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Charging for research

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Charging for research

Postby theycantdothat » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:51 pm

In what circumstances and to what extent should a lawyer charge a client for the time he spends in researching the law?
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Re: Charging for research

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:55 pm

After he has told the client that he needs to and they have agreed to it.
Some lawyers may have this as standard in their client agreement...
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Re: Charging for research

Postby miner » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:24 pm

theycantdothat wrote:In what circumstances and to what extent should a lawyer charge a client for the time he spends in researching the law?


As much as he/she can get away with, I suppose.

Oh, I forgot, .... doesn't someone go to a lawyer because they're supposed to KNOW the law?
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Re: Charging for research

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Apr 14, 2015 11:07 pm

miner wrote:Oh, I forgot, .... doesn't someone go to a lawyer because they're supposed to KNOW the law?

Someone usually goes to a lawyer because they expect the lawyer to know more law than they do, and to know where to look for the rest. There is too much of it to reasonably expect anyone to know all of it.
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Re: Charging for research

Postby dls » Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:42 am

HL is exactly correct.

Successful lawyering is often a creative process - applying the law in a new way. That does not happen by only applying bog-standard one-size fits all answers.
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Re: Charging for research

Postby iwanttoaskaquestion » Fri Jul 10, 2015 11:44 am

Just on this same topic. What if the solicitor was to go a wrong route and apply fpr something that was not possible to get and this was realised too late and left the litigant with some Court fees to pay. Should the solicitor charge for his time even though he perhaps should have known it was wrong procedure ? ?
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Re: Charging for research

Postby atticus » Fri Jul 10, 2015 12:13 pm

The answer will depend on the fuller circumstances. These may include the instructions given by the client.

Contrast two scenarios:

Scenario 1

Client says "do X". Solicitor says "that won't work". Client says "Do X anyway".

Scenario 2

Solicitors says "what you need to do is X". Client: "OK".

These are both simplistic. There may be a lot more to each.
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Re: Charging for research

Postby dls » Fri Jul 10, 2015 1:36 pm

Again, litigation is about always pushing the boundaries. Judging just when it is a push too far is more clear after the event than it was before.
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Re: Charging for research

Postby Slartibartfast » Fri Jul 10, 2015 7:51 pm

iwanttoaskaquestion wrote:Just on this same topic. What if the solicitor was to go a wrong route and apply fpr something that was not possible to get and this was realised too late and left the litigant with some Court fees to pay. Should the solicitor charge for his time even though he perhaps should have known it was wrong procedure ? ?


I suppose this is the same as if a mechanic thinks your camshaft is defective, but upon dismantling the problem turns out to the something else. If he was carrying out his work with reasonable professional diligence then I think he should be paid, if it was obviously a poor diagnosis then probably not.

The difficulty is who decides. The contract will generally require payment, if the customer refuses then it will have to be settled by a court - perhaps with expert witnesses.
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