Was sued by a former lawyer for attorney fees can I file a motion to compel arbitration? Live in Ct. bar has ADR.

Ct has ADR but it is not mandatory. I am in disagreement with the final bill, was in bk, filed chapter 7 wife filed 13 then converted to 7 remaining fees were discharged in her 7. He represented us jointly but work at the end was done primarily on her behalf. She is the breadwinner, I am making very little money. I want to go to ADR to dispute bill, there is no arbitration clause in the contract signed with the attorney. Can I file a motion to compel ? I want to fle the motion and then appeal it if it is denied instead of filing an answer to the complaint.

Waterbury, CT -

Attorney Answers (2)

Houston Putnam Lowry

Houston Putnam Lowry

Arbitration Lawyer - Meriden, CT
Answered

Generally speaking, arbitration can only occur if the parties have an arbitration clause.

HOWEVER, if your lawyer belongs to the Connecticut Bar Association ( (860) 223-4400), their bylaws REQUIRE the lawyer to submit to binding fee arbitration before the Connecticut Bar Association (they provide this as a free service and the arbitrators are volunteers). Yes, you can file a motion to compel arbitration and it would normally be granted under our version of the Connecticut Arbitration Act.

Please note the bankruptcy court retains jurisdiction to review the fees of lawyers that practice before it.

If a lawyer's fee arrangement is not in writing, our version of the rules of professional conduct generally do not allow the lawyer to charge ANY fee.

I am admitted to practice in Connecticut and limit my responses to CT law.
Guy W Bluff

Guy W Bluff

Arbitration Lawyer - Phoenix, AZ
Answered

The attorneys fees are subject to the Bankruptcy Court. Your attorney would have to file an application for fees with the Court and you should have been provided a copy of the application / motion for fees. You need to contact your Chapter 7 Trustee and see if it is too late to file an objection to the fee application in the Bankruptcy Court.

Attorney is Licensed in Arizona, California, and Colorado only. The opinions and comments offered are in the... more

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