Skip to content

Mandatory Fee Arbitration

Resolve Your Attorney Fee Dispute

The Fee Arbitration Program provides clients and attorneys with a simple method to resolve fee disputes without going to court.

For the Client

Clients can use this program with or without the assistance of an attorney.

Client's Right to Arbitrate
Before or at the time of filing a suit or any other proceeding (including arbitration in another forum) against you, the client, for the recovery of fees or costs or both, the attorney must serve you with a "Notice of Client's Right" to Arbitrate. If your attorney does not serve you with the Notice, it is grounds to dismiss the action. If the attorney serves you with a notice that does not substantially comply with the Notice approved by the State Bar, that is also grounds to dismiss the action. Download the Notice of Client's Right to Arbitrate.

Client's Waiver of Right to Arbitrate
Assuming you received the proper Notice, you waive (give up) your right to arbitration if you either file an answer to the suit or other proceeding, or by not requesting arbitration within 30 days from the date that you received the Notice of Client's Right to arbitrate.

For the Attorney

If you are an attorney seeking to use the Fee Arbitration Program to resolve a fee dispute with a client, please see the information below and review the Notice of the Client's Right to Fee Arbitration. For additional information on filing a fee arbitration or how the program works, click below.

Mandatory Participation
California Business and Professions Code sections 6200 to 6206 govern fee arbitration. Section 6200 provides that when a client requests fee arbitration, the attorney is required to participate. As of January 1997, an attorney can compel a client to arbitrate if the fee agreement includes an arbitration clause.

Become a Fee Arbitrator

The Fee Arbitration Program is always in need of arbitrators.

You need not be a lawyer to be an arbitrator. Lay arbitrators are required on arbitration panels to settle disputes in excess of $10,000.  Find out more information on becoming a Fee Arbitrator or Mediator.