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Ethics of Client Billing and Fee Collection: Balancing Financial Interests and Fiduciary Obligations

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, October 19, 2023

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will discuss what the ethical rules of professional responsibility permit, require, and prohibit attorneys from doing when pricing their services, documenting fee arrangements, billing clients, and collecting delinquent balances. The panel will outline practical approaches for avoiding ethical violations, legal liability, and financial loss.


Billing and fee collection has always been a complicated area for the legal profession. When billing disputes arise, practitioners must balance their financial interest in collecting fees against their duty of loyalty to clients. For this reason, billing disputes are subject to scrutiny.

To minimize client disputes over billing and fee collection and avoid ethical missteps, attorneys must immediately review and reconsider their policies and practices surrounding fee agreements, time tracking, and billing and collections.

Listen as our authoritative panel examines the ethical dilemmas inherent in law firm billing and collection practices and offers practical steps firms can take to avoid ethical violations and legal liability.



  1. Areas ripe for ethical missteps
    1. Fee agreements
    2. Timekeeping and charging expenses
    3. Billing forms
  2. Common ethical challenges and best practices for law firms
    1. Resolving billing disputes
    2. Charging interest on overdue bills
    3. Withdrawing from a representation due to unpaid bills
    4. Using a collection agency
    5. Filing a lawsuit against a non-paying client


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What ethics rules govern the billing and fee collection processes?
  • What are some best practices counsel can use to collect past due fees while complying with ethics requirements?
  • What options do practitioners have for resolving billing disputes with clients?


Buckner, Carole
Carole J. Buckner

Senior Counsel

Ms. Buckner's practice focuses on legal ethics, professional responsibility and the law of lawyering, including...  |  Read More

Jacobowitz, Jan
Jan L. Jacobowitz, Esq.

Founder and Owner
Legal Ethics Advisor

Ms. Jacobowitz is a legal ethics,...  |  Read More

Minkoff, Ronald
Ronald C. Minkoff

Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz

Mr. Minkoff is a partner in the Litigation Group and Chair of the Professional Responsibility Group. He is also one of...  |  Read More

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