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Law Society of Alberta: New Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer

LESA is pleased to welcome Elizabeth J. Osler as the new Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Law Society of Alberta (LSA). Ms. Osler will begin in her new role on January 1, 2019.

Ms. Osler has been with the LSA since September 2012, first as the Director of Regulation and later as Deputy Executive Director. She oversaw several departments within the LSA including Governance, Communications, Human Resources, Counsel, Conduct, Investigations, Custodianships, and Trust Safety.

Prior to joining the LSA, Ms. Osler worked at the University of Calgary as Associate General Counsel & University Secretary. She has also worked as a securities lawyer in private practice and as corporate counsel and corporate secretary in-house.

Ms. Osler, born and raised in Calgary, received her Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta, and holds bachelor and master degrees in Canadian History from the University of Calgary. She received her ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors, and serves on the National Discipline Standards Committee for the Federation of Law Societies of Canada and as a Board member for the Canadian Society of Association Executives.

We are sad to say farewell to outgoing LSA Executive Director and CEO—and trusted LESA board member—Don Thompson, QC. His extraordinary leadership not only helped transform the LSA into a leading regulator of the legal profession, but also supported LESA in delivering exceptional educational programming for the Alberta legal community. We are excited to embark on a new journey with Ms. Osler and are confident that she too will excel in her new role as the LSA’s Executive Director and CEO.

Read the Law Society of Alberta’s full announcement here.

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ASSIST: New Parents Practicing Law Events

Assist: New Parents Practicing Law Events

Are you the parent of a child under the age of 5 who is juggling legal practice with new parenthood? If so, then please join Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society for their inaugural New Parents Practicing Law program, hosted and sponsored by Bennett Jones LLP.

Lawyers and articling students are invited to join Linda Parsons, Professional Coach and Practice Consultant, who will provide information and resources about practicing law as a new parent.

Linda is a parent with over twenty-five years’ experience as a lawyer in private practice, having been recognized by Best Lawyers in Canada in 2013 and 2014, and profiled in the April 2010 Lexpert health law cover story. She held a variety of leadership roles within her firm and the legal profession during her years of practice. Linda is certified in executive coaching through Columbia University and is a member of the International Coaching Federation, and provides parent, performance, leadership and business development coaching for lawyers. Linda has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with new parents practicing law.


Date: January 16, 2019
Time: 12:00 PM–1:00 PM
Location: Bennett Jones LLP | 4500 Bankers Hall East, 855 2 St. SW | Calgary

Lunch will be provided. Please RSVP by January 11, 2019, and please include your dietary restrictions.

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2018 Reflection & Holiday Closure

2018 Reflection & Holiday Closure

LESA extends its warmest thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who have devoted their time and expertise to us and their profession this year. The commitment of our staff and volunteers has resulted in another successful year for LESA.

  • Since the beginning of the 2018/2019 educational year, we have overseen 18 continuing professional development programs across a variety of practice areas including business law, civil litigation, criminal law, family law, real estate, wills and estates, legal support, and more.
  • The ever-growing LESA Library continues to be in popular demand. In the last year we gained upwards of 150 subscribers, and uploaded more than $7,000 worth of resources to help you continue to improve your practice.
  • The 2018/2019 CPLED Program is also going very well, with 3 online modules and 3 face-to-face sessions complete so far and 471 registered students.

From all of us at LESA, thank you for your support in 2018. We wish you a happy holiday season and prosperous New Year!

LESA will close at 4:30 PM on Friday, December 21, 2018, and will reopen on Wednesday, January 2, 2019, at 8:00 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: Wills & EPAs—Commonly Occurring Issues

Join program co-chairs Patricia L. Daunais QC and John E.S. Poyser and faculty for Wills & EPAs—Commonly Occurring Issues January 23 (Edmonton) or January 30 (Calgary).


Analyze common issues and identify practical resolutions when dealing with wills and enduring powers of attorney.



Patricia L. Daunais QC | Daunais McKay + Harms | Calgary

John E.S. Poyser | The Wealth and Estate Law Group | Calgary



Peter J. Glowacki | Borden Ladner Gervais LLP | Vancouver

Sandra L. Hawes | Miller Thomson LLP | Edmonton

Jennifer R. Lamb | Carscallen LLP | Calgary



Presentations include:

  • Rules for Lapse and Other Failed Gifts
  • The Resistant Grantor: Best Practices and Ethical Considerations for Attorneys
  • Flawed EPAs and Diminished Clients
  • Tricky Sticky Wills and Codicils
  • Non-Compliant Wills: When Scribbles on a Napkin May Actually Be a Will

Get answers to key questions, including:

  • When is it time for a person to consider granting Power of Attorney?
  • Who is the best person to appoint as attorney?
  • What issues are at play when a donor is reluctant to grant Power of Attorney?
  • Once the EPA is validly in place, can I still take instructions from the donor?
  • When should an attorney give instructions?
  • When does a litigation guardian supersede an attorney?



Register online to attend Wills & EPAs—Commonly Occurring Issues January 23 (Edmonton) or January 30 (Calgary). Register on or before December 11 to take advantage of our early bird pricing.

View the brochure for program details.

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Program Feature—Civil Enforcement Fundamentals

Join program chair Denise Hendrix and faculty for Civil Enforcement Fundamentals on January 22 (Edmonton) or January 29 (Calgary).


Denise Hendrix | Hendrix Law | Calgary


Dylan Esch | Field Law LLP | Calgary
John Shortridge | Allied Shortridge | Calgary
Francis Taman | Bishop & McKenzie LLP | Calgary


Learn how the Civil Enforcement Act works with other legislation for the enforcement of distraint for rents, personal property seizures under security agreements, Notices to enforce security, and possession under Court Orders. Learn how distributions are determined and where priorities are given so you can provide proper advice to your clients about the costs/benefits of Civil Enforcement. Explore post-judgment enforcement and how to maximize your client’s return.

Presentations include:

  • Paperwork, Paperwork, Paperwork: Tips and Trade Practices for Bailiff Dealings 
  • Non-Judgment Enforcement: Personal Property Collections
  • Post-Judgment Enforcement
  • Case Law Potpourri: Process and Practice Under the Civil Enforcement Act


Register online to attend Civil Enforcement Fundamentals  January 22 (Edmonton) or January 29 (Calgary). Register on or before December 11 to take advantage of our early bird pricing.

View the brochure for program details.

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LESA Program E-Materials: FAQs

Our primary mandate is the delivery of exceptional legal education and resources to the entire spectrum of Alberta’s legal community.

To uphold our reputation as one of Alberta’s leading providers of legal education, we pride ourselves in our mission, vision, and values.

Our mission, vision, and values allow us to provide support to the legal profession through ever-evolving content, delivery, and educational methodologies. Recently, we have embarked on a transition from print to digital resources.

Below is a list of FAQs that we hope will assist you in a smooth transition from print to electronic resource access.



E-materials are LESA’s traditional program materials (formerly presented in a binder) now offered in an electronic format. When you registered for a program in the past, you expected to get a binder with papers, checklists, precedents, annotated statutes, PowerPoint slides, etc. E-materials are the same product presented in an electronic format.

You can access program e-materials via a link emailed to all registrants a few days before a program runs. This link takes you to a secured login page that has hyperlinks to the program materials, which you can download onto your device or print if you choose.

From an adult education perspective, we believe this is an effective method for both learning and educating. It gives you the opportunity to review content before the program, which will prepare you to be engaged at a higher level of learning during the program. We want to help you find practical ways to apply your education to your practices and areas of interest. When you can access your materials before the program, you have the chance to read the papers in advance, formulate questions, and come better prepared to engage.

We are a not-for-profit society. This shift helps us keep costs down so we can provide quality education at reasonable registration rates.

We hope that you will arrive at a program with a basic understanding of the particular topics for that program so our presenters can focus on helping you achieve deeper levels of learning and application. Ultimately, the shift to e-materials is not simply a change in format or a cost-saving measure. Rather, it is art of an approach to enhance the educational experience for all involved in a program.

Some of the feedback we have heard from people is that when they are referencing older program materials and looking for specific information, they have difficulty finding it. This is wasted time. E-materials facilitate ease of navigation and introduce a search functionality that would be difficult to achieve with printed materials. A CTRL+F or CMD+F search function saves you time.

We also want to help our volunteers. E-materials allows for greater flexibility to deal with changes to the law or to a presentation. As a result, you have access to higher quality materials that are as up-to-date as possible. You can also access up-to-date biographical information, registration lists, and faculty lists. We want you to have practical, useful information you can use in your day-to-day practice.

No. However, we will continue to provide law libraries across the province with printed materials for select programs. For many years, we have been offering program materials in electronic format to those who were unable to attend programs. The shift to e-materials allows us to align our program content delivery methods before, during, and after a program runs.

You’re welcome to print the e-materials if you choose. The terms of use for our materials remain the same: LESA program materials are intended for individual use only and should not be shared with others. We recommend that you download a copy of the materials onto a laptop, tablet, or other device for use at the program and afterward.

While the vast majority of our programs will offer e-materials only, we will be offering hard copy materials for select LESA programs. Specific multi-day courses will continue to have hard copy materials (i.e. Interest Based Negotiations, Mediation of Family & Divorce Conflicts, Basic Collaborative Law, and the Annual Intensive Advocacy program).

From time-to-time, we will also offer programs that are presented in a technical training-style or workshop-style format. For these kinds of programs, it can be helpful to have workbooks or other kinds of material that facilitate the learning objectives. If we decide to offer hard copy materials for a program like this, we will let you know.

We appreciate that attendees have all kinds of different learning styles and preferences. Our recommendation is that when you receive your e-materials access link, you download the materials in advance and come with these on a device of your choice. Our on-site staff will be there to assist you if you are experiencing technical issues or having issues locating passwords or links to the e-materials. We also have staff at the LESA office that are able to provide support to registrants before the program runs. If you experience any issues regarding your e-materials, we encourage you to reach out for support.

Please come with your devices fully charged. Our AV providers, Seminars Techs, have very generously provided battery packs and other equipment for charging a variety of devices (iOS, Android, tablet, etc.), in case your batteries run low. If you prefer to take notes with a pen and paper, we also have complimentary note pads and pens available for you. We welcome you to visit the registration desk at any time.


Thank you for your ongoing patience and support during this transition. If you have any additional questions regarding e-materials, or any other aspect of LESA products, programs, or resources, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

We look forward to continuing to work with you as your lifelong partner in continuing legal excellence.

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November Upcoming Legal Events

Discover what’s going on in the legal community this month!


 Appellate Advocacy | EDMONTON (November 2)

Registration has re-opened, and only 10 spots remain. Register to secure your spot!

Appellate advocacy presents unique challenges and requires a different set of skills than those needed by trial counsel. This program explores various aspects of the craft of appellate advocacy in Alberta.


Advanced Estate Administration | SOLD OUT!

CALGARY (November 2)

Estate administration matters frequently involve complex and unique challenges. Discuss practical and philosophical issues that senior-level practitioners face.


Contentious Matters in Wills and Estates

EDMONTON (November 7) | CALGARY (November 15)
This program is almost sold out. Register to secure your spot!

Identify common points of contention, develop strategies to avoid or deal with them, and discover how to better advise your clients.


Junior Lawyer Series (Session #2)  | SOLD OUT!

EDMONTON (November 8)

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 to the Minor Injury Regulation?


Pot Topics: Legalization of Cannabis 

CALGARY (November 16) | EDMONTON (November 22)

Legal issues surrounding the legalization of cannabis abound. Explore the implications of legislative changes and related topics.


Mediation of Family & Divorce Conflicts | SOLD OUT!

CALGARY (November 19–23)

Mediation is increasingly important in the practice of family law.  This in-depth program provides over 40 hours of intensive, hands-on skills training and is recognized by collaborative law associations in Alberta.




Law Society of Alberta

Indigenous Solutions for Environmental Challenges

Dates: November 10–12

Location: Banff, Alberta

Use the context of the historic Aguinda v. Chevron environmental case to consider the critical role of judicial remedies for violations of the rights of indigenous and other affected peoples and the leading systemic obstacles to the realization of remedies in particular cases, both in Canada and beyond. Learn more.


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Program Feature—Pot Topics: Legalization of Cannabis

Pot Topics: Legalization of Cannabis

The legalization of cannabis will come into effect in just under 2 weeks, and a number of new legal issues are sure to surface.

Join us for Pot Topics: Legalization of Cannabis on November 16, 2018 (Calgary) or November 22, 2018 (Edmonton), and discover how these legislative changes will affect your practice.

Explore the implications of legislative changes relating to the legalization of cannabis. Discuss Alberta’s cannabis regulatory system, the commercialization of cannabis, how legalization affects employment and real estate law, and the public health approach to legalization.

Join program chair, Alexis Moulton (McLennan Ross LLP), and faculty for this informative, interactive program. Topics include:

  • Alberta’s Cannabis Regulatory System
    Dave Berry (Vice President Regulatory Services, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission)
  • Cannabis: Challenges in Multi-Unit Housing
    Heidi Besuijen (Reynolds Mirth Richards & Farmer LLP)
  • Commercialization
    Annie Murphy (Senior Manager, Strategy, Ernst and Young)
  • Employment Law Update
    Dan Bokenfohr (McLennan Ross LLP) & Maurice Dransfeld (McLennan Ross LLP)
  • What is a Public Health Approach to Legalization of Cannabis?
    Dr. Brent T. Friesen (Lead Medical Officer, Alberta Health Services) & Dr. Chris Sikora (Lead Medical Officer, Alberta Health Services)
  • Municipal Regulatory Roles in Cannabis Legalization
    Shannon Belvedere (City of Calgary, Law Department) & TBD

Read the brochure to learn more.


Register online to attend Pot Topics: Legalization of Cannabis on November 16, 2018 (Calgary) or November 22, 2018 (Edmonton).

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October Upcoming Legal Events

October upcoming Legal Events

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


Alberta Land Titles Online Alberta Land Titles Online | CAL (October 2) | EDM (October 9)

This program is now full. Register for our January program in Edmonton (January 22) or Calgary (January 29).

With a shift to online Land Titles registrations and digital signatures, lawyers and their firms will need to adjust their conveyancing processes. Explore the new ALTO platform and evaluate strategies for enhancing your real estate practice.

Time: 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Regular Price: $295 + GST


 Effective Legal Support: Residential Real Estate

Effective Legal Support: Residential Real EstateCAL (October 2) | EDM (October 9)

Develop a solid foundation in real estate conveyancing. Review standard documents, processes, and timelines. Explore strategies and best practices.



Time: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Regular Price: $295 + GST


Commercial Disputes Commercial Disputes | CAL (October 4)

Commercial disputes frequently arise, despite efforts to prevent them. Evaluate mechanisms and strategies for resolving such disputes in this flipped classroom-style program. (Attendees must review resource materials and undertake pre-program work online in the LESA Classroom prior to attending.)


Time: 12:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Regular Price: $445 + GST


8th Annual Law & Practice 8th Annual Law & Practice Update | CAL (October 5)

Sole practitioners, lawyers with a general practice, and those practicing in smaller firms face unique challenges. This program explores updates on a wide variety of substantive law & practice management topics, including family law, wills & estates, corporate/commercial law, real estate, and more.


Time: 7:30 AM – 3:30 PM
Regular Price: $445 + GST


Condominium Law Update Condominium Law Update | EDM (October 10)

Explore changes to condominium legislation and analyze their effects in practice. Identify tips and traps to better advise clients
on condo matters.



Time: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Regular Price: $445 + GST


Appellate Advocacy Appellate Advocacy | CAL (October 12)

This program is sold out in Calgary. Click here to register for the Edmonton session on November 2.

Appellate advocacy presents unique challenges and requires a different set of skills than those needed by trial counsel. Explore various aspects of the craft of appellate advocacy in Alberta.


Time: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Regular Price: $445 + GST


Environmental Law: Key Strategies for Everyday Practice Environmental Law: Key Strategies for Everyday Practice
EDM (October 17)

Gain valuable practice tips to enhance your understanding of environmental law matters that may arise in everyday files. Learn to spot common (and sometimes tricky) practice issues and develop strategies to advise your clients appropriately.


Time: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Regular Price: $445 + GST


PCLaw for Lawyers and Legal Support StaffPCLaw for Lawyers and Legal Support Staff
CAL (October 23) | EDM (October 30)

Trust accounting software is a critical component of any practice management. Explore intermediate and advanced functionality, tips, and other topics to effectively use PC Law in your firm or practice.


Time: 9:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Regular Price: $445 + GST


Junior Lawyer Series Junior Lawyer Series | EDM (October 31)

Session 1 | “So now you’re a junior lawyer…”

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.



Time: 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Regular Price: $100+ GST


LEAFs Annual Persons Day Breakfast will be held on Monday, October 22nd from 7:30 – 9:00 AM at the Sutton Place Hotel.


Starting up again on Monday, Assist provides the legal community in Calgary with complimentary yoga sessions every week. lead by our lawyer and judiciary volunteers, who are certified fitness instructors. Yoga helps professionals manage stress, focus better, sleep deeper, and ease pain. We encourage you to join us in maintaining a healthy lifestyle with other lawyers, law students, and guests.

Mondays at 5:15 PM | Fifth Avenue Club 715 5 Ave SW (2nd Floor)
Click for Further Details

  • Calling All Male Rugby Players!

The University of Calgary Faculty of Law Men’s Rugby Team will be playing an exhibition match against Calgary Lawyers on Friday, October 5th at 5:00 PM. The match will be held at the University field. They need as many players (and fans) as possible!

The Calgary Lawyers squad will be having only one practise on Tuesday, October 2nd at 6:00 PM. It will be held at Elboya Heights Community Association (Stanley Park) – 416 Park Ave. Paul Reid of Carscallen will be leading practise.

This will be a friendly match and the start of a great tradition. You are not required to have extensive experience to play. However, you must have insurance through Rugby Canada who offers inexpensive single match coverage.

If you plan on participating, please email Peter Crozier at Please be sure to tell him what position(s) you play. He will be compiling a list of players to submit to the insurer. There will likely be a small associated cost for players.

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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!