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Program Feature—Junior Lawyer Series

Junior Lawyer Series

Lawyers with less than 5 years at the bar face unique challenges and opportunities. Examine substantive law, practice management, client relationship management, ethical issues, and other topics in this interactive, 6-session series.

Join us for the following sessions and learn critical skills for developing a successful legal practice. Register for sessions individually, or save when you attend them all!

SESSION 1 | OCTOBER 31, 2018 | 8:00AM to 9:00 AM
“So you’re a junior lawyer…” | Alexander Yiu
Engage in an interactive dialogue on a variety of topics essential to effective legal practice management. Discuss limitations management, file diarization, file organization, time management, time-keeping, wellness management, and more. (REGISTER)

SESSION 2 | NOVEMBER 8, 2018 | 8:00AM to 9:00 AM
Personal Injury Litigation Essentials | Patricia Tiffen & Sara E. Hart
Explore essential topics in the field of personal injury litigation, and get answers to key questions such as: What is “The Fund”? What is the Crown’s “Right of Recovery” and why does it matter in personal injury litigation? What has changed in the Minor Injury Regulation? (REGISTER)

SESSION 3 | DECEMBER 11, 2018 | 8:00AM to 9:00 AM
Drafting Effective and Enforceable Contracts | Slader Oviatt
Learn key tips for drafting effective, enforceable contractual provisions, including how to draft releases, indemnification clauses, full agreement clauses, incorporations by reference to other agreements (vs. attached schedules), and other essential provisions. (REGISTER)

SESSION 4 | JANUARY 17, 2019 | 8:00AM to 9:00 AM
A View From the Bench—the Law of Summary Judgment and Summary Dismissal | Hon. Justice T.W. Wakeling and Master W.S. Schlosser
Hear the Bench’s perspective on recent jurisprudential developments in the Alberta Courts regarding the law of summary judgment and summary dismissal. Brief Q & A session to follow. (REGISTER)

SESSION 5 | FEBRUARY 7, 2019 | 8:00AM to 9:00 AM
Drafting Effective Affidavits and Statutory Declarations | Arman Chak
Learn the “dos” and “don’ts” of effective drafting of affidavits and statutory declarations. Explore how to navigate and understand the nuances of drafting affidavits versus statutory declarations in a variety of legal and extra-legal settings. (REGISTER)

SESSION 6 | FEBRUARY 21, 2019 | 8:00AM to 9:00 AM
How do I Grow my Practice as a Junior Lawyer? | Alexander Yiu and Noël Papadopoulos
Receive essential tips for growing your legal practice. Examine topics such as business and marketing development, client relationship management, community involvement, networking, and more. (REGISTER)

For more information, view the program brochure.

Note: this is a limited enrolment program. Register today to reserve your spot!

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Recent Changes Affect the Practice of Family Law in Alberta

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta has recently approved 2 changes that will affect the practice of family law in Alberta. Under NPP#2018-03, the following has been in effect since September 1, 2018:

  • An increase in Mandatory Early Intervention Case Conferences [EICCs] from 4 per week to 6 per week in Edmonton and Calgary, and
  • Mandatory pre-trial conferences in some family matters in Edmonton, Calgary, and Red Deer.

Increase in mandatory early intervention case conferences

Since September 1, 2017, the Court of Queen’s Bench has been conducting 4 EICCs per week, on matters referred from family chambers. With the increase of 2 additional EICCs per week since September 1, 2018, 2 of the 6 weekly spaces will be referred based on written requests.

Written requests can be made by filling in the prescribed form — “Request for an Early Intervention Case Conference (EICC) In a Family Proceeding” — and providing it to the Case Conference Coordinator in Edmonton or Calgary. The form is available on the Court of Queen’s Bench website:

If the matter is accepted to an EICC, written confirmation will be provided and counsel must follow the appropriate protocol and obtain an order and an information package for each of the parties.

Mandatory pre-trial conferences in some family matters

Effective September 1, 2018, pre-trial conferences are mandatory in Edmonton, Calgary, and Red Deer for family matters where there are 1 or more self-represented litigants and where trials are scheduled to last 3 days or longer. In these instances, trials will not be scheduled until a pre-trial conference has taken place. The conferences will be held in camera in a courtroom and the parties must be in attendance. The parties will not have access to recordings or transcripts without leave of the court.

Want more information?

For more information, please refer to the Notice to the Profession and Public here.

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Program Feature—Contentious Matters in Wills and Estates

Disputes frequently arise in wills and estates matters. Join us for Contentious Matters in Wills and Estates November 7 (Edmonton) or November 15 (Calgary), and identify common points of contention, develop strategies to avoid or deal with them, and discover how to better advise your clients.


Explore critical topics in will and estates to enhance your legal practice and provide more competent advice to your clients.

  • Discuss estate litigation from a solicitor’s perspective, including how to properly document your client’s intentions using Deeds of Gift and Letters of Intention as well as creative approaches to applications for grants of probate and administration.
  • Learn when to mediate, how it works, and why you should consider it as an alternative. Learn about the court forms and procedures for challenging the validity of a will or responding to such a challenge.
  • Discuss necessary evidence, use of experts, cross-examination, and recent case law in advancing family maintenance and support (FMS) claims.
  • Review how courts in Alberta have chosen to interpret wills following the proclamation of the Wills and Succession Act.
  • Receive an update on legislative amendments that may impact eligibility for and entitlement to AISH benefits, and review recent decisions as they relate to costs awards.

And more!




Barbara J. Stratton QC | Bennett Jones LLP | Edmonton


Hon. Justice C. Jones | Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta | Calgary (Calgary only)

Hon. Justice J.S. Little | Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta | Edmonton (Edmonton only)

Anne S. de Villars QC | de Villars Jones LLP | Edmonton

Françoise Belzil | Biamonte LLP | Edmonton

Barbara J. Kimmitt | Bennett Jones LLP | Calgary

Jennifer R. Lamb | Carscallen LLP | Calgary

Layne N. Thiessen | McLeod Law LLP | Calgary



Register online to attend Contentious Matters in Wills and Estates November 7 (Edmonton) or November 15 (Calgary). Register on or before September 25 to take advantage of our early bird discount!

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Notices to the Profession and Public

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta recently issued two new Notices to the Profession and Public related to family law that came into effect on September 1, 2018.

In NPP#2018-07, the Court of Queen’s Bench advised that it will no longer accept divorce judgments in hard-written form in Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, and Red Deer. Fillable PDF forms of divorce judgments are available on the Court of Queen’s Bench website.

Under NPP#2018-08, all protection order applicants are no longer permitted to leave the courtroom without a signed order. This includes applications for review of emergency protection orders granted under the Protection Against Family Violence Act, RSA 2000, c P-27.

All parties and counsel are encouraged to complete draft orders in advance of an application. Template forms of order are available on the Court of Queen’s Bench website.

Template forms of order will also be made available in courtrooms for the presiding justice to complete and sign where a draft order has not been provided in advance.

Where a protection order application is being scheduled for an oral hearing, all parties and counsel must use the Emergency Protection Order Review Oral Hearing Order form, available on the Court of Queen’s Bench website, unless the court orders otherwise.

For more information, read the notice to the profession and public in full here.

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Program Feature—8th Annual Law & Practice Update

8th Annual Law & Practice Update

We’re looking forward to our 8th Annual Law & Practice Update in Calgary (October 5). Join us to receive updates on a full spectrum of substantive law and practice management topics tailored to practitioners in a solo or small firm environment.


Sole practitioners, lawyers with a general practice, and those practicing in smaller firms face unique challenges. Explore updates on a wide variety of substantive law and practice management topics, including:

• family law
• wills & estate
• corporate law

• commercial law
• real estate
• cloud-based data storage

And more!

This year’s discussion topics include:

  • A View from the Bench
  • Proposed Changes to Divorce Law—A Lawyer’s Perspective
  • Proposed Changes to Divorce Law—An Academic’s Perspective
  • Technology in the Practice of Law
  • Current Trends in Real Property Law
  • Making Your Practice Employment Standards Compliant
  • Trends in Wills and Estates and Corporate/Commercial Law

Here’s what some of our past attendees had to say about this program!

This is the “Refresher” equivalent for solo and small firm practitioners who need expert information on a wide range of practice issues.”

—7th Annual Law & Practice Update Attendee

The presenters were excellent. All were engaging, knowledgeable, and brought humour to their subjects.”

—7th Annual Law & Practice Update Attendee

There were good opportunities to network and discuss with practitioners in similar areas. In addition, the topics were helpful and informative.”

—6th Annual Law & Practice Update Attendee

In the busyness of everyday it is easy to forget process and just go from activity to activity. It is good to step back and take stock.”

—6th Annual Law & Practice Update Attendee

View the program brochure for details.


Todd Munday | Wood & Munday LLP | Bonnyville

Hon. Judge A. Fradsham | Provincial Court of Alberta | Calgary
Roger S. Hofer QC | Neuman Thompson | Edmonton
Elizabeth Aspinall | Law Society of Alberta | Calgary
Pam L. Bell | Bell and Stock Family Law LLP | Calgary
Jonathan F. Griffith | Dunphy Best Blocksom LLP | Calgary
Nolan B. Johnson | Huckvale LLP | Lethbridge


Register online for the 8th Annual Law & Practice Update in Calgary on October 5.

Location: Glenmore Inn & Convention Centre, 1000 Glenmore Court SE


  • Registration & Hot Breakfast | 7:30 AM–8:00 AM
  • Morning Sessions | 8:00 AM–11:30 AM
  • Lunch & Keynote Address | 11:30 AM–1:00 PM
  • Afternoon Sessions | 1:00 PM–3:30 PM


Looking to make the most of your CPD budget? Save $100 when you bundle Commercial Disputes (October 4) and 8th Annual Law & Practice Update (October 5).

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Monthly Upcoming Legal Events: September

Monthly Upcoming Legal Events: September

Check out what’s happening in the legal community this month!



Tech Solutions for Busy Law Practices

Explore technology solutions to streamline your legal practice. Discover key security measures to ensure your client information is kept confidential, methods for managing complex legal documents, strategies for creating a paper-reduced law office, and more. View the brochure or read the blog for program details.








Advanced Matrimonial Property

Examine property issues in more complex files. Enhance your mastery of current issues in matrimonial property division, particularly in complicated matters. View the brochure or read the blog for program details.









Criminal Procedure Fundamentals

Develop confidence and competence in handling criminal law matters. Review criminal procedure principles, learn effective file management strategies, and consider implications of the Charter and recent case law. View the brochure or read the blog for program details.








Condominium Law Update

Explore changes to condominium legislation and analyze their effects in practice. Identify tips and traps to better advise clients on condo matters. View the brochure or read the blog for program details.

Have you heard of the Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society’s (Assist) free annual Walk for Wellness events? This September, Assist is holding its Annual Walk for Wellness events in Red Deer, Fort McMurray, Medicine Hat, Calgary, Lethbridge, Calgary, and Edmonton.

Read our blog for more information.

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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Program Feature—PCLaw for Lawyers and Legal Support Staff

PCLaw for Lawyers and Legal Support Staff

Do you know what PCLaw can do for you?

Join Carmen Gallant for PCLaw for Lawyers and Legal Support Staff in Calgary (October 23) or Edmonton (October 30) and learn how to increase functionality and improve office management.


Discuss advanced PCLaw functionality, and discover how to leverage the software to better track your productivity and overall business performance. Cover key topics, including:

  • Trust Accounting
  • Billing
  • Receipts
  • Templates
  • Budgeting
  • Front Office Management
  • Dashboard Navigation


This program is intended for lawyers and legal support staff who have experience with PCLaw.


Carmen Gallant is a Certified Independent Consultant (CIC) for LexisNexis/PCLaw. She has been a PCLaw instructor and trouble shooter for 30 years. She regularly assists clients with everything from start up to advanced training, trouble shooting, balancing accounts, and Law Society requirements. Her prior experience includes being an exclusive dealer for PCLaw in Alberta and Saskatchewan, working at a law firm for 5 years, and transitioning the law firm’s accounting from manual books to PCLaw.


Register online to reserve your spot in Calgary (October 23) or Edmonton (October 30). Save $50 if you register on or before September 11, 2018. View the brochure for details.

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Program Feature—Commercial Disputes

Commercial Disputes

Despite best intentions, commercial disputes frequently happen. Join us in Calgary (October 4) for an exploration of common issues and analysis of strategies for avoiding and resolving disputes when they do arise.


NOTE: This program is offered in a flipped classroom format.

A flipped classroom is an instructional strategy that flips the traditional learning environment. This alternative model delivers instructional content online in advance, freeing up in-person
time to focus on higher-level, active learning activities. Benefits of flipped classrooms include:

  • Learner-centred emphasis
  • Increased engagement
  • Skill development
  • Application of knowledge to real-world situations

PART 1: Pre-Program Learning (Before October 4, 2018)

Before attending the program, attendees must complete pre-program learning components, available through the online LESA Classroom. The pre-program material uses existing LESA content, including:

  • Breaking the Logjam: Revisiting the Role of Lawyers in Resolving Business Disputes
  • Good Faith and Honest Performance in Commercial Contracts: Developments Since Bhasin
  • “My Business Partner Is Stealing my Business”
  • What’s Left to Dispute? A Review of Exclusion Clauses, Liability Caps, and Sole Remedy Clauses

PART 2: In-Person Workshop (October 4, 2018)

Understanding the material provided in the pre-program learning material is only part of what lawyers need to improve their practices. Join instructors Karen O’Keeffe and Darren Reed to apply your knowledge to fact-based scenarios and problems. Work with other attendees to analyze key issues and identify common traps in commercial disputes. Develop the skills you need to be successful in your practice.


Register online to attend Commercial Disputes in Calgary (October 4). Bundle this program with the 8th Annual Law & Practice Update, and save! Get more information at:

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Civil Practice Note No.7

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta recently released Civil Practice Note No.7 outlining the summary procedures to be followed under Alberta Rules of Court, Alta Reg 124/2010, r 3.68 [Rules of Court] for an Apparent Vexatious Application or Proceeding [AVAP]. The summary procedures set out in the practice note are effective September 4, 2018, and are highlighted below. For more detailed information on Civil Practice Note No. 7, click here.

Per the Rules of Court, r 3.68 and the procedures set out in Civil Practice Note No. 7, the court can order to either stay or dismiss an AVAP by virtue of:

  • its own initiative,
  • the written request of any party to a proceeding, or
  • notification from a clerk of the court, complex litigant management counsel, or case management counsel.

Unless otherwise specified by the court, an order to stay or dismiss an AVAP must be made based on written submissions, which comply with the following procedure:

  • The court must direct the clerk to serve an AVAP notice to the Apparently Vexatious Litigant [AVL] stating the court is considering staying or dismissing an AVAP.
  • Within 14 days of receiving the AVAP notice, the AVL may respond and:
    • in reply to the AVAP notice, file a written submission with the court of at most 10 pages, and
    • serve the written submission on every party to the proceeding.
  • If the AVL fails to file and serve a written submission complying with the above procedures, the court may stay or dismiss the AVAP without any further notice to the parties to the proceeding.
  • Within 7 days of service of the written submission, a party served with an AVL’s written submission may respond and:
    • file a written reply with the court of at most 10 pages to the AVL’s written submission, and
    • serve the written reply on the AVL and all other parties to the proceeding.
  • The court will, after receipt of the AVL’s written submission and all written replies, apply r 3.68 to the proceedings.

If an order is made by the court to stay or dismiss an AVAP, the clerk will serve a copy of the order, as soon as possible, on the AVL and the other parties to the proceeding.

Should it come to the attention of a clerk of the court, complex litigant management counsel, or case management counsel that an application or proceeding seems to be an AVAP, that person must notify the court.

Any party to a proceeding can file a written request with the court for an order to stay or dismiss a proceeding as an AVAP.

Upon ordering a stay or dismissal of an AVAP, the court can also make an order banning the AVL from making further applications in any proceeding, except with leave of the court. Such an order does not limit the court from taking additional steps pursuant to its jurisdiction to respond to abuse of court processes.

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Civil Practice Note 6

A new civil practice note that applies to Alberta class action proceedings comes into effect on September 4, 2018. Civil Practice Note No. 6 adopts the Canadian Bar Association’s Resolution 18-03-A, “Class Action Judicial Protocol (2018)”, and addresses managing multijurisdictional class actions and providing class action notice. It establishes best practices for coordinating multijurisdictional class actions and settlement approval hearings. Civil Practice Note No. 3, “National Database of Class Proceedings” (1 March 2011), is directly related to this practice note.

Civil Practice Note No. 6 includes information on:

  • the obligations of counsel before first attendance before a judge in a multijurisdictional class action matter,
  • protocol to be followed by parties to a class action in conducting multijurisdictional case management hearings and motions,
  • settlement approval protocol,
  • protocols applicable to class certification, including the required contents of both:
    • short form notice of certification, and
    • long form notice of certification, and
  • protocols applicable to issuing a notice of settlement of a class proceeding.

For more information, read Civil Practice Note No. 6 in full here.