Legal Aid Ontario's Lawyer Services & Payments Department is happy to bring you this monthly Better Billing Bulletin. It's meant to provide lawyers and staff with information regarding tariff and billing practices. We hope you'll find it useful.
Revised Tariff Manual
Have you seen our revised Tariff Manual?
Billing errors slow down payment!
Billing errors slow down payment of your accounts. The most common billing errors include inaccurate entry of hours or days in court and travel time. These errors are noted on your electronic funds transfer (EFT) pay slip. If you receive an EFT with one of these errors, please contact the Lawyer Service Centre.
Always consider attaching your dockets to your online accounts. A detailed account must be attached whenever a discretionary increase is requested. Click on the paper clip icon at the bottom of the online account page to attach a file; then click on browse to find the file you want to attach (e.g. word document, excel file, etc.) and select the file; click upload and now the file is attached.
(Billing Chapter, 2-13 & 2-14)
Disbursement accounts - Keeping experts happy!
Always ensure the certificate covers the services for which the expert is required before you retain her/him (e.g. your certificate must cover a custody dispute before you retain a family assessor).
Please bill your expert's accounts promptly upon receipt, ensuring that disbursements have been added to the certificate before billing. It is better to wait a couple days to add a special disbursement to the certificate than to submit an invoice for an unauthorized disbursement and wait 60 days to learn that payment cannot be made.
To ensure prompt and efficient payment of accounts, detailed requests for discretion must accompany each account where the tariff has been exceeded. Do not wait until the matter is completed to request discretion. The discretion box must be flagged on the online account and a letter requesting discretion must accompany the detailed account.
(Billing Chapter, 2-19 & 2-20)
Immigration and Refugee Eligibility Interviews
LAO does not cover attendance at eligibility interviews.
Please let us know if you have questions or if there are topics you'd like to see us cover by contacting the