Legal Aid Brief newsletter

#93 — October 2017

Transcript Service Provision Changes

The Attorney General, Court Services Branch (CSB), has new contracts with transcript service providers (TSPs). These new contracts will impact LSS’s transcript policies and procedures. Below is an overview of the changes that will apply to transcript orders placed on or after October 1, 2017.

Transcript categories

  • Daily and Expedited — No change.
  • Priority — New category. Allows for transcript delivery by the 10th business day after the date on which the transcript was ordered.
  • Standard — Previously called ordinary. Available within 22 days, unless the ordering party consents to a longer period.
  • Delayed — No longer exists.

Note: Transcripts for bail reviews, preliminary inquiries, and s.11(b) Charter applications will now be pre-authorized at the standard rate.

Transcript formats

Electronic is now the default format for the first ordering party. The basic transcript first party order will include one original paper copy and one electronic copy for the court registry, and one electronic copy for the ordering party.

If you require a paper copy for your LSS client or use within your firm, you may print a copy. Alternatively, you may request authorization to order a first party paper copy; however, as this is now an additional cost, you must provide reasons why you require a paper copy from the transcript service provider.

A reminder that LSS expects you to order the most economical transcript category and format that satisfies your time requirements and needs.

Service areas

The transcription service areas have been divided into 13 areas based on court regions and type of proceeding (criminal or civil). Place any new transcripts orders (that fall under the jurisdiction of LSS’s exclusive TSP contracts) with the appropriate company. See Transcript Service Providers for the new list of service areas.

Rates

There are new rates for the different transcript categories, and for first party, second party, and same party orders.

LSS Online, LSS Tariffs, and forms

  • LSS Online — We'll update the authorization form in LSS Online with the new transcript categories by the end of October. In the meantime, please do the following:
    • If you want to order a first party paper copy, provide reasons on the authorization form.
    • If you want to order priority transcripts, indicate this in the “Please provide reasons” section on the authorization form.
  • Disbursements Tariff — We're working on updating the Disbursements Tariff by the end of October to reflect these changes.
  • Transcript Order Form — We’ve updated the transcript categories.

Digital audio recordings of court proceedings

The British Columbia Supreme Court (BCSC) announced that, starting October 2, 2017, it will allow counsel of record to obtain a copy of the digital audio recording system (DARS) for most criminal and civil proceedings upon providing an undertaking. The undertaking allows counsel to direct their staff to produce an unofficial transcript for internal purposes. CSB advises that the cost of the audio recording is $27 per request, and a request can be made for multiple court dates. For detailed information, see the BCSC's updated Court Record Access Policy.

For now, LSS will allow you to bill for one DARS CD ($27) without authorization. We expect you to request a copy of the DARS only where it's appropriate for your case and to obtain multiple dates on a single request. We'll be adding a new tariff item to the Disbursement Tariff for the cost of the CD, but we aren't adding any hours to the LSS Tariffs or to general preparation under the Family Tariff for your time to review or transcribe the DARS; if you choose to use a copy of the court’s audio recording, you'll have to do so within the hours currently allotted under the LSS Tariffs.

Additional notes

As yet, LSS hasn't received any additional funding to address the changes outlined above. As these are new developments, we'll continue to assess and closely monitor the impacts of these changes on the provision of legal aid services, adjusting our policies and procedures as necessary over the coming months.

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

 

Heidi Mason
Director, Legal Advice and Representation

October 2, 2017

 

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