We recognize that out-of-custody duty counsel assignments may take longer than normal, especially as case volumes return to normal. To address this, LABC is increasing the daily authorizations by one hour for all duty counsel assignments that include out-of-custody services. This will be reflected on contracts with service dates from the beginning of September. We are not able to retroactively adjust contracts already issued.
We encourage all counsel who work beyond their daily authorization to seek extra fees. To streamline this process, we will accept duty counsel extra fee requests emailed directly to DutyCounsel@legalaid.bc.ca.
Where initial appearance and remand court lists are available in advance, we encourage you to review them and confer with Crown to identify cases that need extra attention or have counsel of record. If you perform some reasonable preparation work in advance of your assigned date, you can bill this on your contract.
Your online invoice should attribute all work to your assigned date even if it was performed earlier. You should also keep time records to document when the work was done, but you will only need to produce those records on request.
Early this month, we expect to publish an updated version of standard instructions for out-of-custody duty counsel operating on the triage model.