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LESA Welcomes Our 2018 Summer Students!

LESA Welcomes Our 2018 Summer Students

Another year has gone by and we are pleased to welcome another set of summer students to the LESA office—Russell Green and Holly McEwan.

Working with Christine Sanderman, Acting Executive Director and Legal Counsel, and Kelsey Dick, Staff Lawyer and former LESA summer student, Russell and Holly are off to an exciting start at LESA.

We recently spoke with Russell and Holly to find out a bit more about them and their plans at LESA over the summer. Happy reading!



Q: Tell me a bit about yourself and how you ended up at LESA.
“I grew up in rural Saskatchewan. I lived in Saskatoon for 5 years, where I completed my BA, and then I came here for law school a year ago. So I’m fresh to Alberta and I’m enjoying it so far.”

Q: What year of law school are you headed in to?
“I’ll be beginning my second year of law school in the fall.”

Q: What led you to become interested in law?

Since I was a child, I’ve always been interested in legal issues and how government interacts with the law. I went to school for political science with an intention of going into law. The areas of law I’m most interested in involve intersection, so I’m very interested in constitutional law, for example.”

Q: What projects are you currently working on at LESA right now?

I’m currently working on content and functionality edits for the LESA Library in the criminal law and civil litigation sections.”

Q: Do you have any big plans for the summer?

I’m going to Ireland at the end of August. I have a friend that lives in Dublin, so my partner and I are going there to visit her and explore the country. I’m excited. I haven’t been there, and it looks beautiful.”

Q: What do you hope to take away from your experience at LESA this summer?

Well, one thing I’ve taken away already is that there are a variety of different ways to have a successful career in law. Law school seems to be tailored towards the traditional route of getting jobs at big firms, which can kind of give you tunnel vision. Working at LESA has been nice in that it has shown me that there are different ways to work in the legal profession. It’s also nice that I’ve been working in a variety of different areas of law, so I can get that exposure. As someone who doesn’t know what they want to do, it’s nice to have that opportunity.”


Q: Tell me a bit about yourself and how you ended up at LESA.

“I’m heading into my third year of law school, and I heard about this job through a posting on campus. I have a bit of background in creative writing, so it seemed like a natural fit. A lot of what I’m working on now is editing.”


Q: How did you become interested in law?

It was a bit of a meandering path. I didn’t really have any intention of going to law school when I started my undergrad degree, but I did quite well in my undergrad, so I thought I would try it out. Law is an appealing career path for me because I want to help people. I also want a career that will be intellectually fulfilling, and law seems to tick off a lot of the boxes. It kind of started as, I should write the L-SAT, and see how that goes. Then it was, I should apply to the U of A, and see how that goes.”

Q: Are you leaning more towards any particular area of law?

I’m really interested in union-side labour law and human rights law. I actually just locked down an articling position with a small union-side labour firm, so I’m really excited to practice an area of law that aligns with my values.”

Q: What projects are you currently working on at LESA right now?

This past week I’ve been working on the LESA Library. I’m working on the wills and estates materials up there. Before that, I was working on some other wills and estates materials with Russell, and I started off editing the Business Fundamentals publication. I’m also writing some blog posts and summarizing some papers [that are for sale on the LESA website]. I’ve been fortunate to be able to dabble in a lot of different areas of law while I’ve been here. I also got to attend the Legalization of Marijuana program. It was very interesting—such a time to be living!”

Q: Do you plan on crossing anything off your bucket list this summer?

I don’t have anything much going on this summer—just kind of hanging out in the city. I was contemplating hitting up accidental beach. I haven’t been there.”

Q: What do you hope to take away from your experience at LESA this summer?

It has been really interesting to dabble in different areas [of law]. I feel like this has been a really great networking opportunity as well. I’ve met a lot of amazing people so far, and I’m happy to be able to put down some roots in an organization that I’ll have ties to for the rest of my career. It’s also been great to have exposure to some alternative career paths [in law]. Ultimately, it’s been a really positive experience, and I couldn’t imagine a better summer job.”

We’re happy to have you as part of the LESA team Russell and Holly, and we look forward to working with you this summer!

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July Upcoming Legal Events

July Upcoming Legal Events

It’s the beginning of July, which means the start of a new educational year at LESA.


Check out the 2018/2019 Educational Calendar, filled with a fresh list of programs, Seminars on Demand, and key dates you won’t want to miss.

Want to plan ahead? Take a look at our upcoming programs, and register to reserve your spot today.



The 2018/2019 Student Guide and Program Agreement have been posted. CPLED Students can now pay tuition for the upcoming year. The deadline for documentation and fees is July 27. Get more information at


Alberta Lawyers' Assistance Society


AssistFit: Line Dancing

When: Tuesday, July 10, 2018 | 4:30 PM
Wildhorse Saloon | 500 6 Ave SW
Click here to learn more.




If you want LESA’s help to raise awareness about an upcoming event relevant to the Alberta legal community,
contact Andrea Maltais, Communications Coordinator.
780.969.0555 or

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2019 Distinguished Service Awards – Nominations Open

2019 Distinguished Service Awards
Nominations for the 2019 Distinguished Service Awards are now open!

Every year, the Law Society of Alberta and CBA Alberta recognize outstanding members of the legal community with the Distinguished Service Awards.

Award nominations are accepted in 4 categories:

1. Service to the Community
2. Service to the Profession
3. Legal Scholarship
4. Pro Bono Service

If you know a colleague whose dedication, creativity, and initiative result in significant contributions in one of the above 4 categories, you are invited to submit a 2019 Distinguished Service Award nomination by October 31, 2018.

You can find the online nomination form, eligibility requirements, selection criteria, submission information, and a list of prior award recipients on the CBA Alberta webpage.

For more information, contact

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2018 Legal Innovator Award Winner

2018 Legal Innovator Award Winner

Thank you to all of our volunteers, program sponsors, attendees, and nominees of the 2018 Legal Innovator Award for making this year’s Alberta Legal Technology Conference a great success!

We extend special congratulations to Ryan MacKay (MacKay Real Property Law) for winning the 2018 Legal Innovator Award. We recently spoke with Ryan to find out a bit more about him and his legal innovation, MackWare. Here’s what we found out!

Q: Tell us a bit about yourself and your firm.

My firm is a multi-location residential real estate law firm. I and it have been in practice for about 11 years. I went out on my own the day after I got my call to the bar.”

Q: Can you tell us a bit about MackWare and what inspired you to create it?

We have created a practice management software package that we run our law firm through. It [MackWare] handles all our document production, file storage, communications, business analytics and CRM functions. I decided to build this solution because I couldn’t buy it. No one was building what I needed so I had to take on the project myself.”

Q: Why is this technology valuable to the legal profession?

Real Estate lawyers are in a poor position to remain competitive in today’s marketplace. The low margins mean most lawyers have no time to put towards innovation and no capital to put towards hiring someone else to innovate for them. Any innovation in our space is usually coming from external, institutional players, some of whom are in competition with lawyers, either directly or indirectly. People didn’t like driving to Blockbuster to rent DVD’s. Netflix fixed that problem and Blockbuster went out of business. The software I am building is valuable to the legal profession because I’m trying to make sure lawyers don’t get Blockbustered out of real estate conveyancing the way they have in other jurisdictions.”

Thank you again for sharing your technology at our Alberta Legal Technology Conference and with the legal profession. We look forward to seeing this technology make its way into law offices across the province!

Interested in attending next year’s Alberta Legal Technology Conference? Check out the 2018/2019 Educational Calendar, or view our program listing and register early!

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Jumpstart your CPD Planning—2018/2019 Educational Calendar NOW AVAILABLE!

2018/2019 Educational Calendar

Our 2018/2019 Educational Calendar is now available!

This year’s calendar is full of programs and resources to meet all of your professional development needs!

Our mission at LESA is to serve the spectrum of educational and professional development needs of Alberta’s lawyers, articling students, and their staff, and each year, we develop a calendar of resources to do just that.


With over 40 titles across multiple practice areas, our calendar of live programs is sure to have something for everyone. From junior lawyers to advanced practitioners, sole practitioners to those in large firms, and substantive legal knowledge to practice management, there are plenty of opportunities to meet your 2018/2019 continuing professional development (CPD) needs.

Take note of some of our most anticipated programs, including:

  • 52nd Annual Refresher: Family and Pre-Refresher add-on program, How to practice Family Law and Not Go Crazy: Deepen your substantive legal knowledge across a spectrum of family law topics. Leverage powerful tools and resources to strengthen your practice, connect with some of Alberta’s top family law practitioners, and enjoy peace and serenity in a breathtaking setting. Save when you sign up for the Refresher and Pre-Refresher add-on program, How to Practice Family Law and Not Go Crazy!
  • Alberta Land Titles Online (ALTO): ALTO will affect the way legal practitioners conduct their real estate /conveyancing practice. To serve you better, we’re taking this program on the road! Join us for one of 11 interactive, half-day sessions in one of 7 locations across the province to learn about the shift to ALTO.
  • Junior Lawyer Series: Lawyers with less than 5 years at the bar face unique challenges and opportunities. Examine substantive law, ethical, competency, practice management, client relationship management, and other topics in this interactive, 6-session series. Register for individual sessions or bundle the entire series! Click here for more information.
  • 37th Annual Intensive Advocacy: As one of our longest-standing and highly sought-after programs, this intensive, week-long workshop provides you with the opportunity to develop a confident, professional courtroom presence by exploring every aspect of trial and hearing work. Limited Enrolment. Register and reserve your spot!

Jumpstart your CPD planning.

  • Browse through programs organized into CPD competency categories (pages 3 & 4),
  • Find program details in the alphabetical program listing (pages 5–7), and
  • Check out the visual calendar (pages 14–18).

Electronic Materials

At LESA, we take pride in our core values of professionalism, collaboration, innovation, and responsible use of resources. As such, we’ll now be offering program materials primarily in electronic format.

Now, when you register for a program, you’ll receive electronic materials in PDF format in advance, allowing you to familiarize yourself with content, formulate questions, and come prepared for a more enriching educational experience.

Program Bundles

We now have program bundles that offer you extra savings. Register for any of the bundled programs listed below and save!

  • 52nd Annual Refresher: Family & How to Practice Family Law and Not Go Crazy
  • Alberta Land Titles Online (ALTO) (Fall) & Effective Legal Support: Residential Real Estate
  • Commercial Disputes & 8th Annual Law & Practice Update
  • Effective Legal Support: Commercial Law & Effective Legal Support: Corporate Law

Click here for more information about this year’s live programming and to register today.


Unable to attend one of our live programs? LESA has hundreds of resources to assist in your ongoing professional development. Learn more about Seminars on Demand and online Self-Study Modules in the LESA Classroom; and discover checklists, precedents, papers from past programs, and electronic publications in the LESA Library.

Browse through the resources section of the Educational Calendar (pages 8–12) to discover what’s new!


The Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) Program is the bar admission course in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. In Alberta, LESA delivers the CPLED program on behalf of the Law Society of Alberta.

Check out page 13 in the Educational Calendar for some of the key-dates for in this year’s Program. Get more information about the CPLED Program here.


Register for programs and purchase resources online. Visit, add a program or resource to your cart, and complete your purchase!


For many of our programs, we offer bursaries in the form of reduced fees to those traveling long distances. These reductions are intended to help offset travel costs. On eligible programs, we reduce registration fees by 25% if you live more than 125 km from the seminar site or by 50% if you live more than 250 km away (one-way driving distances). We also offer a 25% reduction in seminar registration fees for law students and students-at-law. Please register online to take advantage of these discounted fees. A limited number of other access bursaries, including financial need-based bursaries, are available. Please contact the LESA office for details; inquiries are kept strictly confidential.

Guarantee: We take pride in offering high-quality programs and resources. If our products do not meet your expectations, please contact us about our money back guarantee.

Cancellations: LESA’s cancellation policy varies by program. Contact the LESA office for more details about cancellation deadlines and available registration refunds.
Registrant substitution is permitted at all times.

Questions? Visit our website, or contact our office at 780.420.1987 or 1.800.282.3900 (Toll-free in Alberta).

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45th Annual National Criminal Law Program: Are You Registered?

National Criminal Law Program: Evidence, Ethics and the Administration of Justice

The Federation of Law Societies of Canada is hosting their annual conference, National Criminal Law Program: Evidence, Ethics and the Administration of Justice, in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador (July 9 – July 13).

There’s still time to register for this year’s National Criminal Law Program: Evidence, Ethics and the Administration of Justice. The National Criminal Law Program is Canada’s largest criminal law conference. Presented annually by the Federation of Law Societies of Canada since 1974, the Program attracts over 700 practitioners, judges, and others in criminal and criminal/regulatory law. The faculty is comprised of Canada’s finest defence lawyers, Crown prosecutors, and the judiciary, giving attendees a unique opportunity to benefit from the skills and knowledge of this premiere teaching team. Two volumes of written material, created specifically for the Program, provide delegates with the most comprehensive, up-to-date criminal law resource materials available today.

For its 45th Anniversary, the Program is returning to spectacular St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador, and its stunning, new, state of the art Convention Centre. There is a wide of array of social events guarantee an exceptional learning and networking experience, including:

• Sunday First Time Attendee Meet and Greet;
• Monday Opening Reception;
• Tuesday and Thursday Mentoring Breakfasts;
• Wednesday History, Marine and Hiking Tours; and
• Thursday Closing Events.

Registration closes June 29! Register online at

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Pro Bono Law Alberta: Annual Celebration & Volunteer Appreciation Events


Pro Bono Law Alberta (PBLA) is holding its Annual Celebration and Volunteer Appreciation Events in Edmonton and Calgary this week. Join PBLA as they celebrate and thank their volunteers, program partners, and the pro bono communities in Edmonton and Calgary.



  • Date: Tuesday, June 12, 2018
  • Time: 5:00 to 7:00 PM (*Program starts at approximately 5:30 PM)
  • Location: Thornton Room, Courtyard Marriott Edmonton Downtown
  • Address: 1 Thornton Court, Edmonton AB T5J 2E7
  • Registration: Click here to register.



  • Date: Thursday, June 14, 2018
  • Time: 5:00 to 7:00 PM (*Program starts at approximately 5:30)
  • Location: McMurray Room, Calgary Petroleum Club
  • Address: 319 – 5 Ave SW, Calgary AB T2P 0L5
  • Registration: Click here to register.


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LESA Employment Opportunity: Education Assistant


The Legal Education Society of Alberta (LESA) was founded in 1975 to serve the Alberta legal community. As the primary provider of continuing legal education in the province, we serve the spectrum of educational and professional development needs by delivering high-quality educational programs and resources. We strive to lead the way in corporate culture by valuing our greatest asset—our employees. We are happy to have been named as one of Alberta’s Top 70 Employers for the past three consecutive years (2018, 2017, 2016).

We are seeking to fill the role of Education Assistant, based in Edmonton. This position reports to the Director of Education and provides general administrative support to the Education Team. This is a full-time position. Click here to view the full job posting

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June Upcoming Legal Events

June Upcoming Legal Events
Wrapping up our 2017/2018 educational year, here’s what’s upcoming in June.


Search and Seizure | Calgary, June 2 | Edmonton, June 9
Explore the law of search and seizure, including recent developments regarding interception of communications. Investigate the implications of the Charter, R v Grant, and other cases dealing with exclusion of evidence. View the brochure for more details. This program is full in Edmonton (June 9). Register to be put on the waitlist.

Elder Law Topics | Edmonton, June 7
Explore elder law issues, including separation, divorce, matrimonial property, adult guardianship and trusteeship, wills and estates, capacity, elder abuse, and more. Read the brochure for more information.

36th Annual Intensive Advocacy| Calgary, June 11–16
Develop a confident, professional courtroom presence by exploring every aspect of trial and hearing work in this intensive, week-long workshop. Click here for more information. This program is sold out.

The 2018/2019 Educational Calendar is coming soon! Stay tuned for updates.


The registration deadline for the 2018/2019 CPLED Program year has passed. Students applying after May 31 are subject to a non-refundable late filing fee.

Visit our CPLED for Students page for more information, or contact Craig Edhart, Student Coordinator.


Alberta Lawyers' Assistance Society





ASSIST Coaching Training | Calgary, June 2

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Paper Summary—Selected Tax Matters Involving Transactions of Farm Properties

Selected Tax Matters Involving Transactions of Farm Properties

Selected Tax Matters Involving Transactions of Farm Properties | Jason M. Stephan
45th Annual Refresher: Real Estate

This paper, presented by Jason M. Stephan, provides a comprehensive overview of tax issues unique to farmland. It reviews 4 tax considerations and planning opportunities that relate to farmland transactions:

1. The use of the capital gains exemption;
2. The use of the intergenerational rollover provisions;
3. Issues and opportunities relating to principal residences on the home quarter; and
4. Any change in use of farmland from capital property to development land inventory.

When dealing with farm properties, one should consider the availability of the lifetime $750,000.00 capital gains exemption. Per s 110.6(2) of the Income Tax Act, RSC 1985, c 1 (5th Supp) [ITA], the capital gain exemption can be earned only on the disposition of a “qualified farm property.” The paper identifies what is required for a property to be ‘qualified’ property, and describes 3 tests that an individual must satisfy in order to use the qualified farm property exemption:

• the “ownership test”;
• the “revenue test”; and
• the “activity test”.

Certain rollover provisions may apply to the disposition or transfer of farmland. A rollover is a transfer of holdings without suffering tax consequences. Some farmland transfers that do not circumvent taxation on dispositions, calculated per fair market value, include:

• a transfer on the death of an owner,
• a transfer on the death of a joint tenant, or
• by gifting (or selling below value) before death.

Nevertheless, there are exceptions where a spousal rollover or inter vivos rollover may apply. The paper describes these rollover provisions and exceptions in detail.

Furthermore, the paper discusses issues and opportunities relating to principal residences on the home quarter, including tax implications relating to the home quarter, which depend on ownership (i.e. whether the home quarter is owned by the farmer/shareholder or by the farm/corporation). The paper also considers the scope of the principal residence exemption in respect of a sale of the home quarter, with reference to particular sections of the ITA and the relevant case law under those sections.

Finally, the paper describes the implications of a change in use of farmland from capital property to development land inventory. Zoning changes affecting farmland may avail opportunities for the subdivision of farmland capital property and the disposal of the resultant inventory parcels for higher aggregate proceeds than otherwise available in an en bloc sale of the farmland for agricultural use. Once the land is changed into inventory, capital gains or losses may be calculated on the basis that a notional disposition of such property occurred at the conversion time. The paper discusses how a conversion time can be established, as there may be more favourable Canada Revenue Agency policies on the triggering of a conversion time for farms.

In summary, the paper provides a detailed discussion of tax issues and tax structuring considerations relevant to farmland owners and tax lawyers.

View sample pages from this paper here.

LESA Library

Interested in purchasing this paper? Or, are you looking to find out what other materials are available from the 45th Annual Refresher: Real Estate (2015/2016)?

With an annual subscription to the LESA Library, you can access this paper and hundreds of other materials from our past programs anytime; anywhere. This cost-effective resource ensures you’ll always be up-to-date with the latest educational resources.

Click here to learn more about the LESA Library. Alternatively, you can click here to purchase this paper individually.