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California lawyers gather for their Annual Meeting to discuss and resolve important topics, and to participate in ongoing legal education, as well as professional networking.  This year, St. Francis School of Law Dean Carole J. Buckner will be speaking at the Annual Meeting in San Diego, California, on Saturday, October 1, on Protecting and Collecting Legal Fees, at 10:30 am.

The program is sponsored by the Committee on Mandatory Fee Arbitration, of which Dean Buckner is a member.  The program will also feature attorney Michael J. Fish, of the law firm of Merrill, Arnone & Jones, LLP, in Santa Rosa.  The program will focus on procedures used in mandatory fee arbitration between lawyers and clients, as well as the benefits of using the mandatory fee arbitration system.

Dean Buckner and Mr. Fish will also address billing practices for lawyers, including practices that could reasonably be questioned by fee arbitrators.  Dean Buckner’s recent article for the Los Angeles County Bar Association on Ethical Billing of Attorneys Fees will also be covered in the presentation.

Commonly, fee arbitration is initiated through the local bar association, which provides voluntary fee arbitrators to help clients resolve fee disputes with their counsel.  The goal is to provide a convenient and economical method of resolving fee disputes.  Where no local bar association exists, the State Bar will assume jurisdiction over a fee arbitration matter.  Dean Buckner serves as a volunteer fee arbitrator for the Orange County Bar Association.  Mr. Fish has been involved in fee arbitration for the past 25+ years with the Marin County Bar Association and the Sonoma County Bar Association.