Question: When are the training sessions for Family?
Answer: The Modernized Tariff did update the legal language in the Family Tariff (now found under Section 13) and involve some streamlining, for example to combine preparation and attendance into single Tariff Items for efficiency when invoicing.
Overall, the Family (and Child Welfare) Tariff still operates on an hourly basis and charging of “actual time”. As identified on the certificate, there is a block of initial hours provided when the certificate is issued. If additional hours are required, they will now be requested under the new Section 15.02 (Additional Hours- Civil) but the process of how to request additional hours, and the information needing to be provided to the Assessment Team, will not change. The Family Tariff Handbook will be important in guiding you as to what can be invoiced and how to invoice – this Handbook will be available April 1st.
Question: Where do I charge adjournments on the new Tariff?
Answer: The Modernized Tariff is focused on reasonable compensation for substantive steps and towards conclusion – rather than prioritizing and compensating for procedural and administrative steps on client files. Therefore, any and all adjournments required to move a file forward are now covered under the applicable block fee (Provincial or King’s Bench Court Fee) which also varies by the level of the certificate. There is no date field for the Provincial Court Fee (11.01) or the King’s Bench Court Fee (11.02) so, to streamline invoicing, you do not have to enter every adjournment date into the invoice anymore.
In the case that a certificate requires procedural and administrative time that is extraordinary or not covered by the Block Fee, additional preparation time for appearances can be tracked and, if applicable, the Extra Hours Block under Tariff 11.19 can be utilized to compensate for actual time spent above and beyond the hours included in the Block Fees.
Question: Can I still charge for Waiting Time as a Tariff Item?
Answer: The “Waiting Time” Tariff Item has been removed. In terms of providing legal services for LAA clients, Roster Counsel are expected to reasonably manage and prioritize their own time between appearances and files and LAA takes the position that waiting time should not be charged against any LAA client’s certificate. The preparation and attendance hours now included in the Block Fees generally are enough to reasonably cover your actual time spent on delivering legal services on a certificate– and in some cases, the combination of block fees may actually pay you for more hours than were “actually spent” per your timekeeping.
Additional Hours will not be available to be requested or approved under the new Tariff with the exception of an Extra Hours Block (Tariff 11.19) that allows Roster Counsel to charge for “actual time spent” that is over and above the hours included in the Block Fees. Charging for “Actual time spent”, as would take place under the Extra Hours Block, is intended to capture active work on the file. If “waiting time” is on timesheets which are used for the basis of claiming Extra Hours under 11.19, any time entries related to waiting time or travel time will be deleted as “non-chargeable” and may invalidate the invoicing of the Extra Horus Block (causing your invoice to be rejected).