B3: Better Billing Bulletin

Vol. 35
OCt. 2010

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 Dockets (Detailed Accounts)

Beginning October 1, 2010, lawyers will be asked to attach dockets (detailed accounts) to all non-block fee accounts submitted through Legal Aid Online. Attaching dockets will ensure all the necessary information for each account is readily available to LAO staff, which will speed up decisions on discretion payments and settlement of discretion accounts under review.

Please ensure your detailed accounts are complete. You can view sample dockets in the February 2009 B3. The June 2010 Tariff and Billing Handbook on LAO’s website also has information regarding supporting documentation and detailed accounts.

You’ll find a short instructional video clip on attaching dockets here. For more support or questions regarding attaching dockets (detailed accounts), contact the Lawyer Service Centre (416) 979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934 or review Better Billing Bulletin Vol. 10.

Beginning January 1, 2011, all non-block fee accounts will have to be submitted with dockets (detailed accounts) attached.

B3 Questions & Answers

Why has Legal Aid Ontario (LAO) decided that dockets (detailed accounts) must be attached to all non-block fee Online accounts?

As part of LAO’s transformation, LAO is reviewing its Legal Aid Online lawyer billing and payments portal to make it more effective and efficient. LAO is examining the use of greater system controls and standardized practices, including dockets, to ensure the integrity of Legal Aid Online and ways to make it better for service providers. A review of the billing portal and any enhancements that result from it demonstrates accountability for public funds and transparency. LAO, clients, taxpayers and service providers will benefit from a more efficient and effective system.

How will attaching my dockets (detailed accounts) benefit me?

Since 2005, service providers have been attaching dockets to their Online accounts when requesting discretion. Over the last year, lawyers have been encouraged to attach dockets to all non-discretion accounts.

Attaching dockets Online helps you in a number of ways by

  • Speeding up Complaints, Investigations and PPE processes, all of which require dockets
  • Reducing the number of calls and faxes from LAO staff seeking dockets to process accounts
  • Eliminating time required to search for dockets several months after submitting an account Online

How do I attach my dockets?

There will be little change to the system for attaching dockets. It will be the same process you currently use when requesting discretion. To attach dockets, please do the following:

  • Click on the paper clip icon at the bottom of the Legal Aid Online account page
  • Click on browser to find the document you would like to attach
  • Select the document
  • Click upload and the document is attached.

Please review the instructional video at the following link Attaching Online

For further questions or assistance, please call the Lawyer Service Centre at 416-979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934.

Can I still receive payment if I do not attach dockets with Online account?

Lawyers can still receive payment for non-discretion accounts without dockets attached until December 31. Beginning January 1, 2011, dockets must be attached to all accounts. You will not be able to submit an account without dockets attached.

Do I require any special software to attach dockets?

No. Please review the instructional video at the following link Attaching Online or contact the Lawyer Service Centre. (416) 979-9934 or 1-866-979-9934

Are dockets required to be in a special format?

No. Legal Aid Ontario only asks that lawyers provide all the necessary information in a format that is accessible.

LAO’s policy regarding typed dockets which provide dates of service, exact times and detailed descriptions of court attendances and outcomes will be enforced.

Lawyers can use the docket format, for example, contained in Section 50 Criminal and Section 51 Civil Forms – Services Provided section.

What kind of information do I need to include in my dockets (detailed accounts)?

Some sample dockets are provided below for information. Further information regarding supporting documentation and detailed accounts is available in the June 2010 Tariff and Billing Handbook on LAO’s website.

Civil Sample Docket

Criminal Sample Docket

Can I send Legal Aid Ontario handwritten dockets?

No. Legal Aid Ontario has allowed docket slips to be handwritten in the past. This has sometimes slowed payment down in circumstances where the dockets were not legible. LAO billing requires all dockets to be submitted in type print.

Further information regarding supporting documentation and detailed accounts is available in the June 2010 Tariff and Billing Handbook on LAO’s website.

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