Posted on

August Upcoming Legal Events

August upcoming Legal Events

Looking to get a head start on your CPD planning? Check out this month’s list of upcoming legal events.


Effective Legal Support: Civil Litigation

The early bird deadline for Effective Legal Support: Civil Litigation ends August 15, 2017. Register for this program to explore strategies for increasing legal support efficiency and effectiveness in wills and estates matters. Register today to reserve your spot in this program.

Effective Legal Support: Family Law

The early bird deadline for Effective Legal Support: Family Law ends August 29, 2017. Register for this program to explore strategies for increasing legal support efficiency and effectiveness in family law matters. Register today to reserve your spot in this program.

Effective Legal Writing

The early bird deadline for Effective Legal Writing ends August 15, 2017. Register for this program to improve your legal writing through hands-on practice and individual feedback. Program registrants are required to view resource materials and complete pre-course work, including writing practice, in the LESA Classroom prior to attending this program. Register today to reserve your spot in this program.

Negotiations Fundamentals

The early bird deadline for Negotiations Fundamentals ends August 15, 2017. Register for this hands-on workshop to explore negotiation theory and develop communication and negotiation skills. Register today to reserve your spot in this program.

Understanding the Brain – What Lawyers Need to Know

The early bird deadline for Understanding the Brain – What Lawyers Need to Know ends August 15, 2017. Register for this hands-on workshop to explore negotiation theory and develop communication and negotiation skills. Register today to reserve your spot in this program.


The first CPLED face-to-face session, Oral Advocacy & Professional Responsibility, runs in Calgary August 22–24, 2017, and in Edmonton August 29–31, 2017. This session is a mandatory part of the CPLED program. View the calendar or visit our website for more details.

Legal Community Events

Legal Build Edmonton

Join Edmonton Legal Build this year for the Race Judicata 2017 Fun Run, and continue the legal community’s important work of building a home for a deserving local family.

When:  September 16, 2017 (9:30 a.m. Arrival & 10:00 a.m. Race Start)
Where: Borden Park (7703 Borden Park Rd NW, Edmonton)
What: Fun Walk/Run in support of the Jean McBean QC Legal Build

The early bird deadline ends August 20. Register today and help raise money for the 2017 Jean McBean QC Memorial Build. For more information, click here.

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

Posted on

2017/2018 Educational Calendar Now Available

2017/2018 Educational Calendar

The 2017/2018 Educational Calendar is now available.

What to Watch For

This year’s calendar is full of new programs, resources, key dates, and more. Search the alphabetical program listing on pages 3–9, and discover 40 programs across multiple practice areas.

Some of these programs have limited enrolment. Register today to reserve your spot!

CPD Planning

Get started on your 2017 CPD plan. Search for programs by practice area on pages 12 and 13, and check off those of interest to you. Each category includes substantive legal knowledge programs as well as our suggestions for programs that will help you develop your skills in the following:

• analysis and communication,

• practice management,

• client relationship management,

• ethics and professionalism, and

• wellness.

Seminars on Demand 

Take a look at this year’s list of Seminars on Demand (page 10), and watch for the Seminars on Demand icon beside titles in the alphabetical program listing.


Looking for CPLED information? Find key dates and volunteer opportunities on page 11. You can also find information in the visual calendar on pages 14–19.

LESA Library

Looking for resources from past educational years? Learn more about the LESA Library (page 10). Access our Practice Manuals, Fundamentals Series, and materials from the past 7 years of LESA programming. Make the LESA Library your hub for practical, Alberta-specific tools and resources.

Keep an eye out for the hard copy calendar, which will be arriving in your mailbox soon.
We’re looking forward to the upcoming educational year!

Contact Us!

Contact our office for more information 780.420.1987 or

Posted on

Collaborative Law Programs

Collaborative Law Programs

Are you a lawyer who practices in the area of family law? Have you considered becoming a registered collaborative professional?

LESA offers collaborative law programs on an annual basis. Here’s what’s happening this year.

Basic Collaborative Law | Edmonton | September 28–30, 2017

Interest Based Negotiations | Edmonton | November 16–19, 2017

Mediation of Family and Divorce Conflicts | Calgary | November 20–24, 2017

Mediation of Family and Divorce Conflicts | Calgary | May 14–18, 2018

** NOTE: These are limited enrolment programs.

Refer to the Collaborative Divorce Alberta Association (CDAA) for certification requirements.**

Basic Collaborative Law 

Join instructors Susan L. Zwaenepoel QC and E. Leith Martin for Basic Collaborative Law this September. Learn methods for dispute resolution that encourage mutual respect, allow for open communication, utilize a problem-solving approach, as well as identify and address the interests and concerns of all parties, including children.

Cover the 4 principles of collaborative practice:

1. a pledge not to go to court;

2. an honest exchange of information;

3. good faith negotiations; and

4. a solution that considers the highest priorities of all parties.

Here’s what one of our past attendees has to say about this course.

I was impressed that the two instructors were willing to give so much of their time and with the passion they brought to the table. I know they’ve each taught this course numerous times, but there was no sense that they were just going through the motions—excellent instructors.”

Register for Basic Collaborative Law. (Limited Enrolment)

Interest Based Negotiations

Join instructors Suzan L. Zwaenepoel QC, E. Leith Martin, Sharlene Yanitski, and Marne Turnbull this November for Interest Based Negotiations.

As Susan says,

Collaborative work is fundamentally a philosophical approach to family law. … It is geared toward problem-solving, cooperation and to providing the client with the support and tools to get through the process in a less litigious manner than in a traditional divorce.”

Learn the difference between principled and adversarial negotiations, delve into the 5-stage interest based negotiation model, and discover strategies to enhance your skills, including:

• active listening

• effective questioning

• interactive learning

• reframing

Register for Interest Based Negotiations. (Limited Enrolment)

Mediation of Family & Divorce Conflicts 

Mediation of Family & Divorce Conflicts is one of the 3 pillars of collaborative law training. This 5-day program will be instructed by 3 experienced collaborative professionals:

• Patricia L. Blocksom QC, AOE

• Rhoda I. Dobbler QC

• Larry Fong Ph.D., R.Psych

As noted by Dr. Fong,

It is this harmonic range of different professionals—who provide the greatest ability to understand different perspectives—that makes this program successful. Attendees have come from the United States, Holland, and Switzerland and include judges, psychologists, lawyers, teachers, police officers, members of the cloth, politicians, and many other professionals.”

Develop the skills, knowledge, and understanding to build a competent, professional mediation practice. Register now to attend Mediation of Family & Divorce Conflicts in November (2017) or in May (2018)(Limited Enrolment)

Posted on

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. Watch for the arrival of the 2017/2018 Educational Calendar in your mailbox, 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 online program listing, and reserve your spot in our collaborative programs. Check back to discover other upcoming programs that will soon be available for registration.

Interested in accessing the latest LESA Seminars on Demand? Head to the LESA Classroom and check out what’s new.


The 2017/2018 Student Guide and Program Agreement have been posted. Students from Alberta and the Northwest Territories can now pay tuition for the upcoming year. The deadline for documentation and fees is July 28. Get more information at

Legal Community Events


Don’t miss the opportunity to win your firm the grand prize at AssistFit’s Line Dancing: Whoop-Up, July 11. The firm or organization that gets the most people on the dance floor wins a grand prize from Assist.

Location: Wildhorse Saloon | 500 6 Avenue SW | Calgary, AB
Time: 4:30 PM–5:30 PM

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

Posted on

Incorporating Jordan: Section 11(b) Unreasonable Delay Applications

In response to the  landmark decision in R v Jordan, 2016 SCC 27, [2016] 1 SCR 631 [R v Jordan], the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench recently released a Notice to the Profession and Public (NPP #2017-01, “Charter Applications in Criminal Cases Including Section 11(b) Unreasonable Delay Applications” (25 April 2017) [NPP #2017-01]) that details a procedural framework specific to unreasonable delay applications under s 11(b) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms in criminal cases. The aim is to ensure that s 11(b) applications are scheduled and conducted in a fair and effective manner.

Presumptive Timelines and Requirements

NPP #2017-01 sets out a number of timelines and requirements for scheduling s 11(b) applications, the most salient of which include:

  • Where the defence intends to bring a s 11(b) application, the defence must do so at least 7 days before the pre-trial conference. The court has discretion to allow or direct this pre-trial conference be conducted by teleconference,
  • Section 11(b) applications must be scheduled to be heard at least 60 days before the first scheduled day of trial or, where pre-trial applications are scheduled to be heard separately in advance of the trial, at least 60 days before the first scheduled day of pre-trial applications,
  • Before filing a s 11(b) application, the applicant must apply for the appointment of a s 551.1(Criminal Code, RSC 1985, c C 46) Case Management Justice and a hearing date from the court, and
  • The applicant’s materials in a s 11(b) application must be filed a minimum of 21 days before the hearing and the respondent’s materials must be filed a minimum of 7 days before the hearing. Written briefs, not exceeding 20 pages in length, are required from each party.

The Bottom Line

Similar to the presumptive ceilings found in R v Jordan, all timelines and requirements put forth in NPP # 2017-01 are subject to any order made by a judge in a specific criminal case.

Counsel seeking to make a s 11(b) application in Alberta must be cognizant of the need to be proactive in order to meet prescribed timelines and requirements. A review of NPP #2017-01 with a careful eye towards the various deadlines is warranted.

More Information

Click here to access the NPP #2017-01. For the most recent Supreme Court decision on s 11(b), see R v Cody, 2017 SCC 31.

Posted on

Get Started on Your 2017 CPD Plan

Get Started on Your 2017 CPD Plan

The 2017 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) period begins July 1.

In 2016, 2 changes to the CPD Program were approved.

  • A CPD declaration deadline change from March 15 to September 30.
  • The implementation of an administrative suspension for failure to declare a plan.

Lawyers who do not develop and declare a CPD plan by the September 30th deadline will be administratively suspended. Click here to learn more.


The CPD Program is a regulatory program of the Law Society of Alberta. It is a mandatory requirement for all active lawyers in Alberta to make an annual CPD declaration.

The CPD Program is a flexible and convenient way for lawyers to enhance their professional competence. For further information, please contact CPD at 403.229.4766 or toll-free at 1.800.661.9003.

Watch for Fall CPD Activities

Keep an eye out for our 2017/2018 Educational Calendar to schedule your fall seminars. Want to know about new programs as soon as the Calendar is available? Subscribe to our E-Letter to get the latest LESA updates.

Seminars on Demand

Don’t forget about LESA’s Seminars on Demand, which allow you to stream video recordings of presenters and download program materials. Take a look at our LESA Classroom offerings, they are a great addition to your 2017 CPD Plan.

Need something else?

If you have any questions about the programs and resources that we offer, contact us at, 780.420.1987, or toll-free in Alberta 1.800.282.3900.

Posted on

Penalty and Service Fee Increases to Maintenance Enforcement and Child Support Recalculation Programs

MEP and RP Service and Fee Changes

There’s an upcoming change to Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) and the Child Support Recalculation Program (RP) service and penalty fees that you and your clients need to know about.

Effective August 1, 2017, MEP and RP are increasing penalties and service fees that are charged to some of its clients.

What are the changes?

Provincial government passed the following amendments to the Maintenance Enforcement Regulation and the Child Support Recalculation Regulation on June 12, 2017:

MEP and RP Service and Fee Changes

Most of the fees and penalties are only increasing by the inflation rate equal to one year (2.6%, and rounded to the nearest half-dollar). The debtor default fee is increasing by $15 to encourage debtors to meet their court-ordered obligations.

Why are the penalties and service fees increasing?

Penalties and fees partially offset the service costs incurred when debtors and creditors do not comply with requirements. The amounts of these costs have increased over time, but fees and penalties have not increased for MEP since 2005 and for RP since 2010. The increases will cover more of the enforcement costs than previous amounts, and will allow MEP and RP to maintain a satisfactory service level to clients.

Need more information? Have questions?

The information page detailing the changes and how MEP and RP clients can avoid penalties can be accessed here. You can also access the MEP and RP web pages directly.

MEP can also be reached by phone at 780.422.5555, and RP can be reached by either phone at 780.401.1111 or email at

Posted on

LESA Website Feedback Survey

LESA Website Feedback Survey

Legal Education Society of Alberta – Website Feedback Survey

UPDATE: This survey is now closed. Thank you for your responses.

We would love to hear what you think about our new website and ask that you complete our 2-minute feedback survey about your overall site experience. The suggestions you provide will help improve website functionality so we can better serve the educational needs of Alberta’s legal community.

Survey participants are eligible to enter a draw to win a free seminar on demand.


Posted on

LESA Spotlight: Kathy Fortier Wins MPI’s 2017 Planner of the Year Award

Kathy Fortier Wins MPI’s 2017 Planner of the Year AwardWe’re pleased to congratulate our Meeting and Relations Coordinator, Kathy Fortier, for winning the Meeting Planners International (MPI) 2017 Planner of the Year Award for the Greater Edmonton Chapter.

Kathy has been a member of MPI for 22 years. She was first awarded MPI’s Planner of the Year in the Greater Edmonton Chapter in 2008 and has since continued to make outstanding contributions to the chapter and the meeting industry.


About MPI

MPI is an international not-for-profit organization leading the charge to make meetings and events, and those who produce them, a key strategic component of every organization’s business. Members receive customized education and gain opportunities to build professional relationships with key contacts within the meetings and events industry.

Each year, the Greater Edmonton MPI Chapter gives out 5 awards.

• Supplier of the Year

• Venue of the Year

• Planner of the Year

• Rising Star of the Year

• Mentor of the Year

The Planner of the Year Award recognizes an exemplary representative of the profession who strives for excellence and exhibits professionalism and dedication to further enhance the value of the Meetings & Hospitality Industry. Award recipients have a history of performing as a role model for other planners as well as his/her achievements in the meeting industry.

Click here for more information about these awards. 

We recently spoke with Kathy to find out what her membership with MPI means to her, and here’s what she had to say.

I appreciate LESA supporting me in my membership with MPI so much. It’s not just myself that benefits from being a member. I think LESA benefits from the relationships that I’ve made over the years at MPI. That’s where many of our relationships with suppliers, venues, etc. begin. It’s also a wonderful avenue for collaboration with other meeting and event planners. It’s a win-win for both LESA and for myself.”

Congratulations Kathy, we’re so proud to have you on our LESA team!

Posted on

LESA Welcomes 2017 Summer Students

LESA is pleased to welcome this year’s summer students – Julie Ward and Colin McKay!

Julie and Colin have settled in nicely into their roles here at LESA, working with Counsel, Christine Sanderman, and Staff Lawyer, Kelsey Dick – who is also a former LESA summer student.

We recently interviewed Julie and Colin to find out what they are up to this summer. Here’s what they told us.

Julie is an enthusiastic second-year law student at the University of Saskatchewan with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Alberta. We recently spoke to Julie to learn more about her and find out what she is up to at LESA this summer.

How did you become interested in law?

In high school, I wanted to have the best GPA, so I did what I was good at and followed through. My dad wanted me to be a doctor and my mom wanted me to be a lawyer – my mom thought I was way too clumsy to be a doctor – so I applied to law school and got in.”

What do you enjoy the most about working at LESA so far?

The people are so nice, and the work is really interesting. I am reading about a lot of things that I wouldn’t get a chance to learn about otherwise, which is pretty neat. Right now, I’m working on updates to LESA’s Wills Fundamentals series.”

Has your experience here pulled you in a specific direction in terms of a future area of practice?

I was originally drawn to corporate law, but having read some of LESA’s Business Law Fundamentals series, I’ve discovered that I have a lot to learn in that area. Realizing what you don’t know can be a bit intimidating, and I’m keeping an open mind.”

Do you have anything exciting planned for the summer?

I might go out to my cabin for a week, if time permits. I love to water-ski and head out there to just relax.”

With an undergraduate degree in business from the University of Calgary under his belt, Colin is an ambitious third-year law student at the University of Alberta. During our interview, we asked Colin a bit about himself and his experience at LESA so far. Here’s what he had to say.

How did you become interested in law?

It was more of an economic decision really. I went to business for my undergrad and when I came out, we were in a recession. Oil was down to $30 per barrel, and I thought, I have the marks. I should go into law. It’s broad and opens up many doors – a practical decision.”

What do you enjoy the most about working at LESA so far?

Definitely the people. Everyone I’ve met here has been willing to help and has been really friendly. Everyone’s doors are basically always open.”

What projects do you have on the go right now, and have they influenced your preference for a future area of practice?

Right now I’m working on LESA’s Criminal Law Fundamentals series. I’m reviewing, editing, and making sure legislation is up to date. I chose the Criminal Law Fundamentals series because I was interested in criminal law, so I’d say it pulls me more in that direction in terms of a potential future area of practice.”

Will you be crossing anything off your bucket list this summer?

I went to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert recently. Other than that, I don’t have any plans. I’m doing a semester abroad in France, so I’m trying to save up for that right now. I’m still in the planning process.”

LESA Library

LESA Library

Interested in getting updates to our practice manuals and fundamentals series?

With an annual subscription to the LESA Library, you can access the latest information at your fingertips the moment it’s updated. This cost effective resource even gives you the ability to set customizable notifications to ensure that you are always up-to-date.

Click here to learn more about the LESA Library.