Meckler Bulger Tilson Marick & Pearson is one of only a handful of law firms nationally with a full service practice group concentrating on issues involving professional services provided by attorneys and other fiduciaries, as well as governmental and corporate compliance and misconduct investigations. Since its inception, the Legal Audit Group has developed a national reputation as a pioneer and leader in legal fee bill reviews (a.k.a., legal audits) based on their skill and proficiency in analyzing and assessing the reasonableness of attorney fees from a legal and/or litigation management perspective. Our attorneys have litigated and/or provided expert witness services in some of the nation’s largest attorney fee disputes, including a recent engagement where they served as lead counsel disputing the reasonableness and allocation of more than $500 million in legal costs incurred by a major pharmaceutical manufacturer to defend against mass tort liability. Our attorneys have testified in depositions and at trial on numerous occasions regarding attorney fee reasonableness, allocation and exhaustion issues and the management of mass tort and other complex, commercial, personal and economic injury and property damage litigation. Our highly skilled attorneys are also well versed in conducting independent, internal corporate and governmental audits and investigations into allegations of misconduct and monitoring corporate or governmental compliance with a wide variety of regulatory and best practices issues. Some of our representations in this area include: the State of Illinois, a multi-national clearing house facility and a large pharmaceutical company. The services provided by the Legal Audit Group include:
- Legal Bill Review and Legal Fee Auditing
- Corporate/Governmental Internal Audits and Investigations
- Fiduciary Liability and Malpractice Defense and Prosecution
- Expert Consulting and Witness Services
- Attorney Fee Dispute Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Arbitration/Mediation Services
- Risk Management and Quality of Service Audits and Reviews
- Training/Continuing Legal Education Providers
Our attorneys are highly skilled at analyzing underlying defense costs, prevailing party attorney fees, common fund and attorney fees generally for reasonableness, allocation and exhaustion purposes. Our reasonableness review involves, among other things, an assessment of Model Rule 1.5 factors governing reasonableness, including whether discrete billing efforts were necessary, duplicated, excessive, properly allocated, and/or subject to recoupment. Our proprietary software (designed for, and by, our own attorneys) assists our attorneys in developing “big picture” analysis, tracking litigation efforts over months and years of billing activity and ferreting out mismanagement and billing abuse not decipherable from a manual bill review. Our proprietary software and database are capable of analyzing over a billion dollars of attorney fees simultaneously across multiple firms and billers.
Our attorneys assist corporations and governmental entities in investigating and neutralizing allegations of corporate and governmental misconduct and determine compliance with a broad range of state and federal regulations and best practices. Corporate and governmental internal investigations often include time sensitive document reviews and assessments, employee interviews, protecting attorney client communications and work product, compliance with the grand jury process, analyzing the duties of corporate directors and officers and/or government officials, and developing strategies for minimizing exposures.
Our attorneys prosecute, defend and investigate actions involving claims of professional malpractice, including allegations of embezzlement, fraud, and breach of trust involving attorneys, accountants, and other fiduciaries. Our attorneys also provide expert witness services and expert witness testimony in connection with professional/fiduciary liability and malpractice actions.
Our attorneys offer expert witness/consultant services and provide opinions on the reasonableness and allocation of attorney fees and underlying defense costs, and opinions on the results of our internal corporate and governmental audits services and fiduciary liability engagements. Our attorneys have provided detailed trial reports and expert disclosures and opinions in more than 50 cases and have testified in deposition and/or at trial throughout the United States.
Our attorneys prosecute and defend our clients in litigation, and in alternate dispute resolution proceedings, including arbitration and mediation, arising out of class action and multi-district contractual, extra-contractual, statutory and common law claims and other claims where attorneys’ fees are an element of damages.
Our attorneys have served as independent mediators and arbitrators and court-appointed receivers to assist other attorneys, non-clients and the courts in successfully resolving fiduciary liability and attorney fee disputes outside the courtroom.
Our attorneys offer claim management and litigation and risk management services to our clients desiring to be proactive in the control and management of litigation costs. Our attorneys assist our clients in creating and implementing legal cost control measures, including investigating and identifying the source of past problems, negotiating budgets, drafting case-specific billing guidelines and standards, eliciting and negotiating efficient disposition plans, and monitoring and enforcing compliance with established guidelines and standards. Our attorneys also assist in conducting claim file reviews and audits designed to assess and correct quality of service and performance issues.
Our attorneys have authored numerous publications and are frequent speakers on the issues of professional and fiduciary liability, internal governmental and corporate audits; investigating attorneys’ fee disputes; the reasonableness, allocation and recoupment of attorneys’ fees; attorney ethics; attorney malpractice; and litigation management issues and techniques. We have chaired a number of annual conferences and educated thousands of attorneys over the past ten years. Our courses have been pre-approved for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credits in approximately 15 states.