Dispute with Your Lawyer
How do you solve legal fee disputes with your lawyer?
If you have a fee dispute with your lawyer, consider arbitration as an option. You must agree to attend an informal conference before the Westmoreland Bar Association Fee Dispute Committee, in the presence of the attorney against whom your complaint is lodged. You must also agree to be bound by the decision of the WBA Fee Dispute Committee and will not file any appeal to any court. The Committee will not hear any case until you and the attorney agree to appear before the WBA Fee Dispute Committee.
This Committee conducts hearings on complaints initiated by clients of lawyers on Westmoreland County matters or Westmoreland County lawyers to determine whether those attorneys have charged reasonable fees. The Committee has been instrumental in resolving disagreements between attorneys and clients that would have otherwise resulted in expensive and time-consuming litigation.
- For more information, call the Westmoreland Bar Association at 724.834.6730.
- To file a fee dispute, please fill out the Westmoreland Bar Association Fee Dispute Committee Client's Questionnaire and Agreement:
Download the WBA Fee Dispute Questionnaire and Agreement» (PDF 26 KB)
How do you file a complaint?
Under no circumstances should you feel it necessary to continue to be represented by a lawyer who you are dissatisfied with, but don't act hastily. Often, a conference with the lawyer can ease your concerns. He or she may not be aware of your dissatisfaction. It is always your choice about which lawyer you want to represent you. And note: a dismissed lawyer may be entitled to a fee for services actually rendered.
Should you decide to discontinue using your lawyer, that lawyer has certain obligations and duties to you such as returning all documents and papers in possession, filing the necessary withdrawal stipulations with the court and helping your new lawyer become familiar with the case.
If you find or suspect a lawyer's conduct to be unethical, you have the right to file a complaint with the attorney disciplinary authorities, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel, District IV, at 412.565.3173.
Complaint forms can be obtained online here: Disciplinary Board Complaint Forms»
The Westmoreland Bar Association presents the information on this Web site as a service to our members and other Internet users. While the information on this site is about legal issues, it is not legal advice. Moreover, due to the rapidly changing nature of the law and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, we make no warranty or guarantee concerning the accuracy or reliability of the content at this site or at other sites to which we link.