Resources Fee Arbitration

Attorneys Filing for Fee Arbitration or Suing a Client for Fees

Unless your client has agreed, in writing, to arbitration under Business and Professions Code §6200-6206, [link] arbitration of all disputes concerning fees, costs or both, under those sections is voluntary for a client and mandatory for an attorney if commenced by a client.

An attorney must (prior to or at the time of service of summons in a lawsuit or prior to or at the commencement of any other proceeding under a contract that provides for an alternative to arbitration under the above codes) serve upon the client, the State Bar approved form, Notice of Client’s Right to Arbitration.

Download Client Rights to Arbitration

All attorneys must send this form to their clients prior to or at the time of initiating a lawsuit or other proceeding to collect fees (Bus. & Prof. §6201(a)). Use of any other form, or incorporation of the same or similar language contained in the form on independent stationery or in the body of a letter from the attorney to the client is not legally acceptable as a substitute. The client has 30 days within which to contact the Bar Association to request arbitration.

The MCBA Fee Arbitration Program is temporarily suspended. During this time, please contact the Sonoma County Bar Association or the State Bar of California Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program.

Sonoma County Bar Association

State Bar of California Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program

For information contact MCBA at or call 415 499 1314.