LAO is making two immediate changes to their COVID responses.
These changes involve a return to traditional LAO policies with respect to change of solicitor applications by in-custody accused, and entering into contribution agreements with clients who have property.
1. There will be no automatic change of solicitor for in-custody accused. LAO will be resuming its standard practice for these change of solicitor requests
2. LAO will once again enter into an agreement with any new applicant for legal aid services to help pay for the cost to their legal fee by resuming our policy of registering a lien for clients who have property.
As in the past, in family law cases involving allegations of domestic violence LAO will defer registering the lien until we have been advised by counsel for the victim that it is safe to do.
Notably, all other COVID certificate eligibility, coverage and billing changes will continue in force for the time being as emergency temporary COVID measures.
This information has now been posted on the LAO web site: https://www.legalaid.on.ca/in-briefs/return-to-usual-change-of-solicitor-and-contribution-agreement-practices/
Please feel free to contact Marcus Pratt PrattM@lao.on.ca directly with any questions or concerns.