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Notice: Effective January 1, 2018, Section 137.6 is amended as follows:

Section 137.6 Arbitration procedure.
(a)(1) Except as set forth in paragraph (2), where the attorney and client cannot agree as to the attorney's fee or where the attorney seeks to commence an action against the client for attorney’s fees, the attorney shall forward a written notice to the client, entitled Notice of Client's Right to Arbitrate, by certified mail or by personal service. The notice (i) shall be in a form approved by the board of governors; (ii) shall contain a statement of the client's right to arbitrate; (iii) shall advise that the client has 30 days from receipt of the notice in which to elect to resolve the dispute under this Part; (iv) shall be accompanied by the written instructions and procedures for the arbitral body having jurisdiction over the fee dispute, which explain how to commence a fee arbitration proceeding; and (v) shall be accompanied by a copy of the "request for arbitration" form necessary to commence the arbitration proceeding.

Administrative Order

Watch the FDRP Orientation to the Program


22 NYCRR § 137
Fee Dispute Brochure Acrobat

This website is designed to educate the public about the FDRP. This site contains information to assist clients and attorneys in making decisions about the program.

The New York State Court System has established a Statewide Fee Dispute Resolution Program (FDRP) to resolve attorney-client disputes over legal fees through arbitration (and in some cases mediation).

In general, a lawyer 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 lawyer is free to pursue the matter in court.

Fee dispute resolution services are provided by local programs throughout New York. To find out which local program has jurisdiction over your fee dispute first identify the county in which the majority of the legal services in the case were performed. This is usually (but not always) the county where the lawyer’s office is located. Then click on the local program’s page and download the local program’s rules and forms there.

Please note that the FDRP’s jurisdiction is limited to resolving attorney-client disputes over legal fees.

The FDRP cannot address claims of lawyer misconduct. In New York, the conduct of attorneys is governed by the Appellate Divisions of State Supreme Court and the Disciplinary and Grievance Committees appointed by the respective Appellate Division.

Get more information on the Grievance Committees.

The FDRP cannot address claims of lawyer malpractice. If you are a client and you believe that your attorney committed malpractice in your case, you should not utilize the FDRP because it is possible that an arbitration decision against you with regard to the fee dispute could adversely affect your ability to pursue malpractice in court at a later date.