June 24, 2008
Too Much To Arbitrate
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 Plaintiff contends that since it rescinded the tentative credit of $50,000, the amount owed by defendant client is approximately $140,000.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.
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