Jenner & Block

"Two-Tiered Billing in Illinois Divorce Cases - a Critique," Illinois Bar Journal Vol. 96, No. 9

September 2008
Partner James H. Feldman discusses the issue of charging a higher hourly rate for time spent in court than time spent out of court in Illinois divorce cases. He argues that this two-tiered billing dichotomy presents several problems: it magnifies the imperfections in hourly billing; fails to accomplish its primary goal - to provide greater compensation for greater skill; arbitrarily elevates courtroom skills over all other skills and factors for determining compensation; creates problems for distinguishing what should be compensated at the higher “court time” rate; and dissuades compromise and encourages unnecessary resort to contested litigation. Associate Rachel S. Morse contributed to the preparation of this article.