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16 U.S.F. L. Rev. 411 (1981-1982)
Fine Tuning California's Mandatory Attorney Fee Arbitration Statute

handle is hein.journals/usflr16 and id is 421 raw text is: ARTICLES
Fine Tuning California's
Mandatory Attorney Fee
Arbitration Statute
By JAMES P. HARGARTEN
Partner, Thelen, Marrin, Johnson &
Bridges, San Francisco; Director, Bar
Association of San Francisco; Chairman,
Committee on Arbitration of Fee
Disputes; B.A., Marquette University,
1965; J.D., University of Wisconsin,
1968; Member, California Bar..
SUSAN A. ARDISSON*
Introduction
THE CALIFORNIA LEGISLATURE enacted a mandatory attor-
ney fee arbitration statute in 1978 to provide for compulsory
arbitration of fee disputes between California attorneys and cli-
ents.1 The intent of the legislation was to provide an effective, ex-
peditious, simple, low cost forum in which an attorney and a client
may resolve a dispute over legal fees.' Generally, California attor-
* Class of 1983; Administrator of the Committee of Arbitration of Fee Disputes of the
Bar Association of San Francisco, 1978 to 1982.
1. CAL. Bus. & PROF. CODE §§ 6200-6206 (West Supp. 1981). Mandatory arbitration
applies to disputes over fees for legal services in dispute which were rendered after January
1, 1979. See id. § 6205. The text of the statute is set out in the Appendix.
2. See REPORT OF THE SPECIAL COMMITTEE ON RESOLUTION OF FEE DisPUTES, STATE BAR
OF CALIFORNIA (Apr. 29, 1976) [on file at the U.S.F. L. Rev.]; Fernandez, The Pending Pro-
posal for Mandatory Fee Arbitration, 52 CAL. ST. B.J. 520, 521 (1977).

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