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Attorney Fee Disputes - The Arbitration Solution

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Attorney Fee Disputes - The Arbitration Solution

Author : John Preston

Submitted : 2013-12-24 01:55:48    Word Count : 422    Popularity:   Not Rated

Tags:   Attorney Fee Dispute, CA Medical Malpractice, California Mediation, California Arbitration, CA Malpractice Mediation, California Healthcare Law, California arbitrator, California mediator, Medical Malpractice Mediation, CA Attorney Fee Dispute

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There is always a risk of dispute whenever money is involved in a particular transaction. While many people agree that money can't buy happiness, they still concur that money is the engine make the world go round. Because of this, people are very sensitive to any perceived unfairness or chicanery involving their money. This is true especially when being billed by and paying fees to an attorney. Many people believe they should be able to link every fee to a concrete benefit on their part and every hour billed to work done by the attorney.

Although fee disputes are a fact of life, the key is to never let them get out of hand. Under California law, there is mandatory fee arbitration between lawyers and clients. California is one of 12 States or jurisdictions with such laws; the others being Alaska, the District of Columbia, Georgia, Maine, Montana, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina and Wyoming.

If fee arbitration is requested by either the lawyer or the client, the law in California requires that both parties undergo the process. The local Bar Association of the lawyer in question usually manages the dispute arbitration. Although this rule is seemingly favorable towards the lawyer, this does not mean that the attorney is in control. In fact, if the client requests a fee dispute arbitration, the attorney must participate. Within a month, a decision and an award are rendered, which are determined through arbitrations that last only for a few hours. The client can elect to have another attorney present at the arbitration if they wish, but no legal fees are awarded by fee dispute arbitration boards under any circumstances.

With such a robust, organized and effective fee dispute system, there is simply no reason to pursue any other vector of satisfaction even for large amounts of unpaid fees or fees believed collected in error. Pursuing "vigilante" justice such as hiring a collection agent or attempting to use nuisance filings or other intimidation tactics is counter-productive, whether as the attorney or the client in a fee dispute. The arbitration removes any possibility of ethical issues or loss of claim due to improper procedures because it is quick and enforceable.

The arbitration process prevents perceived unfairness and emotions associated with finances from creating an untenable situation by giving them access to an impartial mechanism that should satisfy any legitimate claim for improper billing.

Author's Resource Box

If you have disputes regarding attorney fees, John S. Preston can help you determine the best course of action. As an attorney and mediation professional who has practiced law for over 35 years and dedicated to third party pre-suit mediation in California, John can serve you as an expert arbitrator and mediator. Call 510-763-9131 or go to http://www.johnprestonmediation.com for more information.

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