Roster Update

One-year milestone for LAA’s modernized Tariff

April 1, 2024, marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of our modernized Tariff. The modernized Tariff has received an overwhelmingly positive response, and we want to thank our colleagues for their patience during the implementation process.

Legal Aid Alberta staff and our roster colleagues worked together to navigate various processes, including utilization of Extra Hours under 11.19, attaching time sheets, understanding Court of Justice and King’s Bench fees and billing for multiple Informations when a global resolution takes place.

One year later, roster counsel report that billing is more straightforward and that they are being adequately compensated for the more labour-intensive steps on their files, such as resolutions and trials.

Our goals in launching this project are twofold:

First, we want to ensure that trial preparation is remunerated fairly, with minimal reliance on the Hourly Case Management structure. The HCM process is still in place, and counsel can apply it to longer, more complex matters. In many cases, the block fees of the regular Tariff often pay the same, if not more, than the HCM route.

Secondly, we want to make it easy for our roster lawyers to work with LAA. Roster counsel and their support staff can spend less time on billing and more time serving our shared clients.

As always, we thank the roster for their assistance and patience throughout the process.

Our team of Certificate Tariff Officers are available to help roster members, both new and old, to navigate the new Tariff when needed. They can reached by email at [email protected].

LAA roster lawyers named King’s Counsel

Congratulations to LAA roster team members who were recently named King’s Counsel in recognition of their contributions to the legal community.

Announced March 28, a total of 103 lawyers across the province were recognized with the designation, including LAA roster members:

  • Adebanke Adediran
  • Michael Bates
  • Suchetna Channan
  • Shamsher Kothari
  • Ian McKay
  • Paul Moreau
  • Kim Ross

In addition, LAA Staff Lawyers Cyndi Barber and David Paull were also named King’s Counsel.

Updating availability

Delays in appointing counsel can contribute to court delays, uncertainty for clients and unequal access to justice. Keeping your availability status up to date can mitigate these delays and ensure our clients get the help they need in a timely manner.

If you are on leave or have a planned vacation coming up, use the self-service options on the Lawyer Portal to schedule temporary absences with start and end dates. The dates can be modified as needed on the Lawyer Portal.

Certificate offers can be held for 48 hours at a time, which can add up if they are being sent to multiple lawyers in succession who haven’t updated their availability. Those 48 hours can be especially important for clients in custody.

Need help with the Lawyer Portal? Email [email protected].

Reminder: New Financial Eligibility Guidelines in effect

Legal Aid Alberta’s new Financial Eligibility Guidelines are now in effect. For roster lawyers, this means that more Albertans are eligible for legal aid funding, resulting in a larger pool of certificates in the long run. For a single-person household, the income threshold is now a net annual income of $25,346. While this amount was calculated based on a gross annual income of $30,000, Legal Aid Alberta will continue to base its eligibility decisions on net income. Specific thresholds for larger households can be found on our website.

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