|Will these brand-new lawyers also resort to inflating their bills ?
Whilst we have been covering the actions of Barbados attorneys in criminal land fraud, and estate actions adverse to the very clients they are supposed to be representing, we feel that there is another category of attorney misconduct that should be publicly identified, as it also seriously damages their clients through clearly excessive fees. The subject we are discussing is the padding of bills or statements, which the clients are, of course, expected to pay in full.
Some of the tactics clients have openly complained of include:
(1) Regular review of their notes in a client's file. at full hourly rates.
(2) Calling the client on the telephone, ostensibly about his or her case, but instead making social small talk, and thereafter billing the client for the call.
(3) Literally opening and closing the fee each month, and rendering a bill for the same.
(4) Sending secretarial or support staff to court, and billing the trip as lawyer time.
(5) Alleging that a case is complex, requiring that more files be opened, with a corresponding charge.
(6) Sending out useless correspondence, which neither advances nor settles the case, at full hourly rates.
What these unethical lawyers are doing is simply padding the bills they send to their clients, acting in bad faith to the individual that they owe honesty, and zealous legal representation, to. They therefore have failed to render legal services in good faith and with integrity. This is what happens when there are far too many attorneys in a small country, with only a nominal amount of legal business available. All these lawyers compete for the same clients, and those that lose inflate the bills of those they have. No wonder Bajans regard attorneys with utter distrust and loathing.