The Chicago Tribune ran a story Sunday — Lawyer Bills Get Closer Scrutiny — about outside counsel billing and the potential for bill padding and other abuses.  The story quoted a few experts and briefly outlined the billing pressures faced by medium and large law firms, although it would probably be fair to say that firms of all size face pressures to bill.  The article highlighted a recent dispute between partners at a Wisconsin firm over billing practices in a copyright case, recent federal bankruptcy court fee applications, and a Cook County judge who halved plaintiffs’ attorneys fees in a class action against Boeing. 

Not the best press for the profession, but I must say that my experience (as both inside and outside counsel) has been that attorneys generally strive to bill honestly, fairly and conservatively, to avoid questions like those raised in this article and the cases it cites.