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October Upcoming Legal Events

October upcoming Legal Events

Check out this month’s list of upcoming legal events.


Effective Legal Support: Family Law | Effective legal support is critical in resolving family law matters. Explore strategies to increase legal support efficiency and effectiveness for family law files. Register today to reserve your spot in this program October 3, (Calgary) and October 12(Edmonton).

Family Law During Recessionary TimesLawyers are often called on to help clients resolve a multitude of issues—especially in a strained economy. Investigate practical, proactive solutions in family law matters. Reserve your spot in this program October 4 (Calgary) and October 11 (Edmonton).

Bankruptcy and Insolvency FundamentalsReview substantive and procedural issues involved in bankruptcy and insolvency matters. Explore enforcement and protection mechanisms in both a business and personal context. Register today to reserve your spot in this program October 17 (Calgary) and October 24 (Edmonton).

The Business of Running a Law PracticePracticing law is different from the business of law. Explore how to run a law practice from business and management perspectives. Register today to reserve your spot in this program October 18 (Calgary) and October 25 (Edmonton).

7th Annual Law & Practice UpdateGeneral practitioners and those practicing in smaller firms face unique challenges. This 2-day conference provides updates on a full spectrum of substantive law and practice management topics. Register today to reserve your spot in this program October 20–21 (Edmonton).

Canada 150 – Constitutional Law SymposiumReview and analyze the effects of recent Supreme Court of Canada constitutional decisions and other developments. This program is offered in collaboration with the Centre for Constitutional Studies. Register today to reserve your spot in this program October 27 (Edmonton).

Family Farm IssuesFamily farms have unique legal issues. Explore matrimonial property, estate planning, corporate structuring, tax, and other matters related to family farms. Register today to reserve your spot in this program October 27 (Red Deer) and November 3 (Lethbridge).


The face-to-face session Negotiations & Practice Fundamentals is in Edmonton (October 30–November 2) and Calgary (November 6–9). View the calendar or visit our website for more details.

Legal Community

Nominations are now open for the Distinguished Service Awards. Jointly presented by the Canadian Bar Association Alberta Branch and the Law Society of Alberta, these prestigious awards shine a light on the outstanding contribution Alberta lawyers make to the community, the legal profession, pro bono service, and to legal scholarship.

The closing date is October 31. 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

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Paper Summary: Five Fundamental Principles of Pleadings

Five Fundamental Principles of Pleadings: Lessons & Reminders from Recent Case Law 

Prof. Barbara Billingsley

Family Law Trial Fundamentals (2016/2017)

Learn a bit more about Prof. Barbara Billingsley’s paper, Five Fundamental Principles of Pleadings: Lessons & Reminders from Recent Case Law, in today’s blog.

In the context of civil procedure, drafting and filing pleadings may be considered merely a formal step that must be fulfilled to trigger more functional components of litigation. In reality, pleadings do more than just serve as a gateway to the litigation process. A court may rely heavily on the pleadings, both for what they do not say as well as for what they do say. As such, counsel must pay serious attention to the content of pleadings when drafting.

Within this context, Billingsley considers 5 fundamental, interrelated principles of pleadings. She uses select court decisions from Canada, and, more specifically, Alberta, to supplement analysis of these principles and shed light on how they are applied.

The paper begins by examining the general principle that the content of a pleading has a significant impact on both the process and the outcome of a lawsuit. Next, the impact of pleadings and their inherent ability to define the parameters of litigation is analyzed. Furthermore, the requirement that pleadings must include sufficient content to support a cause of action or defence, or risk being struck out by the court, is discussed and the fundamental principle that judicial determinations must be limited to issues raised by the pleadings is set out. Finally, the principle of amendment of pleadings before the conclusion of a trial, when they are allowed, and their impact defining the parameters of litigation are examined.

The paper also offers a brief comment on how judicial expectations regarding pleadings have been or might yet be affected by the Supreme Court of Canada’s recent call for a “culture shift” in litigation. It is more important now than ever for counsel to ensure that pleadings are carefully drafted and in accordance with the aforementioned 5 fundamental principles.

Click here to read sample pages from this paper.

LESA Library

Interested in purchasing this paper? Or, are you looking to find out what other materials are available from the Family Law Trial Fundamentals program?

With an annual subscription to the LESA Library, you can not only access this paper but also hundreds of program materials from our past programs anytime—anywhere. This cost-effective resource even gives you the ability to set customizable notifications to ensure that you are always 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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Program Feature: Bankruptcy and Insolvency Fundamentals

Bankruptcy and Insolvency Fundamentals

A solid foundation in insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings is key to running a successful practice. Join us for Bankruptcy and Insolvency Fundamentals Calgary (October 17) or in Edmonton (October 24). Review substantive and procedural issues involved in bankruptcy and insolvency matters, and develop your knowledge of this practice area.



  • John Frame | Witten LLP | Edmonton | John Frame completed a BA at the University of Alberta in 1990, an LLB at the University of Windsor in 1991, and was admitted to the Alberta bar in 1992. His practice currently focuses on condominium management law, providing guidance and assistance to condominium corporations, directors, property managers, and owners. John also practices in the areas of creditors’ rights, bankruptcy and insolvency, and commercial disputes.


  • Thomas Gusa | Miller Thomson LLP | Edmonton | Thomas Gusa is a financial services and insolvency lawyer whose practice consists of personal and corporate insolvency, secured and unsecured debt collection, and foreclosures. He advises on all matters relating to corporate debt restructuring, receiverships, CCAA proceedings, and security enforcement. Thomas also assists corporate and commercial clients with a variety of banking issues and business disputes.
  • Walker Macleod | McCarthy Tetrault LLP | Calgary | Walker MacLeod is a partner in our Bankruptcy & Restructuring Group in Calgary. He acts for senior and junior creditors, debtors, receivers, monitors and trustees in a wide range of corporate insolvency, restructuring, and workout related matters. Walker has acted in numerous large and complex restructuring and insolvency cases, including multiple transactional reorganizations with a cross-border or international component. Read more.
  • Alexander Mosaico | Mosaico Law | Edmonton | Alexander Mosaico has represented companies and individuals in complex litigation matters, prosecuted and defended claims involving contract disputes, and handled contentious matrimonial matters. Alexander has worked on the bankruptcy and insolvency team of a national law firm, assisting both creditors and debtors with cases where fraud or misappropriation was alleged. Alexander started his firm in 2014 and continues to work in this area of law. Read more.
  • Barry Nykyforuk | BNA Solutions | Calgary | Barry Nykyforuk is the President and Owner of BNA Solutions. Helping clients find their debt solution since 1997, he is a licensed Trustee in Insolvency and Restructuring. Barry is a trusted expert, highly recommended by former clients and business associates.
  • Glenn Steiner | BNA Solutions | Edmonton | Glenn Steiner is a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT) and a member of the Canadian Association of Insolvency Professionals. He has worked with various Federal Government departments, including with the Office of the Superintendent of Bankruptcy (OSB) within Industry Canada. Read more.
  • Brian Summers | Dentons Canada Services LLP | Edmonton | Brian practices in a wide variety of commercial litigation with special emphasis on restructuring, insolvency, bankruptcy, trust and estate litigation, as well as partnership and close corporation disputes. Brian’s expertise is built on over 30 years of dealing with myriad commercial litigation issues ranging from the most basic to the most complex. Read more.
  • Stephanie Wanke | DLA Piper (Canada) LLP | Edmonton | Stephanie Wanke is an experienced insolvency lawyer and commercial litigator, acting for bankruptcy trustees, proposal trustees, receivers, secured creditors, and debtors in a wide variety of insolvency matters. Stephanie assists clients with receiverships, bankruptcies, proposals, matters under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act and commercial foreclosures. Stephanie also assists trustees, creditors, and debtors in complex or high-value consumer bankruptcy matters. Read more.


Discuss insolvency from a creditor’s perspective. Learn what advice lawyers can give to insolvency clients on protecting assets and income from creditors, how insolvency law intersects with family law, and more. Get answers to questions such as:

  • What is the definition of a Licensed Insolvency Trustee (LIT)
  • What do we consider when a debtor shows up at our door?
  • What can a debtor keep in a bankruptcy?
  • Why do some debtors file bankruptcy and some file proposals?
  • What is surplus income and what happens if a bankrupt does not pay?

Review fundamental principles, explore enforcement and protection mechanisms in both a business and personal context, and discuss foundational principles and legislation including the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act and the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act.


Register to attend Bankruptcy and Insolvency Fundamentals in Calgary (October 17) or in Edmonton (October 24).

For more information, read the program brochure.

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Program Feature: 7th Annual Law & Practice Update

7th Annual Law & Practice Update

We’re looking forward to our 7th Annual Law & Practice Update in Edmonton this October 20–21. 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. Discuss multiple areas of law, including wills and estates, family law, tax law, real estate, bankruptcy, and more.

Meet the Faculty

Chair: Lori-Ann Cohoe | Cohoe Law Office | Vegreville


  • Hon. Justice A.W. Germain | Court of Queen’s Bench | Edmonton
  • Malkit Atwal | Field LLP | Edmonton
  • Philip Carr | Alberta Lawyers Insurance Association (ALIA) | Calgary
  • Rhonda Fox Miles | Fox Miles and Associates | Edmonton
  • Pierre Lamoureux | Lamoureux Culham LLP | St. Paul
  • Niel Mather | Mather Tax Law & Tax Dispute Resolution | Edmonton
  • Jason S. McCulloch | Witten LLP | Edmonton
  • Simone Mulkay | Cohoe Law Office | Vegreville
  • Todd Munday | Grey Munday Wowk LLP | Cold Lake & Bonnyville
  • Scott Polischuk | Politeski Strilchuk & Milen | Lloydminster
  • Christina Tchir | Morrow Tchir LLP | St. Paul
  • Richard Verhaeghe | Verhaeghe Law Office | Athabasca
  • Tim Verhaeghe | Verhaeghe Law Office | Athabasca

About the Program

We recently spoke with Lori-Ann Cohoe to learn a bit more about the program. Here’s what she had to say.

Q: What makes this program unique?

This program is somewhat unique in that the majority of the presenters are from rural areas. I believe this will assist smaller firms and sole practitioners who have to rely on themselves for all resources.”

Q: Can you tell me a bit about the topics and takeaways?

We are covering management issues and requirements for being a principal in addition to substantive areas of law (wills and estates, real estate, child welfare, child support, elder law, corporate director liability, personal bankruptcy). We will also get a visit from Justice Germain, which will be wonderful. Most papers will have checklists or precedents, and there will be PowerPoint presentations, which are always helpful for busy lawyers.

Review various topics, including how to manage both basic and complex Wills, Enduring Power of Attorneys, and Personal Directives;  when to put your client in touch with a Trustee during a bankruptcy claim;  how to successfully manage a legal practice while keeping in mind retirement and succession planning, work-in-progress, recruitment and training of new lawyers, compensation arrangements, and exit strategies; and much more.

Register Online

Register online to attend the 7th Annual Law & Practice Update in Edmonton (October 20–21). Read the brochure for more information.

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LESA Employment Opportunity: Director of Integration

Alberta's Top 70 Employers 2017The Legal Education Society of Alberta (LESA) was founded in 1975 to serve the Alberta legal community. As the primary provider of continuing legal education in the province, we serve the spectrum of educational and professional development needs by delivering high-quality educational programs and resources. We strive to lead the way in corporate culture by valuing our greatest asset—our employees. Combining in-depth knowledge with cutting-edge technology, we aim to provide engaging experiences that meet the diverse needs of legal professionals throughout Alberta. We continue to offer high-quality programs and resources by building and sustaining forward thinking staff and will continue to set standards of excellence as one of Alberta’s Top 70 Employers (2017 & 2016).

We are seeking to fill the role of Director of Integration, based in Edmonton. This position reports to the Executive Director and forms part of the Leadership Team, which includes the Executive Director, Counsel, and the Director of Education. The position works closely and collaboratively with the Director of Education and Counsel.


The Director of Integration is responsible for the efficient and effective management of (a) human, financial, physical, technological, and knowledge-based resources (including governance and administration support); and (b) social capital through branding, communications, and community engagement initiatives (including customer/student service).

Click here to read the full job description and to find out how to apply.

CLOSING DATE: This posting closes at 11:59 PM on October 15, 2017, or until a successful candidate has been hired.

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Family Law During Recessionary Times – Presentation Sneak Preview

Family Law During Recessionary TimesIn strained economic climates, lawyers must often help their clients face many issues. In 2016, for example, there were approximately 70,000 divorces in Canada, ranging in cost from $5,000 to $100,000+. Individuals involved in family law matters can feel extremely overwhelmed, not only due to financial aspects but also due to the emotional stresses involved.

In times of need, there are various support systems available for individuals who are party to a family action. Counselling, financial aid, and other types of support are readily available and can provide people with the tools they need to cope. However, this trend is not commonly provided by law firms managing family law matters.

Though uncommon, law firms that provide client support coordination are not unheard of. Amy Struyk, Client Support Coordinator, Community Outreach and Marketing Assistant Resolve Legal Group provides relief to clients managing family law issues.

In a recent interview, we spoke with Cyndy Morin, chair of our upcoming program Family Law During Recessionary Times to learn more about the firm’s Client Support Coordination Program and about Amy’s presentation, Partnering with Community Agencies to Provide Better Support for BetterLegal Outcomes. Here’s what she had to say.

When I first opened my practice, I had people presenting issues like, “Oh gosh, I have to get a new car now; should I buy a new one or just lease?” or, “I need a place to stay; what should I do?”. However, as a lawyer, there is no legal answer I could provide to those kinds of questions. What these clients were really looking for was friendly advice. I remember saying to a client once, “Well, I have my own opinion of what you should do, but you should really reach out to a car dealer and ask them”. But, they were not able to focus on their legal issues because they were so stressed out about practical issues. I couldn’t bill them for my advice, but that’s what they really needed before they could deal with the legal aspects. Amy’s role, in part, is to do outreach to find out what programs that are available in the community, so when clients come in with a specific need, she can help them find the answers they need from a non-legal perspective.”

When clients are provided with support by law firms, it helps them reduce anxiety and manage these practical issues so that they can stay focused on their families and not the legal issues at hand.

As noted by Cyndy, the other part of Amy’s role is to ensure that lawyers are adhering to the firm’s internal service standards. For example, if a lawyer in the firm is not returning phone calls (maybe due to their involvement in various litigation matters or to the client’s satisfaction), clients can contact Amy and anonymously provide their feedback. Then as a firm, we can discuss various methods for providing that lawyer with the assistance they need to resolve the issue. This reduces our risk of being reported to the Law Society of Alberta, it helps us coach junior lawyers, and at the same time, clients feel they have someone there to support them in every way, including non-legal. They have a support system of people when they’re going through family law matters.

Register Online

Register online to attend Family Law During Recessionary Times in Calgary (October 4) or in Edmonton (October 11), and discover how to manage family files effectively.

Delve into additional topics, including:

  • Practical Approaches for Sustainable Family Law Solutions | Cyndy Morin (Edmonton), Amy Struyk (Calgary)
  • Foreclosure Processes & Considerations | Grant W.D. Cameron
  • Educate Professionals About Options | Donna Carson
  • How to Decipher Taxes | Jonathan Garbutt
  • Tax Return Tips for Separating Couples: Putting More Money in Their Pockets | Sharon Numerow
  • Providing More Affordable Family Law Services | John-Paul E. Boyd
  • Client Coordination to Services and Programs | Bailey Rivard

View the program brochure to learn more.

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Sneak Program Preview—Family Farm Issues

Did you know that there are currently more than 70,000 farmers in Alberta?

Our province is one of the world’s most productive agricultural economies and Canada’s second largest agricultural producer. We have over three million head of cattle, lead the provinces in spring wheat production, and provide over 15,000 jobs in the forestry industry—contributing billions of dollars annually.

With our agricultural roots firmly planted, it should come as no surprise that family farm owners face a plethora of legal issues. Join program chair Colin Simmons (Counsel West Law) and a distinguished faculty to explore some of the common issues and challenges faced by those with family farms.

About the Faculty

Colin Simmons, practices primarily in the area of agricultural law and matters involving land, livestock, farm corporations, farm estate planning, taxation and matrimonial law. Colin attended Princeton University where he received a BA in Economics (1976) before articling with MacKimmie Matthews law firm in Calgary. He was called to the Alberta Bar in 1981, is a co-author of Alberta Agriculture’s Home Study Course on Farm Estate Planning, and currently co-owns a farm near Rosemary, Alberta.

Learn about the rest of the panel.

About the Program

Delve into matrimonial property, estate planning, corporate structuring, tax, and other family farm related matters. Topics will include,

  • best practices in agricultural real estate
  • water rights and related issues
  • matrimonial property considerations
  • wind and solar farms

And more!

Discover how to effectively and competently advise clients involved in farming. Learn strategies, tips, and traps from seasoned lawyers who understand the complexities and nuances of working with farm-based clients.


Join us for Family Farm Issues. Register online to attend in

Register by September 26, 2017, to take advantage of our early bird pricing.

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September Upcoming Legal Events

September Upcoming Legal Events

Check out this month’s list of upcoming legal events.


Effective Legal Support: Civil Litigation
Explore strategies for increasing legal support efficiency and effectiveness in civil litigation matters. Register today to reserve your spot in this program.

September 12, 2017 (Calgary)

• September 19, 2017 (Edmonton)


Understanding the Brain – What Lawyers Need to Know
The effects of conflict, addiction, and mental illness affect the way people think. Investigate brain science to better understand and serve clients and others. Register today to reserve your spot.

Edmonton (September 13, 2017)



Negotiations Fundamentals
Participate in this hands-on workshop and explore negotiation theory and develop communication and negotiation skills. Reserve your spot in this program

September 14, 2017 (Edmonton)

September 21, 2017 (Calgary)


Effective Legal Writing
Improve your writing through hands-on practice and individual feedback. Registrants are required to view resource materials and complete pre-course work in the LESA Classroom. Register today.

September 15, 2017 (Edmonton)

September 22, 2017 (Calgary)


Basic Collaborative Law
Discover the dynamics of interpersonal conflict, negotiation theory, and how to create safe, respectful, and proactive processes for resolving disputes.

Register online



The face-to-face session Interviewing & Advising will be held in Calgary (September 25–27, 2017) and in Edmonton (September 27–29). View the calendar or visit our website for more details.

Legal Community Events

Advance Care Planning Collaborative Research & Innovative Opportunities (ACP CRIO)

The ACP CRIO program is hosting 2 free events at the Banff Centre on Friday, September 8, 2017. Click here to learn more.

Edmonton Legal Build  

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

For more information, click here.


This September, the Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (Assist) is holding its Annual Walk for Wellness events in Fort McMurray, Lethbridge, Calgary, Red Deer, and Edmonton. Click here to learn more.

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

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Program Feature: The Business of Running a Law Practice

Are you a lawyer with your own small, medium, or large-sized firm?  

Are you currently involved in aspects of firm management, or would you like to be involved in firm management?

Practicing law is different from the business of law. Gain practical strategies and information to help you become successful in managing the business side of your legal practice. Learn more about our upcoming program The Business of Running a Law Practice in (Calgary, October 18) and (Edmonton, October 25).

About the Program

Review the fundamentals of running a prosperous, thriving law practice, and discuss specific strategies to assist you with office management, client development, and human resources management.

Review an array of topics crucial to running a law practice, including day-to-day business operations, alternative fee structures, marketing, technology solutions, human resources issues, and much more.

We recently spoke with David Tupper, program chair, who shared why he is looking forward to this program.

I’m expecting to learn as much as anybody else in the room and that’s exciting to me. I think that the great virtue of this kind of program is drawing together, in a relatively uncommon way, lawyers from across the spectrum to share ideas. We’ve got a tremendous bar and we learn best from each other.”

David’s litigation practice involves all aspects of corporate/commercial litigation with an emphasis on construction law, securities law, insurance law, environmental law, and oil and gas law. He regularly appears before all levels of courts in Alberta as well as in the Federal Court and the Federal Court of Appeal. In securities matters, he frequently appears before the Alberta Securities Commission. David also maintains a considerable advisory practice in connection with environmental issues, property and liability policies, and reinsurance losses.

David highlighted what attendees will gain from the program:

I think the best thing about this program, which frankly is common to a lot of the LESA programs, is that attendees will get on-the-ground advice from people who are dealing with these issues and have dealt with them for a number of years. You can read all you want in the legal press about these topics, but the real light bulbs turn on when you listen to others who have been there and are there right now.”

He also spoke about the diversity of the panel.

There will be lawyers from both Edmonton and Calgary present. We’re going to have someone from the executive committee of a large law firm involved, and we’re going to have someone from a small rural firm involved. We’ll also cover family, criminal, and corporate law.”


Network with experienced practitioners from various practice areas, and gain valuable insight from colleagues succeeding in practice management. Reserve your spot in The Business of Running a Law Practice.

Register online to attend in:

View the program brochure for more details.

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Program Feature—Negotiations Fundamentals

As a lawyer, you negotiate on a daily basis, whether with colleagues, clients, or opposing counsel. Often, unforeseen tensions arise that can steer negotiations in an undesirable direction. Explore negotiation theory and develop your communication and negotiation skills in our upcoming program, Negotiations Fundamentals.

There are many circumstances that can affect the outcome of negotiations, including personality conflicts, communication styles, and more. However, there are key concepts designed to assist you in avoiding costly errors and questionable tactics. Learn to recognize some of the fundamental tensions that arise in negotiations, and gain knowledge to increase your efficiency and effectiveness in the process.

Michelle Christopher QC, program chair, has completed certificate programs in mediation, negotiation, and dispute resolution pedagogy from Harvard. Michelle is a member of the Law Society of Alberta and was appointed Queen’s Counsel on January 28, 2016. She is an Associate Professor at U of C and has taught negotiation, mediation, and dispute resolution clinical courses, amongst others, for many years as well as sitting as a Dispute Resolution Officer and Mediator in QB and Provincial Court.

I’m excited by the opportunity to share my extensive training and expertise in negotiation theory and practice to help lawyers at any level become better negotiators by providing better client service and achieving results.”

According to Michelle, Negotiations Fundamentals is unique in that it will enable participants to prepare for success in negotiations.

Regardless of level of skill, participants will come away from the course with a solid understanding of how to achieve good results for clients when negotiating. Participants will benefit from the interactive nature of this course, exploring and discussing theoretical perspectives in combination with in-class negotiation exercises and simulations while receiving immediate feedback from noted experts and seasoned practitioners.”

Topics and Takeaways

Explore the differences between interest-based negotiation and bargaining for competitive gain and discuss the impact of personality and communication style on negotiation. Participate in a series of short, interactive exercises and negotiation simulations designed to enhance your understanding of basic concepts, including value claiming, value creation, Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA), Worst Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (WATNA), Zone of Possible Agreement (ZOPA), target and reservation points, and more. Discuss more advanced topics including barriers to success, emotions in negotiation, tactics and strategies, and more.

Key takeaways include:

• Understanding basic negotiation theory, including dilemmas posed by the value-claiming vs. value-creating paradigm

• Recognizing the impact of personality and communication style on negotiation

• Learning how to effectively prepare for negotiation

• Anticipating barriers to success

• Developing strategies for responding to tactics which can derail negotiations


Register online to attend Negotiations Fundamentals in Edmonton (September 14) or in Calgary (September 21). For more information, view the program brochure.