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Budget Summary FY2016

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Outside Section 171
Data Current as of:  8/19/2015

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Children and Family Law Division Billable Hours Cap Waiver

SECTION 171.   (a) Notwithstanding section 11 of chapter 211D of the General Laws, for fiscal year 2016, the chief counsel of the committee for public counsel services may waive the annual cap on billable hours for private counsel appointed or assigned to cases undertaken by the children and family law program established by the committee, if the chief counsel finds that: (i) there is limited availability of qualified counsel in that practice area; (ii) requirements for expertise rendering assignment to certain private counsel would be more cost effective; or (iii) demonstrated efficiency of private counsel shows that shifting the service to other counsel shall reduce the quality and increase the cost of service; provided, however, that counsel appointed or assigned to such cases within the private counsel division shall not be paid for any time billed in excess of 1,800 billable hours. It shall be the responsibility of private counsel to manage their billable hours.

(b) The committee for public counsel services shall conduct an evaluation of the annual billable hours cap and any impacts that the discretion to waive the cap may have on the caseload and budget of the committee. The committee shall submit an initial report of its findings to the clerks of the house of representatives and senate not later than December 1, 2015 and a final report not later than March 15, 2016.