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Several years ago, the insurance company I worked for decided to open their own field legal office in a Midwest city. When I informed the local claim manager of the decision, he asked incredulously, “Why does the company want to do that? Our local attorney is only charging us $65 an hour.” What the claim manager forgot to mention was that the outside attorney’s per-file costs were among the highest in the region. To be sure, this attorney was engaging in some significant overbilling.

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