The Fee Dispute Committee of the MSBA is composed of an Executive Council, consisting of a Chair and seven Vice Chairs, and members who volunteer to act as Settlement Facilitators and Arbitrators. The Executive Council meets approximately four times per year to vote on the disposition of cases. This program benefits the public, but also members of the MSBA by allowing attorneys to utilize the program to negotiate a resolution with their clients. Both clients and MSBA Attorneys may file “complaints” with the committee, and use the volunteer program to help facilitate settlements.
Terms & Conditions:
By submitting a Complaint you agree to have your Complaint reviewed by the Maryland State Bar Association’s Committee on the Resolution of Fee Disputes (“Fee Dispute Committee”) in an attempt to resolve the dispute between you and the opposing party. You further agree that the Complaint will be governed by the Fee Dispute Committee Regulations which can be found here.
During the initial review, the Fee Dispute Committee will determine whether it will accept jurisdiction over the Complaint. The Fee Dispute Committee shall deny jurisdiction where the amount in dispute is below $500.00, and may also deny jurisdiction for good cause. Complaints which may be declined by the Fee Dispute Committee for good cause include, but are not limited to, fee disputes which are pending in a court or which are also the subject of a complaint filed with the Attorney Grievance Commission, fee disputes involving the parties as to which the Attorney Grievance Committee has become involved, fee disputes filed untimely with the Committee, or involving attorneys no longer admitted to practice in Maryland.
THE BURDEN OF COMPLYING WITH THE STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS WITH REGARD TO THE COMPLAINT RESTS COMPLETELY ON THE COMPLAINANT. THE COMPLAINANT HAS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF FILING SUIT IF THE COMPLAINANT DESIRES TO DO SO, PRIOR TO THE RUNNING OF THE STATUTE.
After initial review your Complaint will be assigned to a Settlement Facilitator. The Settlement Facilitator will gather any other necessary facts from you and the opposing party. The Settlement Facilitator will assess the situation objectively and recommend a resolution and attempt to achieve that resolution by acting as a neutral between you and the opposing party to settle the dispute.
If a resolution is not reached, the Settlement Facilitator will seek consent from all parties to attend a two-hour Settlement Conference in an attempt to resolve the dispute. If one or more parties fails to consent to the Settlement Conference, the Fee Dispute Committee will terminate jurisdiction and notify both parties. If all parties consent, then a Settlement Conference will be held at a date, time and location set by the Settlement Facilitator. The Settlement Conference may be held either virtually or in-person.
If a resolution is still not reached following the Settlement Conference, the Settlement Facilitator will seek consent from all parties to submit the claim to binding arbitration. If one or more parties fails to consent to the Settlement Conference, the Fee Dispute Committee will terminate jurisdiction and notify both parties. If all parties consent, the Fee Dispute Committee shall assign one or more arbitrators to the Complaint, and set the date, time and location of the binding arbitration. By agreeing to such, the right to any further court proceedings, except possible enforcement of any award, is waived. Further, by agreeing to arbitration, you agree to comply with the result, even if the result is in the opposing party’s favor.