Ethical to bill time waiting for someone to get comments?

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Anonymous User
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Ethical to bill time waiting for someone to get comments?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:53 pm

Is it ethical for me to bill hours while I'm stuck in the office waiting for comments? For example, I turn a doc in at 7, and the partner doesn't send back til 10. Can I bill those three hours.

Anonymous User
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Re: Ethical to bill time waiting for someone to get comments?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:55 pm

To add, I have nothing else that I can work on.

Anonymous User
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Re: Ethical to bill time waiting for someone to get comments?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:56 pm

Only if it's the client's fault. If you're waiting on your own partner, absolutely not.

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BarbellDreams
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Re: Ethical to bill time waiting for someone to get comments?

Postby BarbellDreams » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:58 pm

Are you serious? No, the answer is no.

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A. Nony Mouse
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Re: Ethical to bill time waiting for someone to get comments?

Postby A. Nony Mouse » Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:58 pm

It's not the client's fault you don't have anything to do, it's your partner's. I don't get how you can bill for the time if you're not actually working.

(Of course, I have no idea how your firm actually handles this, but my take is no, not ethical.)

(Scooped.)

Anonymous User
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Re: Ethical to bill time waiting for someone to get comments?

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:08 pm

The best thing to do would be to ask someone above you that you trust. Unfortunately, I have found that it is difficult to get an answer on these types of questions from more senior attorneys. I get the sense that many have developed their own system that they feel comfortable using for themselves, but are not necessarily confident that it is the "right" way.

For me, the test is whether I could honestly tell a client what I was doing and expect to be paid for it. That varies from client to client and from situation to situation, so in the end the answer is probably to use your best judgment, be honest and let the billing partner decide whether to write the time off or not.

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seespotrun
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Re: Ethical to bill time waiting for someone to get comments?

Postby seespotrun » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:09 pm

I would love to see your time sheet. "Waiting for comments. 3.0 hours. $1,200.00"

fanlinxun
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Re: Ethical to bill time waiting for someone to get comments?

Postby fanlinxun » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:12 pm

seespotrun wrote:I would love to see your time sheet. "Waiting for comments. 3.0 hours. $1,200.00"


If OP thinks that the time should be billed that is exactly what he/she should write. That way the partner reviewing time entries could make the final decision and OP has been completely honest.

NYstate
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Re: Ethical to bill time waiting for someone to get comments?

Postby NYstate » Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:51 pm

Anonymous User wrote:Is it ethical for me to bill hours while I'm stuck in the office waiting for comments? For example, I turn a doc in at 7, and the partner doesn't send back til 10. Can I bill those three hours.


No. Find something else to do. I have never had a time when I had nothing to do. Work on something else or find pro bono. Or run out to the gym or do some errands. Ask is there is something else you can do. The partners will be pissed at paying you to sit around for three hours if they find out you are doing this, much less the client.

legends159
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Re: Ethical to bill time waiting for someone to get comments?

Postby legends159 » Wed Feb 05, 2014 10:48 pm

go home? i mean unless it needs to be done tonight in person or if the partner is a jerk and will chew you out for leaving, i don't see why you need to hang around for 3 hours to wait for comments. i routinely drop stuff off and then leave expecting the senior/partner won't look at it until the morning or very late in the day.

if you need to stay because it needs to be done tonight then yes bill it. it needs to be done tonight and that's why you're staying at the office. it's late and you're miserable b/c you can't do normal people stuff and it's for the benefit of the client - why isn't that considered "work"? if it's b/c the partner is a jerk...well i wouldn't bill it b/c it's probably not ethical (who knows with billing...it's not a fine line unless you're lying) but the partner is a jerk so s/he will probably make a stink about it or give you more work to keep you at full capacity.




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