Roster Update

Roster lawyer’s guide to hourly case management

June 7, 2023

With the release of the new Legal Aid Alberta Tariff on April 1, 2023, roster lawyers are no longer able to request substantial additional hours on files. Instead, for most files, the amount of time allotted in the new tariff will compensate you for the time that you’ve reasonably spent on your matter.

However, we recognize that there are exceptional cases where the regular tariffs will not provide proper compensation for your work. That is where the hourly case management (HCM) program comes in.

What is HCM?

HCM is exactly what it sounds like – it is billing hourly for the work done on the file. Unlike our prior tariff system where you could bill regular tariff and additional hours, with HCM it is straight hours with no ability to bill regular tariff items. The hourly rate is the same as the one contemplated in the regular tariff.

Which files are eligible for HCM?

Files that are classified as “Indictable” or “Major” are eligible for consideration for HCM.

When should I apply for HCM?

Although a large number of files are eligible for consideration for HCM, the majority of files will be properly compensated under the regular tariff. There are two timing considerations for your application:

  • If you are applying for HCM, you must make that application before you have billed on the file; and
  • If you have been accepted into HCM, you cannot undo that application and go back to the regular tariff stream.

The second consideration is particularly important because there are a significant number of cases where you would likely receive as much or more compensation through the regular tariff than you would through HCM. HCM is also more work intensive than the regular tariff because you will need to request hours as you go, and acceptance into HCM is not a guarantee that all the hours that you request will be approved.

Wait until you have received disclosure and set the matter down for preliminary inquiry or trial. Once you’ve done that, you’ll have a better sense of how much time you would receive under the regular tariff.

How do I apply for HCM?

Please fill out and submit the HCM application form. Once you have completed the form with your case plan, email it to [email protected] then watch your inbox for a status update from us.

Quick guide

Bookmark or download your Tariff cheat sheet to quickly reference the tariffs and how many hours they provide. Keep this document handy for you or your assistant to add up the number of hours that the regular tariff is likely to give you on the file before applying for HCM. This will help ensure that you make an informed choice and maximize your tariffs on the file.

Questions? We’re here to help.

[email protected]

Last updated: June 7, 2023

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