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Legal Innovator Award

2018 Legal Innovator Award: Presented at the Alberta Legal Technology Conference

LESA is pleased to announce our first ever Legal Innovator Award. This award will be presented at this year’s Alberta Legal Technology Conference in Calgary on May 25, 2018.

Join us to explore the latest trends and innovations in legal technology. Focus on a wide range of emerging topics, including how new innovations are improving processes and driving efficiency in the legal profession. Learn what your Alberta colleagues are doing to address challenges in their firms, and meet legal application technology experts to find out how they are delivering meaningful solutions to the profession.

Read more about the Legal Innovator Award, including how you can submit your nomination, how the winner will be selected, and much more.

 


 

LEGAL INNOVATOR AWARD

The Legal Innovator Award is intended to recognize people in the legal industry who have developed solutions to improve processes and enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the legal practice. Traditionally, lawyers and law firms have been resistant to change, so the profession has not seen as much innovation as it could. However, the legal marketplace is changing rapidly, so it is important that new innovations be recognized and shared with others in the community.

We’ve created the Legal Innovator Award to do just that—to foster innovation, originality, and to encourage meaningful, long-lasting change that will advance the legal profession unlike ever before.

If you know of a lawyer or law firm in Western Canada who has come up with an innovative approach to improve practice, we invite you to nominate them for the Legal Innovator Award. Simply email a short description of the nominee and the reasons why you believe they should be nominated. The final 3 nominees will be selected by a nomination committee.

NOTE: Submissions must be sent to jkrushell@wittenlaw.com before March 30, 2018

On the day of the conference, attendees will have the opportunity to hear presentations by the final 3 nominees and vote on which one they believe should receive this outstanding achievement.

 

NOMINATION CRITERIA

There are 3 criteria for nominations to be accepted.

  1. The nominee must be a lawyer or law firm based in Western-Canada.
  2. The innovation must be something that is currently in use (not something still in the idea or concept phase).
  3. The innovation must be something that other lawyers and law firms can adopt to improve their practice.

 

SUBMIT YOUR NOMINATION

Embrace the future; discover the possibilities. Submit your nomination today, and register to attend the Alberta Legal Technology Conference in Calgary, May 24 & 25, 2018.

View the brochure for more details about this incredible event.

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March Upcoming Legal Events

March Upcoming Legal Events

Here’s what’s happening in the legal community this month!

 


LESA

Custody and Access 2018
Gain an in-depth understanding of custody and access. Learn about recent developments in case law, and discover practical strategies for addressing challenging issues. Register today to reserve your spot in this program March 6 (Edmonton) and March 13 (Calgary).

Family Law 25
Review 5 key cases in 5 areas of family law: spousal/partner support, child support, property, protection against family violence, and child welfare. Register online to attend March 7 (Edmonton) or March 14 (Calgary).

The Law of Damages 2018
Proving liability is only part of a litigator’s task. Delve into the law of damages, and explore common evidentiary issues. Register today to reserve your spot in this program March 8 (Edmonton) and March 15 (Calgary).


CPLED

Registration for the 2018/2019 CPLED Program opens on March 1.

You can view the CPLED Program Key Dates on.lesa.org/keydates for details about when the face-to-face sessions and online modules are running.

The registration deadline is May 31, 2018. Students who do not apply by this date are subject to a non-refundable late filing fee. Check out our CPLED for Students page to find out what to expect from the CPLED Program and for other key information.

If you have any additional questions about the CPLED Program or the registration process, contact LESA’s Student Coordinator, Craig Edhart direct: 780.969.3554.


 

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 andrea.maltais@lesa.org

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Paper Summary— Roles and Responsibilities of the Wills and Estates Solicitor

Roles and Responsibilities of the Wills and Estates Solicitor | Farha Salim

Drafting Wills and Trusts (2016/2017)

Lawyers must perform all legal services to the standard of a competent lawyer. Roles and Responsibilities of the Wills and Estates Solicitor, presented by Farha Salim, sets out the standard for a competent wills and estates solicitor. It covers a lawyer’s responsibilities when preparing a will, including potential issues concerning timing, accuracy of information, execution of the will, and liability to appointed beneficiaries.

Read a summary of this paper below.

 


 

According to Salim, When preparing a will, a lawyer must go beyond discerning the testator’s wishes and must make the necessary inquiries to ensure the provisions of the will honour and give proper legal expression to the testator’s wishes. In particular, the lawyer must be satisfied that the client has the required capacity when providing instructions for the will and at the time of executing it. Determining capacity may require making further inquiries, the extent of which will depend on the circumstances.

 

Once the lawyer has received instructions for the will and has made the necessary inquiries, it is important that the lawyer prepare the will in a reasonable time. The paper highlights case law concerning unreasonable delay, for example, where the will is not prepared before the testator dies.

 

While solicitors should be wary of lengthy delay, they should take the time needed to ensure the accuracy of information provided to them by the client. Issues may arise where a client seeks to gift property that he or she does not own personally (i.e. property owned under a company name). If a lawyer is not careful to make inquiries into the ownership of the property, a gift may fail. Thus, when preparing a will, it is important to weigh time restrictions against inquiries into title.

 

A lawyer must also have the reasonable knowledge and skill required to ensure proper execution of the will. This includes knowing who is and is not eligible to witness the signing of a will, as well as giving thorough and complete instructions to the client as to who is and is not a suitable witness.

 

Failure to meet the standard of care could result in liability to a disappointed beneficiary. The paper discusses the reasons for extending liability to beneficiaries and outlines its limit. The paper also proposes that lawyers exercise practice management skills. By confirming administrative requirements such as fees, potential outcomes, and timelines, a lawyer can reduce the potential for errors or complaints.

 

In conclusion, this paper highlights the steps that lawyers must perform to meet the standard of care required of a competent lawyer and discusses the roles and responsibilities of a solicitor in a wills and estates practice.

 

Want to learn more? View sample pages of this paper.

 


 

LESA Library

 

 

Interested in purchasing this paper? Or, are you looking to find out what other materials are available from Drafting Wills and Trusts (2016/2017)?

 

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.

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2018 Alberta’s Top Employers Winner

The winners of the 2018 Alberta’s Top 70 Employers competition were announced yesterday at the official awards reception in Calgary, and LESA made the list.

We are committed to setting standards of excellence in the education of Alberta’s lawyers, articling students, and their staff. Like you’ll read in our press release, we know in order to offer you exceptional continuing legal education opportunities, we need to value our greatest asset – our employees.

At LESA we strive to be collaborative, innovative, professional, and responsible with our resources. Today’s blog shares some of examples and reasons why we have been recognized as one of the distinguished winners of Alberta’s Top 70 Employers 2018.


COLLABORATIVE

LESA’s physical workspaces encourage collaboration. Our meeting room and offices have writeable walls, which make it easy to brainstorm, be creative, and stay organized – all important aspects of working together as a team. In addition, our organizational structure and cross-team project work facilitate collaboration across teams.

INNOVATIVE

To respond to the diverse learning needs of our community and succeed in offering high quality continuing legal education, LESA strives to be innovative. As such, we use various approaches in order to remain up-to-date on current knowledge and technological advances. First, we invest in the professional development of our staff. Staff attend training sessions, engage with other organizations, and participate in quarterly team development activities. We also take part in discussions with other continuing legal education providers through the Association for Continuing Legal Education (ACLEA) to ensure we keep current in our educational delivery methods. Finally, we gather feedback from Alberta’s legal community for our programs and resources through annual Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Discovery surveys, programming proposal submissions, and more.

PROFESSIONAL

LESA’s organizational structure reflects our desire to effectively and competently serve Alberta’s legal community. Our structure of responsible autonomy fundamentally reflects the values LESA holds most dear: it favours empowerment, fosters accountability and communication, helps employees develop leadership competencies, and embraces collaboration and innovation.

RESPONSIBLE

Being responsible with our resources – being fiscally responsible now and investing in a sustainable future – entails many things. Since our employees are our greatest asset, it is incredibly important to LESA to manage our human resources responsibly and conscientiously. Our earned days-off program is hugely popular, letting staff enjoy every third Friday off. LESA staff also appreciate flexible work hours and telecommuting options that allow for work-life balance. LESA’s commitment to helping staff achieve a healthy work-life balance benefits everyone and makes for a positive work environment where staff are engaged and productive.

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2018/2019 CPLED Program Registration Opens March 1

2018/2019 CPLED Program

Are you a 3rd-year law student, recent graduate, or someone who needs to take the Alberta bar admission course (the CPLED Program)? Or, do you know someone planning to take the CPLED Program next year?

 

Registration for the 2018/2019 CPLED Program opens on March 1.

 

REGISTER ONLINE

Students can apply to the CPLED Program before having completed the requirements to be admitted as a student-at-law. If you’re thinking there is a chance you will need to complete the CPLED Program next year, mark March 1 on your calendar.

 

ABOUT THE CPLED PROGRAM

The CPLED Program includes 7 online modules and 3 face-to-face sessions. Each face-to-face session is offered at 4 different times. Session enrolment is limited and time preferences are granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Students are encouraged to register early.

 

MORE DETAILS

View the CPLED Program Key Dates for details about when the face-to-face sessions and online modules are running.

The registration deadline is May 31, 2018. Students who do not apply by this date are subject to a non-refundable late filing fee. Head to our CPLED for Students page to find out what to expect from the CPLED Program and for other key information.

If you have any additional questions about the CPLED Program or the registration process, contact LESA’s Student Coordinator, Craig Edhart direct: 780.969.3554.

We’re looking forward to having you in the 2018/2019 CPLED Program!

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Program Feature: Custody and Access 2018

Custody and Access 2018

Gain an in-depth understanding of custody and access.

Join us in Edmonton (March 6) or Calgary (March 13) to learn about recent developments in case law and to discover practical strategies for addressing challenging issues.


ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Hear from program chair Michael Kraus QC and an experienced panel as they discuss frequently raised issues and current trends in custody and access.

Topics include:

  • Mobility Issues in Family Law
  • High Conflict
  • Family Law Practice Note 7 Interventions and Practice Note 8 Assessments
  • Adoptions
  • Access Issues
  • Voice of the Child

 

MEET THE PANEL

We recently spoke with program chair Michael Kraus QC to learn more about our panel of presenters and their program topics.

We are fortunate to have a distinguished panel who will speak about a wide variety of topics which will appeal to many family law practitioners.

Mobility is a very difficult issue to resolve and is therefore frequently litigated.  Diane Harms QC, an experienced litigator, will speak about mobility issues.”

Respected parenting experts Dr. Stephen Carter (Edmonton) and Dr. Jeff Chang (Calgary) will speak about the types of roles a psychologist may have in custody and access matters with a focus upon Family Law Practice Notes 7 and 8. 

Andrea Doyle, Assistant Senior Counsel from the Family Law Office will be joined by a special guest panelist from the same office, Jeff Keller, to speak about the Voice of the Child.   

Senior practitioner Jeff Wise QC practices in high conflict custody and access litigation.  Jeff will share his insights about issues relating to high conflict files.”

Wendy Young, an experienced family law lawyer, will address various and difficult issues relating to access.”

Finally, last but not least, senior practitioner Richard Low will speak about what a family law lawyer needs to know about adoption, which may be viewed as a form of extreme custody.”

 

REGISTER ONLINE

Register online to attend Custody and Access 2018 in Edmonton (March 6) or Calgary (March 13). Read the brochure for more information.

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2018 Summer Student Positions Available

LESA is now hiring 2018 summer students. We’re looking for current law students who have completed at least 1 year of law school.

Benefits & Expectations

Join our innovative, dynamic organization and make a meaningful contribution to the legal community as part of our LESA team.

Gain experience and knowledge in key areas of law while refining your research and writing skills. Get the opportunity to work with LESA’s Legal team to research, write, review, and update LESA’s print publications and online resources. You will also have the opportunity to contribute here – on LESA’s blog.

Value of Being a LESA Summer Student

As one of Alberta’s Top 70 Employers in 2017, LESA is a great place to work. One of our past summer students – Kelsey Dick – knows this first hand, joining LESA’s Legal team in the fall of 2015. Here’s what she had to say about working as a LESA summer student.

What did you enjoy about being a LESA summer student?

It allows you to stay involved in legal work during the summer and keep up-to-date on changes in the law, in an office atmosphere that is relaxed and friendly. Plus, LESA’s staff are wonderful to work with and always willing to help.”

What did you get to learn while working at LESA that you may not have learned elsewhere?

While summer students don’t have access to the CPLED Program materials, you do have the opportunity to work alongside the people involved with the program, so you can gain a better understanding of what CPLED is, how it works, and what LESA does. I think this is really beneficial as a student before starting the bar admission program, as it makes the CPLED Program a little less intimidating when you start articling.”

How did working at LESA as a summer student help shape your future career trajectory and opportunities?

It allows you to see the different opportunities available in the legal field, outside of the traditional firm career path. One of the real benefits of choosing a legal career is that it opens up a lot of doors to different employment opportunities. After I finished my law degree, I articled and worked at a large Edmonton law firm for a few years. I was interested in making a change around the same time LESA was looking for another lawyer to join their staff, and … I am now a Staff Lawyer at LESA.”

Apply Now

View the job posting for complete details about the 2018 summer student positions. If you’re interested in joining the LESA team, apply by February 28, 2018, to Aaron Latimer.

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Program Feature: The Law of Damages 2018

The Law of Damages 2018

Enhance Your Proficiency in the Law of Damages 2018

Proving liability is only part of a litigator’s task. Delve into the law of damages, explore common evidentiary issues, and review recent trends and current case law.


ABOUT THE PROGRAM

Join program chair Françoise Belzil and a distinguished panel of civil litigators to discuss the law of damages. Explore common issues that arise in a variety of civil litigation matters and important evidentiary concerns related to establishing claims for damages.

Discuss topics including:

  • Damages: When Online Goes Offside
  • Recent Decisions in the Law of Assessment of Damages
  • Tips & Pointers for Proving Damages in Non-Trial Settings
  • Damages for Breach of Contract: Bound by the Written Word?

Q&A

We recently connected with Françoise to learn a bit more about the program. Here’s what she had to say.

What makes this program unique?

“LESA has not, in recent history, offered a seminar focused solely on the law of damages outside the personal injury arena. The initial question on most litigators’ minds is the establishment of liability. Success in doing so will be all for not if damages cannot be proven.  This program addresses that very important element of successful litigation.”

What resources will attendees receive for future reference?

“Each panelist is preparing a written presentation to which participants can later refer. These materials are the product of countless hours of work and are another vehicle by which the panelists share their experience.”

MEET THE PANEL

When we asked Françoise to tell us a bit about the panel, she had nothing but great things to say.

“The panel is awesome. Each brings to their presentation knowledge and experience from which all participants will learn and benefit.  I am very grateful for their considerable contribution of time and effort.”

Learn more about this incredible group of presenters below.

Chair
Françoise Belzil | Biamonte LLP | Edmonton

Faculty
Joseph Rosselli QC | Kingsgate Legal | Edmonton
Alison L. Archer | Bennett Jones LLP | Edmonton
Joyce Bolton | Peacock Linder Halt & Mack LLP | Calgary
Stephen Panunto | James McCall Panunto | Calgary

 

REGISTER ONLINE

Join us in Edmonton (March 8) or Calgary (March 15) for The Law of Damages 2018. Register on or before February 5 to take advantage of our early bird pricing. Read the program brochure for more information.

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February Upcoming Legal Events

February Upcoming Legal Events

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


LESA 

 


CPLED

Interviewing & Advising runs February 5–7 in Edmonton and February 7–9 in Calgary. This face-to-face session is a mandatory component of the CPLED Program.

Click here for CPLED Program information and key dates.


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

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Paper Summary—Jurisdiction Issues in Custody on Inter-Provincial, Divorce Act, and International Levels

Jurisdiction Issues in Custody on Inter-Provincial, Divorce Act, and International Levels | Krysta Ostwald
50th Annual Refresher: Practice Excellence (2016/2017)

 

In recent years, inter-jurisdictional custody disputes and child abductions have become more frequent. In these disputes, issues arise around the conflict of laws which make the non-consensual relocation of children difficult.

In this paper, Krysta Ostwald reviews what to do when inter-jurisdictional disputes arise. Read a summary of this paper below to learn more.


The starting point for an inter-jurisdictional dispute should be the Divorce Act, RSC 1985, c 3 (2nd Supp) [Divorce Act]. The paper sets out a number of relevant sections of the Divorce Act, including s 2(1), which defines the term “divorce proceedings,” and s 4, which considers the jurisdiction in corollary relief proceedings. Importantly, s 3(1) of the Divorce Act has been applied to determine the issue of the proper jurisdiction on the basis of the substantial connection test. This test requires the claimant to show that there is a real and substantial connection between the subject matter and the jurisdiction issuing the judgment.

Following an overview of the Divorce Act, the paper reviews the analytical framework set out by the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) in 3 cases:

Van Breda v Village Resorts (2012), 2012 SCC 17,
Black v Breeden, 2012 SCC 19, and
Editions ecosociete Inc v Banro corp, [2012] 1 SCR 636.

These cases raise 2 main issues: whether the court can assume jurisdiction, and if so, whether the court should decline to exercise its jurisdiction. Ultimately, the court must engage in a contextual analysis that is specific to each case.

The paper also reviews the 3-part test for determining the jurisdiction of custody disputes between provinces within Canada, and case law that has applied that test. The test asks:

1. What is the habitual residence of the child?
2. Where is the child physically present?
3. Is there a risk of serious harm to a child if he or she is returned?

The test is also a contextual one that will be decided based on the facts of the case.

After discussing the tests for determining jurisdiction within Canada, the paper considers the ramifications of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction [Hague Convention]. This is a multilateral treaty which serves to ensure that custody litigation occurs in the jurisdiction that the child habitually resides in. When determining the child’s habitual residence, one must consider “settled intention” (i.e. the intent to stay in one place for a certain period of time). A “settled intention” can be approached in 2 different ways, either from the parents’ perspectives or from the child’s perspective. The paper discusses the scope of the Hague Convention and “settled intention” within the context of applicable case law.

While matters of jurisdiction in custody disputes are difficult to navigate due to complexities arising from where the relocation occurs and differing legal tests depending on the jurisdiction, this paper navigates the labyrinth created by inter-jurisdictional custody disputes by reviewing national and international legislation in conjunction with case law.

Want to learn more? Click here to view some sample pages of this paper.


LESA Library

Interested in purchasing this paper? Or, are you looking to find out what other materials are available from the 50th Annual Refresher (2016/2017)?

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.