B3: Better Billing Bulletin

Vol. 4
Mar. 2008

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.

B3 Revised Tariff and Billing Handbook

Have you seen our revised Tariff & Billing Handbook?

B3 CFSA Assessments - Who pays?

Family, individual or parenting capacity assessments are not usually authorized by LAO for Child & Family Services Act matters. The CAS on behalf of the Ministry of Children and Youth Services (MCYS) is responsible for paying for CFSA court ordered assessments based on a 1987 agreement.

Solicitors should always request that the court order provide for the full cost of an independent assessment to be paid by the CAS. Only if the court refuses to order an assessment under Section 54 of the CFSA or if the independent court ordered assessment did not favour the legally aided party should funding be sought from LAO.

Solicitors should not agree to share the cost of an assessment in a CFSA matter without obtaining prior approval from LAO.

Contact the LSP disbursement admin if you require a copy of the directive to the court & MCYS instructions. (416) 979-2352 or 1-800-668-8258, ext. 5000

B3 Getting paid - our time commitments to you!

We are trying very hard to pay you faster. If your account is within tariff and completed online correctly, we will pay your account within 24 to 28 days. If your account fails to 'match' electronically, it becomes part of our 'match exceptions' inventory of unpaid accounts that individual staff must examine. 70% of unmatched accounts are paid within 30 days, and 90% are paid within 60 days, providing we receive information such as a discretion letter we may have requested. If you have an inquiry regarding the status of an unpaid account, please contact the Lawyer Service Centre at the number below.

B3 Annual Panel Lawyer Self-Report - Due June 30, 2008

Please take 1 minute to complete the Annual Panel Lawyer Self-Report to confirm your ongoing compliance with the panel standards and to maintain standing on one or more of the panels: Criminal, Family, CFSA, Refugee, and CCB. You can find the link to the electronic form on the LAO portal Solicitor Home page. For more info www.legalaid.on.ca/en/info/Annual_Self-Report.asp

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