January 18, 2008
Fee Arbitration Program celebrates longevity
In case you have not heard, the Columbus Bar offers, at no cost to participants, a fee arbitration program as a means of settling fee disputes between attorneys and clients. Either a client or an attorney may request arbitration, and both parties may be represented by counsel in the arbitration proceedings. The hearing panel will consist of one, two, or three arbitrators depending on the amount in dispute. At least one member of the panel will be an attorney.
From June of 2006 to June of 2007, we had 113 requests for fee arbitration, totaling $1,021,260.59 with $214,057.20 awarded to both clients and attorneys. Of the 113 requests, 15% of the arbitrations concerned general civil matters, 25% involved matters of criminal law, and the bulk of the requested arbitrations, at 60%, related to legal services in the field of domestic relations.
The Fee Arbitration Committee includes members of the Columbus Bar and the public, appointed by the president. This committee has 42 members, 12 of whom are laypersons.
On average, each member serving on the committee will hear approximately four cases per year. A few members go above and beyond the normal case load, and volunteer for additional fee arbitration matters. From June 2006 to June 2007, it is worth noting that such committee members were Marshall Barnes II, Theresa Conti, Frederick Isaac, and William Moul.
Frederick M. Isaac, of Isaac Brant Ledman & Teetor, currently serves as chairperson of this volunteer committee. He was first appointed by the president after indicating he would be interested in becoming a member of the committee. Nearly fourteen years later, Mr. Isaac is serving his second term as chairperson.
You can read more about this program by visiting http://www.peoplesbar.org and selecting Fee Disputes.