Per Diem Services

When you work with Per Diem Services, you can rest assured that your clients will receive the zealous representation they deserve. Our attorneys are experienced in handling a wide range of matters including Supreme Court, Civil Court, Small Claims Court, Landlord-Tenant Court and more. All matters are handled with professionalism and integrity, and our firm prides itself on the high level of customer service we provide.

Per Diem services allow firms to leverage the expertise of experienced lawyers and support staff without having to pay full time salaries, benefits or overhead costs. In exchange, a company provides a credit card and/or full or partial expense coverage for their employees while they are on travel assignments. Companies may also set their own rates for Per Diem payments.

Using Per Diem Services NY for travel and field work allows firms to increase efficiency and productivity by outsourcing some of the administrative tasks that come with the job. As a result, firm lawyers can devote more of their time to important client matters, increasing profitability and overall office productivity.

Our research found that a common issue with per diem arrangements is the potential for abuse. Several respondents pointed out that perks such as per diems create conflicts between people who are receiving allowances and those who don’t, which detracts from teamwork and reduces the desire to go to the field. Additionally, some people manipulated work practices in order to maximize per diem opportunities (e.g. slowing down work, scheduling unnecessary trainings or exaggerating time needed for certain tasks). Per diem abuse seemed to be more common in government and NGO settings, possibly because of lower wages and weak controls.

Another problem with per diem arrangements is the potential for conflicts of interest. Respondents expressed concern that some attorneys take advantage of per diems by acting as both an associate and a Per Diem on a particular matter. This can result in the conflicting obligations of a lawyer’s ethical duties to the firm and its clients, as well as his or her fiduciary duty to the client.

One solution is to deem a Per Diem as “of counsel,” but this will only work if the firm has a regular and continuous relationship with the attorney. Further, the Rules require that a fee be reasonable regardless of whether a firm uses an associate or a Per Diem.

Another possible solution is to require firms to disclose the mark-up they charge for the use of a Per Diem. However, this would be a significant change to current Rule 1.5(g) requirements and might negatively impact client relations. Furthermore, ABA Opinion 88-356 suggests that a Per Diem’s participation in a matter is already sufficiently disclosed. Ultimately, we believe the best approach is to focus on prevention and education. A comprehensive travel policy and training can help prevent abuses while providing incentives for a healthy culture of compliance and accountability. In the future, we hope that technology will play an even greater role in reducing abuses of per diem policies.