Mt fee agreement with my attorney said that any disputes arising out of the representation would be settled by arbitration. Now I want to sue him for malpractice. Do I need to abide by the arbitration clause?
The attorney can enforce the arbitration clause within the retainer agreement.
Attorney's response is not intended as legal advice and is intended for informational purposes only. Attorney's response does not create an attorney client relationship. Inquirer should seek the advice of a duly licensed attorney within that particular jurisdiction.
Typically yes, however as the arbitration clause is contractual in nature, both parties can always agree to waive arbitration and pursue the matter in Superior Court. Also there is an argument that if you are suing for malpractice, your action lies in tort and does not arise out of the contract itself.
The above statement does not create an attorney-client relationship and the submitting party should not consider the responding their attorney.
You are very likely bound by the terms of the agreement. You should consult with an attorney to determine whether or not the clause is enforceable. No one here can help you because your rights and obligations are governed by the agreement that you signed, which we cannot read and review in detail. That review needs to take place before you know what your options are.
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Generally, the state bar requires that consumers are notified of the arbitration process re: fee disputes. I am not sure you are bound to go through the process. May depend on the wording and circumstances of the retainer agreement. Best off to have your malpractice attorney opine on this one.
Contact the California State Bar, as there may very well be rules against attorneys using arbitration clauses to cover malpractice disputes, which could render the arbitration clause ineffective as to your malpractice claims.
Please note that, while I am a lawyer, I am not your lawyer. This information is for general educational and informational purposes only, and is not legal advice. You should review your particular situation with a qualified lawyer of your choosing.
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