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.
Online Acknowledgement of certificates has been available to lawyers since December 6, 2007. To find out more, view our webcast.
Revised Tariff and Billing Handbook
Have you seen our revised Tariff & Billing Handbook?
Private Retainers and the certificate effective date
You can bill LAO 30 days prior to the effective certificate date only when you do not have a private retainer. If you have a private retainer, services billed prior to the effective date of the certificate will be disallowed. Lawyers are reminded of LAO's policy concerning accepting private payment. In addition to any other sanctions or proceedings taken for violation of Legal Aid Ontario policies or Section 95 of the Legal Aid Services Act (1998), if you provide private service to a legally aided client after the effective date, LSP staff lawyers determine the appropriate set off.
(chapter 2-1, 2-10)
Transcripts for Appeal and Opinion Certificates
Before billing transcripts for Appeal & Opinion certificates please fax the court reporters' detailed invoices (providing date of court attendances, number of original pages and number of copies and the cost per page) to the Disbursements Team, Fax number (416) 979-8562. The certificate will be amended to include the transcripts as special disbursements. You will then be able to bill online, without your account being held for approval by a discretionary adjuster. Ellen Matsui, Disbursement Analyst, (416) 979-2352 x 6457
Costs and Recoveries
If a settlement contemplates or requires a waiver or compromise of LAO's entitlement to costs, charge against recovery and/or a contribution agreement, a LSP staff lawyer must approve the settlement in advance. If a waiver or partial waiver of costs or of LAO's recovery from a lien or settlement funds is necessary to facilitate a timely settlement, the Area Director or lawyer conducting a Legal Aid Settlement Conference seeks approval from Janice N. Vincent, LSP Staff Lawyer, Costs and Recoveries, (416) 979-2352 x 6200.
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