For The Public
Resolving Fee Disagreements
Are you having a disagreement with your lawyer over your bill?
We provide information and help so that can help you resolve your dispute.
The rules* state clearly that your attorney may not bill for services that you did not receive. If you feel that your lawyer has broken these rules, you may file a grievance.
Follow these steps:
- Talk to your lawyer first
- If you can't talk to your lawyer, use CAAP
- How to file a complaint
- Local help in your area
Our fee dispute services are designed to protect you, and is just one of our many public services here at the State Bar of Texas.
Talk to Your Lawyer First
It is very important that you try to discuss your concerns about your bill directly with your lawyer.
Sometimes all it takes is an honest and open conversation with your lawyer to resolve a question about your bill. Our research indicates that many problems start out as a simple miscommunication. Don't let this happen between you and your lawyer.
If you feel intimidated by your lawyer, take a friend or family member along for confidence. And take notes before you meet with your lawyer. Taking notes helps everyone stay focused on the issues.
Talk it out. It's definitely worth the try.
Client-Attorney Assistance Program (CAAP)If you can't resolve your fee dispute with your lawyer, call our Client-Attorney Assistance Program (CAAP) at:
CAAP will help you determine if your fee dispute can be resolved without filing a grievance.
If CAAP believes that your lawyer may have actually billed you for fees not provided, they will provide you with forms and information to file a grievance.
- Client-Attorney Assistance Program: CAAP does more. Read about it here.
How to File a Grievance
- File a Grievance Against Your Lawyer: Get your instructions, the steps, and what to expect when you file a grievance.
Local Help in Your Area
If it is determined that your lawyer has not broken any rules and that the disagreement is strictly a problem you are having with the amount of your bill -- you will be notified of this and referred to a local bar association for help.
Most local bar associations have committees that handle fee
disputes. The association will inform you of the steps to follow to
submit your fee dispute to its committee.
Generally, the fee dispute process is entirely voluntary - your lawyer must agree to participate in the discussion.
Please check the list below for the nearest bar association to you and give them a call for your next steps.
Local Bar Associations That Handle Fee Disputes
|Corpus Christi Bar Association||(361) 888-0650|
|Dallas Bar Association||(214) 220-7400|
|Denton County Bar Association||(940) 387-3776|
|El Paso Bar Association||(915) 532-7052|
|Houston Bar Association||(713) 759-1133|
|Jefferson County Bar Association||(409) 835-8647|
|San Antonio Bar Association||(210) 227-8822|
|Tarrant County Bar Association||(817) 338-4092|
|Austin Bar Association||(512) 472-0279|
Texas Dispute Resolution Centers
If there is no local bar association with a fee dispute committee near you, you may want to contact a Dispute Resolution Center (below). Each center will let you know your options.
(Potter and Randall Counties)
(El Paso County)
|(915) 533-4800, ext. 123|
(Tarrant & Parker counties)
(Mason, Gillespie, Bandera, Kimble,
Kendall, Menard, Kerry & McCulloch
(Lubbock, Hockley, Cochran, Terry,
Yoakum, Garza & Dickens, Cochran &
(Lamar, Red River, Franklin, Fannin,
Hopkins & Delta counties)
(Fort Bend County)
* Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct (Effective 6/1/05) [PDF]: All Texas lawyers must follow these rules.
* Texas Rules of Disciplinary Procedure (Effective 1/1/10) [PDF]: These rules establish the procedures that must be followed in a lawyer discipline case, including how the disciplinary system works and how cases are handled.- You should know that the State Bar cannot set maximum or minimum fees for particular services, nor can it regulate the amount of fees charged by an attorney.
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The Grievance Oversight Committee is a panel of volunteers comprised of six attorneys and three members of the public appointed by the Texas Supreme Court. The Committee is charged with reviewing the operation of the attorney-client grievance process and reporting its observations and recommendations to the Court.
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