Lawyer Fee Dispute Resolution Questions and Answers
Does the LSBA offer any assistance for settling disputed attorneys' fees?
Yes, the LSBA Lawyer Dispute Resolution Program was created to provide quick, low cost and confidential solutions to fee disputes between clients and attorneys or between two attorneys, as an alternative to going through the court system.
What is the cost of arbitration?
$50.00 each for client/attorney disputes under $10,000.00
$100.00 each for attorney/attorney disputes or for any attorney/client dispute of $10,00.00 or more.
Are there any costs for services of arbitrators?
Only in disputes between two attorneys may the arbitrator(s) charge for their services, usually $75.00 per hour for each aribtrator serving, which cost is paid by the parties. In disputes between client and attorney the arbitrator serves pro bono.
Is the arbitration binding?
Yes, and may be enforced by the courts.
How many arbitrators conduct the hearings?
If the disputed amount is less than $25,000, one arbitrator is selected.
If the amount is over $25,000, three arbitrators are selected, and if the dispute is between a client and an attorney, one of the arbitrators must be a non-attorney.
How are the arbitrators selected?
The LSBA maintains a panel of attorneys and non-attorneys who have been nominated for service by various civic organizations and other associations having knowledge of each one's qualifications. After an arbitration request is accepted a list is sent to the parties involved in the dispute. They are asked to number the arbitrators by order of preference and return the list to the LSBA. The final choice is made by the LSBA administrator and the arbitrator is notified of the appointment. The choice of a date, time and place to conduct the hearing is at the arbitrator's discretion.
What happens if the Respondent rejects arbitration?
If the Respondent is an attorney, the Claimant will be notified that he/she has the option to lodge a complaint with the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Board. If the Louisiana Attorney Disciplinary Bard decides that the complaint is a fee dispute and takes no action, the only alternative will be to file a court action or to engage private counsel.