Support and Resources

Criminal lawyer’s checklist for requesting additional hours

Step 1

Please consider whether the “task” or reason you are asking for additional hours is included within the tariff block fees [from the Tariff Rules] as below:

  • Interviewing and Briefing (1.06): includes meeting with client and getting instructions;
  • Trial Tariffs (1.24 – 1.26): includes disclosure review, discussion with Crown, case law research, preparation for cross-examination, preparation of client to testify & attendance at the trial;
  • Guilty plea (1.27) or ECR (1.28): includes disclosure review, negotiation with Crown, case law research, preparation for sentencing or guilty plea entry & attendance;
  • Guilty Plea on Day of Trial (1.29): includes disclosure review, negotiation with Crown, case law research, preparation for sentencing or guilty plea entry & attendance;
  • Speaking to Sentence (1.32): if the sentencing proceeds on a separate day from the guilty plea this tariff is available and includes preparation for sentencing, research & attendance.

Step 2

Additional hours requests and approval must be tied to a specific legal or client issue which needs to be addressed above and beyond the tariff block items. If additional hours are still needed, please consider and include the following information in your request:

1. What stage is the file at?
Reviewing disclosure to determine course; prelim; trial; ECR or guilty plea; sentencing, etc.

2. Summary of the allegations.
Provide specific details of allegations or crown theory of case. Please note “charged with assault with a weapon” is not specific enough.

3. If requesting hours for disclosure review, a summary of the allegations is more helpful than describing the length of the disclosure. Please consider including, in addition to the summary of the allegations:

      • How many complainant statements?
      • Witness statements?
      • Lengthy investigation?
      • What is the defence plan or triable issues identified at this stage of the file?

4. Crown position on sentencing versus defence position?

5. How many days of prelim or trial?

6. If prelim, what are the issues that the prelim is proceeding on? Challenging committal?

7. If trial, what is the defence plan for trial:

      • Is the accused testifying?
      • Are there Charter issues and what are the specifics?
      • How many statements of the complainant to compare for cross-examination?
      • Challenging credibility of any officers?
      • Pre-trial applications (like Charter) and their specifics;
      • Witness lists;
      • Any defence witnesses to be called and how they fit into the case;
      • Crown position or theory versus defence theory;
      • Crown position on sentencing if known;
      • Any extraordinary legal or client issues that have arisen.

Important reminders

Tariff 1.21 can be used for 10 hours of preparation of written submissions when they are ordered by the court. Tariff 1.21 can be used to a maximum of 5 hours for written submissions not ordered (i.e. Charter Notices).

If there are any issues or need for clarification, your request will be rejected and more information will be asked for. These guidelines have been put in place to ensure accurate documentation and tracking of additional hour requests and how additional hours are being used.

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