Mandatory Fee Arbitration

The Santa Monica Bar Association is proud to participate in the State of California‘s Mandatory Fee Arbitration (MFA) Program. The MFA Program is an informal, low cost program for resolving fee disputes between people and their lawyers.  Our program provides both arbitration services and mediation services for all parties.  We welcome qualified arbitrators (lawyers and non-lawyers) and mediators to participate in our program!  For more information, you can download our forms and our rules below. You can also contact Stephanie at (310) 581-5163 or email her.

Fee dispute resolution through Mandatory Fee Arbitration

  • If you hired a lawyer and dispute the amount you owe your lawyer…
  • If you are a lawyer looking for a program to resolve a fee dispute with your client…
  • If you need assistance with a fee dispute case…
  • If you wish to volunteer to be part of our growing program…


Downloadable Forms

Downloadable Forms
 Arbitration Request Form
 Form to initiate a case with the SMBA Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program.
 Attorney's Reply Form
 Form used by attorneys to respond when a client initiates a case.
 Notice of Client's Right To Fee Arbitration
 California State Bar Form that describes clients' rights to arbitrate fee disputes
 Rules of Arbitration
 SMBA rules that govern cases filed with the SMBA Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program.  These rules have been approved by the California State Bar.
 Rules of Mediation
 As an alternate to arbitration, parties may elect to resolve disputes through mediation.  These rules govern that process.
Application for AppointmentTo be appointed as an arbitrator in our program, complete this form and attach verification of your completion of a mandatory fee arbitration training program.

Need a lawyer?

The Santa Monica Bar Association is pleased to offer our successful Lawyer Referral and Information Service (“LRIS”) to the community of Santa Monica and surrounding area. The LRIS program is a California State certified program (certificate # 0066) and meets the American Bar Association standards.

Just Call or Email!

  • 310-581-5163

How Does It Work?

When you call the LRIS, you will speak with a trained staff member who will match you with an appropriate lawyer for your legal issue. We charge a $25 administrative fee. If additional legal services are necessary, fees are arranged between you and the lawyer.

Will I Get The Right Lawyer?

The LRIS of the Santa Monica Bar Association is a certified referral service. All lawyers are carefully screened. Whatever your legal needs, the LRIS will assist you in finding a lawyer who can help you.

Who Needs A Lawyer?

If you’ve been arrested or have other criminal offenses; have been injured in an accident; have landlord or tenant issues; have immigration, tax, securities or workplace problems; decided to make a will, need a trust or are dealing with probate; are starting a business; have an entertainment or administrative issue; have been sued or injured; are purchasing property or negotiating a contract; filed for divorce or need child custody help – you may need a lawyer. There are hundreds of reasons why people need lawyers.

About the LRIS

  • California State Bar Certified #0066
  • Meets ABA LRIS Standards
  • $25 Half-Hour Consultation

Are You An Attorney Wanting to Join LRIS?

We have a variety of needs from calls relating to probate, family law, divorce, personal injury, auto accidents, landlord and tenant issues, immigration, tax or job discrimination, child custody, arrests and other criminal offenses, to name a few. The rigorous screening process conducted by our trained staff is of great benefit to our lawyers who participate in the program. If you are a lawyer and want to join the SMBA LRIS program download the LRIS Application.

SMBA Administration

2461 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 529

Santa Monica, CA 90404

Ph. 310-450-9289 Arb. (310) 581-5163

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