Outside Section 53
Section 11 of chapter 211D of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out subsections (c) and (d) and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:-
(c) Notwithstanding the billable hour limitation in subsection (b), the chief counsel of the committee may waive the annual cap on billable hours for private counsel appointed or assigned to indigent cases if the chief counsel finds that: (i) there is limited availability of qualified counsel in that practice area; (ii) there is limited availability of qualified counsel in a geographic area; or (iii) increasing the limit would improve efficiency and quality of service; provided, however, that counsel appointed or assigned to such cases within the private counsel division may bill up to but not more than 2,000 billable hours. It shall be the responsibility of private counsel to manage their billable hours.
This section repeals the existing "intermediate" cap that precludes private counsel from accepting new cases once they have reached an intermediate limit of 1,350 hours. In addition, it expands the authority of the Chief Counsel of CPCS to waive the billable hours caps for overall billing (currently, that cap is 1,650 hours) from only child and family law cases and care and protection cases to all sorts of cases in all courts. The overall hours cap after a waiver would be 2,000 hours instead of the current 1,800 hours.
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