This is a reprint from the September 3, 2014 Mongoose newsletter. Alicia Franklin billed the county for one hour of work on May 6, 2014 in Cause No. 2014-02035J for “prepare letter to client, prepare to mail and post office run.” In Cause No. 2008-02442J, Franklin billed a quarter of an hour twice for “post office run” on April 10 and May 19, 2014. Attorneys simply do not bill their clients for running to the post office and Harris County tax payers should not be charged for such work either.
On May 1, 2014, Franklin billed the county in Cause No. 2013-41503 a quarter of an hour to e-file a document. She did the same thing on May 7, 2014 in Cause No. 2013-39931 when she charged a quarter of an hour for “e-filed affidavit.” Again, this is something clerical staff do in most law offices and I have never heard of lawyers billing clients for that sort of work.
Franklin also billed the county frequently for merely printing documents, something attorneys or their clerical staff do simply by pushing a button. I have never heard of attorneys charging clients to print documents. In Cause No. 2011-04867-J, on May 5, 2014, for example, Franklin billed the county for 15 minutes (0.25 hours) to print a CPS report on what must be a really slow printer and then Franklin, on the same day, billed the county one hour to review the same report. It would be a very rare CPS report that was more than 6 – 8 pages long and an average reader can read such reports in ten minutes or less. Attorneys should not bill the county to just print documents.
Click here to see these examples of Franklin billing for non-lawyer work.
Tax payers should not pay attorneys to print documents, e-file pleadings, lick envelopes or drive to the post office to put envelopes in the mail box. These amazing time entries are proof that the CPS lawyers submitting invoices have no shame and no fear of their bills being reviewed. It is definite proof that the judges do not even read the time entries being submitted before they approve them for payment.