The LuLac Edition #1966, February 29th, 2012
This week a poster sent us communication about the Attorney billing fees sent to the Luzerne County Court by Attorney Angela Stevens of Kingston. Since the Attorney and her law firm were getting widely criticized, we ran the post. But to be fair, the thoughts here are so cogent we decided to put them up on "Write On Wednesday" to be fair to the Attorney and her firm. But more importantly to provide balance to what was originally in local papers, radio, and on this site.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "The LuLac Edition #1959, February 24th, 2012":
I think the billing may actually have been an oversight. But when they were approved, by THREE layers of county government, including the THE WATCHDOG, county controller; it may have been interpreted by the attorney as "tacit approval." In other words, those who approve/disapprove payment reviewed the billings and did not find fault, so the attorney may have been led to believe that her billing was accurate.
Or simply, since the billing was approved and paid, she may have not realized the oversight. If you submit something that has multiple levels of approval, and it continues to be approved, why would you think you have done something wrong?
As far as the hours/day; it is not uncommon for those that bill out hourly work to add up the increments and do the billing on one day per cycle. Back in the days when the garment industry was dominant, home sewers were paid a lump sum for the work they performed. It didn't matter if the piece work was done in an hour, day or week. The work was totaled when it was delivered.
As long as she can provide documentation for the actual hours worked, there should be no issue. Does it matter if she did 15 minutes on the 3rd, the 23rd and then 30 minutes on the 30th, whether she billed on each day or one?
Additionally, it is also very common to factor all components of a work into a bill; ie, the prep,travel, postage,copying, etc... prior to the actual delivery of the bill. Her reasoning that it wasn't adjusted is very valid. It happens in all sorts of work, for the wage slaves out there who have never owned a business; think of going to a restaurant; the bread, accompanying sides, etc.. are all included in your bill ahead of time. If you don't eat them, or tell them not to bring them out, you are still charged. Just because she did the service at one time, doesn't mean that she may have not had the charges factored in prior to the actual delivery; and again, since the bills were approved, no wrong doing was indicated; and one could conclude, with so many layers of oversight, via tacit approval, that what was being done was legal.
Unfortunately, in the climate, you will all judge her based on the accusations, prior to all facts being in.