A short newsletter of bite-size ideas to chew on for Terrafirma owner-member land trusts, released January, February, May, June, September, October and November.


Posts tagged billing

Vet Your Expert to Avoid Huge Bills

Experts can be crucial to the result of a case – but they come with their own risks, like last-minute astronomical fees. They could even refuse to testify if they do not receive payment first. Here are some tips to avoid huge unexpected bills:


  • Get attorney references before hiring an expert.
  • Have a clear contract that holds them accountable for documenting time and resources spent, and for billing regularly.
  • Stay in contact and request frequent updates. You want to be able to identify problems with spending or efficiency as early as possible.


Based on this article from the American Bar Association.

P.S. Check out our LinkedIn for more tips and stories!


Whose Bill Is It Anyway?

It is a common misconception that the losing side of a lawsuit pays the legal costs for both sides. In fact, the general rule in the U.S. is that each party pays its own fees. But carefully worded conservation easements can prevent land trusts from incurring excessive legal costs when defending lasting conservation.

When drafting an easement, one can include a clause saying that in case of a lawsuit, the landowner pays for all legal fees, including all experts, attorneys and costs. Since the land trust is responsible forever for upholding the public interest in the land and is a charity, this is an equitable arrangement. Be sure to talk to your attorney and read this practical pointer for more details.


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