B3: Better Billing Bulletin

Vol. 10
Sept. 2008

Legal Aid Ontario's Lawyer Services & Payments Department (LSP) is happy to bring you this monthly Better Billing Bulletin. It's meant to provide you and your staff with information regarding tariff and billing practices. We hope you'll find it useful.

B3 Messages on Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) Pay Slips

On your EFT pay slips, you'll find an explanation of settlement and/or tips to help you bill better. Message #171 focuses on billing for fees less than $500 and disbursements less than $50. Please refrain from billing fees less than $500 and disbursements less than $50 except on final accounts or where necessary to meet billing deadlines. Limiting the number of small interim accounts submitted on a certificate will help us process your accounts and requests for discretion and reviews more efficiently and pay you faster!!

B3 Increase in hourly rate for psychiatrists

Tariff and Billing Handbook p.6-12
The hourly rate for psychiatrists has increased to $131.30 as of September 5, 2008.

B3 Attachments

Tariff and Billing Handbook p.2-13, 14
Always attach your dockets to your online accounts whenever possible. A detailed account and a discretion letter must be attached when you request a discretionary increase. To attach a document, click on the paper clip icon at the bottom of the Online account page; then click on browse to find the document you want to attach (e.g. word document, excel file, etc.) and select the document; click upload and the document is attached. Please call the Lawyer Service Centre if you need help.

B3 LAO has a first charge: S. 47 Directions

Tariff and Billing Handbook p.7-6
Pursuant to s.47 of the Legal Aid Services Act, LAO has a first charge against any interest in money or property a legally aided client recovers or becomes entitled to as a result of legal aid services. If there is any likelihood that a legally aided client may become entitled to money or property (e.g., award of damages or compensation from a court or tribunal, sale of matrimonial home, equalization payment, lump sum support, support arrears), at the outset you should advise the client and the Area Office. To avoid any allegation by the client that you did not advise him or her, you should have the client sign a written direction to Legal Aid Ontario and to yourself. If a legally aided client has become entitled to money or property as a result of legal aid services, you are required to take steps to secure LAO's interest in the client's entitlement.

Please let us know if you have questions or if there are topics you'd like to see us cover by contacting the
Lawyer Service Centre (416) 979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934