LAO Express

Vol. 7 - Spring/April 2012



News for legal aid lawyers


With spring in the air, youve probably noticed a few changes on Legal Aid Online. These changes include the archiving of certificates from April 2007 and prior, new notifications for late billed accounts, extensions on the certificate acknowledgement time and the ability to submit correspondence online. As well, effective April 1, the new tariff rate has come in effect for lawyers who represent legal aid clients.


Enhancements on Legal Aid Online


On March 7, we removed most certificates issued and completed before April 1, 2007 from the Legal Aid Online website. If for some reason you need to access a removed certificate, please contact the Lawyer Service Centre by phone at 1-866-979-9934 or by email at pl-lsc@lao.on.ca


Acknowledgements extended to 180 days


Lawyers can now acknowledge certificates within 180 days instead of the previous 90. Note that certificates unacknowledged after 90 days will still be deemed as 'expired' as per the Legal Aid Services Act, however you will not have to request reactivation in the 180 day window.

After 180 days, if certificates are still unacknowledged they will automatically expire.


Notification system added to Legal Aid Online


In response to lawyer feedback after we changed the billing rules, a notification system has also been added in Legal Aid Online which will remind you of your account status when you submit late invoices.


Online correspondence now available


A new section has been added to Legal Aid Online so lawyers can forward correspondence electronically to Lawyer Services & Payments (LSP) instead of by fax or mail. This web-based tool will allow lawyer to submit requests for review, disbursements, payment status and nearly all other certificate-related correspondence to LSP.


2012 tariff rates


On April 1, we again increased the hourly tariff rate paid to lawyers who represent legal aid clients by 5 per cent. This increase includes the block fee rates.

These changes to the tariff rate are in accordance with the January 2010 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), which was signed by LAO, the Criminal Lawyers Association and the Ministry of Attorney General.


Know someone with a longstanding commitment to justice in Ontario?


Named after the first chair of LAO, the Sidney B. Linden Award is given to the individual who has demonstrated a longstanding commitment to access to justice. If you know of someone who would make Ontarians proud, nominate them by Friday April 20.



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