All about: Fee Dispute Resolution (FDR) program
When a client disagrees with a fee charged by their Missouri lawyer, they may choose to submit a petition
When a client disagrees with a fee charged by their Missouri lawyer, they may choose to submit a petition form via the Fee Dispute Resolution program. Reasons for a dispute might include improper representation, lack of clarity about costs, and other concerns. If the FDR Committee approves jurisdiction, the program will open a case and offer mediation or binding arbitration.
There are many advantages to using this program, including its professional but informal process; faster resolution; and confidentiality. Even better, there is no cost for using the FDR program, unless another lawyer or court reporter is hired. Of note, the FDR program is available on a voluntary basis.
Mediation or arbitration?
In a mediation session, a professional will help the two sides to reach an agreement but will not make a decision. In a binding arbitration hearing, a professional will hear both parties and their witnesses and will make a decision, which the parties have agreed to follow in advance of the hearing.
How long does the process take?
It depends. To simplify the complaint process, make sure to have any related materials, like written agreements and billing statements, ready to upload with your petition form. If a case is opened, and the dispute totals more than $1,000, the client and the former lawyer will have up to 30 days to agree to the process. The length of a mediation or arbitration varies from case to case. If you are going through arbitration, you can expect a final decision to be made within 30 days after the hearing.
Where can I get more information and start the process?
Learn more about the FDR process at www.MoBar.org/fdr.