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COVID-19 and LESA Programs

In light of recent developments, LESA has postponed all programs scheduled from March 14 to June 30, 2020. Registrants for all programs scheduled during this time have been sent an email with additional information. Our office is now closed, with our staff currently working from remote. If you have any questions, please contact us by emailing

Postponed programs, include:

  1. Commercial Real Estate for Legal Support Staff, scheduled to run in Calgary on March 17
  2. Family Law Trial Fundamentals, scheduled to run in Calgary on March 18
  3. Dealing with Difficult Conversations, scheduled to run in Edmonton on March 20
  4. Rules of Court 2020, scheduled to run in Calgary on April 1 and Edmonton on April 7
  5. Corporate Law Fundamentals, scheduled to run in Calgary on April 2 and Edmonton on April 8
  6. Commercial Real Estate – Leasing, scheduled to run in Calgary on April 16 and Edmonton on April 23
  7. Basic Collaborative Law, scheduled to run in Edmonton on April 23–25
  8. Managing Wills & Estates Matters, scheduled to run in Lake Louise on May 1
  9. 53rd Annual Refresher: Wills & Estates, scheduled to run in Lake Louise on May 2–4
  10. Mediation of Family & Divorce Conflicts, scheduled to run in Calgary on May 11–15
  11. Apps & Ale, scheduled to run in Edmonton on May 26
  12. Young Lawyers Conference, scheduled to run in Calgary on May 28–29
  13. Rural and Real Property Issues, scheduled to run in Red Deer on May 29
  14. Board Governance, scheduled to run in Edmonton on June 3
  15. 38th Annual Intensive Advocacy, scheduled to run in Calgary on June 8–13

We have worked quickly, though, and have rescheduled the following programs:

  1. Mediation of Family & Divorce Conflicts (November 9–13, 2020)
  2. Managing Wills & Estates Matters (October 23, 2020)
  3. 53rd Annual Refresher: Wills & Estates (October 24–26, 2020)
  4. 38th Annual Intensive Advocacy (new date coming June 2021)

More details will be posted soon.

The health and safety of our faculty, attendees, and staff (and their families) is LESA’s top priority. We hope everyone remains healthy and well during this time.

We look forward to seeing you at upcoming programs and we truly appreciate your continued support.

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Student Base Camp

Articling week is next week! If you are a law student interviewing in Edmonton next week (February 18-21), the LESA office will be set up to provide you with an interview base camp.  With the help of Alberta Lawyers’ Assist, we have got you covered for a garment malfunction, a phone that needs charging, a coffee craving that needs satisfying – plus we offer an office full of friendly faces. We would love to have you make the LESA office your home base. See you next week!


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Don’t miss out! Alternative Dispute Resolution is a must-attend program

Enforcement of the mandatory ADR rules is in effect.

Join Brad Mustard and our panel of senior mediators at this must-attend program. Examine the new rules, and address best practices within these mandatory dispute resolution processes so you can achieve positive negotiated results. Explore how to prepare yourself as counsel, manage your clients’ expectations, and be effective in interest based and competitive ADR processes. Discuss techniques for diagnosing conflict and overcoming impasses. Counsel will also explore strategies to paper, and enforce, mediated agreements.

Register today! February 19 (Calgary) or February 25 (Edmonton)


meet the CHAIR

Brad Mustard | Moe Hannah LLP

Brad practices as a family law mediator and lawyer. He understands that separation and divorce is not just a legal change, but also one that involves a personal transition that affects family, friends and children. Brad uses his extensive training and experience to advise clients on how to solve problems. He is well-known in the family law community for negotiating out-of-court settlements, mediation, collaborative law, and arbitration. Read more

meet the FACULTY

Rhoda Dobler QC | Widdowson Kachur Ostwald Menzies LLP

A teacher and leader in the Alberta legal community, Rhoda’s practice spans two and half decades, and includes mediation, arbitration, collaborative law, and litigation. Her positive attitude, compassion and creativity guide her conflict resolution approach, making her a valued mediator and arbitrator. Rhoda’s skill in the legal community has been repeatedly recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada since the initial edition (2006) in Family Law, and has expanded to include recognition in the areas of Family Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution. Read more

Robert McBean QC | Parlee McLaws LLP

Bob has practiced civil litigation since 1978. Since the early 2000’s, he has focused his practice on the arbitration and mediation of commercial and insurance disputes. He has extensive practical experience in mediation having mediated in excess of 300 Queen’s Bench matters. Bob’s mediation experience includes the resolution of personal injury, insurance, commercial, construction, employment, and professional liability disputes. Read more

Sid Kobewka | Kobewka Stark Lawyers and Mediators

Sid has practiced law for over 30 years assisting clients with a variety of legal matters. He has a general practice of law and has extensive experience with litigation, family law, personal injury, real estate and corporate and commercial law. He has a particular interest in helping clients reach agreements and settlements that best meet their needs and that promote healthy relationships with their family members and business partners. Read more

Jim McCartney | McCartney ADR

A Calgary lawyer since 1973, Jim McCartney developed a senior litigation practice including major refinery fire, building, and products liability claims. Jim has mediated or arbitrated more than 2,000 disputes involving commercial, industrial, public and residential construction, professional negligence, and more. He is a Chartered Mediator and Chartered Arbitrator, Past President of the Alberta Arbitration and Mediation Society (now ADR Institute of Alberta), and Past Director of the ADR Institute of Canada. Read more



Case Law Review | Engage in a review of recent legislation, discuss mandatory and non-mandatory ADR, and consider other case law issues such as enforcing mediation, agreements reached in mediation, and more.

Mediation: A Lawyer’s Perspective | Explore mediation theory including, interest-based negotiations, and consider the differences between competitive vs. cooperative mediation.

Mediation: A Mediator’s & Arbitrator’s Perspective | Discuss models of mediation as well as processes for ADR, mediation, and JDR, including strategies for success in these processes.

Strategies for Getting Out of Sticky Situations | Review attribution theory, trust rebuilding, boundary theory, and strategies for conflict diagnosis and resolution.


Register for February 19, 2020 (Calgary)

NOTE: New Venue!

The Glenmore Inn & Convention Centre

1000 Glenmore Court SE

9:00 AM-4:30 PM


Register for February 25, 2020 (Edmonton)

NOTE: New Venue!

Aspen Conference Centre, 4th Floor, Bell Tower

10104 – 103 Avenue

9:00 AM-4:30 PM

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Hot off the press! Spring 2020 Programs Brochure

This brochure is hitting desks!

For a sneak peek, click the above image to view our web brochure. Or, scroll down for a list of our upcoming programs. Simply click the link for your preferred date, and register today.


Commercial Real Estate for Legal Support Staff
March 10 (Edmonton) | March 17 (Calgary)

Family Law Trial Fundamentals
March 11 (Edmonton) | March 18 (Calgary)

Dealing with Difficult Conversations
March 13 (Calgary) | March 20 (Edmonton)

Rules of Court 2020
April 1 (Calgary) | April 7 (Edmonton)

Corporate Law Fundamentals
April 2 (Calgary) | April 8 (Edmonton)

Commercial Real Estate: Leasing
April 16 (Calgary) | April 23 (Edmonton)

Basic Collaborative Law
April 23–25 (Edmonton)

Managing Wills & Estates Matters
May 1 (Lake Louise)

53rd Annual Refresher: Wills & Estates
May 24 (Lake Louise)

Mediation of Family & Divorce Conflicts
May 11–15 (Calgary)

Apps & Ale
May 26 (Edmonton) 

Young Lawyers Conference
May 28-29 (Calgary) 

Rural and Real Property Issues
May 29 (Red Deer) 

Board Governance for Not-for-Profit Organizations 
June 3 (Edmonton)

38th Annual Intensive Advocacy (Sold out!)
June 8–13 (Calgary)

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2019 Holiday Office Closure

2018 Reflection & Holiday Closure

From all of us at LESA, thank you for your support in 2019. We wish you a happy holiday season and prosperous New Year!

LESA will close at 12 PM on Tuesday, December 24, 2019, and will reopen on Thursday, January 2, 2020, at 8 AM.

We’re pleased to be your lifelong partner in continuing legal education. See you in the New Year!

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Program Feature: Understanding & Advising Non-Traditional Families

Lawyers are seeing an increasing number of clients entering and exiting diverse relationships. Join Co-Chairs John-Paul E. Boyd and Jonathan F. Griffith this February 4 (Calgary) or February 12 (Edmonton) for to understand these types of relationships as they relate to your family law or wills and estates practice.

We recently spoke with our co-chairs to find out a bit more about them and this exciting program. Here’s what they had to say.

Happy reading!

Tell me a bit about yourself and your practice.

John-Paul E. Boyd | I’m a family law arbitrator, mediator, and parenting coordinator, and also provide a range of children’s legal services, such as non-evaluative views of the child reports and independent legal advice when children’s informed consent is required. I’m in private practice with my own firm and serve as counsel to Wise Scheible Barkauskas.


Jonathan Griffith | I am a family law lawyer, mediator, and arbitrator. I also occasionally teach at post-secondary institutions in Calgary. Most recently, I taught family law at the University of Calgary Faculty of Law.  When I’m not teaching I work in private practice. On a more personal note, I also identify as queer and have been polyamorous for years now. I’m excited about the Understanding & Advising Non-Traditional Families program in part because it represents a very good opportunity to talk about polyamory professionally while also sharing my personal experience with it.

What are some of the learning outcomes for this program?

John-Paul E. Boyd | With this course, I’m hoping that lawyers dealing with families and family breakdown, including will and estates practitioners, will have a better understanding of the incredible diversity of polyamorous and other non-traditional families and their varying legal needs. I’m going to be talking about the challenges involved in drafting cohabitation agreements for multi-adult families, along with an experienced senior lawyer from British Columbia, barbara findlay QC. We’ll be talking about the creative approach counsel have to take to these agreements, the incredible variety of issues they need to deal with, and how to manage negotiations with lawyers representing each party. The number of people who identify as polyamorous is increasing and I except that we’re going to be seeing more and more of these families in the future.

What makes this program unique?

Jonathan Griffith | Perhaps now more than ever, Canadian families are challenging our institutional perception of what makes a family. Our laws and legal institutions operate as a “one size fit’s all” but are typically built on a narrow conception of the Canadian family. Individuals belonging to families that do not fit into the mold for a “traditional” Canadian family can end up with unique problems and will often need expert help solving those problems. Understanding & Advising Non-Traditional Families will provide legal practitioners with the opportunity to learn some of the non-traditional ways families are built in Canada, some of the legal challenges facing those families, and some tools for addressing those challenges.

Learn more about this program and register online today! Register by December 17, 2019 and save.

Understanding and Advising Non-Traditional Families