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Fee Dispute Resolution Committee


The Fee Dispute Resolution Committee mediates and arbitrates fee disputes pursuant to RPC 1.5(f). Committee members/panelists must have mediation experience or be DRC certified mediators.




2013-14 Chair

Keith B. Nichols




Class of 2014

Class of 2015

Class of 2016

Public Members

Allen L. West

Chris M. Kallianos

William L. Esser IV

Ben Heatley

Christopher J. Loebsack

Kenneth R. Raynor

Mary V. Carrigan

Darwin F. Rice

Teadra G. Pugh

Karen H. Chapman

Colette T. Davis


Arathi P. Nobles

Jeffrey A. Long

F. Lane Williamson


Jane V. Harper

Stephen E. Gruendel

Stacey Stone Bennett


Jon P. Carroll


Ketan P. Soni



Staff Liaison

Maya M. Engle, Assistant Executive Director - 


Volunteer Need / Commitment

Members of the Fee Dispute Resolution Committee attend quarterly committee meetings and are assigned two to three cases each month to mediate. Members will also have the opportunity to participate in arbitration panels consisting of three panelists: a chair, one attorney and one lay person.  Interested in joining this committee? Complete the committee interest form.



Committee Documents/Links


Fee Dispute Resolution Committee, 2012-13 Report
By Richard S. Wright, Chair

The Fee Dispute Resolution Committee mediates (and in some cases arbitrates) fee disputes between lawyers who are members of the Mecklenburg County Bar and their clients.  Under the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 1.5(f), North Carolina licensed attorneys must participate in good faith in the Fee Dispute Resolution process if a client has made a timely and proper claim.

A Committee member determines whether this Committee has jurisdiction for Fee Dispute Resolution, then mediates the dispute if it is.  Cases that resolve in mediation are closed with a written memorandum.  Cases that reach an impasse may (with mutual consent) be referred to a 3-person arbitration panel consisting of two lawyers and one lay person, none of whom was the mediator.  Without such mutual consent, cases that reach an impasse are closed to allow the parties to pursue other remedies.

Fee Disputes may be filed locally or with the North Carolina State Bar, but most are handled locally.  Lawyer members of the Committee are trained and certified mediators or have extensive mediation experience.  All proceedings are confidential.

From July 1, 2012, through May 1, 2013, approximately 54 new files were opened and 60 were closed.  Of these closed files, more than 56% were settled.  This past year, the Committee continued to see an increase in filings by clients, as well as more Bar members seeking to collect on past due accounts and notifying clients of the Fee Dispute Resolution process.



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