Ethics Hot Topics: How to Avoid & Handle Fee Disputes

Published by Washington State Association for Justice


How to Avoid & Handle Fee Disputes:
You've earned it, but can you keep it?
Friday, December 6, 2013
Washington State Convention Center • Seattle
3.0 Ethics Credits Approved

8:50-9:00 Welcome & Introduction
Morris H. Rosenberg, Seattle, Seminar Co-chair
Judy Massong, Seattle, Seminar Co-chair
9:00-9:30 Drafting the Fee Agreement – Do's and Don'ts
What the fee agreement must and should contain; RPC requirements; Different fee arrangements e.g. contingent, hourly, mixed, etc; what costs can be charged to the client.
Anne Seidel, Seattle
9:30-10:00 Is Your Fee Reasonable – Yes, No and Maybe!
When or when not to reduce your fee; RPC and statutory law related to reasonableness of fee; Should you agree to fee reductions?
Getting into trouble due to poor client relations as related to fees.
Judy Massong, Seattle
10:00-10:30 Professionalism – Handling Fee Disputes with Your Client
Are you risking the three "D's – Disgorgement, Discipline and Damage counterclaims; Special considerations in "doing business" situations; Arbitration, choice of venue and choice of law; Why pigs may get fat but hogs get slaughtered!
Peter R. Jarvis, Portland
10:30-10:45 BREAK
10:45-11:15 Avoid the Minefield – Handling Fee Disputes between Lawyers
Dividing a fee: fee sharing, co-counseling and referral fees; Is the discharged prior lawyer entitled to a fee and if so, how is it determined? Lawyer leaving the firm and taking clients – what about the fee?
Richard B. Kilpatrick, Bellevue
11:15-11:45 Fee Awards – Secure It and Keep It
Increased opportunities for fee shifting: e.g. CPA; IFCA; Olympic Steamship; civil rights litigation; employment litigation; de novo; etc; Best practices guidelines: Contemporaneous time records; Timely fee application; FF/CL regarding fee awards.
Phil Talmadge, Tukwila
11:45-12:15 Panel Discussion, Hypotheticals and Q & A with the speakers

Morris H. Rosenberg
MORRIS H. ROSENBERG has practiced law in Seattle since 1975. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia, School of Law, and Georgia State University. He is admitted to practice in Washington and Georgia. Over the years for the WSBA he has served...More
Judy Irene Massong
JUDY MASSONG received her B.S. in Nursing (Magna cum laude) from the University of Washington in 1973 and her M.S. in Physiological Nursing from the University of California, San Francisco in 1974. From 1974 through 1980, she was first an instructor...More
Anne I. Seidel
ANNE I. SEIDEL represents lawyers on legal ethics issues, bar grievances and disciplinary proceedings. She also serves as an expert witness on legal ethics and professional responsibility. Anne is the former Chief Disciplinary Counsel for the...More
Peter R. Jarvis
PETER R. JARVIS leads Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP's national Lawyers’ Professional Responsibility/Risk Management Practice Group and is licensed in California, New York, Oregon, Washington and Alaska. He received his B.A. from Harvard (1972) and his...More
Richard B. Kilpatrick
RICHARD B. (DICK) KILPATRICK has practiced law in the Seattle area for over 32 years, predominately as a plaintiff lawyer. His practice emphasizes: 1) insurance bad faith and coverage claims and he often acts as personal counsel to lawyers or other...More
Phillip A. Talmadge
PHIL TALMADGE is a graduate of West Seattle High School as a National Merit scholar. He has a B.A. (magna cum laude) from Yale and a J.D. from the University of Washington where he was on the Law Review.

Phil served in the Washington...More

Originally Published

December 6, 2013

Program Titles and Supporting Materials

This program contains the following components:

  • Ethics Hot Topics Book
  • Ethics Hot Topics: How to Avoid & Handle Fee Disputes Audio
  • Ethics Hot Topics: How to Avoid & Handle Fee Disputes Video

How To Attend

Join the self-paced program from your office, home, or hotel room using a computer and high speed internet connection. You may start and stop the program at your convenience, continue where you left off, and review supporting materials as often as you like. Please note: Internet Explorer is no longer a supported browser. We recommend using Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Safari for best results.

Technical Requirements

You may access this course on a computer or mobile device with high speed internet (iPhones require iOS 10 or higher). Recommended browsers are Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.


If applicable, you may obtain credit in multiple jurisdictions simultaneously for this program (see pending/approved list below). If electing credit for this program, registrants in jurisdictions not listed below will receive a Certificate of Completion that may or may not meet credit requirements in other jurisdictions. Where applicable, credit will be only awarded to a paid registrant completing all the requirements of the program as determined by the selected accreditation authority.

Click on jurisdiction for specific details

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