How to Resolve Attorney-Client Fee Disputes in New York

The New York Supreme Court in Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Adaby v. Rose, Index No. 103871/10, recently ruled that the “account stated rule” makes a client liable for the outstanding balance on a legal invoice.  The court reasoned that when a client pays part of a bill, such client is generally deemed to have accepted the entire billing as valid.   The court also noted that the invoices, which were challenged by the client detailed the outstanding bills and were not rebutted as to why or how they were excessive.   In New York State, the Court  
System has established a Statewide Fee Dispute Resolution Program (“FDRP”) to resolve attorney-client disputes over legal fees through arbitration and sometimes even mediation.  Generally, an attorney may not sue a client in court over a fee dispute unless he or she first provided the client with notice of the right to utilize the FDRP.  Once the client has received this notice, he or she has 30 days to decide whether to use the FDRP. If the client doesn’t choose to participate in the FDRP within 30 days, the attorney is free to pursue the matter in court.   Read more to learn about your rights here: http://www.nycourts.gov/admin/feedispute/pdfs/FD_brochure.pdf and contact the attorneys at Bashian & Papantoniou, PC, to resolve your attorney fee disputes.

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