Roster Update

Gladue principles decision

June 13, 2024 – R v AD, 2024, a recent case from the Alberta Court of Appeal, highlights the far-reaching importance of Gladue reports and principles. The Crown successfully appealed a sentence on the grounds that the defendant’s Gladue report was taken into consideration, but not Gladue principles related to the victims. The decision highlights the importance of sections 718.04 and 718.201 of the Criminal Code which are intended to strengthen the law’s response to violence against Indigenous women and girls.

Many of Legal Aid Alberta’s roster lawyers represent Indigenous clients on a regular basis. National Indigenous History Month is an appropriate moment to note the critical importance of Gladue principles in providing clients with the best possible representation. As the Supreme Court recognized in 1999 in R v Gladue:

  • The overrepresentation of Indigenous people in the criminal justice system is a serious and complex issue rooted in systemic discrimination and the history of colonialism;
  • The unique systemic or background factors which may have played a part in bringing an Indigenous person in contact with the law should be considered in criminal justice decision-making; and
  • All other alternatives, including culturally-appropriate restorative and traditional Indigenous justice processes, should be considered before sending an Indigenous person to jail.

Legal Aid Alberta is proud to work with a roster of experienced lawyers who understand the critical role that Gladue principles play in the justice system. “You can’t represent your Indigenous clients with competence and vigour if you’re not digging deep into these issues,” says Aaron Sparvier, Legal Aid Alberta’s Indigenous Liaison. “Don’t be shy to utilize Gladue principles at any stage of the process; they can make a real difference for people.”

Lawyer Directory goes live June 17

Thank you to the members of the roster who have opted in to the Lawyer Directory. Responses continue to come in, and we are on track to launch the Lawyer Directory this Monday, June 17.

The Lawyer Directory will be a searchable list of Legal Aid Alberta roster lawyers accessible from our public website. Albertans who are applying for legal aid will be able to use this tool to find preferred counsel, searching by court location, area of law and languages spoken. Don’t miss this opportunity to make it easier for clients to find youtake one minute today to opt in.

If you would prefer not to be included in the Lawyer Directory, we would be grateful for your response on the signup form below indicating your intention to opt out, so that we know not to contact you about signing up for the Directory in the future.

Time sheets and criminal invoices

Keeping detailed time sheets remains the best practice, and detailed time sheets will always be required for criminal files: 

  • in which Extra Hours are claimed under tariff item 11.19, or 
  • that fall under the Hourly Case Management program. 

We recognize that many criminal lawyers do not keep detailed time sheets as a standard operating procedure, and do so recognizing that they are likely forgoing the ability to claim 11.19 time.  They are free to make this choice. 

Having said that, it is vital that all certificate lawyers be able to back up their work when audited.  Audits of invoices can be triggered by a client complaint, but also by random spot checks.  In these instances, our team of Certificate Tariff Officers will need to reach out to counsel to obtain records of what work has been done on a file and when. 

Time sheets are the best way to demonstrate this, but they are not the only way.  With this in mind, criminal lawyers who invoice by block billing only are able to submit their records, when they are requested, by simply listing the work that they have done along with the day it was performed to ensure LAA is able to validate invoice submission.

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