Better Billing Bulletin

Volume 39, February 2011

Franais


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 Expert Rates

LAO is taking the following steps as of April 1, 2011 to address the bars concerns regarding the difficulty in retaining experts under current hourly rates.

1. Hourly rates for LAO funded-experts will be increased. The new expert rates will

  • apply to designated experts in all legal aid areas, including BCM/CCR, PCU, standard criminal, family, refugee and civil cases.
  • be paid on all post-April 1st certificates and on pre-April 1st certificates if the expert has not already been authorized by LAO.

The experts affected by this increase and the new hourly rates are outlined in the chart below:

Expert Rates: current vs. new rate

2. Additional funding will be allocated for experts retained in BCM or CCR (Complex Case Rate) matters.

  • Counsel on BCM/CCR cases may apply to LAO for additional expert funding over and above the April 1 increase to hourly expert rates.
  • The additional funding will be used to top up hourly expert rates in circumstances where there is a need to retain an expert from outside Ontario, for example.
  • The process for additional funding for an expert will be based on LAO procurement policies; applying lawyers may be asked to provide quotes to support a request for additional expert funding.
  • Over time, LAO will develop expert vendors of record to streamline the process for securing experts in BCM/CCR matters and to support the bar
  • The approval process for additional expert funding for BCM/CCR matters will be the same as that currently followed in setting BCM/CCR budgets. More information on this process will be available soon.

For further information regarding increases to expert rates, please visit LAOs website. For any questions, please contact the Lawyer Service Centre (416) 979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934



B3 Account Payments were on top of it!!

Currently, all standard certificate accounts are paid within 60 days of receipt. We are looking at ways of paying you even faster. Should you have a question regarding an account, please contact the Lawyer Service Centre (416) 979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934.



B3 Billing Gladue

LAOs portal billing page for criminal accounts is currently configured to require you to select charges heard separately to submit an account with a Gladue matter, even if there is only one charge. Rather than selecting an additional charge, the system needs to be reprogrammed to create a Gladue enhancer. LAO is taking steps to secure the IT resources needed to make this change.



B3 New FORM added - expedites

Please use our forms. The forms are meant to make life easier for you and for us by

  • identifying exactly what information LAO requires to process requests
  • reducing the time you spend letter writing
  • reducing the number of calls and faxes from LAO staff seeking information
  • eliminating misplaced and misfiled correspondence by clearly identifying the nature of your request.

We recently added a request to expedite account payment form. Please use this form when requesting an expedite.
Request_ExpeditePaymentofAccount.doc

At this time, forms also exist for the following transactions:

Discretion & Reviews

Request for Discretion

Request for Review of Discretion Decision

Request for Retroactive Discretion

Disbursement Authorizations

Translations

Expert/Other Service Provider

Paternity Testing

Transcripts/Transcriptions

If you have questions about the forms, please contact the Lawyer Service Centre at (416) 979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934



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