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Unusual expenses ineligible to be billed according to outside counsel guidelines

Rooting through a set of guidelines for outside counsel, I chanced upon several expenses of law firms that various legal department pronounced were not to be billed. Those included “extensive microfilming,” “continuing legal education seminars,” and “special publications.”

I did not realize anyone still microfilms. As to the last two, if a law firm hired for its legal expertise submitted expenses for CLE training and treatises, that takes a lot of moxie.

One tough-minded guideline likewise denied bills based on exigent circumstances: “There will be no premium or rate increase charged because of numbers of hours, size of project, urgency, extent of responsibility, difficulty, etc.” Just because a matter was big and hairy, unusual, or under tight deadlines didn’t justify topping off bills. Another niggardly department doesn’t want to be billed for “any periodic report of activities.” When it comes to being billed, status reports are verboten.