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The tedious procedure of Recovering Paralegal Fees

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Attorneys are not the only legal professionals who should keep accurate time sheets: in most jurisdictions, courts have allowed firms to recover for reasonable use of a paralegal or legal assistant's time as well.
 
The tedious procedure of Recovering Paralegal Fees

''The idea behind the recovery of paralegal fees is to free up the attorney and maintain more reasonable control over costs,'' says Cheryl Leone, former legal business manager and CEO of Catalyst Group, Inc., which provides management and administrative help to law firms and others. ''Clients can benefit from paralegal fees because they help keep the costs of attorneys' fees down.''

Courts have acknowledged that benefit by providing for the recovery of paralegal fees in cases where those fees were deemed reasonable. As for what is considered an acceptable hourly amount, the states have taken their own stances. For example, a Massachusetts decision provided that $60 per hour was ''reasonable'' for paralegal and law clerk fees,¹ and the Louisiana courts have deemed $55 per hour in paralegal fees ''fair and reasonable.''² Some of the factors courts will consider when determining reasonable fees include the professional nature of the tasks performed by the paralegal, the location of the firm, the total time spent on the case by paralegals and legal assistants, and the accuracy of billing records kept by the firm.

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Catalyst Group Inc.

    


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