Bucks County Bar Association Fee Disputes
All Committee attorneys are members of the Bucks County Bar Association who have volunteered to serve without compensation in assisting members of the public to fairly and promptly resolve their fee disputes with Bucks County Bar Association members.
WHEN DO I HAVE A FEE DISPUTE?
Whenever you disagree with your attorney or former attorney about:
1. The fees you have paid already; or
2. The amount claimed to be due.
WHAT SHOULD I DO?
Contact the Bucks County Bar Association (800-479-8585) regarding filing a fee dispute. You may fill out the below complaint form and fax it to (215-348-3277) or email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is no filing fee, nor will there be any other fees charged.
HOW DOES THE FEE DISPUTE PROCESS WORK?
After the complaint form is submitted to the Association, it will be determined whether the dispute qualifies for consideration by the Committee. Some disputes may not qualify, such as those that are already in court. If it does not qualify, you will be notified. If your dispute does qualify, you will be notified and the attorney will be asked to answer the complaint.
The attorney may choose not to answer the complaint and you will be notified if this is the case. In most instances, the attorney does file an answer which will be forwarded to you. Hopefully, at this point you and the attorney will resolve the dispute amicably between yourselves.
If the matter cannot be resolved amicably, the attorney is then sent a form asking him/her to agree to have the Committee resolve the dispute. If the attorney agrees, then a hearing is scheduled and both sides may testify, cross examine and present evidence and argument just as in any court proceeding. Although it is not necessary, either side may be represented by an attorney. The formal rules of evidence are not strictly followed. The Committee will review any evidence it believes to be relevant and competent.
MAY OTHER DISPUTES BE BROUGHT BEFORE THE COMMITTEE?
No. Only fee disputes may be considered. Issues involving ethics, or the quality of representation, cannot be decided by the Committee.
IS YOUR COMMITTEE THE ONLY WAY THAT I CAN RESOLVE MY FEE DISPUTE WITH MY ATTORNEY?
No. The Committee procedure is voluntary for both the client and the lawyer. Each must agree or the Committee cannot hold a hearing. The client and the lawyer may still try to reach an agreement between themselves. They each have the further option of using the court system.
However, if both attorney and client submit the dispute to the Committee for decision, the Committee’s decision is legally binding on both.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF USING THE FEE DISPUTES COMMITTEE?
1. A prompt and inexpensive resolution of the disagreement. (There are no filing or other fees.)
2. Use of volunteer, impartial attorneys experienced in setting fees.
3. No need to hire another attorney.
Call the Bucks County Bar Association Office (800-479-8585) for any additional questions you may have.