Extract from Jessica Nichols’s article “The Business of eLaw: How to Recover Costs and Get the Most Out of Your Technology”
Learn how to manage ediscovery expenses and get the most out of your investment in legal technology in Part 2 of our series on Comprehensive Ediscovery Case Management.
Recovering discovery-related costs from clients can be a challenging feat for many law firms. There are several schools of thought on how attorneys should deal with costs that are incurred while working on a client’s behalf, which we covered in our webcast on Comprehensive Ediscovery Case Management. Here are some highlights from the webcast that hone in on the business end of ediscovery.
It only makes sense for attorneys to have some confusion about how to bill their clients for necessary software, time, and resources while remaining within their ethical guidelines. When the Nextpoint team visits law firms to discuss the pricing model on ediscovery software, our representatives usually hear one of two things:
1. Can I pass these subscription costs onto my client while meeting ethical standards?
2. How can I recover these software costs since they aren’t specific to any one client?
Ethical Guidelines for Ediscovery
To help answer these questions, we conducted a high level survey of the relevant ABA rules and formal opinions regarding ediscovery costs.
The ABA model rules of professional conduct serve as the “true north” guide to the ethical rules of most jurisdictions, whereas the formal opinions serve to dissect those rules in specific circumstances. These rules aren’t binding in any court, but they do provide an excellent guideline for attorneys concerned with billing for expenses incurred on a client’s behalf.