(a) Activities undertaken by the recipient to meet the requirements of this part must include the direct delivery of legal assistance to eligible clients through programs such as organized pro bono plans, reduced fee plans, judicare panels, private attorney contracts, or those modified pro bono plans which provide for the payment of nominal fees by eligible clients and/or organized referral systems; except that payment of attorney's fees through “revolving litigation fund” systems, as described in § 1614.5 of this part, shall neither be used nor funded under this part nor funded with any LSC support;
(b) Activities undertaken by recipients to meet the requirements of this part may also include, but are not limited to:
(1) Support provided by private attorneys to the recipient in its delivery of legal assistance to eligible clients on either a reduced fee or pro bono basis through the provision of community legal education, training, technical assistance, research, advice and counsel; co-counseling arrangements; or the use of private law firm facilities, libraries, computer-assisted legal research systems or other resources; and
(2) Support provided by the recipient in furtherance of activities undertaken pursuant to this Section including the provision of training, technical assistance, research, advice and counsel, or the use of recipient facilities, libraries, computer assisted legal research systems or other resources.
(c) The specific methods to be undertaken by a recipient to involve private attorneys in the provision of legal assistance to eligible clients will be determined by the recipient's taking into account the following factors:
(1) The priorities established pursuant to part 1620 of these regulations;
(2) The effective and economic delivery of legal assistance to eligible clients;
(3) The linguistic and cultural barriers to effective advocacy.
(4) The actual or potential conflicts of interest between specific participating attorneys and individual eligible clients; and
(5) The substantive and practical expertise, skills, and willingness to undertake new or unique areas of the law of participating attorneys.
(d) Systems designed to provide direct services to eligible clients by private attorneys on either a pro bono or reduced fee basis, shall include at a minimum, the following components:
(1) Intake and case acceptance procedures consistent with the recipient's established priorities in meeting the legal needs of eligible clients;
(2) Case assignments which ensure the referral of cases according to the nature of the legal problems involved and the skills, expertise, and substantive experience of the participating attorney;
(3) Case oversight and follow-up procedures to ensure the timely disposition of cases to achieve, if possible, the result desired by the client and the efficient and economical utilization of recipient resources; and
(4) Access by private attorneys to LSC recipient resources, including those of LSC national and state support centers, that provide back-up on substantive and procedural issues of the law.
(e) The recipient shall demonstrate compliance with this part by utilizing financial systems and procedures and maintaining supporting documentation to identify and account separately for costs related to the PAI effort. Such systems and records shall meet the requirements of the Corporation's Audit and Accounting Guide for Recipients and Auditors and shall have the following characteristics:
(1) They shall accurately identify and account for:
(i) The recipient's administrative, overhead, staff, and support costs related to PAI activities. Non-personnel costs shall be allocated on the basis of reasonable operating data. All methods of allocating common costs shall be clearly documented. If any direct or indirect time of staff attorneys or paralegals is to be allocated as a cost to PAI, such costs must be documented by time sheets accounting for the time those employees have spent on PAI activities. The timekeeping requirement does not apply to such employees as receptionists, secretaries, intake personnel or bookkeepers; however, personnel cost allocations for non-attorney or non-paralegal staff should be based on other reasonable operating data which is clearly documented;
(ii) Payments to private attorneys for support or direct client services rendered. The recipient shall maintain contracts on file which set forth payment systems, hourly rates, and maximum allowable fees. Bills and/or invoices from private attorneys shall be submitted before payments are made. Encumbrances shall not be included in calculating whether a recipient has met the requirement of this part;
(iii) Contractual payments to individuals or organizations that undertake administrative, support, and/or direct services to eligible clients on behalf of the recipient consistent with the provisions of this part. Contracts concerning transfer of LSC funds for PAI activities shall require that such funds be accounted for by the recipient in accordance with LSC guidelines, including the requirements of the Audit and Accounting Guide for Recipients and Auditors and 45 CFR part 1627;
(iv) Other such actual costs as may be incurred by the recipient in this regard.
(2) Support and expenses relating to the PAI effort must be reported separately in the recipient's year-end audit. This shall be done by establishing a separate fund or providing a separate schedule in the financial statement to account for the entire PAI allocation. Recipients are not required to establish separate bank accounts to segregate funds allocated to PAI. Auditors are required to perform sufficient audit tests to enable them to render an opinion on the recipient's compliance with the requirements of this part.
(3) In private attorney models, attorneys may be reimbursed for actual costs and expenses. Attorney's fees paid may not exceed 50% of the local prevailing market rate for that type of service.
(4) All records pertaining to a recipient's PAI requirements which do not contain client confidences or secrets as defined by applicable state law shall be made available for inspection and review by LSC auditors and monitors during regular business hours.
Title 45 published on 2014-10-01
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