Ask lawyers who represent indigent defendants through the courts’ CriminalJustice Act program, and they’ll tell you: Almost everybody fudges when itcomes to billing the government.

Some fudging is intentional, for example when court-appointed lawyers fearthat a judge will slice their fee request and try to compensate by addinghours to their bill. Other times, it’s inadvertent�like when attorneys tryto recall after the fact how many hours they spent talking with clients andprosecutors, or the exact date they reviewed a motion.

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