June 07, 2010
Fellow Alpha know-it-alls: Get Lamb's book on Value Pricing.
And read it. "Alternative Fee Arrangements: Value Fees and the Changing Legal Market". See here and here. At this blog we still embrace the billable hour as the main event--but we do abhor "contempt prior to investigation". And we have been wrong about many things. So buy Pat's book especially if, like us, you are skeptical or largely ignorant about how it all works.
Posted by JD Hull at June 7, 2010 11:57 PM
markets determine how legal services are priced, not the desires of sellers.
hourly billing is the general norm because it is the least expensive over time to large buyers of legal services.
Drucker explains this very well, but Lamb's followers will even dispute Drucker.
value pricing is like intelligent design. there is no "there, there." If one thinks otherwise, ask, why would a client pay more for legal services for which one is charged a "value price" than it would pay for time based billing?
Lamb offers a false safe harbor from the vicious competition in the market for legal services and people are drawn to his book because they are "rent seeking," as that phrase is used by economists, but World v BP cannot be defended using value pricing.
Posted by: John Davidson at June 8, 2010 11:36 AM
RE: "markets determine how legal services are priced, not the desires of sellers"
John--We finally agree generally on something. But Lamb knows what he's doing. Frankly, I am curious about alternative pricing (I like the idea of a "menu" and choices) and so is my better Julie McGuire. I do think lawyers can lead. The questions: on what and when?
Posted by: Dan Hull at June 8, 2010 11:11 PM
One of the great things about the practice of law is that it gives most any lawyer the opportunity to brush up against more than one or two good minds.
I had a bank fraud case in the 1990s and the defendant knew Herb Cohen and made the introduction and we worked together for about 6 months. What a great opportunity.
I keep and listen to his tapes even now.
A great discussion Herb has is about the success of Chinese restaurants based on a menu that offers choices and options---one from column 1 , 3 from column 2, etc. Look for his tapes--they will give you lots of ideas about the importance, psychologically of giving the client choices.
I see the back side of a lack of choice every day--several friends ride the CJA panel in the district court. The clients have no choices, for starters, thanks to the sentencing guidelines and they have to take the lawyer appointed by the Court, making a bad situations worse.
Thus, I am forced to say that the end of the world may be near, for we have now agreed twice in a row. I constantly look for choices and options on billing, but I confess without as much success as I would like to have.
Posted by: John Davidson at June 9, 2010 05:24 PM
Don't you understand that this is high time to receive the mortgage loans, which would realize your dreams.
Posted by: Rose Higgins at September 13, 2010 09:14 PM
Whatever. What are you doing later on? Like tonight? You send a picture first? If you get my drift.
Posted by: Holden Oliver at September 14, 2010 01:11 AM