Vol. 3 - March 2011
Legal aid news for lawyers
It’s only March, but Legal Aid Ontario has already made several exciting announcements this year. We’re working hard to improve services for lawyers who do legal aid work, and are pleased to announce that we are now paying over 98 per cent of lawyers' accounts within 60 days.
Here is a roundup of recent announcements. If you have any questions about the information you read in the LAO Express, give the Lawyer Service Centre a call.
Introducing: the simplified eligibility test
In February, LAO rolled out a new simplified eligibility test, which makes it easier for clients to apply to the certificate program. The simplified test is based on two criteria: the applicant’s income, and the size of their family unit. Eligibility criteria haven’t changed, and the new test lets clients know whether they qualify for the certificate program faster than before.
Complex Case Rate launches April 1
LAO is kicking off its new fiscal year by launching the Complex Case Rate (a.k.a CCR, with apologies to a certain 1960s band). Established in consultation with the Criminal Lawyers’ Association, the CCR offers qualified panel lawyers an enhanced rate of compensation for work on complex criminal cases. The complete policy (PDF) is available on our website.
Gladue panel standards now in effect
Starting March 1, 2011, lawyers must be on the newly-created Gladue panel to acknowledge criminal certificates for Aboriginal clients. You can read the panel standards and the FAQ for more information, or download a copy of the panel applications form.
E-notifications make things e-asier for lawyers
Did you know that you can have email or text message notifications automatically sent to you when changes are made to a client’s profile? In fact, over 1,600 of you do know— that’s how many lawyers have signed up since the service was launched in 2009.
New online resource for family law clients
Legal Aid Ontario has just launched the Family Law Information Program, a free online resource for former partners and families about to enter the family law court system. Covering topics from legal definitions to court processes to parenting information, this program is a valuable resource for family law clients.