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 client must complete the Request for Fee Arbitration and submit the appropriate filing fee to the MCBA office within the required time period of 30 days from the date of receipt of the Notice of Client’s Right To Arbitrate or the client will have waived their right to arbitrate.

Download Rules

Download Client Request Form

Download Attorney Form

For information contact MCBA at or call 415 499 1314.