. As the third favor, lawyers in the department still have to review the bill, even if it is adorned with task codes. Fixed fee arrangements, as the fourth argument goes, reduce the need for task codes on commodity work. And, as the fifth favor, it is not tasks that make a difference in costs and value, but staffing and management.

In this tilt, the UTBMS codes are once again unfavored and unsaddled.