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Contracting Discussion
 Criminal Solicitor Dot NetĽContracting Discussion
Subject Topic: Defence Solicitor Call Centre Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Gavin
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Taylor Haldane Barlex

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Posted: 03 January 2008 at 17:15 | IP Logged Quote Gavin

The Legal Services Commission has published a reminder on their web site that all own client police station cases must be logged with the Defence Solicitor Call Centre with effect from 14th January 2008:

Changes to the Defence Solicitor Call Centre (DSCC) will start as planned at 9am on 14 January.

From this time all requests for publicly funded police station work, including own solicitor requests, must be made through the DSCC. If the call centre canít make contact with a clientís own solicitor within two hours, a Duty Solicitor will be sent.

We believe the change balances the rights of clients to receive timely legal representation with their right to instruct their own solicitor. Clients may change to their own solicitor at a later stage if their case goes to court.

This change does not require changes to the PACE code and is not subject to Parliamentary approval.

To see the full text of this announcement follow this link.



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trentreznor1
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Posted: 04 January 2008 at 04:11 | IP Logged Quote trentreznor1

Does anybody know how this "two hours" will work? If a firm employs several solicitors, will the call centre ring all these solicitors? Does the two hours start from the call to the first solicitor ( who may be engaged in a trial)? Does it then start again for a second solicitor from this firm? Or is it two hours in total from the point that the call centre receive the call.

I find it incredible that in ten days time the changes are in and yet I cannot seem to find out exactly how this deployment of own client cases is going to be managed. Surely somewhere there must be a written protocol for the call centre to follow which we should be aware of?

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jonjack
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Posted: 04 January 2008 at 07:21 | IP Logged Quote jonjack

Perhaps if every firm provided one number (reception/switchboard) that could be contacted and then the firm could ensure that an appropriate representative was at the station within 2 hours?
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Gavin
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Posted: 04 January 2008 at 12:45 | IP Logged Quote Gavin

The only guidance that I have seen on the Defence Solicitor Call Centre is in a recent LSC training pack. Have a look at page 16 of this document.

There is very little detail on how the system is to work. My interpretation of the LSC information is they presume that every firm has a duty solicitor and those duty solicitors are familiar with the call centre already.

Roll on 14th January 2008 when we start to report cases and we speak to people who have no idea what they are supposed to be recording, and we have no idea what information we are supposed to be giving!

One thing that sticks out at present is that I have not seen a number advertised to report own client cases to. Do we still use 0845 7500620?



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RonBarker
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Posted: 04 January 2008 at 14:07 | IP Logged Quote RonBarker

Here is a link to the Duty Solicitor Call Centre.  Note that all the link to documentation are full updated. 

http://www.dutysolicitors.org/  

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Gavin
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Posted: 04 January 2008 at 14:20 | IP Logged Quote Gavin

[QUOTE=RonBarker]Here is a link to the Duty Solicitor Call Centre.  Note that all the link to documentation are full updated. 

http://www.dutysolicitors.org/[/QUOTE]

 

That web site has been dormant for over two years now. I e-mailed a contact listed on the web site (alex.nash@legalservices.gov.uk) and asked what was happening with the project and I did not get a response.



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RonBarker
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Posted: 04 January 2008 at 14:27 | IP Logged Quote RonBarker

I know
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paul duncan
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Posted: 05 January 2008 at 14:12 | IP Logged Quote paul duncan

[QUOTE=trentreznor1]

I find it incredible that in ten days time the changes are in and yet I cannot seem to find out exactly how this deployment of own client cases is going to be managed. Surely somewhere there must be a written protocol for the call centre to follow which we should be aware of?

I know exactly how it will be managed.  Poorly!
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Shrek
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Posted: 05 January 2008 at 18:13 | IP Logged Quote Shrek

Have they really thought how much time and inconvenience it is going to cause the DSCC to ring them every time an own client is arrested? I doubt they have made any plans to put on extra staff to deal with the calls for own client referrals rather than concentrate on duty solicitor work.

The funniest thing about this exercise is that the LSC just want to know how many people are being arrested to cost cases! Surely they have those kinds of figures already?



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