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September 10, 2010


Darren Chaker

Although the billing rates appear like a lot to the average person, the client pays for knowledge. In some instances, the one $600 hour could be a bargain if a legal issue at a less expensive firm would require a paralegal ($125-175/hr.) to do some basic research, an associate ($250-$300/hr.) for a draft, and then a partner ($400/hr.) to edit and revise the pleading/memo. Thus, the client pays for knowledge (and status)of the attorney. If a $600 attorney can do the work in a more efficient and succinct manner, due to his/her knowledge, then it may be worth it.

Personally speaking, I was recently represented by Tim Coates of the stellar Los Angeles based appellate firm, Greines Martin Stein & Richland who affirmed much of a SLAPP ruling in my favor. However, for trial counsel, Lathrop & Gage (Los Angeles office) was my pick.

Nonetheless, spending tons in litigation for Fortune 500 companies often yields far more in revenue or prevents large verdicts against the company, dismisses highly costly class action cases, etc. In short, I've always seen it as a cost/benefit analysis.

Darren Chaker

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