When you hire a Colorado attorney one of the questions you might have is about how your attorney is billing you and where your money is going. A Colorado lawyer has to follow specific rules about how they bill their clients and it is important to understand when and why your attorney will be billing you.
If an attorney is billing hourly, that attorney will bill the client for their time whenever they are working on that client’s case.
When attorneys still used paper files, the standard practice was that if an attorney picked up a client file, the attorney would be billing the client. When the attorney stopped working on the case and put the file away, they would stop billing.
Now that attorneys use digital file storage, the process is a little less straightforward, but the same principles apply.
If an attorney is working on your case, they are billing you. While we may not have file rooms and file clerks anymore, attorneys can easily track the time they spend on each matter they are working on and will bill each client individually for the time they spend.
Even if it is as simple as sending an email or calling you to update you on your case, if the attorney is working on the case, they are keeping track of their time.
As you can imagine, an attorney’s time can add up fast making it expensive to work on a case. In order to keep expenses lower, attorneys may use clerks, interns, or paralegals to do some of the work that the client needs. In matters where the attorney needs to do lots of research, a law clerk’s or intern’s time is less expensive and more efficient than having the attorney do the research themselves.
A paralegal might help the attorney communicate with the court or file documents. These are just a few examples of times when an attorney’s staff can make it more affordable to work on a case.
Most importantly, attorneys have very strict rules they follow about billing a client for their time. Those rules say that all attorneys need to keep accurate records of their time. If you ever want to understand your bill better, contact your Colorado law firm and they can go through it with you.