The Austin Bar Fee Dispute Committee is composed of attorney and non-attorney volunteers who mediate and arbitrate fee disputes between lawyers and clients, as well as disputes between lawyers. The service is provided for free by the Austin Bar, but both parties must agree to meet and discuss the fee dispute. If you are interested in trying mediation for a fee dispute with an attorney who is a member of the Austin Bar Association or with an attorney who is a resident of Travis County, you must fill out a form to be processed. Download the Fee Dispute Inquiry Form or call (512) 472-0279 for questions. You will also need to download the Agreement to Arbitrate Form along with the Agreement to Mediate Form.
For a complete look at how our Fee Dispute program works, download our Fee Dispute Bylaws.
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens once I file my formal written request?
The written request will be reviewed by the Chair of the Austin Bar Fee Dispute Committee and the Austin Bar staff will determine whether the matter is appropriate for Committee consideration. Assuming the dispute is within the committee’s jurisdiction, the Chair will assign the matter to committee members for resolution. The Austin Bar staff will contact you to set a date for the proceedings.
When and where are mediations and arbitrations held?
All proceedings are conducted at the Austin Bar’s offices at 712 W. 16th Street in Austin, Texas. Mediations and arbitrations begin at 4 p.m. and generally end by 7 p.m.
What if my dispute does not settle at mediation?
If mediation does not settle your dispute, then the matter may go to binding arbitration. You may go to court to enforce the arbitration award if the other party fails to pay the arbitration award.
What happens if a client files a formal written request, but an attorney refuses to cooperate or to participate?
If an attorney fails to cooperate or participate, the file will be reviewed and may be forwarded to the president of the Austin Bar for further action.