Posted on

What does the formal duty of technological competence require from Alberta lawyers?



In October 2019, the Federation of Law Societies of Canada amended its Model Code rule on competence to include explicit reference to technological competence. Several provincial and territorial law societies, including Alberta, have incorporated this amendment into their respective codes. The fact that there now exists a formal duty of technological competence raises the question of what, exactly, does this duty entail? What does this duty require from lawyers?

We are pleased to have Professor Amy Salyzyn present for us the “6As” taxonomy for thinking about lawyer technological competence – modern lawyers need be Automated, Aware (of technological risks), operate as Avatars (i.e. competently deliver services digitally), use AI to Augment their legal practices, be Acquainted with emerging AI technologies, and be Attentive to how AI in being used in the justice system. Join us on May 19th to learn more.

Professor Salyzyn is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, Common Law Section at the University of Ottawa and a Faculty member of the Centre for Law, Technology and Society. She received her J.S.D from Yale Law School for her dissertation exploring the judicial regulation of lawyers in common law jurisdictions. She also received her LL.M. from Yale Law School and her J.D. from the University of Toronto. She has written extensively in the area of legal ethics, lawyer regulation, the use of technology in the delivery of legal services, and access to justice.

This webinar is part of our Alberta Legal Technology Conference.

Posted on

“My Experience” Project with the Law Society of Alberta

The “My Experience” Project is an initiative of the Law Society of Alberta inviting lawyers and students to share their experiences of how racial discrimination or stereotyping affected their legal career, and themselves personally. These experiences come from real people in Alberta’s legal community and bring to light the need for change.

Each week, the LSA will feature an experience in their eBulletin. All shared experiences are also posted on the Law Society Listens page. As a community, this is an opportunity to listen, learn, raise awareness, and collectively do better for one another.

How to Submit your Experience

If you have a story to share, please visit the Law Society Listens page to share your experience.


An important part of this project is providing an opportunity for the legal community to listen and reflect on the stories shared by their courageous colleagues. Answer a series of questions to self-reflect and better understand the shared responsibility the legal community has to address the issues that have been brought to light.

Thank you to the Law Society of Alberta for their ongoing important work in the legal community.

Posted on

Family Law in a Digital World: Top 10 Tips to Discuss with Clients

Thank you to OurFamilyWizard for authoring this guest post. OurFamilyWizard a generous sponsor for our upcoming Alberta Legal Technology Conference

If you are working with clients who are navigating the waters of abuse, the digital world we live in can add risk and vulnerability when it comes to ensuring safety. Read on for tips on what to discuss with your clients to ensure they understand how they can protect themselves.

1. Trust your instincts. If your client suspects that the abusive person knows too much, it is possible that their phone, computer, email, driving, or other activities are being monitored.

2. Plan for safety. Navigating technology is a vital step in safety planning today. Make sure you discuss with your client what technologies are being used such as: online dating, social media, Bluetooth, GPS, On-Star, and more.

3. Change passwords. Advise your client to change all account passwords that may disclose information about their location or activities. Don’t forget about changing security questions on accounts, especially if the abusive party knows the answers.

4. Check cell phone settings. If your client is using a smartphone, check the location services in the Settings menu to see if the phone is giving away their location. Also ask your client to turn off Bluetooth when it’s not being used. This can prevent the abusive party from monitoring or installing malicious software on the phone.

5. Consider using a donated or new cell phone. If your client’s cell phone was provided by the abusive party, ask if they are willing to switch to a new phone. When making or receiving private calls or arranging escape plans, try not to use the phone provided by the abusive party as it may be monitored.

6. Use a safer computer. If an abusive party has access to your client’s computer, they might be monitoring that device’s activity. Ask your client to use a different computer when searching for help, looking for a new place to live, making travel plans, etc. Public computers at libraries, community centres, or internet cafes can be a safer (and cheaper) option.

7. Search for your name on the internet. By using popular search engines like Google, Spokeo, or Bing, it is important to see what information may be being made public about your client. Start your search by entering your first and last name in quotations followed by your city and province. This will help avoid finding irrelevant information from duplicate names. Don’t forget to also view the “images” portion of the search engine to see what possible pictures may be public.

8. Update privacy settings on all social media accounts. Talk to your client about updating their privacy settings for any and all social media accounts they use. It may be important to update some of these settings to ensure that your client’s location is not being compromised or that harmful information is not being shared.

9. Ask about your records and data. Many court systems and government agencies are publishing records to the internet. Ask agencies how they protect or publish your records and request that court, government, post office, and others seal or restrict access to your files to protect your client’s safety.

10. Consider optional phone services. Using services like Google Voice may be a better alternative in keeping your personal phone numbers safe. With services such as these, you can sign up for one phone number and have that number forward calls and messages to up to five different phones. That way, if your client’s phone number is compromised, they can log in and change one phone number rather than having to contact the phone companies and change many.

Click here to download these ten tips as a PDF at


About OurFamilyWizard

OurFamilyWizard helps families living separately thrive. Its products provide both families and the family law professionals who serve them with the tools necessary for more seamless and successful co-parenting. Over one million parents and professionals have leveraged OurFamilyWizard to share calendars, messages, journals, files, expenses, and important information such as health and school records. The platform has been recommended by courts in all 50 U.S. states, Canada, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Australia.


Posted on

New Titles – Webinars on Demand

On-Demand Programs


Most live LESA webinar broadcasts are recorded and made available after the fact as an on-demand program. Recent titles are now available as Webinars on Demand so you can watch and learn at your convenience.

Scroll below for a list of our our most recent additions.

Civil Litigation Series – Virtual Questioning

Civil Litigation Series – 33 Ways to Prove a Fact

Labour & Employment Update 2021 Part 1

Board Governance for Not-for-Profit Organizations

Civil Litigation Series – Views from the Bench

Preventing Fraud and Disputes in Contracts and Agreements

Civil Litigation Series – Standing, Conflicts and Litigation Representatives in Estate Litigation

Civil Litigation Series – E-Mediation

Family Law Fundamentals

Civil Litigation Series – The Business of Law – Retainer Agreements and Tips for Building a Practice

Due Diligence in M&A Transactions


Posted on

Meet the Faculty: Criminal Law Webinar Series

We have an outstanding line-up of faculty for our upcoming Criminal Law Webinar Series. This 6-part series takes place on Fridays this coming April–June, 2021. Join senior practitioners as well as members of the bench for an in-depth discussion on essential criminal law topics. Attendees will explore topics including, pre-trial motions, search warrants, search and seizure, experts, hot topics (such as crossing the border with electronic devices, and how the global pandemic has affected the practice of criminal law), and more. This interactive series will incorporate a Q&A at the end of each session.

Scroll below for faculty details and click here for more information and to register. (Plus, did you know you can save $225 when you register for all 6 sessions before April 9?)



Judge A.J. Brown, Provincial Court of Alberta

Paul M. Bourassa, Bourassa Law & Strategic Services



April 9, 2021 | Disclosure and Pre-Trial Motions

Judge G.B. Lepp, Provincial Court of Alberta

Matt Dalidowicz, Crown Prosecutor’s Office

Christine Mainville, Henein Hutchison LLP

Mathieu St-Germain, Calgary Police Service


April 16, 2021 |  Search & Seizure A: Warrants and ITOs

Judge J.L. Dixon, Provincial Court of Alberta

Justice of the Peace J.K. Conley, Provincial Court of Alberta

Sgt. Nick DaleRoyal Canadian Mounted Police

Kaysi Fagan, Kaysi Fagan Professional Corporation


April 23, 2021 | Search & Seizure B: Analysis of an ITO

Judge A.J. Brown, Provincial Court of Alberta

Justice of the Peace J.K. Conley, Provincial Court of Alberta

Sgt. Nick DaleRoyal Canadian Mounted Police

Kaysi Fagan, Kaysi Fagan Professional Corporation


May 7, 2021 | Experts

Judge L.K. Stevens, Provincial Court of Alberta

Adriano Iovinelli QC, Foster Iovinelli Beyak Kothari

Carla L. MacPhail, Crown Prosecutor’s Office


June 11, 2021 | Charter Notices

Judge J.B. Hawkes, Provincial Court of Alberta

Kimberly Arial, Arial Law

Michael Ewenson, Crown Prosecutor’s Office


June 18, 2021 | Criminal Law Hot Topics

Judge S.A. Cleary, Provincial Court of Alberta

Prof. Steven Penney, University of Alberta, Faculty of Law

Prof. Lisa Silver, University of Calgary, Faculty of Law

Posted on

Family Property Act and Fruit of the Marriage Tree 2021 Update

Family Property Act


Join us on March 23 for “Family Property Act and Fruit of the Marriage Tree 2021 Update“. This webinar will address recent developments in the law and cases touching on increase in value of exempt assets, valuation dates, and double-dipping issues that arise when both income and property are shared in the same post-separation period.

Our presenter for this lunchtime webinar is Kevin Hannah QC. Kevin is a senior divorce lawyer with previous criminal law and general litigation experience. He has practiced almost exclusively in the areas of separation and divorce for over 25 years. Kevin currently divides his work between private clients who require more experienced counsel and conducting mediations and arbitrations.

Kevin has been recognized by his peers through Best Lawyers as one of the leading family lawyers in the city of Calgary every year since its inception in 2006. In 2014 Kevin was named “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in family law.  Since 2011, he has also been recognized each year as a Best ADR (alternative dispute resolution) Lawyer for his work in divorce mediation and arbitration. Read more…

If multiple lawyers or staff members from your firm would like to attend this webinar or webinar series, please contact [email protected] for pricing.

Register today!

Posted on

Does your client know to call you first? How to help your client through a cyber-attack

Cyber-attacks are on the rise, and as a lawyer, it is wise to expect that your clients are likely to suffer some sort of hack. We are pleased to have Marin Kratz QC, chair of our upcoming “Alberta Legal Technology Conference“, guest author the below post to highlight important aspects of being a lawyer within a technological world.

In 2012 the then FBI Director Robert Mueller said:


There are only two types of companies: those that have been hacked, and those that will be. Even that is merging into one category: those that have been hacked and will be again.”


As a result of the rapid growth of cyber-attacks, a lawyer should start with the premise that his or her clients are likely to suffer some kind of cyber-attack, often ransomware or a social engineering attack.

These incidents are extremely stressful and many decisions have to be made quickly. A lawyer can be an important member of the breach response team. That lawyer needs to be (or find a) breach coach for the organization that suffered the attack. The lawyer can help with calm advice on what to do and what not to do, identify which regulators and authorities to contact and how, and provide investigatory and forensic work under the protection of a claim of privilege.

Too often, the client does not call the lawyer first and fumbles through the incident often making the problem worse; compromising important evidence and exposing important forensic and other specialist advice to discovery in subsequent litigation.

Does your client know to call you first?

Learn how you can be the trusted lawyer to help your client through a cyber-attack. Register for LESA’s 8-part webinar series “Alberta Legal Technology Conference” this May and June, 2021 to explore cyber-security and consider important aspects of how lawyers work within a world that is increasingly dominated by technology.

Conference Topics:

May 13,  2021 | Legal Technology Trends
May 14, 2021 | Privacy
May 19, 2021 | Taxonomy for Lawyers
May 27, 2021 | Artificial Intelligence
May 28, 2021 | Cyber Insurance
June 3, 2021 | Cloud-Based Wills
June 4, 2021 | Crossing the Border with Electronic Devices
June 10, 2021 | Recent Case Law

Click here for details and to register.

Guest Author: Martin Kratz QC

Martin has been internationally recognized as a leading lawyer in many fields such as intellectual property law, technology law, data protection, and cyber security. He has worked in intellectual property protection, transactions, assessments, enforcement, outsourcing, IT procurement, anti-spam, data protection, information and privacy law, and the protection and commercialization of IP.

Posted on

How to Untangle Immigration Issues

Immigration Law

Do your clients have immigration issues? If so, we have an upcoming webinar with Alicia Backman-Beharry and Susan Wood (from Holthe Immigration Law) that will provide an overview of important immigration categories. Attendees will untangle a fictitious case scenario while applying the concepts presented in this webinar. Topics will include travel restrictions, temporary versus permanent residence applications, spousal versus economic categories, and more. Walk away with greater awareness of key questions to ask your clients and of important documents that can impact immigration matters. Read on to find out a little bit more about our presenters for this webinar.

Meet the Faculty

Alicia Backman-Beharry has practiced as an immigration lawyer for 17 years. She was called to the Alberta bar in 2003 and was an associate with a medium sized firm and a boutique immigration law firm. Alicia went out on her own as a sole practitioner 8 years ago. She works with corporations, individuals and other lawyers to solve difficult immigration legal issues. Prior to joining the Holthe Immigration Law team, she also contributed as a part-time program lawyer at a non-profit poverty law clinic.

She finds it rewarding to help individuals and companies through the complex world of Canadian Immigration law. Having taught courses on temporary and permanent residence, Alicia is able to see how various pieces of the immigration puzzle fit together, and can provide advice so that people understand which application to pursue and why. Read more…

Susan Wood focuses her practice on Canadian immigration law. Before joining Holthe Immigration Law, she founded her own firm and was a solo lawyer doing immigration law for several years.

Canadian Immigration Lawyer Susan Wood is experienced with temporary residence applications for both visitors and workers, and permanent residence applications in both family and economic classes. She has successfully represented clients at the Immigration Appeal Division on spousal appeals. She enjoys the challenge of drafting submissions in reply to a procedural fairness letter or preparing a specialized application to overcome inadmissibility or non-compliance. Read more…

Webinar Details

How to Untangle Immigration Issues: An Overview and Analysis of a Case Scenario” broadcasts live on March 25 at noon. Can’t make the date? Don’t worry, registration also includes access to the recording so you can watch and learn at your convenience.

Posted on

Upcoming Digital Law Forum (Feb. 24 and Mar. 3)

Digital Law Forum


The Digital Law Forum is just around the corner! This upcoming online event runs February 24 and March 3 and is co-hosted by the University of Alberta Faculty of Law, AI4Society and the Digital Law & Innovation Society. Explore the current challenges and opportunities that digital technologies pose for decision-making in the judicial and executive branches of government. Consider risk and responsibility associated with AI, opportunities and benefits of digital technologies on the public, and the role of academics and practitioners in advancing justice in a digital age.

Digital Law Forum Agenda:

February 24 | 12:00 – 1:00 PM MT
Professor Argyri Panezi
Liability for AI: An Ecosystem Approach

February 24 | 5:00 – 6:00 PM MT
Pia Andrews, Special Advisor – Digital, Employment & Social Development Canada, Government of Canada
Artificial Intelligence, Administrative Law & Governance

March 3 | 1:00 – 2:00 PM MT
Panel: Jason Fung, Counsel, Government of Alberta & Blair Neufeld, Innovation Lead, Digital Innovation Office, Government of Alberta
An Alberta Perspective: Digital Infrastructure & Legal

March 3 | 5:00 – 6:00 PM MT (Open discussion, requires registration)
Hosted by Pia Andrews and Professor Péter Szigeti (University of Alberta Faculty of Law)
AI, Law & Governance Challenges in Focus: Regulating Critical Digital Infrastructure

Click here for details.


If you are interested in technology and the impact on the legal profession, be sure to check out LESA’s upcoming Alberta Legal Technology Conference. Chaired by Martin Kratz QC, this 8-part lunchtime webinar series will discuss topics such as Artificial Intelligence, Cyber Insurance, Cloud-Based Wills, and more. Save $165 if you sign up for all 8 sessions before May 13th. Can’t make a date? Don’t worry, registration automatically includes access to the recordings so you can watch and learn at your convenience.

Posted on

Court of Queen’s Bench E-Filing


Join Court of Queen’s Bench staff for an in-depth discussion on email filing at the Court. As a result of the global pandemic, there have been a number of changes to court filing this past year, including the addition of email filing. Attend this program to gain an understanding of the current document requirements for filing, the email filing process, and upcoming changes. Consider common errors for email filing and how you can avoid them.

Join us on March 12th from 9:00 AM–10:30 AM for an interactive program, including a Q&A with staff from the Court of Queen’s Bench. If you can’t make this date, don’t worry! Registration includes access to the recording so you can watch and learn at your convenience. Ensure you are up to date on email filing requirements at the Court of Queen’s Bench. Click here for details and to register.