(a) The division will consider the guidelines for legal services outlined in subsection (c), the maximum hourly rate for legal services in subsection (d), Labor Code, §408.221 and §408.222, and written evidence presented to the division, when approving, partially approving, or denying an application for attorney fees.
(b) An attorney may request, and the division may approve, a number of hours greater than those allowed by the guidelines for legal services if the attorney demonstrates to the satisfaction of the division that the higher fee was justified based on the circumstances of the specific claim and Labor Code, §408.221 and §408.222.
(c) The guidelines for legal services provided to claimants and insurance carriers are as follows:
|Service Maximum||Total Hours|
|1.||a. initial interview and research||1.0|
|b. setting up file; completing and filing forms||0.5|
|2.||Communications per month (with client, health care|
providers, other persons involved in the case)
|3.||Direct dispute resolution negotiation with the other|
party (per month)
|4.||Preparation and submission of an agreement or|
|5.||Participation in benefit review conference||Actual time in BRC + 2.0|
|6.||Participation in contested case hearing||Actual time in CCH + 4.0|
|7.||Participation in administrative appeal process||5.0|
|8.||Travel (per month)||Actual costs that are reasonable and necessary|
(d) The maximum hourly rate for legal services shall be as follows. Hourly rate:
(1) attorney–$200; and
(2) legal assistant (not to include hours for general office staff)–$65.
(e) Each attorney must bill for hours using that attorney’s state bar card number.
(f) This section is effective January 30, 2017.
The provisions of this §152.4 adopted to be effective January 30, 2017, 41 TexReg 10624.