Board of Governors makes changes to Fee Dispute Resolution Program Rule
The Fee Dispute Resolution Committee, the entity that oversees the state bar’s Fee Dispute Resolution Program, is now operating under amended rules due to recent action by the Board of Governors
The Fee Dispute Resolution Committee, the entity that oversees the state bar’s Fee Dispute Resolution Program, is now operating under amended rules due to recent action by the Board of Governors.At its July 12 meeting, the Board approved the Fee Dispute Resolution Committee’s recommendations to amend the rules governing the program. Key changes include:
- Removing the option of ex parte non-binding arbitration;
- Clarifying when the two-year time limit for filing a petition begins to run;
- Requiring that documents submitted to the Program Administrator’s office for distribution to a mediator, arbitrator, or other party be received seven calendar days in advance of the scheduled mediation meeting or arbitration hearing;
- Changing the required notice to strike an arbitration panel member from five continuous days to 10 business days prior to a scheduled arbitration hearing;
- Clarifying when a support person who is also a witness may be excluded from a hearing;
- Adding the right to request subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and subpoenas duces tecum;
- Adding a reference to § 435.012, RSMo, et seq. and the rights granted in arbitration hearings under those statutes;
- Allowing the parties to agree to proceed with two arbitrators if the third assigned arbitrator is unable to continue to act before an award has been made; and
- Allowing an arbitrator to electronically sign an award.
Offered as a free public service by The Missouri Bar, the Fee Dispute Resolution Program accepts cases from throughout the state of Missouri and is funded, in part, by The Bar Plan. Lawyers and non-lawyer volunteers from across the state serve as neutral facilitators, mediators, and arbitrators in the program.While only clients may file a complaint petition with the program, lawyers may suggest this program to their clients as an alternative to resolve disputes over fees. Participation in the program is voluntary.There is no charge to either the lawyer or client for using the Fee Dispute Resolution Program unless another lawyer or a court reporter is hired.For more information about the Fee Dispute Resolution Program, please visit http://www.mobar.org/forlawyers/services/feedispute.htm and http://missourilawyershelp.org/ethics/attorney-fee-dispute/.