Committee on Fee Disputes & Conciliation
Part 137 Fee Dispute Program Announcement: The Part 137 Fee Dispute Program is currently unable to process new fee disputes. Note that any time period set to file a fee dispute (e.g. 30 days from Notice of a Client’s Right to Arbitrate) will be tolled pursuant to Governor Cuomo’s Executive Order tolling statutes of limitations. Until further notice, please do not mail any new fee disputes to the NYCLA offices.
The New York County Lawyers Association, the Bronx County Bar Association and the Association of the Bar of the City of New York established a Joint Committee on Fee Disputes and Conciliation (the Committee). The Committee seeks to resolve attorney-client fee disputes by mediation or arbitration. The goal is to provide a private and economical means of resolving disputes in an atmosphere of mutual understanding.
The Committee adopted Rules to facilitate the Mandatory Arbitration of Fee Disputes between attorneys and clients. These Rules put into effect the requirements of 22 N.Y.C.R.R. Part 137 (“Part 137”), which provides for the informal and expeditious resolution of fee disputes between attorneys and clients through arbitration and mediation. In accordance with the procedures for arbitration, arbitrators shall determine the reasonableness of fees for professional services, including costs, taking into account all relevant facts and circumstances. The Rules should be interpreted and applied consistently with the purposes of Part 137.
To access our full set of Local Program Rules, see below. Per our rules:
NYCLA’s Part 137 Program will hear fee disputes when:
1. The attorney has commenced representation of the client on or after January 1, 2002;
2. The attorney is admitted to the bar of the State of New York; and
3. A material part of the legal services were rendered OR
the lawyer maintains an office in Bronx and/or New York Counties.
NYCLA’s Part 137 Program will NOT hear fee disputes when:
1. The legal representation involved representation in criminal matter(s);
2. Amounts in dispute of less than $1,000 or more than $50,000, unless both parties have consented;
3. Disputes involve substantial legal questions, including professional malpractice or misconduct;
4. Disputes involve claims against an attorney for damages or affirmative relief other than the amount of the fee;
5. Disputes where the fee to be paid has been determined by statute or rule and allowed as of
right by the court, or where the fee has been determined by court order;
6. Disputes where no attorney’s services have been rendered for more than two years;
7. Disputes where the request is made by a person who is not the client of the attorney
or the legal representative of the client;
8. Disputes where the attorney and client consented to submit fee disputes for final and
binding arbitration to an arbitral forum other than an arbitral body created by Part 137.
For instructions to file a fee dispute, click here
To access the Rules and the forms, click here