The Devil's Advocate
Legal Fee Management & Litigation Consulting


Our 22nd Year  
Thanks to all our clients and friends  





Our Legal Fee Management & Litigation Consulting Services

... [O]urs is a useful trade, a worthy calling; that with all its lightness and frivolity it has one serious purpose, one aim, one specialty, and it is constant to it -- the deriding of shams, the exposure of pretentious falsities, the laughing of stupid superstitions out of existence; and that whoso is by instinct engaged in this sort of warfare is the natural enemy of royalties, nobilities, privileges and all kindred swindles, and the natural friend of human rights and human liberties.

- Samuel Clemens (letter to the president of Yale Univ., 1888)

  • Legal Bill Reviews & Audits:

    • Devil's Advocate reviews legal bills, including work product, fees, and expenses. Bills can be reviewed shortly after they are issued by the firm for prompt feedback or after the matter is closed, and in any form, including computerized data or printed bills. A review can be made with or without the knowledge and cooperation of the law firm.  Reviews are also provided to law firms seeking to manage themselves.  Tailored to the client's budget and needs, reviews include computerized and personal analysis to answer such questions as
      • Are the fees reasonable?
      • Do they comply with ethical, legal, and billing policies?
      • Is the law firm acting cost-effectively?
      • Is the firm's staffing appropriate?
      • Are the firm's strategy and tactics appropriate?
      • Is the firm's work product satisfactory?
      • Are the firm's performance and results acceptable?
  • Expert Testimony:

    • Parallel services include expert testimony supporting or opposing fee claims in litigation.
  • Law Firm Selection:

    • Selecting an experienced, competent, cost-effective firm is difficult or impossible because clients lack the resources to find them and evaluate their qualifications. Devil's Advocate finds the diamonds in the rough.
  • Retention & Billing Agreements:

    • Devil's Advocate designs and negotiates written billing agreements consistent with the client's expectations. Many firms are willing to make significant concessions, but would not dare advertise them to everyone.
  • Alternative Fees:

    • Many of the problems clients encounter are a byproduct of the hourly billing environment. Devil's Advocate designs and tests alternatives that allow the lawyer's incentives to coincide with the client's goals. Alternatives not only save money, but reduce the management burden on the client by shifting risk to the lawyer.  More information is available here.
  • Legal Fee Budgets & Estimates: 

    • We assist lawyers and clients to project the cost of legal services, including preparation of fee budgets or estimates.  We also help reconcile budgets with bills as they are issued.
  • Case Risk/Expense Analysis, Monitoring, Second Opinions & Post-Mortems:

    • Dynamic, independent feedback for clients on quality as well as cost at any point in the matter. May or may not include bill and expense review, but focuses as much on work product, strategy, and tactics as on fees. Often requested confidentially by clients looking for an independent assessment of risk, options, and settlement value, as well as the lawyer's performance. Saves clients many times what it costs, which is a small fraction of the lawyer's fee.
    •  This service may also be used by third-parties, such as competitors, insurers, financial analysts, or investors, to analyze the status of the case and likely outcomes.
  • Dispute Resolution: Settlement, ADR, Mediation & Arbitration:

    • Our risk/expense analysis and second opinions can facilitate settlement by giving clients an independent assessment of status and options. Devil's Advocate can assist a party to present its side of a fee dispute or act as a confidential mediator or arbitrator. Our founder, John Toothman, has been a fee arbitrator with several arbitration services.
  • Independent Counsel:

    • For clients without in-house counsel (or whose in-house counsel are busy with other matters), Devil's Advocate provides independent management of outside lawyers, including performance and fees. Outside lawyers usually have financial incentives in conflict with client interests-- Devil's Advocate is the expert in the client's corner.
  • Litigation Avoidance Planning & Training:

    • Mitigate the expense and risk of litigation by avoiding the situations that lead to litigation or make it unnecessarily difficult. Document retention, crisis management, and information control can soften the blow. Litigation training may include, for example, training staff to take over routine discovery tasks from outside counsel or paralegals. Devil's Advocate also creates custom seminars and workshops for in-house lawyers and law firms.
  • Evaluation of Legal Billing Software

    • DA can evaluate legal billing software packages for effectiveness.  Before you waste time and money on billing software, we can help you evaluate your choices and needs.  We can also help you verify that your new software is doing its job.  More information is available here.

Or describe your problem and let us find you a solution.


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Last update: 01/07/15

Established 1993

Our 22nd Year  Civilian's Guide to Lawyers (the Blog)

For more information, contact our Marketing Director,
Elizabeth McGee
The Devil's Advocate, PO Box 8, Great Falls, Virginia 22066 (USA)
Phone: (703) 684-6996 * Fax: (202) 499-7011 * E-mail: Devil's Advocate

Conditions for site use & important notices
The Devil's Advocate is a registered trademark, and Independent Counsel, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, the Client-Friendly Billing Agreement, and the Client Bill of Rights™ are trademarks of The Devil's Advocate or licensed to DA.
All materials in this web-site copyright January, 2015 by The Devil's Advocate (licensed to Devil's Advocate, LLC a/k/a TLF Consulting). All rights reserved.
We do not provide legal advice by e-mail or through this site.  We do not provide legal representation.  All DA engagements must be in writing.
The information in this website represents our opinions (or opinions of others) and is believed to be accurate, but we cannot guarantee that they apply to your situation.

Visit Devil's Advocate for legal fee management and litigation consulting, including legal bill reviews, expert testimony, legal malpractice, and lawyer ethics issues

keywords: The Devil's Advocate, John Toothman (founder), legal fee management, litigation consulting, trial lawyers, legal fee analysis, controlling legal costs, legal cost control, lawyer cost management, legal expense management, alternative legal fees, trial practice, civil litigation, discovery, American Rule, client, lawyer, legal fees, attorney fees, hiring lawyers, attorneys, expert witness, expert testimony, lawyer bill, legal fee invoices, litigation management, fee petitions, bankruptcy, legal bill audit, legal bill review, fee shifting, prevailing party, legal expenses, second opinions, monitoring counsel, legal fee budgets, legal fee estimates, legal malpractice, audit legal bills, general counsel, independent counsel, hourly rates, hourly fees.

Publications include: To Get Paid, Get Reasonable, Trial Practice Checklists (West Group); Legal Fees: Law and Management (Carolina Academic Press), CGL, Civilian's Guide to Lawyers, Client Bill of Rights, Client-friendly billing agreement, hourly fees.

Headquarters in Great Falls, Northern Virginia, USA, in the Metropolitan Washington DC (District of Columbia) area.