Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The New York Appellate Division for the First Judicial Department held today that the Fee Dispute Resolution Program does not apply when the amount in dispute exceeds $50,000:
The Fee Dispute Resolution Program has no applicability where the amount in dispute exceeds $50,000 (see 22 NYCRR 137.1[b]); both parties agree that the amount in dispute substantially exceeds that amount. Plaintiff contends that since it rescinded the tentative credit of $50,000, the amount owed by defendant client is approximately $140,000. Defendant admits he paid only $114,000 of the approximately $250,000 billed in attorney's fees. The amount in dispute clearly exceeds the $50,000 cap.
Plaintiff law firm did not consent to arbitration (22 NYCRR § 137.2). Accordingly, it is unnecessary to consider whether defendant waived his right to arbitration.