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Getting Started - Clients


There are three ways in which you can enter the FDRP. In all three situations, the filing of a Request for Fee Arbitration form officially starts the process.

1. Your lawyer has mailed you a Notice of Client’s Right to Arbitrate.

A dispute over fees exists between you and your lawyer and he or she has provided you with a form entitled “Notice of Client’s Right to Arbitrate” (UCS 137-1).  You now have 30 days to decide whether to utilize the FDRP by filing a form entitled “Client Request for Fee Arbitration” (UCS 137-4a) with the appropriate local program. Once you file the Client Request for Fee Arbitration your attorney will be required to participate in the FDRP unless your dispute is one that the FDRP is not designed to handle. 
If you do not file the Request for Fee Arbitration within 30 days, you lose your right to utilize the FDRP and your lawyer will be free to take legal action.

2. You have not received the Notice of Client’s Right to Arbitrate.

You have not received the Notice of Client’s Right to Arbitrate from your lawyer but decided to look into the FDRP on your own.  If you believe you have a fee dispute you should read the Fee Dispute Brochure carefully.  If you then want to use the FDRP, complete the Client Request for Arbitration form by downloading a packet from the local program’s page (UCS 137-4a) and file it with the local program. Once you file this form, your attorney will be required to participate in the FDRP unless your dispute is one the FDRP is not designed to handle. 

3. You and your lawyer have agreed ahead of time to use the FDRP.

You and your attorney previously agreed in writing to resolve fee disputes through the FDRP rather than in court.  You probably agreed to this option when your attorney first began representing you and after you had the opportunity to read about the FDRP and how it works.  If you believe that you have a fee dispute, you may simply file the Client Request for Arbitration form (UCS 137 - 4a) with the local program, together with a copy of the agreement to arbitrate.  Filing the request form with the local program will start the process and your attorney will be required to participate.  Alternatively, your attorney can start the process by filing a Request for Arbitration with the appropriate local program.  If your attorney starts the process, you will be required to participate under the terms of your agreement.

 

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