Answer the following questions after reading the article on attorneys' fees. Use the answer form provided to send the test, along with a $20 processing fee, to the State Bar. Please allow at least eight weeks for MCLE certificates to reach you in the mail.
1. Business clients need case budgets to predict their legal expenses.
2. When a budget is established, the lawyer and client should agree on a procedure for handling unforeseen events that require changes in the budget.
3. Clients should participate in developing a comprehensive case plan after the attorney determines what the case requires.
4. Because they rely on their attorneys’ professional judgment, clients should not be bothered with details about the case plan.
5. Clients who contribute to the creation of a case plan are less likely to argue with their lawyers over their legal bills.
6. Billing should be left to legal administrators.
7. Comparing actual time and expenses against the case budget is a measure of how efficiently a case is being managed.
8. Significant problems that arise in a case should not be presented to the client for the first time in the bill.
9. The most important reason to analyze the time spent by attorneys on a case is to justify write-offs of time to your partners.
10. Although clients should be actively involved in the planning stage of a case, they rarely need to be bothered about subsequent changes to the plan.
11. Early, frequent and ongoing attorney-client communication makes clients more willing to pay their attorneys’ bills.
12. The lower the bill, the higher your legal services are valued.
13. Clear, complete and accurate bills can increase clients’ trust in their attorneys.
14. A simple engagement does not require a budget.
15. Good billing practices assure good delivery of legal services.
16. Bills should be sent monthly for large engagement, less frequently for others.
17. Bills can be an effective tool for obtaining new business from existing clients.
18. All of the following are features of task-based billing except:
a. Dictates the tasks attorneys must perform for an engagement.
b. Breaks down legal work into discrete tasks.
c. Facilitates collection of data about the cost of legal services.
d. Constitutes a case planning tool.
19. Which of the following is not included in a comprehensive plan?
a. Scope of engagement.
c. Identification of personnel assigned to case.
d. Prediction of outcome.
20. Case budgets promote quality client service in all of the following ways except:
a. Enhance attorney-client communications.
b. Accelerate case planning.
c. Guarantee a timetable.
d. Increase efficiency.
This activity has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of California in the amount of 1 hour, of which one hour will apply to law practice management.
The State Bar of California certifies that this activity conforms to the standards for approved education activities prescribed by the rules and regulations of the State Bar of California governing minimum continuing legal education.