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Fee Dispute Program

Attorney/Client Arbitration Board Volunteer Arbitrators


Volunteer Arbitrators Sought for D.C. Bar Fee Arbitration Service 

The District of Columbia Bar Attorney/Client Arbitration Board (ACAB) provides a system of binding arbitration for fee disputes between members of the District of Columbia Bar and their clients or former clients. Arbitration offers the public and members of the Bar an inexpensive, private method of resolving these disputes, which may range from small matters to complex controversies. The ACAB needs willing, conscientious arbitrators to hear these sensitive, important cases. 

The ACAB relies entirely upon volunteer arbitrators, selected from the membership of the District of Columbia Bar and non-lawyers from the community. Lawyer and non-lawyer arbitrators serve in the same capacity on arbitration cases –as panel members, chairpersons, and sole arbitrators. Arbitrators approved by the ACAB serve fixed terms of three years and may be considered for reappointment with no term limit. 

Although arbitrators serve without compensation, service as an arbitrator provides a unique opportunity to gain substantial insight into the legal, and especially the judicial, process while serving a vital public service to the community. 

To be considered as an arbitrator for the ACAB, a lawyer must have been admitted to the D.C. Bar for at least five years as an active member, and maintain membership with the D.C. Bar, either in active, inactive, judicial or inactive/retired status. A lawyer must have no pending disciplinary complaints at the Office of Disciplinary Counsel or the Board on Professional Responsibility. A non-lawyer must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university and at least seven years of relevant experience and knowledge, acquired in the business or professional world, following completion of an undergraduate degree. All arbitrators must have good moral character and no pending criminal, professional or other complaints, which puts into question their moral character or fitness to serve as a neutral. All ACAB arbitrators must complete an ACAB training session for new arbitrators before accepting assignment to cases. 

If you wish to be considered as a volunteer arbitrator, please complete the arbitrator application form and attach your resume and the names of two references who can be contacted by this office. 

Return the completed form and attachments to the address below no later than December 3, 2018: 

The District of Columbia Bar
901 4th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001

If you have any questions about the application process, please contact Kathleen Lewis at (202) 780-2772 or