Yesterday I received a nice formal letter from the Joint Committee on Fee Disputes and Conciliation, informing me officially — confirming what the Program Administration told me on the phone — that, “Unfortunately, we will not be able to assist you with your dispute. According to the rules of our program, we are prohibited from hearing fee disputes regarding representation in personal injury matters.”
She enclosed a copy of the Rules. (I’ve published a link to them in previous posts.)
I’m really sorry. I misinformed you. I myself hadn’t absorbed all the correct information. To translate for myself (and you) what happened: we clients can only ask for mediation or arbitration of our legal fees in a case for which the fee structure isn’t predetermined, as it is with a contingency case. My foot injury case, per retainer, has a clear fee structure: after costs and disbursements are deducted from the gross settlement amount, the lawyer receives 33-1/3 percent, and I receive 66-2/3 percent.
My disagreement with Dinkes & Schwitzer has to do with what they are claiming as costs and disbursements. I believe they are incorrect (the diplomatic way of putting it).
My real estate lawyer has asked how I’m supposed to get my money, if the Joint Committee won’t arbitrate? It’s a great question. After a couple of days letting the question sit in my brain, I’ve pretty much decided what I’ll do, but I don’t want to tell you (since D&S has told me they are reading this blog) until I do it.
After which, I’ll let you know.