Fee Arbitration

How it Works

The Fee Arbitration Program provides an informal, confidential and low-cost forum for resolving disputes concerning fees between lawyers and their clients.

The Nevada County Bar Association administers a Fee Arbitration Program, approved by the State Bar of California, to resolve fee disputes between clients and attorneys without going to court.  Fee arbitration is mandatory for the lawyer if the client requests arbitration. The NCBA can conduct an arbitration if the majority of the services in question were provided in Nevada County.

There is a filing fee for the fee arbitration, which covers the administrative costs incurred by the volunteer Administrator:

  • $150 where the amount in dispute is up to $10,000
  • $300 where the amount in dispute is $10,000 or greater

In some circumstances, this fee can be waived for low-income clients.

Note – If you received a “Notice of Client’s Right to Arbitration” from an attorney, you have 30 days from the date of its receipt to submit a request for arbitration to the program administrator. If you do not request arbitration within 30 days, you may lose your right to arbitrate your fee dispute.

How to Get Started

  • Complete a Request to Arbitrate form
  • Prepare a copy of any materials to support the request
  • Write a check for the administration fee
  • Retain a copy of your form
  • Send the request form, check and materials to:

Fee Arbitration Chair
Nevada County Bar Association
P.O. Box 1473
Nevada City, CA  95959

To contact the Fee Arbitration Program Chair and Administrator:
Peter Bronson: pbronson@pbronsonlaw.com

General information about Fee Arbitration is available on the State Bar of California website: 
Fee Arbitration FAQ