120.51 Legal aid society funding definitions.

As used in sections 120.51 to 120.55 of the Revised Code:

(A) "Legal aid society" means a nonprofit corporation that satisfies all of the following:

(1) It is chartered to provide general legal services to the poor, it is incorporated and operated exclusively in this state, its primary purpose or function is to provide civil legal services, without charge, to indigents, and, in addition to providing civil legal services to indigents, it may provide legal training or legal technical assistance to other legal aid societies in this state.

(2) It has a board of trustees, a majority of its board of trustees are attorneys, and at least one-third of its board of trustees, when selected, are eligible to receive legal services from the legal aid society.

(3) It receives funding from the legal services corporation or otherwise provides civil legal services to indigents.

(B) "Indigent" means a person or persons whose income is not greater than one hundred twenty-five per cent of the current poverty threshold established by the United States office of management and budget.

(C) "Fee generating case" means any case or matter which, if undertaken on behalf of an indigent by an attorney in private practice, reasonably would be expected to result in payment of a fee for legal services from an award to a client, from public funds, or from the opposing party. A case shall not be considered a fee generating case if adequate representation is unavailable or if any of the following circumstances exist concerning the case:

(1) The legal aid society that represents the indigent in the case has determined that free referral is not possible for any of the following reasons:

(a) The case has been rejected by the local lawyer referral service, or if there is no such service, by two attorneys in private practice who have experience in the subject matter of the case.

(b) Neither the local lawyer referral service, if one exists, nor any attorney will consider the case without payment of a consultation fee.

(c) The case is of a type that attorneys in private practice in the area ordinarily do not accept, or do not accept without prepayment of a fee.

(d) Emergency circumstances compel immediate action before referral can be made, but the client is advised that, if appropriate and consistent with professional responsibility, referral will be attempted at a later time.

(2) Recovery of damages is not the principal object of the case and a request for damages is merely ancillary to an action for equitable or other nonpecuniary relief, or inclusion of a counterclaim requesting damages is necessary for effective defense or because of applicable rules governing joinder of counterclaims.

(3) A court has appointed a legal aid society or its employee to represent the indigent in the case pursuant to a statute, or a court rule or practice of equal applicability to all attorneys in the jurisdiction.

(4) The case involves the rights of a claimant under a publicly supported benefit program for which entitlement is based on need.

Cite as R.C. § 120.51

History. Effective Date: 12-04-1995