State Bar of Montana

Lawyer Fee Arbitration Program

The Supreme Court of Montana encourages the informal resolution of fee disputes between lawyers who practice law in Montana and their clients. In the event such informal resolution cannot be achieved, the Supreme Court has established a program for the arbitration of disputes concerning any fees and costs paid, charged, or claimed for professional services by lawyers.

If you settle your dispute or decide not to pursue arbitration for some other reason, please let us know so we can note it in our records.


Please read the Rules before returning the forms (Arbitration Agreement and Petition for Arbitration), and contact our office if you have any questions.  You can reach program coordinator Sarah Moeller at (406) 447-2202 or

Also, fee arbitration is not the forum for claims of negligence, malpractice or ethical misconduct. Those issues are decided by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel (406) 442-1648 or by a court of appropriate jurisdiction. The purpose of fee arbitration is to determine whether the fee is justified by the amount of "time" spent by the attorney and his or her staff on your matter. The quality of the work or the outcome do not come into play in fee arbitration. That would fall under negligence or malpractice and would have to be taken up in court.


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