Attorney-Client Relations/Fee Arbitration Program

Ventura County Bar Association is working for you….
Fee Arbitration

Fee arbitration gives a client the opportunity to resolve a fee dispute with his or her attorney efficiently, and without the necessity and expense of hiring a second attorney.  The VCBA Fee Arbitration Program will appoint a neutral arbitrator to decide the appropriate amount of attorney’s fees for professional services.  Fee arbitration is mandatory for the lawyer if the client elects to have the dispute resolved through the fee arbitration program.

The Ventura County Bar Association is not authorized to discipline attorneys. If you believe your attorney has committed malpractice or professional misconduct and you wish to file a formal complaint with the State Bar of California, call (800) 843-9053, or visit the State Bar website at . You may also submit the following complaint form.

Fee Arbitration Forms and Rules

If your attorney has provided you with written NOTICE OF CLIENT’S RIGHT TO ARBITRATE, you have 30 days from the date you received it to file a request for arbitration on the forms provided below.

Your Request for Arbitration on the approved form must be submitted to our office within 30 days from receipt of the notice from your attorney.  The form must be completely filled out and any filing fee included. Failure to properly file may constitute a waiver of your right to request or maintain arbitration.

A telephone call or a letter will not protect that right.  HAND DELIVERIES ARE NOT ACCEPTEDYour request  or response must be sent via U.S. Mail.

Non-binding vs. Binding Arbitration
What is the difference between NON-BINDING and BINDING arbitration? NON-BINDING is an arbitration in which the award of the arbitrator is advisory. However, it will become binding if one of the parties does not file an action or other proceeding with the proper court within 30 days after the arbitration award has been served. BINDING is an arbitration in which the award of the arbitrator(s) is final and binding on the parties. There are very limited grounds for overturning a binding award. Under Business & Professions Code 6200, the parties may agree in writing to BINDING arbitration AFTER a dispute over fees, costs, or both has arisen. This means that the client/petitioner has the choice between non-binding or binding arbitration at the time of filing for fee arbitration under this program.

(For Clients)

(For Attorneys)

(For Fee Arbitrators)