Cases for the Standing Committee on the Resolution of Fee Disputes
must be initiated by the client or former client of an attorney.
It is the purpose and function of the Committee on the Resolution of Fee Disputes to encourage the amicable resolution of disputes between attorneys and clients or former clients involving legal fees and costs paid, charged or claimed, and to provide to clients or former clients a fair and efficient method of determining such disputes through either mediation or binding arbitration when such disputes cannot be amicably resolved. These Rules shall become effective on September 15, 2008, for all disputes submitted to the Committee on or after that date.
The Committee shall have jurisdiction over any dispute submitted by a client or former client concerning a fee (and/or costs) paid, charged or claimed with respect to legal services rendered by an attorney licensed to practice in the State of Maryland who rendered services to the client or former client in a Montgomery County court or administrative proceeding, or who rendered services to the client or former client from the attorney’s law office located in Montgomery County where the amount in controversy is $1,000.00 or greater. Excluded from the Committee's jurisdiction are: (a) disputes where litigation concerning the fee dispute has commenced and is pending between the parties, except where the complaint is referred to the Committee by a court of competent jurisdiction as provided for in paragraph 8 or the parties to a Court case agree to have the dispute heard by the Committee; (b) disputes over which a court has, in the first instance, jurisdiction to determine the fee; (c) disputes involving services which are alleged to constitute a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct and for which a complaint is pending, unresolved, before the Attorney Grievance Commission; and (d) disputes wherein the Complainant seeks damages or a return of fees paid based on allegations of legal malpractice, for which the statute of limitations for same has not run. The latter subsection (d) is not intended to exclude or prevent the Committee from exercising jurisdiction over, or having the authority to grant, a request for a refund of fee based on a claim that the fee is excessive. Where a Chair or any member of a Sub-Committee obtains knowledge that a lawyer has committed a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct that raises a substantial question as to that lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer in other respects, the Chair or member, as the case may be, shall inform the appropriate professional authority, consistent with the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Rules For the Standing Committee on the Resolution of Fee Disputes
Waiver & Acknowledgement Form (must be signed, dated & sent in with complaint letter)