Please read the following in its entirety before proceeding. Questions may be directed to 202-737-4700 ext. 3216. The ACAB can only answer questions about the arbitration process and can not provide legal advice.
The Attorney/Client Arbitration Board of the District of Columbia Bar provides an informal arbitration service, for a nonrefundable filing fee, for resolution of fee disputes between members of this Bar and their clients. Either the client or the lawyer may request arbitration. If a client requests arbitration, the lawyer must participate. If a lawyer requests arbitration, the client, under certain circumstances, may elect to participate.
This service is an informal, quick and efficient means of resolving fee disputes. Arbitration may be completed within 120 days of receipt of signed agreements to arbitrate from both parties, while litigation of the same dispute might take a year or longer.
A copy of the rules of procedure will be sent to all parties who submit their disputes to the ACAB for resolution. The rules of procedure governing arbitration conform with the District of Columbia arbitration law. Signing an agreement to arbitrate limits the client to arbitration before the ACAB as the forum for resolving this dispute.
Awards of the ACAB hearing panels are binding on both parties to a dispute. Settlements between the parties are encouraged and may be incorporated into the panel’s award.
There is no appeal process before the ACAB and only a limited right of appeal is available to parties in the District of Columbia Superior Court under Title 16, Chapter 44, of the District of Columbia Code. Under Sections 16-4423 and 16-4424 of the Code, the Court has the authority, on prompt application, to vacate or modify an award only in certain stated circumstances, such as obtaining the award by “corruption, fraud or other undue means.”
An award may be enrolled as a judgment of a court that has authority over the parties. For purposes of enforcement and collection, it becomes like any other judgment of the court. If you wish to submit your dispute to arbitration, please check the checkbox below to confirm you have read this sheet and wish to proceed to the necessary forms.