Fee Arbitration materials available for download:
- Document: Guidelines & Rules for Arbitrators, Revised on Nov. 21, 2016
- Form: Notice of Fee Arbitration Hearing
- Form: Stipulation to Binding Arbitration
- Form: Proof of Service by Mail
- Form: Findings & Award Form Rev. 8.17.16 FILLABLE
- Document: Sample MFA Award 3.14.15
- Checklist: Arbitration Award Checklist
Want to become an Arbitrator?
The Sonoma County Bar Association Fee Arbitration Program Needs You!
The Sonoma County Bar Association is approved by the State Bar of California to sponsor a local Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program. Fee Arbitration is the process by which attorneys and their clients resolve a fee dispute. The SCBA, through the mandatory fee arbitration process, offers for attorneys and clients a chance to arbitrate their fee dispute. Fee arbitration is mandatory for the lawyer if the client requests arbitration.
Attorney Arbitrators and Lay Arbitrators
Attorneys and lay people serve as arbitrators for the fee arbitration process. They hear the case and make a decision about what fees were earned, based on the evidence provided by the attorney and the client. All arbitrators volunteer their time as a public service.
The Arbitration Process
One of the attorney arbitrators acts as the lead arbitrator and is responsible for taking care of the paper-work and scheduling the fee arbitration, with the assistance of SCBA staff. SCBA staff handles all the administration details from beginning to end. Arbitrations typically last from one to three hours. In order to qualify as an arbitrator, you must have practiced law for a minimum of five years and be in current good standing with the State Bar of California. In addition, once every five years, you must attend a State Bar Fee Arbitrator training program.
How You Can Help
The SCBA is currently looking for new attorney and lay arbitrators.