A recent ABA article describes a real problem in West Virginia. Although this attorney was singled out, according to state officials there are far worse offenders. Michael Cooke received a 2 year suspension because of the overbilling. But a recent audit showed that out of 800 West Virginia attorneys billing for court appointed work about 100 were overbilling.
The state started to crack down on the overbilling problem only after the WV legislature refused to increase the hourly rates. The current WV court appointed rates are $45 per hour for outside court and $65 an hour for time in court. According to WV Legislature stated that some court appointed attorneys were already making over $100,000 a year for court appointed work.
To read the ABA Article Click On
ABA WV Overbilling
To read the WV Supreme Court Decision Click On
WV Supreme Court Decision