Print Page   |   Sign In   |   Join
Community Search
Share |


Fee Arbitration is an out-of-court hearing regarding a fee dispute between lawyer and client. In a Fee Arbitration, a sole arbitrator or a panel of lawyers and non-lawyers, who are neutral and trained by the State Bar, listen to what the client and the attorney have to say, examine the attorney’s services to the client and both parties' supporting records, and reach a decision regarding the fee dispute.



What is Fee Arbitration?
Fee arbitration is a process you can use to resolve a dispute over fees with your attorney. An impartial panel hears the dispute and makes a final decision based on the facts and evidence presented by you and the attorney.

What can I do to resolve a fee dispute before arbitration?
Before you start the fee arbitration process, we recommend that you attempt to resolve the dispute over fees with your attorney on your own.

 How do I request a Fee Arbitration?
You complete a form known as Client’s Request to Arbitrate a Fee Dispute. This may be obtained by downloading it from the State Bar of California webpage Click Here.

 Do I need an attorney to represent me?
Arbitration is usually faster and less expensive than going to court, and the client does not have to hire an attorney to attend the hearing. Arbitration hearings are informal, although evidence is usually taken under oath. You may be represented by an attorney but it is not necessary. If you do not speak English, you can arrange for an interpreter or a support person to attend the hearing with you. The interpreter must be over the age of eighteen.

 What will be decided at the time of the hearing?
The issues to be decided in the fee arbitration are limited. The arbitrator will decide what the appropriate amount of your fees and costs should be, if any, or whether you should receive a refund from the lawyer.

 What will happen at the hearing?
The client and the lawyer will both have a chance to make statements, ask each other questions and present evidence such as letters or the fee agreement. You may also present witnesses - someone who, for example, heard you and your lawyer agree to the fee. Keep in mind that the aim of Fee Arbitration is to determine if the fee amount is appropriate for the lawyer's work on your case. Arbitrators do consider the lawyer's performance in your case to reach their decision. Arbitrators will not - and cannot - award any additional money for what may or may not be attorney malpractice or professional misconduct.

 What is the role of the arbitrator?
The arbitrator is a neutral decision maker. The arbitrator considers evidence presented by all parties and makes a decision on the lawyer’s fees. The arbitrator cannot represent either the client or the lawyer in the dispute.

 What is the award?
The award is the decision of the arbitrator specifying whether you owe money to the lawyer, whether the lawyer owes money to you, or whether neither of you owes any money.

 What happens after I receive the award?
When you receive the arbitration award, you will also receive a Notice of Your Rights after Arbitration. The Notice should answer most of the questions you have regarding your rights. Pay close attention to the deadlines in the Notice.

more Latest News
There are currently no news items posted.
more Calendar

Preventing Workplace Harassment

Featured Members

Online Surveys
Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal