Mandatory Fee Arbitration

The committee's primary function is to oversee the mandatory attorney-client fee arbitration program established by Business & Professions Code Sections 6200-6206. Fee arbitration is currently provided by 39 local bar associations and State Bar programs.

The committee:

  • reviews and comments upon any proposed legislation and tracks other legal developments that may affect either the mandatory fee arbitration program or attorney fee agreements in general;
  • makes recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding amendments to the fee arbitration statutes, the State Bar's Fee Arbitration Rules and local bar associations' Rules of Procedure for Fee Arbitration, the Guidelines and Minimum Standards for the Operation of Mandatory Fee Arbitration Programs, and the State Bar's Model Rules of Procedure; 
  • monitors developments in both substantive and procedural law relating to mandatory fee arbitration;
  • oversees the State Bar's Mandatory Fee Arbitration Department;
  • drafts the State Bar's approved sample fee agreements, arbitration advisories and program advisories;
  • conducts continuing education seminars, including fee arbitrator training sessions for fee arbitrators with the local and State Bar MCLE programs relating to legal fees.

The basic time commitment for committee members includes attending six meetings per year, involving approximately 12 hours per month in months when meetings occur. Members who speak at educational seminars and arbitrator training programs will incur additional hours. In addition, members are assigned projects often on a team subcommittee basis, which may require time for research, writing and editing.

Lawyers and public members experienced in a local bar mandatory fee arbitration, including experienced fee arbitrators, chairs, vice chairs and staff administrators from local bar fee arbitration programs, are especially encouraged to apply.

  • Expected 2014-15 vacancies: 6 (lawyer and public member positions)
  • Approximate number of meetings per year: 6-8, plus special projects
  • Chair: Gary W. Powell, San Diego 
  • Staff contact: Doug Hull 415-538-2015

Deadline for 2014 applications:  Feb. 3, 2014

2014-15 terms begin: Conclusion of 2014 State Bar Annual Meeting (Sept. 14, 2014)