SECTION 1. Section 11 of chapter 211D of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by striking out subsection (d) and inserting in place thereof the following subsection:-
(d) Notwithstanding the billable hour limitations in subsections (b) and (c), the chief counsel may waive the annual cap on billable hours for private counsel appointed or assigned to indigent cases and the cap on accepting new appointments or assignments if the chief counsel finds that: (i) there is limited availability of qualified counsel in that practice area; (ii) shifting the service to private counsel would result in cost efficiencies and not negatively impact the quality of service; or (iii) shifting the service to private counsel would improve the quality of service; provided, however, that counsel appointed or assigned to such cases within the private counsel division shall not be paid for any time billed in excess of 2,000 billable hours and shall not accept any new appointment or assignment after having billed 1,500 billable hours during any fiscal year. It shall be the responsibility of private counsel to manage their billable hours.
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