Billing

Billing Policy and Practices

The Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) billing system details the cost of state legal services.

Invoice Policies

Invoices are sent monthly. They include a description of the work, the time spent on that work and the rate being charged. Invoices reflect the professional staff hours worked at the applicable billing rates, plus any direct costs related to specific matters.

Hourly Rates

Rates are based on actual costs of personnel, services and supplies, and overhead. Examples include clerical support, coordination, and necessary support systems such as computers and law libraries.

Legislatively-Approved Legal Services Rates for 2015-2017

Rates Effective July 1, 2015

Assistant Attorney General $175 per hour
ADR Coordinator $96 per hour
Investigator $116 per hour
Paralegal $90 per hour
Law Clerk $55 per hour
Clerical* $47 per hour

*In limited circumstances, we provide clerical assistance and bill the agency at the rate of $47 per hour.

Legal Staff Time

Total time will be rounded up to the nearest .1 hour (6 minutes). Charges may include the following tasks:

  • Time it takes to open and close files
  • Research, including professional reading directly related to the matter
  • Travel time to the client’s location or elsewhere on the client’s behalf
  • Responses to a request for legal services
  • Phone conversations, including preparation, review and writing notes to the file

Expenses and Other Costs

Expenses, identified as costs not covered by the rate, are billed only if they are incurred directly as part of the legal work necessary. Recoverable expenses billed to an agency and later cancelled will appear on the agency’s invoice as a credit for that matter’s expense.

Westlaw

Westlaw is a research service. Charges for its use usually appear on billings a month or two after the legal staff time has been billed.

How to Read Your Invoice

Matter Information

The invoice lists individual entries in order of matter number. The miscellaneous (general advice) matter normally prints first. The remaining matters follow in alphanumeric order.

On the left hand side is the matter name. On the right, is the matter number. The next line shows your contact, if one is listed in our billing system.

Itemized Billing Information

Below each matter is an itemization of time spent including:

  • Date: the actual date of work
  • Employee: the employee who did the work
  • Description: a narrative of the work performed by the employee
  • Hours: the amount of time the employee worked
  • Total hours: total hours of work performed by all employees for the matter
  • Matter total: actual dollar value of the hours billed

Expense Information

If expenses other than staff time were incurred, they are listed directly below the Total Fees. Expenses include any direct cost, other than staff time, related to a specific matter. The listing shows the date of entry and the description of the expense, including:

  • The type of expense
  • The person or company DOJ paid
  • The actual date of the service
  • The invoice number, VP number (our document number for this paid service) and any other pertinent documentation
  • The cost of the service

Summary

At the end of each invoice, a summary lists the employee(s), total hours and applicable rates.

Example:

No. Name Rate
0361 Jayne Smythe 1.00 hours at $90.00
1946 Joseph Doe 8.00 hours at $51.00

Division recap

A summary of matters billed on the invoice follows the expenses.

Example:

Number Name Fees Costs Total
GF0857-00 Blue, Francis V. 110.20 10.00 120.20
GX1234-00 Smertz, Fred 235.10 43.65 278.75

Have a Question About Your Bill?

To request information about your agency’s bill, follow these steps:

  1. Put your inquiry in writing and include:

    • Client Agency Name
    • Client Number
    • Invoice Number
    • Matter Number (noted on the invoice)
    • Your question or concern
    • A copy of the specific entries involved
  2. You may also print and fill out an Inquiry Form:

  3. If you would like an electronic copy of the inquiry form, or have other questions, contact the Billing Inquiry Coordinator:

Billing Disagreements

If you have a question about the amount of time or expenses billed, and it is not an accounting question, DOJ will direct the question to the attorney or other professional staff responsible for the charge.