This is from the consumer perspective, but I am also interested in hearing the lawyer perspective.
You meet with a lawyer about a probate vs. trust matter for a truly small estate (though I suppose this could apply to any matter). The meeting is under the lawyer's control. At the end of a 3 hour meeting an agreement is signed and a retainer paid.
You leave with a 4th generation copy of a 7-item checklist he ticked off during the meeting that is supposed to show what's already been done but isn't even ticked off correctly (such as the box for obtaining death certificates though he saw the one you brought to meeting).
Turns out to be a poor match, like a blind date gone seriously south. You're going to call about it but he calls first. S'ok. You both agree it's not going to work out. During the phone con he agrees that he would need to read the will and the trust to understand the situation (translation: he hadn't read a single one before the 3 hour meeting, nor did you expect him to).
He suggests payment for time and leave it at that. Seems reasonable.
Then you get a bill that includes time for two 1 minute voicemails (rounded up to 6 minutes each, of course), a half hour for an email exchange, the phone con about parting ways, and (ahem) preparation for the 3 hour meeting before you signed the agreement.
You're self-employed. You "get" that time is money. You expected to pay something.
But for time spent before you signed the agreement?