Judges, attorney general arm-wrestle over stingy legal aid

One lawyer will be paid higher than the normal amount in a legal aid case she's representing

By Graham F. Scott

On Thursday May 29th, 2008

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penniesMr. Justice Colin McKinnon of the Ontario Superior Court essentially told the province to shove it this week when he ordered that a lawyer in a murder trial be paid more than the standard legal-aid fee she would normally receive. Catherine Huot will now be paid $150 per hour to defend Allen Tehrankari, instead of the standard $87 she would normally receive under the province’s legal aid regime.

The Globe and Mail has the full story. A spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office is quoted as saying that lawyers should be paid “at the same rate regardless of the source of funding — be it through Legal Aid Ontario or the Ministry.” Justice McKinnon and plenty of others apparently feel otherwise, leading the Globe to call the ruling a ‘mini-revolt.’ We think it sounds like a full-sized one.