88. The board of directors of an order whose members charge fees must establish, by regulation, an accounts conciliation and arbitration procedure that may be used by persons to whom fees are charged.
The regulation shall include
(1) provisions allowing a person to use the procedure if the account has already been paid in whole or in part, provided the application for conciliation is made within 45 days after the day the person received the account or within a longer time prescribed by the regulation. If two or more accounts were issued for the same professional service or if an account is payable in instalments, the time to apply for conciliation runs from the date of receipt of the most recent account or from the most recent instalment due date, and the application may cover all the accounts issued or instalments due in the year preceding the application. If the member has withdrawn or withheld sums from funds held or received for or on behalf of the person, the time runs from the time the person became aware that the sums were withdrawn or withheld;
(2) provisions for the setting up of a council of arbitration with the power to determine the amount of any reimbursement to which a person may be entitled;
(3) provisions for the arbitration of accounts by a council of arbitration composed of one or three arbitrators, according to the amount of the dispute as prescribed in the regulation.
The regulation may specify the fees payable on applying for arbitration. In such a case, the arbitration council must rule on the reimbursement of such fees.
The regulation may also contain provisions which, when all or part of the account in dispute is maintained or when a reimbursement is granted, enable the council of arbitration to add interest and an indemnity, computed in accordance with articles 1618 and 1619 of the Civil Code, from the date of the application for conciliation.
The arbitration council may, in particular, consider the quality of the services rendered in relation to the fees charged.
Despite any provision of a regulation under subparagraph 1 of the second paragraph, account conciliation may be applied for within 45 days after a decision of the disciplinary council that expressly calls into question the quality or the relevance of a professional act that is charged for in the account, except if the account has already been referred to conciliation or arbitration.
The member may not institute proceedings in respect of an account until the time allowed to apply for conciliation has expired. However, the member may institute proceedings before that time has expired, with the authorization of the person indicated by regulation of the board of directors, where there is a risk that recovery of the account will be imperilled unless proceedings are instituted.
1973, c. 43, s. 86; 1974, c. 65, s. 18; 1988, c. 29, s. 22; 1994, c. 40, s. 76; 2008, c. 11, s. 1, s. 57.