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New Paper for Download: “Overview of the Builders’ Lien Act and Related Legislation”

If you are a practitioner working in the area of real estate, the paper entitled “Overview of the Builders’ Lien Act and Related Legislation” by W. Donald Goodfellow Q.C. is a must-read. The author provides a comprehensive and in-depth review of the use of builders’ liens in Alberta, including applicable legislation such as the Builders’ Liens Act and the Public Works Act. This paper discusses the filing of liens, how the lien fund operates, lien priorities and the process for removing a lien from a Certificate of Title.

Price: $65

Click here to download!

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Feature Volunteer: Rob Harvie

Rob Harvie, of Huckvale Wilde Harvie MacLennan, has been practicing in the area of Family and Divorce Law since 1986. A LESA volunteer, Rob is one of five committee members working on our Alberta Family Law Practice Manual.

Born and raised in Lethbridge, Rob attended law school at the University of British Columbia and graduated in 1985. He is married with two children, one attending University of Alberta and the other attending Lethbridge College. After having articled with Paterson North in Lethbridge, Rob opened his own office with Parry McDonald back in 1993, which expanded, and eventually merged with the long-standing Huckvale office in 2002 – his office and its predecessor having now served Lethbridge since 1906.  Rob practices solely in the field of Family and Divorce law, and has been very involved in helping to promote the practice of Collaborative Law or Collaborative Practice – helping people resolve family issues through interest-based solutions as opposed to litigation (though continuing to engage in litigation where necessary).

Read on to to learn more about Rob and how the new Alberta Rules of Court have impacted his practice.

You have been a loyal supporter of LESA. What makes you want to volunteer?

I suppose it’s a mix of wanting to help improve the practice of law generally, wanting to expand my life experience beyond the typical day to day experience of the practice of law, and also enjoying the opportunity to meet and get to know people from beyond my typical professional and social circles.

How are you using technology to provide better client service?

To some extent – email is a big part of my client contact, and I have now began to move my practice to a ‘digital only’ practice – very thin files now, much less desk clutter.  This also makes for an easier transition of documents to clients and other counsel – though it is not without its own frustrations as we evolve the process.

How have the new Alberta Rules of Court affected your practice?

They have, it would appear, created a stress for the courthouse staff as they adapt to new procedures, and, particularly in family law, I have encountered a few examples where the rules have seemed to, oddly enough, made it more difficult for litigation to progress in a timely fashion.  Personally, I think that while the organization of the rules is a good idea – to make it more consistent with the progress of a litigation file, many of the changes were, perhaps, not as well thought-out or as helpful as they were intended.  But such is the practice of law – not everything that comes to us from the legislature makes sense and we just adapt to those changes as they arise.

What advice would you pass on to a newly called lawyer?

Take advantage of mentoring opportunities if at all possible.  The practice is more than what you learn in law school and in your bar course.  Work hard – to become good at what you do doesn’t come without sacrifice – that hard work will pay off in your future practice.  I have seen, particularly in the last decade or so, a desire to establish greater balance between the office and a home life – which is laudable – but if a new lawyer uses that as a pretext not to fully develop their skills and to be fully and properly prepared – it will show soon enough in their practice, with a resulting loss of respect from your clients and your fellow counsel.

Do you have an experience while volunteering for LESA that is particularly memorable for you?

Probably, I would have to say, the most memorable and enjoyable aspect of my volunteer work has just been the many colleagues that I’ve got to know outside of my local area.


Thanks again to Rob Harvie for taking the time to share a bit of himself with us. His contributions to our Alberta Family Law Practice Manual are invaluable.

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Canada Post Strike–End in Sight!

Announced this morning, back-to-work legislation was passed on Sunday forcing postal workers back to work by the end of the day today!  With promises for an efficient distribution of mail across the country, it is possible we will be seeing mail in our boxes by Tuesday.

Watch your desks in the coming weeks for your very own copy of our 2011-2012 Educational Calendar. Want a sneak peek? Click here to download an electronic PDF version. Plan now for the upcoming 2011-2012 year!

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New 2011-2012 Educational Calendar Now Available for Download



The Legal Education Society of Alberta’s 2011/2012 Educational Calendar contains fresh and exciting program opportunities across a broad spectrum of practice and skill areas. Use it to plan your continuing professional development opportunities for the upcoming year.

Highlights of this year will include our Basic Collaborative Law program in Red Deer, as well as our two-day Law and Practice Update conference in Edmonton. Whether you are interested in issues involved in the purchase or sale of a business, the latest criminal law topics, common chambers’ applications, or advising charities, LESA has programming to fit your needs.

Gather this spring in Lake Louise for the 45th Annual Refresher Course–Real Estate. The focus this year will be the ever-challenging area of real estate. Let this year’s Refresher be your key to a successful real estate practice.

Follow us on Facebook and Twitter to stay on top of the latest developments at LESA. Subscribe to our email updates to be aware of additional programs and special offers in your practice areas.

Registration has never been easier with the launch of LESA’s new website earlier this year. With improved navigation and enhanced search capabilities, you are only a few clicks away from finding the live event or resource that you need. Be sure to register early to take advantage of our early bird discounts and to reserve your place in our sell-out programs.

As your lifelong partner in continuing legal excellence, we look forward to working with you in the upcoming educational year!


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Feature Volunteer: Hilary Tanasichuk

Hilary Tanasichuk, co-founder and owner of The Law House in Sherwood Park operates a general solicitor’s practice with emphasis on Wills & Estates, Small Business Law, and Real Estate Transactions.  Hilary started her career as a registered nurse, caring for cancer patients for almost 10 years before obtaining her LL.B. from the University of Alberta in 1989.  Additionally, she has taken the Certificate Program in Conflict Management and is a mediator for estate disputes.

Hilary has been a loyal LESA volunteer instructor since 1993 and has taught the Bar Admission Course and CPLED in a variety of course areas including real estate transactions, trust accounting, wills, and interviewing and client counseling.  Never one to shy away from different practice opportunities, in the past she has acted  as a prosecutor for other self-governing professions in professional conduct & discipline hearings, served as a sessional lecturer at the University of Alberta, conducted investigations under the Protection for Persons in Care Act; all while maintaining a busy solicitors practice. She is a member of the Canadian Bar Association and the Alberta Branch subsections.  She believes lawyers are uniquely qualified to give back to the community in a variety of ways and freely gives back to LESA.  “The students always invigorate me and keep me on my toes”, she says “I love it when I witness a student grasping a new or difficult concept for the first time.”

Her advice to newly called lawyers is to gain experience in as many practice areas as possible in the first few years of practice.  She encourages young lawyers to consider practice in a smaller center too – the files are interesting, the work is challenging and the lifestyle rewarding.

For all that you do for the legal profession, we thank you Hilary!


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Alberta Law Reform Institute Launches New Website

The Alberta Law Reform Institute invites you to try out (and bookmark) their new website.  It has a new look, new address and best of all new features.

〉 Enhanced search capabilities
〉 Briefs on all projects and publications
〉 Mailing list and an RSS feed
〉 Legislation based on ALRI reports

The new website also offers three easy methods of communication:

Our Mailing List
Receive notices of their new publications or any other significant activities. Be assured that this will not create a flood of messages in your inbox, but simply an occasional update from ALRI. To join, simply click on the mail list link near the top of our new website home page or contact us at

The Feedback Form
A quick method to comment on their work or provide your suggestions.  You can find this option under the Your Views tab on the new website.

An RSS Feed
A new method to receive notices of any updates made to our website, sent to your preferred RSS feed.

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LESA Awarded the “ACLEA’s Best” Award of Professional Excellence

The Legal Education Society of Alberta is excited to announce that we will be presented with the “ACLEA’s Best” Award for Professional Excellence for our Rules of Court programming. The award will be presented at the Annual Meeting in Boston this summer.

This award is of the highest honour, and we are proud to note that this is not only our 6th ACLEA award, but that we have now won an “ACLEA’s Best” award two years in a row.

We provide continuing legal excellence to our partners in the legal community, and recognition such as this reaffirms the work that we do. For more information on our organization, please check out our website.

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Order of Canada Inductees Today

Congratulations to the Honourable A. Anne McLellan, P.C., O.C. of Edmonton, Alberta who is now an Officer of the Order of Canada.

Anne McLellan is a respected scholar and policy maker. She has held senior federal cabinet positions in the areas of justice, natural resources, health and public safety. She served as the first federal minister of Canada Public Safety, Security and Emergency Preparedness. As minister of health, she oversaw the creation of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Health Council of Canada. She is currently the distinguished scholar-in-residence at the Institute for United States Policy Studies at the University of Alberta. She also volunteers with and serves on the boards of numerous organizations such as the Royal Alexander Hospital Foundation and the Friends of the Legal Resource Centre of Alberta.