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Client Balks at Bare-Bones Bill

Posted Aug 28, 2007 6:34 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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The school board for the Bethlehem, Pa., area wasn't sure about paying a $60,670 charge by the board's legal counsel until they actually saw the bill.

But they were even less sure when they did see the bill from White & Williams for its 306 hours of work, reports the Allentown Morning Call.

The law firm bill was for investigating the work of a school principal who is now awaiting sentencing for dealing crystal methamphetamine, a matter which involved interviewing some 30 school employees and writing two reports. However, the first six pages of its bill simply lists dates and initials of law firm personnel and provides no description of their work.

''This bill is not useful in any way, shape or form to tell how they spent their time,'' says board member Michele Cann, herself an attorney. ''I have never seen a legal bill submitted in this way.''

But Stanley J. Majewski Jr., assistant superintendent for administration and finance, said the bill intentionally was bare-bones, to keep employee interviews confidential. ''It's my understanding that they left that information out to protect the people who were interviewed,'' he said. ''I assume an itemized accounting exists, but I can't say that with certainty because I've never seen it.''

The firm apparently is expected to submit a more detailed bill soon.

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