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The Vermont Bar Association has an Arbitration of Fee Dispute Committee. The Committee has the authority to arbitrate a complaint formally if both parties agree in writing. The result is enforceable in court. If either parties does not agree to arbitration, then the Committee will proceed to determine at least whether the fee charged is reasonable or unreasonable in amount. To file a complaint with the Arbitration of Fee Complaints Committee, contact:
Joseph J. O'Dea P.O. Box 286 Manchester, VT 05254
If your attorney refuses to participate, then the committee will attempt to ascertain the reasonableness of the fees, using only your testimony/evidence.
If the committee finds against the attorney, he/she could lose his license to practice, because charging unreasonable fees is prohibited by the attorney Rules of Professional Conduct.
For this reason, it is rather likely that the attorney will agree to participate, because failing to defend could be perilous.
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