ADR Section to Host Teleseminar

The Alternative Dispute Section of the State Bar of Michigan will host a teleseminar about mediating attorney fee disputes from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Registration is required by Sept. 8, and dial-in instructions will be provided on participants’ registration confirmations.

The teleseminar will be moderated by Grand Rapids attorney and mediator, Robert E. L. Wright. Byron P. “Pat” Gallagher Jr., who serves as a mediator of attorney fee, business, real estate, and probate disputes at his East Lansing firm, Gallagher Law Firm, will discuss the challenges attorney fee disputes can present to mediators. Attorney fee disputes are difficult to resolve because of perceptions, personalities, pride, and sometimes bad behavior by one or more participants. To be effective, the mediator must have a basic understanding of attorney fees, fee agreements, and related legal and equitable issues. The mediator must be able to marshal this understanding to identify the issues, build trust, build consensus where possible, and develop a workable solution.

Participants will learn how the nature of the dispute impacts the mediation; the impact of claims of malpractice, ethical violations, and fraud on negotiations; how to deal with attorney-client privilege claims and waivers; authority to settle affected by these variables; factors parties need to address in fee disputes; when attorney fees may be recovered by law or court rule and prevailing standards; common objections mediators are likely to encounter; and answers to questions about dealing with these disputes.

The teleseminar is free for sitting judges, costs $10 for Alternative Dispute Resolution Section members and law students, and $40 for non-section members. To register online or download a copy of the mail-in registration form, visit For more information, contact Robert Wright at or (616) 682-7000.