Attorney/Client Fee Dispute Program
What is Attorney Client Fee Dispute?
This program provides a means for attorneys and clients (the "community") to resolve a fee dispute and avoid the time and expense of taking a dispute to court. At issue is the amount of fees and/or costs the client must pay, or has already paid, to the attorney.
There is an administrative fee per party to pay for the cost of running this program (a percentage of the amount of the dispute). This covers up to four hours of fee dispute mediation and up to eight hours of arbitration time from our panel of experts. If more time is needed, there may be additional fees.
- Please review the Rules of Procedure. (105KBPDF) When you decide that you want to engage in our services, please download and fill out the form that applies to you:
- There is an administrative fee for the cost of running this program (the form you downloaded in step #1 will help you determine this fee). You must pay this fee when you submit your completed forms. You can pay by check, money order or credit card.
- Check or Money Order: Make checks or money orders payable to BASF / Fee Dispute Program.
- Credit Card: If you wish to use a credit card, please download and complete the:
Client Attorney Credit Card Charge form (11KB PDF).
- Make five copies of the form you used in step #1 and mail the original and four copies along with your administrative fee to:
BASF / Fee Dispute Program
301 Battery Street, Third Floor
San Francisco, California 94111
- We then send a copy of the request and a "Reply" form to the other party and request that they fill it out completely and send 5 copies to the address above in step #2.
Both you and your lawyer have the option of going through mediation first. During mediation, both parties work together to come to a resolution that works for everyone.
Mediation is also:
Ninety percent of fee disputes brought into mediation reach a positive settlement!
- voluntary, and both sides must agree to it
- less formal, and often takes less time than arbitration
- usually four hours or less of time involved
- offered as a benefit covered by your administrative fee
- If both parties agree to mediation you will be notified of your assigned mediator.
- The assigned mediator will contact both parties to set a mediation date.
- If you do not resolve your fee dispute in mediation, or if either party decides against mediation, it goes to arbitration.
- We will assign and notify you of the arbitrator(s) selected after determining that there is no conflict of interest. You will also be sent a "Request for Hearing Dates" form to help us set up a date that is convenient for you.
- Once a date is set, you must show up at the location detailed in the "Notice of Hearing" that will be mailed to you.
- Get prepared for your fee dispute arbitration hearing! Learn about what you can do to prepare for your hearing.
- Once the arbitrator(s) hears both sides of the story he or she takes the matter "under submission." There is no Award decision made on this day. The Award will be mailed to you within 30 days of your hearing.
- When you receive the arbitration Award you will also receive Notice of Your Rights After Arbitration (47KBPDF) which will inform you of your next steps.