Legal Aid Ontario. Disbursements Handbook

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1 Legal Aid Ontari Disbursements Handbk

2 Legal Aid Ontari Disbursements Handbk Title: Disbursements Handbk Authr: Lawyer Services & Payments department (LSP) Last updated: May 2015 Table f Cntents 1. General Principles regarding Disbursement Authrizatin Hw t Request Prir Authrizatin/Authrizatin in Advance Hw t Submit a Disbursement Authrizatin Request Disbursement Authrizatin Requests under Big Case Management Files Disbursements fr Mid-Level Case Management Appeals f Disbursement Authrizatin Decisins Regular Disbursements Blck Fee Certificates Alphabetical List f Frequently Requested Disbursements... 7 Access Centre Reprts/Observatin Ntes... 7 Agents... 7 Appraisals/Valuatins... 7 Assessments and Critiques... 9 CAS Recrds and Disclsure Cmputer Research Curt Filing Fees Crwn Disclsure Digital Audi Recrdings Digital Media Phts Drug Testing Examinatins (Out f Curt) & Questining, Discveries Fees Gladue Reprts Hspital Recrds i. Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

3 Interpreters Mediatin Medical Recrds Medical Reprts Medical Legal Reprts Nn-Medical Recrds Nn-Medical Reprts Out f Prvince Lawyers Paternity Testing/DNA Testing Psych-Sexual Testing (including Phallmetric Testing) Phtcpying (Out-f-Office) Private Investigatrs Plygraph Tests Search Fees (Crprate, Title, Drivers License, Etc.) Service & Filing Skip Tracer Therapy Treatment (including cunselling sessins) Transcripts Translatin f Dcuments Travel Disbursements Witnesses and Witness Fees (Nn-Experts) Tips fr Fast Payment Billing Disbursements Online Special Disbursements Regular Disbursements Supprting Dcumentatin/Disbursements Imprtant Infrmatin Frequently Asked Questins Appendix A: Disbursements quick reference chart Appendix B: Hurly Rates quick reference chart i. Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

4 Disbursements Handbk 1. General Principles regarding Disbursement Authrizatin Legal Aid Ontari (LAO) authrizes lawyers acting n legal aid certificates t incur and bill the cst f actual disbursements that are reasnably necessary t supprt the legal services authrized by the certificate, keeping in mind the csts and expenses that a reasnable client f mdest means wuld likely apprve. A disbursement nt therwise cvered in this handbk ALWAYS requires prir authrizatin. LAO is nt respnsible fr the cst f disbursements incurred where authrizatin is nt btained in advance. There is n prvisin in the Legal Aid Services Act r Regulatins fr retractive disbursement authrizatin. Retractive disbursement authrizatin may be granted in cases where authrizatin wuld clearly have been granted if sught in advance. Sme disbursements may nt require prir authrizatin if they are within specified preauthrized limits, e.g. parenting capacity assessments r pensin valuatins. Where a disbursement will exceed the pre-authrized limit, ensure that prir authrizatin is btained. Imprtant It is a serius vilatin f LAO plicy t circumvent the requirement f prir authrizatin t bill unauthrized disbursements as regular disbursements cvered by the certificate. The Legal Aid Services Act and Regulatins prhibits a lawyer frm seeking reimbursement frm a client fr fees r disbursements disallwed by LAO incurred in cnnectin with a matter cvered by a legal aid certificate. LAO is nt bund by the prvisins f curt rders rdering payment f any kind, including payment f disbursements, unless LAO was represented in Curt and was allwed t make submissins n the issue prir t the rder being made. Cunsel fr a legally-aided client is respnsible fr disbursements incurred withut authrizatin, r fr which authrizatin has been denied. Cunsel is respnsible fr all third-party service prviders and the cntract is between the lawyer and the service prvider. 1 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

5 Billing Authrized Disbursements Disbursements fr which prir authrizatin is required will nt appear n the certificate and will nt be available fr nline billing. Always ensure that disbursements are entered prperly and under the crrect sectin when submitting an nline accunt. Disbursements fr which authrizatin has been granted will appear as specific authrizatins n the certificate. Certificate Effective Date The effective date f the certificate applies t fees as well as disbursements. If disbursements have been incurred prir t the effective date, cntact the District Office regarding whether the effective date can be changed. If the disbursement incurred requires prir authrizatin, seek such authrizatin n a retractive basis prir t submitting an nline accunt. Cancelled Certificates Where a certificate has been cancelled, d nt undertake any disbursement expenses and alert any experts r ther third-party service prviders t cease wrking n the matter. Private Retainers If yu r anther lawyer have acted fr the client n a private retainer basis prir t the effective date f the certificate, disbursements incurred during the curse f the private retainer perid are nt cvered under the certificate and will nt be paid by LAO. Billing Deadlines Billing deadlines fr submitting accunts als apply t disbursement accunts. Exceptins are nt made fr disbursement-nly accunts. Cunsel MUST: Obtain necessary disbursement authrizatins in advance. This ensures that accunts rendered fr disbursements are accepted and prcessed prmptly. Infrm service prviders in advance f the terms/limits f the authrizatin, including limits n hurly rates, number f hurs, billing deadlines and ttal cst f the disbursement. 2 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

6 Select service prviders wh accept legal aid rates fr services prvided. Bill LAO prmptly fr disbursements. Prvide payment fr disbursements prmptly t service prviders. Nte LAO des nt pay services prviders directly. Ensure the quality f the wrk btained is wrth the expense charged. Cnfirm whether prir authrizatin is required befre incurring the cst f a disbursement. Cntact the Lawyer Service Centre, r fr quick reference, prepare a draft accunt and refer t the list f regular disbursements listed. Itemize all disbursements in the accunt and attach invices whenever pssible. D nt bill disbursements accunts fr less than $50.00, unless the accunt is being submitted t cmply with billing deadlines r as a final accunt. D nt cnsent t a curt rder regarding the payment f a disbursement, e.g. fr paternity testing, withut prir authrizatin frm LAO. Nte Submit disbursements NET f HST. HST is paid by LAO whether r nt it is billed by the service prvider, in accrdance with CRA s plicy and prcedures. 3 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

7 2. Hw t Request Prir Authrizatin/Authrizatin in Advance When requesting authrizatin fr disbursement, include as much detail as pssible as t descriptin, name and credentials f service prvider, estimate f cst including a breakdwn f the expense (i.e. hurly rate, per page rate, number f wrds etc.). Explain the reasn the disbursement is required, and whether it is time-sensitive. Include all relevant facts f the case and an explanatin as t hw the disbursement will advance the legally-aided client s case. Electrnic frms which will assist yu in requesting prir authrizatin fr certain disbursements. These frms are available at 3. Hw t Submit a Disbursement Authrizatin Request Thrugh the LSP EZDcs [ Send Dcuments Electrnically t Lawyer Services & Payments (LSP) ] link n the slicitr prtal. ifax. In an emergency, cntact the Lawyer Service Centre. 4. Disbursement Authrizatin Requests under Big Case Management Files Disbursement requests fr case managed files shuld be faxed t Case Management and Litigatin at In mst cases, the Case Management and Litigatin Grup the same practice is fllwed fr authrizing disbursements as Lawyer Services and Payments; hwever, pursuant t the Guge Reprt, LAO is nw in a psitin t allw enhanced rates fr experts, where exceptinal circumstances exist in Big Case Managed files. A prcess has been devised fr allwing the increased rates, which requires the cmpletin f certain frms. The frms are fund n the legal aid web site at 4 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

8 Please ensure the frm is typed and all sectins f the frm are cmpleted, as a request will nt be cnsidered until all required infrmatin is prvided. Only very unusual cases, where experts with unique experience are required, will be cnsidered fr an enhanced rate. Althugh cst is ne f the cnsideratins in determining whether an expert will be authrized; cunsel s recmmendatin, the expert's experience and reputatin are the mst imprtant factrs. Other factrs cnsidered in determining the apprpriateness f an enhanced rate are: Unusual circumstances f the ffence; New frensic science discveries; and Availability f a lcal expert. If an enhanced rate is allwed fr an expert, the acknwledging lawyer is required t cmplete the "Survey -Enhanced Rate Services" frm, lcated at rate service.pdf Each case is cnsidered n its wn merits. The allwance f an enhanced rate n ne case des nt guarantee that an enhanced rate will be allwed n all subsequent files where the expert is retained. 5. Disbursements fr Mid-Level Case Management Same principles apply as with Big Case Management. 6. Appeals f Disbursement Authrizatin Decisins Where a disbursement authrizatin has been refused, in whle r in part, recnsideratin may be sught by written request t Lawyer Services and Payments. 7. Regular Disbursements The fllwing disbursements d nt require prir authrizatin and are cvered under the legally-aided client s certificate. Faxes ($0.25 per page); 5 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

9 In-ffice phtcpies ($0.10 per page); Pstage; Curier; Prcess service; Lng-distance telephne calls (cst must be directly attributable t the legally-aided client s case); Binding. 8. Blck Fee Certificates Regular Disbursements The fllwing three disbursements have been calculated in the blck fee payment fr all blck fee accunts. All ther disbursements n a blck fee accunt will be available fr selectin. fax charges; phtcpies (except ut-f-ffice phtcpies); prcess servers - service and filing f dcuments within Ontari. All ther disbursements fr blck fee certificates are in accrdance with this Handbk. 6 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

10 9. Alphabetical List f Frequently Requested Disbursements The fllwing is a list f disbursements fr which prir authrizatin is always required r is required after a certain pre-authrized limit will be exceeded. Disbursements must be related t the matter authrized under the certificate. Access Centre Reprts/Observatin Ntes Family Law/ Child Prtectin LAO allws up t a maximum f $ fr reprts/ access bservatin ntes withut prir authrizatin. Prir authrizatin is required fr multiple sets f reprts fr nging access visits. Agents Agents accunts are nt disbursements. Agents accunts are paid as regular fees under the tariff alltment fr the certificate. Refer t Out-f-Prvince Lawyers sectin fr further infrmatin. Appraisals/Valuatins Civil/ Family a. Generally Certificate authrizatin must include prperty issues in rder t request disbursements relating t prperty issues. Nte LAO des nt generally authrize valuatins f the ppsing party s prperty/ pensin. Appraisals/valuatins are the respnsibility f the wner f the prperty. LAO pays fr the cst f the appraisal/valuatin f a legally aided client s prperty if it is reasnably necessary fr the prceedings authrized by the certificate. Prir apprval is required fr appraisal f an ppsing party s prperty if the wner s valuatin is inadequate r unreasnably lw. When requesting authrizatin, prvide 7 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

11 details f the inadequacies/deficiencies f previus valuatin reprts. Shw that the estimated value f the assets appears t justify the requested expenditure. If prperty is divided r awarded t the legally-aided client during the litigatin, this will likely result in a change in their financial circumstances. Cunsel must advise the district ffice f the change in circumstances and the client shuld immediately attend fr financial reassessment. A legally-aided client wh btains prperty r mney as the result f the litigatin is bliged under s. 47 f the LASA t reimburse LAO fr the amunts expended in pursuing the litigatin. b. Pensins LAO will pay up t a maximum f $ withut prir authrizatin fr the valuatin by the plan administratr f a pensin plan f a legally-aided client s wn pensin. The amunt t be billed is t be in accrdance with the Pensins Benefits Act (Ontari) r any ther applicable Federal legislatin and will vary depending n the type f pensin plan (defined benefit plan r defined cntributin plan) Prir apprval is required and must be requested in writing: If the reprt will be prepared by an expert ther than the plan administratr; T btain any kind f reprt abut the value f an ppsing party s pensin; Fr the valuatr s attendance at curt. c. Real Prperty LAO will pay up t $ withut prir authrizatin fr an appraisal f real prperty in which an interest is claimed by the legally-aided client. If a legally-aided client wns real prperty jintly with anther party, try t btain a jint appraisal with the cst t be shared equally between the parties. d. Chattels LAO generally des nt authrize r pay fr a valuatin f chattels wned by a legallyaided client r an ppsing party. LAO des nt generally authrize cverage fr the divisin r recvery f chattels. 8 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

12 Assessments and Critiques a. Assessments in Family Law Prceedings LAO grants up t 18 hurs fr an assessment withut prir authrizatin. Assessments are paid at an hurly rate based n the credentials f the assessr. The name and specific credentials f the chsen assessr is required fr specific disbursement authrizatin, which, if authrized, will be added t the legally-aided client s certificate. Hurs are nrmally apprtined between the parties where bth are legally aided. Nrmally, LAO will pay up t nine (9) hurs per party if bth parties are legally-aided. Each party s cunsel must make individual requests fr authrizatin. Cunsel must make written request in advance shuld mre hurs be required fr assessment purpses. D nt cnsent t an rder fr an assessment which will require LAO t pay fr an assessment withut prir authrizatin frm LAO. The name and specific credentials f the chsen assessr is required fr specific disbursement authrizatin, which, if authrized, will be added t the legally-aided client s certificate. Hurs authrized are intended t cver all services prvided by the expert, including meeting the legally-aided client and/r children, reviewing dcuments and disclsure, discussins with cunsel and preparatin f a written reprt. N travel time r disbursements will be paid with respect t the assessment unless specifically authrized. The legally-aided client is persnally respnsible fr the cst f missed r cancelled appintments. In cases where an assessment has been cmpleted within the last year, generally nly an update will be authrized, unless there are exceptinal circumstances. Assessments relating slely t the issue f access are generally nly authrized in cases where child abuse is alleged. Cunsel must prvide details f the histry f the litigatin, including the names f all parties and whether they are legally-aided; whether the assessment has been rdered by the curt and any ther relevant infrmatin. b. Assessments in Child Prtectin Prceedings LAO des nt generally grant authrizatin fr full parenting capacity assessments in child prtectin prceedings because such assessments are t be funded by the Sciety under s. 54 f the Child and Family Services Act, withut cntributin frm legally-aided clients. Cunsel shuld always seek a s. 54 rder fr assessment prir t requesting disbursement authrizatin fr an assessment r a critique. Legal Aid may authrize up t nine (9) hurs fr a critique f an existing assessment that is nt favurable t the legally-aided client s case. Critiques are paid at an hurly rate based n the credentials f the assessr. The name and specific credentials f the chsen assessr is required in rder fr specific disbursement authrizatin t be added t the client s certificate. 9 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

13 N travel time r disbursements will be paid with respect t the critique unless specifically authrized. The client is persnally respnsible fr the cst f missed r cancelled appintments. c. Assessments fr Criminal Prceedings Includes prceedings befre the Ontari Review Bard. Assessments are paid at an hurly rate based n the credentials f the assessr. Prir apprval is nt required fr up t six (6) hurs t cnduct an assessment and reprt t aid in a client s defence r sentencing in the fllwing cases: Type I, r Type II indictable ffences; T assist with the defence r sentencing f a client in relatin t any ther ffence in which the defence put frward is ne f nt criminally respnsible; r T assist with the defence r sentencing f a client in relatin t a charge f sexual assault, r ther sexual ffences, such as sexual interference, invitatin t sexual tuching, r a charge f assault against a child. Prir apprval is nt required t retain a pathlgist fr up t six (6) hurs in which the client is defending against murder r manslaughter charges. Cunsel must seek prir authrizatin fr assessments in summary cnvictin matters. Cunsel must seek prir authrizatin fr additinal hurs. Requests fr authrizatin shuld include details f the case, the thery f defence, services t be prvided and hw the assessment and reprt will aid the defence. Prir apprval is required in all ther cases, r if the number f hurs fr the assessment r hurly rate prpsed t be charged will exceed these limits. d. Psychiatric Observatin LAO will pay a maximum f tw (2) hurs t retain a general practitiner, registered dctr f psychlgy r psychiatrist t assess a legally-aided client and prepare a reprt t be used t request that the curt remand the client fr bservatin. e. Assessments fr Yuth Criminal Prceedings Assessments fr yuths between 12 and 15 years f age are funded by the Ministry f Cmmunity and Scial Services and shuld be initiated by an MCSS fficial thrugh the Direct Services Administratr at the lcal MCSS ffice. Under the Yuth Criminal Justice Act assessments fr yuths ages 16 and 17 years are funded by the Ministry f the Attrney-General. LAO rarely authrizes assessments fr yuth clients because f the availability f assessments under s. 34 f the Yuth Criminal Justice Act, which prvides that such assessments be funded by the Ministry f the Attrney-General. Cunsel fr a legally-aided yuth client must make an applicatin under s. 34 where applicable. In circumstances in which s. 34 applies, LAO may authrize an assessment if the assessment is required t assist with the defence t the charges, and there are issues 10 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

14 f cnfidentiality relating t disclsure as required by s. 13 f Canadian Charter f Rights and Freedms. In circumstances in which s. 34 des nt apply, r where an applicatin under s. 34 was unsuccessful, LAO may authrize an assessment. Details as t why the applicatin was denied must be prvided when requesting authrizatin. Where authrized, assessments are paid at an hurly rate based n the credentials f the assessr. f. Other Assessments Fr assessments in all ther matters, such as immigratin and refugee matters, prir authrizatin must be btained. Nte LAO des nt pay fr a legally-aided client s therapy/ cunselling sessins r nging treatment f any kind, which is the client s respnsibility as a persnal expense. CAS Recrds and Disclsure Family/ Child Prtectin LAO pays fr cpies f a legally-aided client s relevant CAS recrds, r thse f a legal aided client s child r children, fr the purpses f family law r child prtectin prceedings. LAO allws up t $ fr CAS recrds/ disclsure withut prir apprval; hwever this amunt is nly fr cpies at the rate f $0.10 per page. Pursuant t O. Reg. 107/99, Schedule 6, enacted pursuant t LASA, the legal aid rate fr cpies is $0.10 per page, unless there is anther specifically mandated charge. Pursuant t Rule 19(2) f the Family Law Rules, a party is entitled, n request t examine dcuments and receive at the legal aid rate f $0.10 per page, a cpy f any dcument that the party is entitled t examine. LAO des nt pay law clerk fees fr file preparatin/ cmpiling and cpying f files and dcuments. Befre any authrizatin can be added t the client s certificate, cnfirmatin is required that Sciety is charging nly fr the cst f cpies. The Sciety may nt charge an hurly rate. Fr disclsure that will cst in excess f $ prir authrizatin must btained. Cunsel shuld make best effrts t btain nly the mst relevant and necessary prtins f recrds. *Nte reginal variatins 11 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

15 Cmputer Research Subscriptin t cmputer research services and/ r sftware is cnsidered t be part f cunsel s verhead and is nt payable by LAO. LAO Law is available fr cunsel as a research surce fr general and case-specific research. Curt Filing Fees a. Paid t the Curt fr Issuing r Filing Dcuments and Pleadings LAO pays curt filing fees fr issuing and/r filing pleadings/ dcuments if the prceedings are authrized under the certificate. Fr pinin nly certificates, where the cmmencement r defence f prceedings has nt been authrized, cunsel shuld cntact the District Office prir t incurring any curt filing fees. b. Mtins t be Remved as Cunsel f Recrd LAO will pay, withut prir authrizatin, reasnable disbursements relating t a mtin t be remved as cunsel f recrd where the certificate authrizes prceedings. Mtins fr remval shuld be brught as sn as pssible. c. Trial Recrds LAO pays filing fees fr trial recrds withut prir apprval where the certificate includes trial authrizatin. d. Writs f Seizure and Sale LAO will pay reasnable disbursements and csts fr the purpse f filing a writ f seizure and sale t secure a judgment made in favur f the legally-aided client, as lng as the writ is filed within a reasnable time after judgment is btained. Crwn Disclsure a. Criminal The cst f the prductin f the Crwn brief, including labur and material csts, is the respnsibility f the plice. The cst f prducing a cpy f the brief intended fr disclsure, including labur and material csts, is the respnsibility f the Ministry f the Attrney General. LAO will allw up t $25.00 (250 pages) t print crwn disclsure frm disc 12 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

16 Prir authrizatin is required fr larger amunts LAO will pay up t a maximum cst f $25.00 fr a replacement cpy f disclsure. b. Print Crwn Disclsure frm Disc LAO will allw up t $25 (250 pages at $0.10 per page) Prir authrizatin is required fr larger amunts. Digital Audi Recrdings LAO will cnsider reimbursing the cst f digital recrdings f prceedings in OCJ & SCJ fr cunsel f recrd fr ne f the parties t the prceedings (curt rder is nt required) Cunsel may bill fr a single day withut prir apprval. Prir apprval is required fr digital recrdings f mre than 1 day. Prir LAO apprval must be btained fr cunsel wh is nt cunsel f recrd fr ne f the parties t the prceedings. In this situatin a curt applicatin fr the digital recrd is required. Digital recrdings may be used fr reviewing prtins f prceedings, but are nt intended t replace the need fr transcripts where therwise necessary. LAO recmmends cunsel cnsider a digital recrd fr appeal pinin certificates fr Reasns fr Judgement. LAO will nt generally authrize disbursements fr bth a digital recrd and a transcript f the full curt prceeding. LAO will nt generally authrize the additinal csts f an expedited request fr a digital recrd Cunsel must cmply with the undertaking required t be signed by the Curt t btain the audi recrding including the term f the undertaking that cunsel will nt authrize, assist r permit anyne t publish, bradcast, reprduce, r therwise disseminate the digital recrding, including any anntatin in the audi file, in any way. Nte Time spent by cunsel listening t a digital recrd is under the tariff and may r may nt be cnsidered fr discretin. Payment is in accrdance with regulatins made under the Administratin f Justice Act and the Curt s plicy as fllws: Digital Recrding Fee Schedule 1. Single Day s Recrding Per Case: Fr a request fr a single day s recrding, per case: $22.00 (regardless f the length f the day s prceeding) 2. Multiple Day Recrdings Per Case: Fr a request fr multiple day recrdings, per case: 13 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

17 $22.00 fr the first day requested (regardless f the length f the day s prceeding) $10.50 fr each additinal day rdered f the same case (regardless f the length f each day s prceeding)* * In rder fr the $10.50 fee t apply, the rder fr multiple days must be received at the same time Digital recrdings fr a limited number f days f the full prceedings may be available fr: Bail hearings, Mtins, Preliminary hearing, Trial (nging), Reasns fr judgment. Transcripts, if applicable, cntinue t be available fr prceedings fr which digital recrds are excluded. See Transcripts. Digital Media Phts Prir apprval is nt required up t a maximum f $50.00 media. Where cpies and phts are taken as part f private investigatr services, the maximum allwed by LAO is $ Drug Testing Family/ Child Prtectin LAO will allw up t $ plus HST fr ne hair fllicle drug test in child prtectin cases. Prir authrizatin must always be sught fr hair fllicle drug testing fr family matters and fr subsequent tests in child prtectin cases. LAO generally pays up t a maximum f $ plus HST fr the legally-aided client s hair fllicle drug testing (5-panel). LAO des nt pay fr urine testing which is cvered by OHIP. LAO des nt pay fr nging/ regular drug screening. Examinatins (Out f Curt) & Questining, Discveries Civil/ Family LAO cvers the cst f examiner fees in accrdance with the rates set ut in the Administratin f Justice Act, where applicable: Fr the cst f the fficial examiner s appintment fr questining r examinatin f an ppsing party. In civil litigatin cases, the District Area Directr has specifically authrized examinatins fr discvery t prceed and fr related disbursements t be cvered. In family law matters, n specific authrizatin frm the District Area Directr is required; prvided the District Area Directr has authrized the actin t prceed. 14 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

18 Cancellatin charges fr missed appintments are the persnal respnsibility f the legally-aided client. Payment f the fficial examiner s cancellatin charges is within the discretin f the Legal Accunts Officer when the ther party des nt attend. Include a request fr the exercise f discretin with yur accunt and include the reasns fr the cancellatin and whether yu will be including the disbursement in the claim fr cst. Prir authrizatin must be btained fr fees which are in excess f the prescribed rates. *Nte reginal variatins Refer t Transcripts sectin fr infrmatin abut transcripts f examinatins/ questining. Experts a. General Infrmatin Experts are paid at hurly rates in accrdance with their academic credentials and qualificatins. Factrs taken int cnsideratin when authrizatin fr experts is requested include cst-effectiveness, specific cnditins and services unique t the regin, special needs f the legally-aided client, available resurces in the district, and the credentials and experience f the expert in questin. The reasnable client f mdest means test is always cnsidered. When requesting disbursement authrizatin fr an expert s services, wherever pssible cunsel shuld prvide a written estimate frm the expert directly. Requests fr authrizatin shuld include details f the case, the thery f defence, services t be prvided and hw the assessment and reprt will aid the defence. Invices frm the expert shuld be attached t accunts. Invices shuld be itemized, billed hurly, and include dates f all services, brief descriptins f the services prvided, and the amunt f time spent n each service n each date. Blck billing by yur expert delays the prcessing f his/her accunt. Make sure the expert knws LAO s requirements in rder t reduce delay in prcessing the accunt. Reasnable ut f pcket expenses, such as pstage, faxes, phtcpies, and lng distance charges) are paid in accrdance with the prvisins f this Handbk if billed by yur expert. These shuld be billed nline in the apprpriate designatin f the drp dwn menu fr regular disbursements (if nt specifically authrized as a special disbursement). Secretarial services, typing r wrd prcessing csts, and the csts f missed appintments r cancellatins are cnsidered verhead expenses and are nt reimbursed by LAO if billed by yur expert. LAO des nt pay interest charges n expert accunts. Clients are persnally respnsible fr the cst f missed r cancelled appintments. Cunsel is respnsible fr prmptly submitting expert accunts fr payment. LAO des nt pay experts directly. Authrizatin fr expert travel must be specifically btained in advance. 15 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

19 Cunsel must prvide reasns why a lcal expert cannt be retained. It is expected that lcal experts will be retained. Cunsel must advise in the first instance if an expert is lcated in anther jurisdictin and if it is likely that travel time and expenses will be requested by the expert. Expert s travel time, if authrized, is paid at the rate f $43.00 per hur, and mileage is paid at the rate f $0.40/km ($0.41/km in Nrthern Ontari). b. Expert Assessments and Written Reprts i. Criminal Matters In indictable criminal matters, prir apprval is nt required fr up t six (6) hurs t cnduct an assessment and reprt t aid in a legally-aided client s defence r sentencing. Cunsel must seek prir authrizatin fr additinal hurs and must seek prir authrizatin fr assessments in summary cnvictin matters. Prir apprval is nt required t retain a pathlgist fr up t six (6) hurs where the legally-aided client is defending against murder r manslaughter charges. Prir apprval is nt required t retain a pharmaclgist/ txiclgist fr up t six (6) hurs t defend Indictable Type I r II in which the defence is drug r alchl ingestin. Prir apprval is nt required up t a maximum f fur (4) hurs fr a dcument examiner where the legally-aided client is defending against fraud r frgery charges. Requests fr authrizatin shuld include details f the case, the thery f defence, services t be prvided and hw the assessment and reprt will aid the defence. Cunsel must prvide details f why the particular expert is necessary and an estimate as t number f hurs required (if mre than preauthrized amunt), as well as a cpy f the expert s curriculum vitae and brief summary f expert experience. Hurs authrized are intended t cver all services prvided by the expert, including meeting the legally-aided client, reviewing dcuments and disclsure, discussins with yu, and preparatin f a written reprt. ii. iii. Refugee Matters LAO will pay up t tw (2) hurs withut prir apprval fr a cuntry expert t prvide a written pinin as t cuntry cnditins in supprt f a legally-aided client s claim. Cunsel must prvide details f why the particular expert is necessary and an estimate as t number f hurs required (if mre than 2 hurs), as well as a cpy f the expert s curriculum vitae and brief summary f expert experience. Hurs authrized are intended t cver all services prvided by the expert, including meeting the legally-aided client, reviewing dcuments and disclsure, discussins with yu, and preparatin f a written reprt. Family Law Matters In family matters, prir apprval is nt required fr up t 18 hurs fr an assessment, such as a s. 30 CLRA assessment. 16 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

20 Hurs are apprtined between parties. Nrmally, LAO will pay up t 9 hurs per party if bth parties are legally-aided. Cunsel must seek prir authrizatin fr additinal hurs. Cunsel must prvide details f the histry f the litigatin, including the names f all parties and whether they are legally-aided; whether the assessment has been rdered by the curt and any ther relevant infrmatin. Cunsel must prvide details f why expert is necessary and estimate as t number f hurs required (if mre than the pre-authrized amunt), as well as a cpy f the expert s curriculum vitae. Hurs authrized are intended t cver all services prvided by the expert, including meeting the legally-aided client and/r children, reviewing dcuments and disclsure, discussins with yu, and preparatin f a written reprt. Refer t sectin n Assessments/ Critiques fr further infrmatin. c. Expert Witnesses/ Testimny LAO grants authrizatin fr expert curt attendance n a half-day (3 hurs) blck basis, at the applicable hurly rate based n academic credentials and qualificatins. When authrized, travel time is paid at $43.00 per hur. Mileage, if authrized, is payable at the rate f $0.40/km ($0.41/km in Nrthern Ontari). Where an expert begins testimny in the mrning and is required t finish in the afternn, LAO will pay fr a secnd half- day attendance fee. Experts are nt cmpensated fr attendance at curt t bserve prceedings r assist cunsel withut specific authrizatin. In serius criminal matters, authrizatin may be granted as part f a BCM budget. Experts shuld be retained n a standby basis fr curt attendance. It is expected that cunsel will advise the Crwn / Curt when an expert is available t testify t avid multiple half-day attendance charges. d. Frequently Requested Experts and Applicable Hurly Rates Expert Bachelr s Degree (e.g. BSW) Master s Degree (e.g. MSW) Pharmaclgist/Txiclgist (PhD) Registered Psychlgist (PhD) MD, Specialist Pathlgist Psychiatrist Rate $90.00 per hur $ per hur $ per hur $ per hur $ per hur $ per hur $ per hur 17 Legal Aid Ontari: Disbursements Handbk

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