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Robert D. Lang and Lenore E. BenessereRobert D. Lang and Lenore E. Benessere (Courtesy photo)

The “billable hour,” often questioned by both attorneys and clients, but for different reasons, has long been the most accepted way for attorneys to charge their clients for legal services, especially civil defense attorneys. This fee-for-service model is simple and familiar. Clients in need of legal services retain law firms, who work on the clients’ cases and then bill them for the amount of time it took to complete various tasks. Attorneys and staff members are billed at different hourly rates, depending on their experience. Clients pay the law firms for the time spent litigating their case. Simple and straightforward, the billable hour model may always be the “norm” for service-based industries, such as attorneys, architects and accountants.

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