1. Retained Work. AECC shall only pay for actual services retained and rendered, at rates established by the engagement letter in effect at the time of billing. Unless GC otherwise agrees in writing, billable rates will remain fixed for the duration of retention for a particular docket or matter. Time shall be billed in 0.1-hour increments and on a per-task basis. Team Member fees shall be computed by applying the negotiated hourly rate to the time for the services expended. Hours shown shall accurately reflect the time spent on the described activity and shall either be the exact amount of time or the exact time rounded down to the nearest one-tenth of an hour. AECC will not accept block billing—grouping multiple activities under a single time charge. AECC will not pay for any time recorded in a block fashion.
2. Non-Retained Work. OC shall not bill time, and AECC shall not pay for work that is not subject to a docket-specific or matter-specific engagement letter.
3. Monitoring and Solicitation. Unless GC provides a written agreement stating otherwise, AECC shall not pay for any time billed by OC for actively monitoring legislation or docket or case filings that the GC has not specifically retained OC to monitor. Should OC unilaterally monitor such matters and the GC subsequently retain OC as a result of such monitoring, the GC and OC shall negotiate a reasonable flat fee for OC’s pre-engagement work prior to retention.
4. Non-billable Work.
- Non-Commensurate Work. Work tasks shall be commensurate to the skill and training of the assigned Team Member. AECC shall not pay for time billed by senior Team Members to perform tasks that could and should have been handled by junior Team Members, or other non-attorney Team Members. If the LIC determines that an assignment is inappropriate for particular tasks performed, the hourly rate charged may be reduced to a rate consistent with that of the lower-rate Team Member. Similarly, if the LIC determines that excessive time was spent on a particular task, the time billed may be reduced.
- Continuity. AECC shall not pay for any time billed that resulted from the substitution or training of new Team Members.
- Duplication. Duplicative document review/editing, research, and drafting shall be avoided. AECC will not pay for time that the LIC determines is duplicative.
- Excess Attendance. Unless preapproved by the LIC, AECC shall only pay for the attendance and/or participation of one Team Member, for calls, meetings, depositions, negotiations, mediations, arbitrations, hearings, or other matters.
- Legal Research. All non-incidental legal research shall be preapproved by LIC. AECC shall not pay for time billed for basic legal research, or for research previously generated for AECC. Legal research shall be conducted and billed by junior Team Members or non-attorney Team Members. If legal research benefits other clients, only the proportionate share of that cost shall be billed to AECC.
- Internal Conferencing. AECC shall only pay for reasonable internal conferencing. Internal conferencing exceeding 10% of the total billings over the span of one month or for a particular representation shall not be billable and will not be paid if billed.
- Per Day Cap. Absent prior consent, AECC shall not pay for more than 10 hours of time by a single Team Member in a single day.
- Standby. AECC shall not pay for time billed on “standby,” without advance approval of the LIC.
5. Out-of-pocket costs.
- General. AECC shall reimburse OC for actually incurred, reasonable out-of-pocket costs to the extent those cost are directly related to AECC business and provided there is a receipt for all charges in excess of $25.00. OC’s reimbursement request for such costs should reflect the actual cost and shall not include any markup. AECC may refuse to pay for costs billed as “miscellaneous,” billed in a group (e.g., Travel Expenses - $4,000.00) or costs without descriptions or explanations.
- Travel Expenses. For travel mandated by AECC business, AECC will reimburse only for reasonable, actual airfare and airline baggage fees, ground transportation from/to the airport, hotel accommodations and the cost of meals, as more fully described herein. All air travel shall be booked at the lowest logical fare routing and economy class; travel upgrades are at the traveler’s own expense. AECC will not reimburse the use of private aircraft or non-approved charter aircraft. OC shall use good judgment in selecting hotels and restaurants and incurring travel-related expenses. AECC will reimburse for reasonable business-related meal expenses, accompanied by an original receipt. AECC shall reimburse the actual costs of taxicab, train or bus travel, or tolls, parking charges, and mileage expense in excess of 30 miles one-way for personal car use, if necessitated by AECC business. AECC shall not reimburse for, among other things, incidental travel fees such as recreation/salon/spa charges, personal entertainment, travel agency expenses, etc. AECC shall not pay for travel time.
- Administrative Cost and Overhead. AECC shall not pay administrative costs and overhead that are already built into and a part of OC’s rates, including, but not limited to: (1) Rent/Mortgage, including temporary office space; (2) Cost or usage of computers, mobile devices, internet and/or other communication services; (3) Equipment rental; (4) Storage charges; (5) Catering for internal meetings; (6) Maintaining internal databases; (7) Mileage for trips less than 30 miles one way; (8) Bates stamping; (9) Telephone or facsimile charges; (10) Billing inquiries; (11) Opening and closing files; (12) Internal filing; (13) Secretarial services (including overtime charges); (14) Word processing or proofreading; (15) Maintenance of a calendar or tickler system; (16) Investigating potential conflicts; (17) Indexing pleadings; (18) Budget preparation; (19) Library usage (including book purchases or subscriptions) or library staff time; (20) Westlaw, Lexus, PACER or other online services; (21) Office supplies; (22) Conference room charges; (23) Allocated charges from a blanket service agreement; (24) Scheduling meetings or travel arrangements; (25) Billing audits; (26) time billed for copying, scanning, digital impression or related duplication costs; and (27) any other matter reasonably considered to be the cost of doing business as a law firm.
- Budgeted Matters. In instances where a budget is requested or required under this Agreement, AECC shall not pay for any fee, rate or charge unbudgeted, in excess of budget, or associated with the preparation or consultation of a budget.