BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Executive Committee - Disbanded in June 2002, the Executive members of the Board of Directors dealt with specific issues as needed.
Audit Committee - This committee is responsible to the Board for overall fiscal control including reviewing the performance of and recommending the appointment of the external auditors.
Compensation Review Committee - This Committee meets as necessary to review the tariff of fees to ensure fairness to lawyers and clients and to recommend appropriate changes to the tariff from time to time.
Appeals Committees - The Northern and Southern districts each have an Appeals Committee which represents the final level of appeal in coverage issues. They also decide on large disbursements and appeals to the Supreme Court of Canada, and provide direction in unusual cases as required.
Exceptional Accounts Review Committee - This Committee considers appeals from the taxation of lawyers’ accounts and requests for discretionary increases on the basis of exceptional facts or circumstances.
Roster Committee - This Committee deals with complaints and concerns regarding the conduct of counsel.
REGIONAL LEGAL AID COMMITTEES
Each legal aid region has a committee which sits regularly to provide clients with a local appeal process from staff coverage decisions. Staff may also refer unusual cases to the appropriate regional committee for consideration. These regional committees have their authority from the Legal Aid Rules.
The Governance Agreement provides that a related director (a lawyer who has gross billings of more than $10,000 or whose firm has gross billings of more than $25,000 for legal aid certificates in a year) must refrain from voting on matters involving the tariff structure, the notional hourly rate or the mode of service delivery.
Generally, when a member of the Board, Board Committee, or Regional Committee perceives that he or she is in a conflict of interest with regard to any matter on an agenda, that member is required to refrain from any discussion or vote on that matter. In the case of items involving a client file the member leaves the meeting room for the duration of the item under consideration.
In any instance where a Regional Committee or Appeals Committee member knows that he or she will be in conflict prior to a meeting, that member must advise the appropriate Legal Aid Office. In these instances, the relevant material is culled from that member’s agenda.