Kansas Attorneys – The Importance of Timekeeping

Many Kansas attorneys work in firms that bill clients at an hourly rate.  This type of billing system makes it very easy for firms to keep accurate time – as timekeeping is essential to correctly billing clients.  However, a large number of Kansas attorneys work in firms that bill clients on a contingency fee basis, or another billing system that doesn’t necessarily require strict timekeeping.  Some law firms believe timekeeping is not necessary at all unless you are billing clients at an hourly rate.  While there is no requirement that all law firms, regardless of their billing practices, must keep time on all work that is completed for each client, adequate timekeeping is something that all law firms should consider.

Problems That May Result From Inadequate Timekeeping

If you or your law firm has either an inadequate timekeeping system, or no timekeeping system at all, you could face problems later on when clients question how much work has been done on their case.  Such problems include, but may not be limited to, the following:

  • Client challenges to billing practices and the adequacy of attorneys’ fees that are assessed on a particular client’s case;
  • Inadequate, or complete lack of proof that certain work was completed on a particular client’s case; and
  • Complaints that another attorney could have provided the same or similar legal services at a lower fee percentage.

Many attorneys believe that these problems are not typically experienced by firms that have a contingency fee billing system.  However, if a client questions the adequacy of the percentage of attorneys’ fees that are assessed as to his or her legal representation, that client should be able to view documentation that certain work was completed on this individual client’s case.  Even if a client has signed a contract agreeing to a particular contingency fee to be obtained by the attorney, that client still may question the validity of the percentage, especially if there is evidence that very little work was done on this client’s case.  While this does not happen very often, all Kansas attorneys must be prepared for anything, even in cases where clients are simply wrong.

Attorneys are not likely to be subject to disciplinary action or the potential loss of their Kansas law license for inadequate timekeeping.  However, if a client does file a complaint with the Kansas Office of Disciplinary Administrator, having documentation of the time, cost, and quantity of services dedicated to this particular client will make the disciplinary process go much smoother.

It is very important to understand that most attorneys will not be subject to discipline or lose their Kansas law license simply due to a client complaint regarding inadequate timekeeping and/or the validity of a contingency fee agreement.  But, as a Kansas attorney, you must expect and be prepared for a client to make allegations that are unfounded, and that you can quickly dismiss by proving the amount of time, effort, and money you spent on this particular client’s case.  Whatever steps you can take now regarding the implementation of an adequate timekeeping system, the better off you will be in the event you face complaints by a client that may involve disciplinary proceedings.

Contact Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office Today to Schedule Your Free Consultation

If you are a Kansas attorney, and your license is at risk or you may be facing other disciplinary action, it is important to consult with a skilled Kansas Professional License Defense Attorney who will ensure your rights and interests are being protected to the fullest extent possible.  Being accused of professional misconduct or any other conduct that may result in the loss of your law license certainly creates an emotional and stressful environment.  Danielle Sanger of the Sanger Law Office is a former Assistant Attorney General of Kansas with the experience and dedication you need in a professional license defense attorney.  Danielle Sanger’s prior experience helps her provide her clients with outstanding legal representation, and she understands just how important it is for you to keep your law license.  If you would like to discuss your case with Danielle Sanger, contact the Sanger Law Office today by calling (785) 979-4353 to schedule your free consultation.