An Ohio attorney who handled more than 800 court-appointed cases last year billed for workdays that included 29 hours, 23 hours, 21.5 hours, and 21 hours. In total, his billable hours averaged out into nine hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Despite the Big Law urban legend of lawyers stetching out billable hours by doing work on flights across different time zones, Dayton attorney Ben Swift is going to need a better explanation when he comes before an Ohio disciplinary committee.
Swift's attorney, ostensibly billing slightly more plausible hours, has told reporters that Swift did the work he claimed but kept sloppy records. Court-appointed attorney fees are paid by the state and county.
Swift was audited by the Dayton Bar Association grievance committee after the Dayton Daily News reported he was the highest-paid court-appointed attorney in the state.