Forbes quotes Ted Frank on the ethical issues behind the practice of plaintiffs' lawyers in class action suits charging large fees and billing hours that harm class members.
Ethics rules in most states prohibit lawyers from charging excessive markups for legal services, and they are not allowed to mark up costs at all. Critics including Ted Frank of the Center for Class Action Fairness say contract attorneys should be treated like any other expense, including paralegals and secretarial services, and passed through at cost to the shareholders who are actually paying the fees. A key distinction is whether the outside lawyers work in a firm’s offices, running up overhead, or work at the contract agency’s offices where overhead costs are folded into their hourly rate.
Read the full article at Forbes.