The Fee Dispute Resolution Panel (FDRP) is comprised of volunteers appointed by the President of the Kansas Bar Association. The goal is to have at least two members from each judicial district within the state. These lawyers have been trained in various procedures used in resolving fee disputes, and are assigned cases by the chair of the FDRP.
The procedure, which has been established, is the following:
- The involvement of the FDRP may be initiated in several ways. Any attorney or client may contact the FDRP chair directly and request the appropriate forms. If the Office of the Disciplinary Administrator receives a complaint, which appears to be a fee dispute, then typically the complainant is referred to the chair of the FDRP. Likewise, when the KBA is contacted regarding a disagreement over attorney’s fees, then the matter is referred to the FDRP.
- The Kansas Bar Association (KBA) obtains basic information concerning the parties who are involved and their respective locations. He/she will then send a fee dispute complaint form to the complainant. When the FDRP chair receives the completed complaint form, he/she will send a copy of the completed form to the other party requesting consent to the process and a written response to the complaint. When the chair receives written consent to the mediation and/or arbitration process, and a response to the complaint, he/she will contact a member of the Panel in the geographical area where the dispute arose and request that the mediation and/or arbitration process be commenced. The Panel member is then responsible for contacting the parties and may
- Attempt conciliation through a telephone conference;
- Schedule a mediation session; or
- Schedule an arbitration session.
- If the dispute is not resolved through mediation, the parties may
agree to submit the dispute to arbitration before a Panel composed of
three (3) FDRP Panel members. The parties may agree to binding or
non-binding arbitration. If the parties are unwilling to utilize
arbitration, then the Panel’s involvement terminates and the parties are
at liberty to pursue whatever remedies they choose.
- The parties may agree to forego mediation and submit the dispute directly to arbitration if they wish.
- The mediation or arbitration panel chair shall report the completion of
the mediation or arbitration to the FDRP and whether an agreement was
This process is provided for Kansas attorneys and their clients without cost in an attempt to resolve disputes between attorneys and clients in a prompt, efficient, and private manner. The Wichita and Johnson Country bar associations have successfully used similar procedures for years.