Posted Monday, February 11th, 2019

Litigants who believe their lawyers have charged unreasonable fees and who have not been able to resolve fee disputes with their attorney privately may be able to request that the dispute be arbitrated before a county-based Fee Arbitration Committee.Morris Courts: Seeking Non-Lawyers for Volunteer Legal Fees Dispute Panel

The Supreme Court of New Jersey has established the fee arbitration process as a low-cost and efficient method to resolve such disputes. District fee arbitration committees throughout New Jersey are maintained by volunteers, with the goal of resolving, through binding arbitration, disputes over attorney fees.

The District X Fee Arbitration Committee, which covers Morris and Sussex counties, is seeking public members to serve as arbitrators. The time commitment is once per month, and meetings are presently held on the third Tuesday of each month at 9 a.m. at the Morris County Superior Court in Morristown.

Applicants must reside or work in either Morris County or Sussex County. To apply, contact Patricia J. Cistaro,  Vice-Chair of the District X Fee Arbitration Committee at [email protected] or telephone (973) 813-8100.

Fee arbitration is impartial and inexpensive, and the arbitration process is typically resolved more quickly than a court case. The fee arbitration process may be less stressful for all involved, since it is less formal and designed to bring matters towards their conclusion in a straightforward, time-saving, and efficient way.

Since 1979, fee arbitration committees have been composed of both attorneys and public members who volunteer their time. Most fee arbitration cases are heard before panels of three members, composed of two attorneys and one public member, whom then render a decision regarding the dispute.

Members of Fee Arbitration Committees are appointed by the Supreme Court. Fee arbitration hearings are confidential and conducted in private.