The State Bar seeks public comment on a proposal to amend the State Bar Rules to allow electronic service of process and videoconference appearances in fee arbitration proceedings conducted by the State Bar.
Comments should be submitted using the online Public Comment Form. The online form allows you to input your comments directly and can also be used to upload your comment letter and/or other attachments.
Deadline: June 22, 2020
Pursuant to Business and Professions Code section 6200 et seq., the State Bar of California, in addition to some local bar associations, offers a fee arbitration program to hear disputes regarding an attorney's fees for legal services.
The State Bar of California has adopted rules for arbitrations conducted by the State Bar Fee Arbitration program. In addition, the State Bar of California has adopted Model Rules of Procedure for Fee Arbitrations (Model Rules) which are intended to promote uniformity and procedural consistency among local bar programs, and ensure that programs are in compliance with applicable statutes, the Guidelines and Minimum Standards for the Operation of Mandatory Fee Arbitration Programs, and developments in the law.
This proposal recommends changing the State Bar Rules to allow electronic service of process as defined by Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6(a)(1)(A)-(C) in fee arbitration proceedings conducted by the State Bar.
This proposal also recommends changing the State Bar Rules to allow remote appearances by videoconference with the approval of the arbitrator in fee arbitration proceedings conducted by the State Bar. Currently, under State Bar Rule 3.540(E)(2), a party may “appear by telephone” with the permission of the arbitrator. This proposal would amend the rule to add videoconference as a form of remote appearance. For fee arbitration proceedings conducted by local bar associations, Model Rule 27.3 currently allows a party to “request to appear by telephone.” This proposal also recommends a corresponding amendment to the Model Rules to add videoconference as a form of approved remote appearance.
Regulation and Discipline Committee
June 22, 2020