Supreme Court Rule 3.800 provides a mechanism for submitting to the KBA a dispute between an attorney and client regarding claims of legal negligence by an attorney for particular legal services rendered when the amount in dispute does not exceed $50,000.00. Participation in Legal Negligence Arbitration is generally voluntary. However, when the parties to the dispute have made a good faith effort to resolve it, they can choose to submit the dispute to binding arbitration under SCR 3.800.
The process normally starts by the filing of a Petition, an Agreement to Arbitrate and a detailed summary of the pertinent facts and circumstances by one of the parties. The petition and information provided are reviewed by the Executive Director of the Kentucky Bar Association to determine whether the dispute complies with the provisions of SCR 3.800. If the Executive Director accepts jurisdiction of the dispute, the Petition is forwarded to the other party. The other party is then afforded the option to participate in the arbitration.
When both parties agree to participate in the arbitration the Executive Director appoints Arbitration Panel members who are licensed attorneys. When the amount in dispute is between $1,500.00 and $10,000.00 the Arbitration Panel will consist of one licensed attorney. When the amount in dispute is greater than $10,000.00 and no greater than $50,000.000 the Arbitration Panel will consist of three practicing attorneys. The licensed attorney arbitrators are selected from a reasonable proximity of the county in which the Petitioner resides. Arbitration Panel members are not compensated for their time or services.
Once the Arbitration Panel is appointed the Panel Chair is responsible for scheduling the hearing and notifying the parties of the place and time. After the hearing, the Arbitration Panel will issue a written Award within thirty (30) days of the conclusion of the hearing. The Award generally contains a brief statement of the dispute, findings, conclusions and the amount, if any, to be paid or reimbursed. If necessary, the Award may be enforced pursuant to KRS 417.180.
The KBA Consumer Assistance Manager serves as the administrative point of contact for initiation of Legal Negligence Arbitration. There is no charge to either party for Legal Negligence Arbitration services provided by the Kentucky Bar Association.
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