Legal Aid Brief newsletter

#98 — October 2018

New family limited representation contract

As a result of the budget increase the Legal Services Society (LSS) received from the government this year, we're pleased to announce expanded family coverage.

Effective October 30, 2018, LSS will implement a new limited representation contract for a trial period, where you may provide unbundled services to clients with financial security issues, including child and spousal support and preservation and/or division of family property.

The contracts are intended to provide clients with the assistance necessary to effectively negotiate a settlement or represent themselves. Limited representation contracts will:

  • be introduced for a trial period and will be evaluated after one year;
  • provide a maximum of 15 hours for time spent on both general preparation and court-based case conference attendance (no more than 3 of the 15 hours may be spent at court-based case conference attendances);
  • have a one-year stop date;
  • not be eligible for extended family services, extra fees, or additional preparation time; and
  • not be eligible for travel.

You must disclose the limited nature of your contract in compliance with Chapter 3.2-1.1 of the Code of Professional Conduct for British Columbia. A sample limited representation retainer letter is available in LSS Online under Resources.

The updated Family chapter of the LSS Tariffs is now available on the LSS website at legalaid.bc.ca (under Lawyers — LSS Tariffs) and in LSS Online under Resources.

Background

Unbundling legal services, where counsel provide legal services for part of a client’s legal matter, allows clients to access some legal help where they would otherwise not be eligible for legal aid representation.

LSS will be expanding limited representation coverage to clients with financial security issues and who do not necessarily face a risk of harm or violence. Unbundling allows you and your client to decide which tasks they will do and which ones you will perform.

As always, we welcome your feedback regarding the LSS Tariffs. If you have any comments, please email lawyersresources@lss.bc.ca.

 

Heidi Mason
Vice President, Legal Advice and Representation

October 30, 2018

 

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