Rules of the Standing Committees of the North Carolina State Bar
Section .0700 Procedures for Fee Dispute Resolution
.0707 Processing Requests for Fee Dispute Resolution
(a) Requests for resolution of a disputed fee must be submitted in writing to the coordinator of the Fee Dispute Resolution Program addressed to the North Carolina State Bar,
(1) the names and addresses of the parties to the dispute;
(2) a clear and brief statement of the facts giving rise to the dispute;
(3) a statement that, prior to requesting fee dispute resolution, a reasonable attempt was made to resolve the dispute by agreement;
(4) a statement that the subject matter of the dispute has not been adjudicated and is not presently the subject of litigation.
(b) All petitions for resolution of a disputed fee must be filed (i) before the expiration of the statute of limitation applicable in the General Court of Justice for collection of the funds in issue or (ii) within three years of the termination of the client-lawyer relationship, whichever is later.
(c) The coordinator of the Fee Dispute Resolution Program or a facilitator will investigate the petition to determine its suitability for fee dispute resolution. If it is determined that the dispute is not suitable for fee dispute resolution, the coordinator and/or the facilitator will prepare a dismissal letter setting forth the facts and a recommendation for dismissal. The coordinator and/or the facilitator will forward the dismissal letter to the vice-chairperson. If the vice chairperson agrees with the recommendation, the petition will be dismissed. The coordinator and/or facilitator will notify the parties in writing of the dismissal. Grounds for dismissal include, but are not limited to, the following:
(1) the petition is frivolous or moot;
(2) the committee lacks jurisdiction over one or more of the parties or over the subject matter of the dispute;
(3) the fee has been earned; or
(4) the expenses were properly incurred.
(d) If the vice-chairperson disagrees with the recommendation for dismissal, the coordinator will schedule a settlement conference.
History Note: Statutory Authority G.S. 84-23
Adopted May 4, 2000
Amended March 8, 2007; March 11, 2010
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