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Preferred supplier newsletter—May 2020

This month: 

  • Thank you for your commitment to LAQ
  • LAQ family dispute resolution conferencing and arbitration update
  • COVID-19 update to the Case Management Standards & new Good practice guide for lawyers meeting with children via technology
  • Service agreements for MHRT, Domestic & Family Violence Duty Lawyer, and Child Protection Duty Lawyer rolled over
  • 2020–21 Practising certificate renewals and preferred supplier agreement notification matter
  • Grants Online password reset issues fixed
  • Login issues with Grants Online youth practitioner certification resources
  • Family Dispute Resolution conferences: communication with clients after the conference process
  • COVID-safe processes for lawyers and other practitioners in court houses
  • QLS resource – How to run a bail hearing in a COVID-19 world
  • CPD events

Thank you for your commitment to LAQ

Thank you to all our preferred supplier business partners for continuing to find innovative solutions to problems and challenges faced during the coronavirus pandemic allowing our clients to continue having access to justice and quality legal representation. It’s likely that this pandemic will have a lasting impact on the way LAQ conducts its business and how the broader justice system will operate, and we look forward to working with you in relation to these changes as they arise.

LAQ family dispute resolution conferencing and arbitration update

From 1 June 2020, Microsoft Teams will be used for videoconferencing in family law conferences and in arbitration oral submissions.

Parties will be able to participate in family law conferences remotely using either landline phones or Microsoft Teams videoconferencing.

Conferences will be held by phone where all participants have access to a landline phone. Using mobile phones in conferences won’t be allowed because of confidentiality and security restrictions.

If all participants don’t have access to a landline phone, then they can use videoconferencing through Microsoft Teams, which is available for free using computers, tablets or smartphones.

COVID-19 update to the Case Management Standards & new Good practice guide for lawyers meeting with children via technology

Legal Aid Queensland is monitoring the Commonwealth and Queensland Government announcements and health advice in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, temporary changes to Legal Aid Queensland’s Case Management Standards have been implemented. These are now available on the LAQ website.

A new factsheet - COVID-19: Good practice guide for lawyers meeting with children via technology has also been published and forms part of the COVID-19 update.

Service agreements for MHRT, Domestic & Family Violence Duty Lawyer, and Child Protection Duty Lawyer rolled over

Service agreements for preferred suppliers providing legal services in the Mental Health Tribunal, Domestic and Family Violence Duty Lawyer and Child Protection Duty Lawyer are due to expire on 30 June 2020. Due to operational and resourcing interruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, these service agreements will be rolled over to 30 November 2020.

The relevant firms should now have received correspondence about their service agreement extensions. For any queries, please contact Kate Volk, Acting Manager Regional Services and Business Partnerships.

2020–21 Practising certificate renewals and preferred supplier agreement notification matter

Queensland Law Society practising certificate renewals are open until Sunday 31 May 2020. Practitioners carrying out legal aid work must hold a current practising certificate. Please ensure that all practitioners undertaking legal aid work have correctly renewed their practising certificate.

If the principal, partner or director of a preferred supplier firm ceases to hold an unrestricted principal practising certificate, this is a notification matter listed in schedule 1 of the preferred supplier agreement and you must notify our office within 10 business days.

Grants Online password reset issues fixed

We have now successfully fixed the issue in Grants Online causing issues when you were due to change your password.

All Preferred Suppliers are now able to reset their passwords using the "Forgot password?" option on the login screen without having to contact the LAQ IT Service Desk.

Additionally, we have updated the contact details on the Technical Assistance option (Need Assistance/Help option) with a new phone number and email address for the LAQ IT Service Desk to make contacting them easier as some of you were not able to get through on the number previously listed.

Email the IT Service Desk or call 07 3917 0033.

Login issues with Grants Online youth practitioner certification resources

We have received feedback from some practitioners that they are seeing a login window that pops up when entering the youth practitioner training portal.

This problem has been logged with LAQ IT Services, but in the interim, users can still access the portal by clicking ‘cancel’ on the pop-up log-in window. It is also recommended that you use Internet Explorer to access the Grants Online portal as this is the only fully supported browser for our Grants Online platform.

Family Dispute Resolution conferences: communication with clients after the conference process

Client feedback is important in helping us improve our services. Our most recent client satisfaction survey identified that some clients felt their lawyer did not follow up with communication after the conferencing process.

The Case Management Standards – Family Law” at “B4. Confirm outcome with client” outlines the lawyer’s requirement to give their clients certain information after the conference process:

  • If the parties reach an agreement but do not intend to file consent orders, the lawyer should write a letter to the client confirming the agreement and enclosing a typed copy of the agreement.
  • If an agreement was reached and consent orders are intended to be filed, the lawyer should write a letter to the client confirming this and enclosing the typed proposed consent orders and other relevant court documents– see section B5 below.
  • If no agreement is reached, the lawyer should confirm this in writing with the client and provide advice to the client about their options including options for further mediation or counselling services.

Giving information to clients after the conference process can have a significant positive impact on clients, their families and the legal system. Your support and compliance with the case management standards will help us improve in this area.

COVID-safe processes for lawyers and other practitioners in court houses

The Queensland Government has issued a roadmap to a COVID-safe recovery. Legal Aid Queensland is working closely with court staff and judicial officers to ensure COVID-safe processes for lawyers and other practitioners in court houses. The draft processes set out our recommendations for achieving this goal. If you have any feedback, please email.

QLS resource — How to run a bail hearing in a COVID-19 world

The Queensland Law Society has recorded an on demand CPD session designed to provide practitioners with practical guidance in making bail applications during COVID-19 times.

Check it out and you may be able to receive 1 CPD point for professional skills or substantive law.

CPD events

Due to the evolving pandemic, the difficult decision has been made to cancel all CPD events until 30 June 2020.

All recorded CPD events from the 2019–20 CPD year are now available on Grants Online in the Information resources menu. Send an email if you need help locating these recordings or other CPD material in Grants Online.

We sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused by these cancellations, however the health, safety and wellbeing of our community, clients and staff is paramount.

The Queensland Law Society has granted practitioners an extension of time up until 30 June 2020 to comply with CPD requirements under part 6 of the Queensland Law Society Administration Rule 2005.

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