Superior Court Judge Vieri Volterra ruled that a client is bound to a fee agreement that calls for arbitration before the Fee Arbitration Board of the Massachusetts Bar Association.
The client argued unsuccessfully that the board could not proceed with arbitration since it could not hear his malpractice, misrepresentation, and Chapter 93A claims. Todd & Weld lawyer Ian Crawford, counsel for the board, stated that the case gives “clear direction” as to what claims can and cannot be decided by the board. Mr. Crawford said, “We practitioners need to recognize that the Fee Arbitration Board is a quick system for resolving a fee dispute but not a system that can resolve a dispute for purposes of malpractice. People need to be aware that if they ultimately have a legal malpractice claim…they must bring it in court.”