Hot Bytes: Information for lawyers
Posted on: Thursday, July 23/09
Lawyers doing legal aid work can now view certificate amendments and authorizations through Legal Aid Online. They can also choose to receive email updates for certificate amendments and authorizations. Through these initiatives, LAO is making it easier for lawyers to find out the status and any decisions that LAO makes regarding their client’s certificate.
Once a decision has been made to grant or deny a request for an amendment or authorization, a red checkmark will be shown beside the certificate number. With this new feature, lawyers no longer need to call an area office to find out information about their client’s certificate. Lawyers have a Legal Aid Online ID will no longer receive paper documentation for amendments or authorizations.
A snapshot of information can be viewed through Legal Aid Online, which shows approvals and denials for requests, the certificate’s status and the most significant certificate related information and dates. Information will be displayed as read only. Accounts can be submitted for amendments 24 hours after the request is granted.
If a lawyer chooses to receive email updates on amendment/authorization decisions, they must identify their preference of communication, have a portal ID and a valid email address. Lawyers are responsible for updating and maintaining their contact information through Legal Aid Online. The acknowledging lawyer will receive an email notification to view the decision in real time. Email notification will not jeopardize the confidentiality of the client’s personal information.
The initiatives are part of LAO’s ongoing efforts to modernize the way we do business through technology. LAO’s Value Agenda and management strategy is aimed at streamlining the business processes, finding cost savings and improving services to lawyers and clients. LAO has also made a commitment to helping the Ontario government’s initiative to reduce delays in the courtroom.
By receiving immediate updates directly to their email accounts, lawyers no longer have to wait three days to receive notification of amendments and authorizations to the certificate. This will allow for quicker action to be taken for the client’s case, and in turn reduce court delays.