How Does Billing Work at Brotman Law?

So one of my biggest pet peeves about attorneys and one of my biggest client complaints about other attorneys is the fact that they bring on this attorney to handle this matter and then they put a retainer down and then it just feels like they're throwing money at the problem. They never get a real sense for why they're being billed, how they're being billed, what the strategy is and it just seems like a black hole. It drives me nuts because you know I'm a lawyer by trade but I'm also a business owner. I rent a small business, I sympathize with my business clients and I feel a lot of empathy towards them because I go through a lot of the same challenges they do and the last thing I want is to bring on a matter where it's just like this bottomless money pit. So the way that we handle billing is we work to develop a strategy at the beginning of the case. The first way that you solve problems is figuring out what the problem is. So once we figure out what the problem is, then we can identify the steps that will solve that problem. So in working out those steps we can help our clients from a billing perspective and we can help ourselves from a billing perspective and here's how we do that. When we get ready to take an action, we will call our client and will say "hey client, we are going to take this action. Here's why this action is a good action. Here's potentially other actions that we could take. Here's why we're not going to take those actions and then here's how much time we think this action is going to take and how much it's going to cost." So as we're going through the matter process, we're in constant communication about the work that we're doing and about the estimated cost. Now I'm not a crystal ball around here and I don't have any magic beans to make people's legal costs go away, but we're good at what we do and I can reasonably estimate during the course of a matter how things are going to go. So we try and keep our clients in lockstep not only with the work that we're doing, but the billing that's being accumulated in the process. Whenever a client comes to me and says I don't understand my bill or I don't understand how much this matter is going to cost, I take that personally because I like clients to understand the cost structure. That matters because it's better for them and it creates less problems for us as a firm so we send out bills twice a month and you know you always get a copy of the bill. They're delivered electronically and so we really actively work to keep our clients in the loop and not in the dark with respect to any billing issues.


Sam Brotman, JD, LLM, MBA

Owner and Director of Legal
Brotman Law