The Fee Dispute Committee
The Fee Dispute Committee (the “Committee”) of the Delaware State Bar Association has been established to resolve controversies:
- between a lawyer and the client, and
- between lawyers who succeed each other in the representation of a client.
This Committee enables Comment 14 to Rule 1.5 (Fees) of the Rules of Professional Conduct. Comment 14 states:
“Disputes over fees. If a procedure has been established for resolution of fee disputes, such as an arbitration or mediation procedure established by the bar, the lawyer must comply with the procedure when it is mandatory, and, even when it is voluntary, the lawyer should conscientiously consider submitting to it.”
The Committee does NOT:
- offer clients or former clients with legal advice with respect to fee agreements or representational issues.
- advise clients or former clients as to what is “customary” or “legitimate” with respect to fee agreements or reimbursement of expenses.
The Complete Rules of the Committee are available here.
Rules of the Fee Dispute Committee:
Initiating a Dispute:
To initiate a fee dispute, the initiating party should complete and sign the Petition, and complete and sign the Agreement to Arbitration.
These completed documents should be delivered to (DO NOT MAIL TO DSBA):
Fee Dispute Committee Chair
c/o Robert K. Beste, Esq.
Smith, Katzenstein & Jenkins LLP
P.O. Box 410
Wilmington, DE 19899
After receipt of these documents, the Fee Dispute Committee will follow up in accordance with the Committee Procedures.