Jan 232015
 

Ashley Headshot 2If you’ve been involved with CPLED, particularly as a student, you’ve likely met Ashley Iachetta—our Student Coordinator. At very least, you’ve received her informative emails or heard her friendly voice when you’ve called to ask a question about the CPLED program.

Ashley’s willingness to go the extra mile, her bright smile, and her easy laugh are loved around the office, and we’re betting that you appreciate them too.

For those of you who don’t know Ashley—or for those who know her only by her email signature—we thought you might like to get a bit better acquainted.


Tell us about your role at LESA.

I’m the Student Coordinator, so I take in any information related to CPLED students: all of the questions, concerns, requests, accommodations, deferrals, excused absences, and any feedback in relation to the online and face-to-face modules. I’m the go-to person for student inquiries.

I’m also the LESA staff member who students contact to register. When the new 2015-2016 year begins, I’ll be the main contact for new students.

What does a typical day look like for you?

My typical day would start off by checking my email. I usually get quite a high volume of emails coming in from students asking questions. Then I would check voice mail as well. I also go through any paperwork that has come in, such as requests or deferrals.

How many students do you talk to on an average day?

It really depends on the time of the year and the time of the month. If a CE (competency evaluation) is due within the week or due that day, the number of conversations I have with students increases quite substantially. It could be up to 30-some conversations in a day.

Why do you like working at LESA?

I think LESA offers a great working environment. I feel like they care—not only about serving the legal community but also about their staff. They’re very engaged, they’re committed, and they’re all about fit and comfort. They want people to be happy, so they do what they can to make that happen.

I also feel like the people who work at LESA actually enjoy what they’re doing, and it’s not just because they enjoy sitting at their desk and doing that work. They also enjoy the people they work with. Relationships are built, people actually care, and we all have the same goal of providing incredible service to the legal community.

What do you like most about your job?

I’m very much a people person, so I really enjoy talking to students all day. That’s much better than just sitting behind a desk not really getting to see how people are doing. I enjoy getting to know the students that come in and go out of the CPLED program. I really love working with people, and I’m very hands-on, so it’s nice to interact with students.

One thing that I really enjoy about this job is when you are doing what you can to help students in any way possible and your hard work is recognized and appreciated. Just having that little “Thank you” or “I appreciate it” or “You’ve been a great help” goes a long way. That’s something I look forward to, and when it happens I love it. That’s one thing I love about my position: when I can help somebody or make them feel good or just do what we can to try to accommodate and make things a little bit easier, because articling can be tough at times, and so can CPLED. When you’re doing what you can, it’s nice to know that it’s appreciated. It makes me feel good.

I’ve been with LESA for just over five years, and it’s because I love it here. I think it’s a great work environment, and I’m happy to be here.

What do you like to do with your free time when you’re not in the office?

I have a lovely, handsome dog, named Rocky—he’s a labradoodle. I love him. He’s 7 years old, and my soon-to-be husband and I spend a lot of time with him. We love going for walks, runs, and taking him to the dog park. I’m very family orientated, so I also love spending time with my sisters.

What are you most looking forward to in 2015?

I am looking forward to my wedding in Mexico! I’m very excited!


We’re excited for Ashley too! And don’t worry, while she’s off enjoying her big day in the sun, Craig Edhart will be providing CPLED students with all the friendly and informative assistance they’ve come to expect from Ashley.

We’re also excited to start registrations for the new CPLED year (2015-2016) once Ashely returns. We anticipate that registration will open at the end of February, so current 3rd year law students should watch for the CPLED info sessions that will be coming to the U of A and the U of C.

Jan 212015
 

Collaborative Law Programs Image

Have you considered becoming a registered collaborative professional? Do you want to know more about the collaborative process?

Today’s blog shares the inside scoop on collaborative law programs that we received from
Susan L. Zwaenepoel, Registrar of the collaborative association for the Edmonton – Grande Prairie area and an instructor for LESA’s upcoming Basic Collaborative Law program in Calgary on March 13-14.


Can you give me an overview about the collaborative law programs? What courses do practitioners have to take and why are they valuable?

There is some variation in different parts of the province, because the collaborative process is governed by local groups that set up their own particular structure.

But generally speaking there are three components to the training. The first component is a 2-day introductory course on the collaborative process. That course covers the basics of understanding the participation agreements, how the process works, the basis on which agreements are reached, understanding how it differs from other processes, and that sort of thing. The other two components include a 5-day family mediation course (where you learn a lot about interest based negotiation, other forms of negotiation, and dealing with the parties very directly at the table) and a 4-day interest based negotiation course, which is specifically focused on interest based negotiations. The [interest based negotiations] seminar offered through LESA is focused on interest based negotiations through a collaborative file and how you would use those tools in a collaborative situation.


Is collaborative law just for family law lawyers?

It doesn’t have to be. Internationally there are places where they do collaborative law in the civil movement. Here in Alberta there’s been some exploration of that, but formally it is not a process that is being used. They certainly looked at it in the wills and estates area, and there may have been some exploration in the civil area, but I’m not aware of any other place where it is being used right now.


What are the top 3 things you think people should know about collaborative law?

Collaborative law is the process by which people can resolve their family law issues, where (1) they are consciously deciding that they will not do that in court, where (2) they will use a structured process that relies on interest based negotiations to reach that agreement, and where (3) if other professionals are needed to assist them in reaching that resolution they will be added to the process.

Those professionals will also have training in the collaborative process, so, for example, we can add a neutral child specialist to the process, where they have parenting issues and concerns or need some general information and advice. We can add a neutral financial professional, to give financial assistance where there are specific financial issues that we need to address. We also can involve divorce coaches to assist the parties in managing the emotional component, because divorce can be a very stressful, emotional process for people to go through.

The idea is to reach an agreement that will work for both people: rather than a win-lose kind of situation, trying to create a win-win outcome for the parties. I think one of the best things about working in collaborative law is that, when you’ve had a successful collaborative file, the parties have a good foundation for being able to continue to work together in the future, especially when they have reasons why they need to do that.


Tell me more about LESA’s upcoming Basic Collaborative Law seminar. Why will participants benefit from attending? What will be the main takeaways for them?

If you are practicing in the family law area and you want to be able to do a collaborative negotiation, you need to have completed the training and be a registered member of one of the local associations, because in order to do collaborative law you need to have the [relevant] skill set. If you have an interest in doing a form of negotiation that is structured and is outside of the courtroom, then you’ll need to do this training in order to have people who are willing to practice it with you.

It’s a whole new skill set. It’s a whole different way of thinking about how you approach a file, and it’s not something that necessarily comes naturally, especially to lawyers, because we’ve been trained to approach things in quite a different way. Having the hands-on instruction and the practice that you get within in the different [required collaborative law ] programs really helps you shift towards thinking about the practice of family law in a different way.


If practitioners are interested in joining a local collaborative association, where can they find more information about the process of going about that?

We have a website: www.collaborativepractice.ca. It’s the same website across the province, and it has a lot of basic information. It will also tell you who the Registrar is in your area, and you can contact that Registrar to get further information.

One of the best ways [to learn more about collaborative law] is to take the Basic Collaborative Law course that LESA offers because we cover all of that stuff in the course.

Another reason to take Basic Collaborative Law, even if you don’t actually intend on practicing collaborative law yourself, is simply that collaborative law is one of the options that clients have in terms of choosing how to resolve their issues. Taking the course and understanding how the collaborative process works will allow you to do a better job of explaining options to clients in the first place. I think a lot of practitioners do not really understand how it works, so their clients may not be as fully informed of their options as they might otherwise be.


Did you know that LESA offers collaborative law programs on a regular basis?
Here’s what’s upcoming:

Basic Collaborative Law  •  Calgary  •  March 13-14
Mediation of Family and Divorce Conflict  •  Calgary  •  May 11-15  *SEMINAR FULL. WAITLIST ONLY*
Interest Based Negotiations  •  Edmonton  •  September 24-27

Since these courses fill up quickly, you’ll want to register early to secure your spot.

Jan 192015
 

Construction Law Seminar Image

LESA has a full schedule of exciting and informative seminars lined up for February – including our Construction Law program that runs in Edmonton on February 17 and in Calgary on February 24.

We recently spoke with Construction Law seminar chair Schuyler V. Wensel QC to find out more about what this program has to offer all practitioners, including general practitioners as well as those who practice exclusively in the area of construction law.

In his words, this seminar “will appeal to a broad base of lawyers who have clients who are either specifically involved in construction or clients who might have construction problems from time to time. The goal is to make lawyers more aware of what they should be doing in those unique circumstances. … We want to make sure that those lawyers [who practice almost exclusively in construction law] have excellent information coming out of this seminar, but we’ll also give general practitioners a perspective of how broad and specific construction law can be, so that they can determine whether they can handle things on their own with the right information or whether they should refer their client to a construction law specialist.”

With its experienced 9-person panel, this seminar will address a wide range of construction law topics:

  Construction Insolvency
Douglas S. Nishimura
Catriona Otto

Tendering Law
Todd W. Kathol

Arbitrations and Mediations
Perry R. Mack QC

Consequential Damages
E. Jane Sidnell

CCDC Contracts
Jeremy Taitinger – Edmonton
Sean Ward – Calgary

Specialized Claims
Renn M. Moodley

Large Projects
Lyle Brookes

As Wensel explained, the advantage of hearing from this experienced panel is that “they will be sharing what they’ve learned so that their practice methods can be passed along for others to take advantage of.”

To highlight one example in particular, Wensel discussed the Arbitrations and Mediations session. “One aspect of this seminar will deal with dispute resolution. We have a lawyer (Perry R. Mack QC) who’s very experienced in dealing with construction litigation as well as managing dispute resolution, from the perspective of both the mediator and arbitrator. It will be very valuable for all lawyers to understand how that dispute resolution process works, as it’s generally a process that is faster and more solution oriented than long, long term litigation.”

Now that you’ve heard about some of the benefits of attending this program, why not head to our LESA website and register online? Registration is open for Edmonton and Calgary.

Jan 162015
 

Since the new year is a time for implementing changes, we’ve decided to start offering you blogs written by our LESA Counsel on a regular basis. We hope these blogs will help keep you abreast of changes, updates, information, and news that impact your legal practice.

Here’s the first of such blogs. Happy reading!

There have been some recent changes in the legislative framework relating to intellectual property in Canada, and additional changes are expected to be forthcoming.

The Trade-marks Act has been amended twice recently. First, Bill C-31 allows Canada to accede to three trademark treaties: the Madrid Protocol, the Singapore Treaty, and the Nice Agreement. Once ratified, these treaties will allow Canadian businesses access to a trademark system more aligned with what the Canadian Intellectual Property Office calls “international best practice” in order to reduce costs and facilitate the expansion of Canadian businesses into foreign markets.

A second amendment comes through the recent passing of the Combating Counterfeit Products Act (Bill C-8) and involves criminal sanctions against counterfeit goods and new border enforcement measures.

Also afoot are other initiatives, mostly procedural, geared toward changing Canadian filing requirements in order to integrate Canadian processes with international ones.  These initiatives involve the amendment of the Patent Act, the Copyright Act, the Industrial Design Act, and the Plant Breeders’ Rights Act.

For more detailed information about the changes to the Trade-marks Act, visit the Canadian Intellectual Property Office’s Trade-marks Act Q & A page.

Karen McDougall, LESA Counsel

Jan 142015
 

Register Online for How to Prepare for Mediation

Have you heard about LESA’s upcoming How to Prepare for Mediation seminar? This seminar is hot on our heels, with sessions running in Edmonton on February 19 and Calgary on February 20.

This seminar is being chaired by two experienced mediators: Elaine Seifert QC and Jim McCartney. We had an opportunity to ask Elaine for more details about this seminar. Today’s blog shares her perspective about why attendees will benefit from How to Prepare for Mediation.


Why will How to Prepare for Mediation be valuable to practitioners? What will they gain?

Jim McCartney and I realized that … many, many people are coming into mediation, especially some of the young lawyers who maybe haven’t had an opportunity to have a lot of mentoring, without a real understanding the importance of preparing for mediation. Mediation isn’t just, “Oh, I’ll go and see how it is.” It’s a settlement event, a big settlement event, and you should be preparing in accordance with that. [One reason for offering this seminar] is that we weren’t seeing people prepared as well as they should be and the other is that I get calls from a lot of the younger members of the bar saying, “Okay, I’m coming to mediation. What should I be doing and how should I be preparing my client?”

[The seminar focuses on] the advocate’s role: how can you advocate for your client in mediation and how can you prepare yourself and your client to get the most success from the mediation.


What do you think will be the main takeaways for participants?

I think the main takeaway will be discovering how to best serve your client in the mediation process. [That will include] a lot of takeaways: having a good understanding of what mediation is, what it can and can’t do for you, why you would choose mediation, the benefit to your client, how to go about getting into mediation, and what preparation you have do.

I think the takeaway is going to be a good how to manual. [You will hear from] 5 experienced mediation users or providers, including counsel, a client, the lawyers who use mediation, and three experience mediators (two of whom are chartered mediators). Michael Hokanson is a mediator and counsel, so he sees things from both perspectives. I hope attendees will come away with a good little manual. We’re all writing our [papers] about what to do at each stage, so those resources will form a good little manual on how to prepare yourself and your client, with some really good tips on what to do when you get to the mediation.


So the resources that people will take away from this seminar will be really useful?

I’m hoping that’s the case. And I’m hoping the seminar will give attendees an opportunity to talk to some people who been at this for a long time, who can answer a lot of questions they might have and give them some good suggestions and mentorship. Also, the benefit to bringing in a client is that [it offers another perspective]. We always do everything from the lawyer’s perspective, but when you’ve been in this mediation business for a while you understand that lawyers and clients don’t necessarily have the same goals or perspectives.


Is there anything else you’d like to say about the seminar?

It’s going to be a little bit different from what people usually go to. It’s a kind of round table chat. We don’t have one person getting up and speaking, and then the next, and the next at the podium. It’s more back and forth, where we have more of a discussion and invite audience participation. … It’s going to be interactive, and we’re hoping to get lots of participation from the attendees. We’ll be giving a lot of information, but we also want to be available to answer questions and provide participants with the information that they want to get out of the seminar.


If you would benefit from this seminar, why not register now? Register online for Edmonton or Calgary.

Jan 122015
 

8298984The Alberta Law Reform Institute (ALRI) is the official law reform agency for the province of Alberta. ALRI published Report for Discussion 25 back in November.

This report discusses when and how property is valued under the Matrimonial Property Act.

ALRI reviewed the current process for valuing property at trial and found this process to be problematic for several reasons, namely that “it is an uncertain future date, assumes spouses will litigate to trial, and discourages earlier party driven settlements.”

The ALRI’s review process culminated in 3 recommendations that the ALRI has put forward for comment:
1.    The spouses should be able to agree on the valuation date.
2.    If the spouses do not agree, the date is presumed to be the date the spouses separate.
3.    Variations in value of property after separation are best dealt with by the factors set out in section 8 of the Act.

Did you know that ALRI is still soliciting your feedback on this report? Survey closes March 1.

Jan 092015
 

Register online for 10 Tips for Clear and Direct Legal Writing!

10 Tips for Clear and Direct Legal Writing is coming soon! This highly interactive and informative seminar is offered in Edmonton on February 19 and in Calgary on February 20.

Instructor Ben Opipari has been helping lawyers develop their writing skills since 2006. As he puts it, “people learn by doing,” and this seminar will provide you with plenty of opportunities to practice the skills Ben teaches in order to prepare you with great tips you can implement immediately to improve your persuasive writing style.

Find out more about what this seminar has to offer you. Ben talked to LESA this week in order to give practitioners a sneak preview of what to expect from this highly anticipated seminar.


Why will the 10 Tips for Clear and Direct Legal Writing seminar be valuable to practitioners? What will they gain?

I’ve always believed that good writing is good writing. I don’t care what you’re writing or who the audience is: if you’re writing a letter to a client or a letter to your grandparents, the same ideas still apply. … The benefit of this program is that it will teach practitioners of any practice area or any level the principles of good writing, from a style perspective. Because I think you can find the “Rules” – with a capital R – you know, the grammar rules – really anywhere, and honestly most of those aren’t even rules. I find that wherever I go people mistakenly think that there are certain rules they were taught, but they really aren’t rules – you’re not going to find them in any grammar guide – so what we really talk about a lot of times is just style. And that’s a much harder discussion to have, because it’s easy to know what bad writing looks like. We can almost always identify that. But good writing is nebulous. We can look at it and realize that it’s good, but the challenge is saying ‘Why is this good? And how can I take what this writer does and apply it to my own writing?’ … This is a valuable program because we look at a lot of samples of good writing. … Teaching is about showing models of what good people do and then telling people how they can apply that to their own writing.


What do you think will be the main takeaways for participants?

I’m big on variety in sentence length and sentence structure. We often don’t realize that writing is conversation, that there’s another person on the other end of this. Just like in oral communication, if someone stands up in front of a group with a monotone voice and doesn’t have any body language, they’re going to bore their reader. … The reality is that as readers we are dying for reasons not to read things. We love to be able to throw something away or delete it and not have to deal with it. Good writing makes people want to read it. … [One thing] I really stress is sentence variety in writing. I’ve found that a lot of legal writers tend to fall into the same sentence patterns over and over, and then everything looks the same. And when everything looks the same, nothing can be emphasized. When you can’t emphasize anything through sentence variety and length and structure, then we tend to bold and italicize and underline and all caps and all those things. So it’s really about those things: length, and structure, and the building blocks of a good sentence and of a good paragraph also.


Can you talk to me about the format of this seminar?

It’s very interactive. …  I’ve been an educator all my life; I’m not an attorney. My PhD is in English literature and I was a college professor before I started working with law firms in 2006. I fully realize that a three hour program on writing has the potential to be the most boring topic ever, so it’s very interactive and highly discussion based. It’s by no means me sitting and lecturing for 3 hours. I’d say probably almost every slide we have elicits discussion. I think it’s important to hear other people’s views.


Is there anything else you’d like to add about the seminar?

One of the things in the program that I do is take good writing from a lot of different sources. A lot of the things we use are from magazines like the New Yorker or the Economist. People are always surprised [after the seminar]. They say, ‘Wow. I had no idea that was going to be that much fun and that entertaining.’ I often hear people say, ‘I had no idea 3 hours would go by so quickly.’ I think [that] really emphasizes the point that this isn’t a lecture format [seminar]. There’s a lot of discussion going on and me asking questions of the group. I think people enjoy that. People enjoy seeing good writing. I was a public school teacher when I first started teaching, and no teacher is ever going to say, ‘Hey, let’s look at awful examples of the skill I’m trying to teach you.’ I was a high school and college track coach, and I would never say to my athletes, ‘Let’s go watch bad runners and then you can emulate that.’ 10 Tips for Clear and Direct Legal Writing is an interactive program, because I think people learn by doing. Asking people in the audience to look at samples and revise them on the spot is a good way to get people to learn. … To give you my other track analogy, … I would never say to my athletes, ‘Hey guys, for practice today, you’re going to watch me run.’ The key is to get them to do it. I think that’s where people learn.


As you can see from this interview, Ben is a dynamic and engaging presenter. Register online now to secure your spot in this program in Edmonton or Calgary. To take advantage of the early bird registration price, register on or before January 13.

If you’re registering for this half day program, why not also take advantage of another half day program that LESA is running on the same day? How to Prepare for Mediation is being offered in Edmonton and Calgary.

Jan 072015
 

LESA has another great online educational resource available for junior lawyers and legal support staff. The Collections for Legal Support Staff seminar on demand allows you to download seminar papers and stream video recordings of seminar faculty members presenting on their topics.

The topics covered in this seminar on demand are listed below:

PRE-JUDGEMENT STEPSLindsey Miller
Discuss the process for initiating a claim: from assessing a file and pulling searches to completing pre-judgment attachment orders and drafting a claim.

POST-JUDGEMENT STEPS – John P. Roggeveen
Discover how to get a judgment enforced once it is received. This discussion addresses out of province judgments, registering a judgment, searches, exemptions, garnishment, bankruptcy, and more.

COSTSSteven M. Shafir
Cover how to collect your judgment costs and outstanding firm accounts, and gain practical tips for dealing effectively with these common issues.

SEIZURE AND SALE – Patricia Wilson
Learn how to instruct a bailiff and how a bailiff can help you collect your judgment from the Director of Civil Enforcement at Consolidated Civil Enforcement.

Participants who attended the live seminar let us know that they found the seminar extremely useful. Here’s what some attendees found most beneficial:

The information from CCE on what a bailiff actually does/can do.”

“Everything taught was beneficial. The speakers were easy to follow and informative, giving lots of examples while being engaging and interesting.”

“Having consolidated civil enforcement there to explain what happens behind the scene. I feel so much better able to explain this aspect to clients.”

Now you can benefit from this seminar too, even if you weren’t able to attend the event in person. Simply register for the seminar on demand to gain access to the seminar papers and video recordings.

We also have other seminars on demand available, such as Court of Appeal Procedure for Legal Support Staff and Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act Applications for Legal Support Staff.

Jan 052015
 

48thAnnualRefresher

Happy New Year!

We hope everyone enjoyed a refreshing and relaxing holiday and is now ready to take on the new year! Here at LESA one of our big projects for 2015 is preparing for the 48th Annual Refresher: Wills & Estates, which runs from April 19-21 at the beautiful Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

Today’s blog will let you in on what we’ve been planning.

Each year the Refresher provides in-depth coverage of topics related to a particular practice area, and in 2015 we’re focusing on the area of wills and estates. This three day program is open to all practitioners and is targeted specifically to more senior practitioners.

LESA is also hosting a one day preconference program in Lake Louise on Saturday, April 18 Drafting Your First Trust. This seminar will be of particular interest to junior lawyers in their first five years of practice.

Drafting Your Frist Trust includes informative presentations on the following topics:
•    Fundamentals of Trust Drafting,
•    Trusts – Starting with the End in Mind,
•    Taxes and Trusts,
•    Trusts in a Corporate Setting,
•    Drafting and Administering Trusts with Multiple Beneficiaries, and
•    Power of the Trust.

Our experienced panel of instructors will provide high-quality information about all of these topics. You’ll gain skills to help you determine client objectives, discuss the process of drafting a trust from inception to wind-up, discover practical drafting tips, and more.

The Refresher itself begins on Sunday, April 19. With 6 sessions running from Sunday to Tuesday, you will gain a considerable amount of information about important changes to legislation and other topics of significance in the area of wills and estates.

SESSION 1: AID IN DYING
Hear from our two keynote speakers about the issue of aid in dying, which is currently before the Supreme Court. Dr. Arthur Schafer of the University of Manitoba will discuss ethical and legal issues; Kevin Díaz, Director of Legal Affairs for Oregon based Compassion & Choices, will describe Oregon’s experience with its Death with Dignity Act.

SESSION 2: BLENDED FAMILIES
Discuss issues unique to blended families, such as spousal claims, family maintenance, and support; structure of wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and beneficiary designations; and cohabitation and prenuptial agreements. Discover practical tips for handling these issues effectively.

SESSION 3: TAX
Review how changes to the taxation of testamentary trusts affect estate planning and charitable giving. Learn how to better understand and advise settlors or trustees dealing with the 21 Year Deemed Disposition Rule.

SESSION 4: ESTATE LITIGATION
As a planner, learn how to thwart the litigators by protecting wills and gifts. Cover the issues faced by estate lawyers, how to avoid them, and how to remedy them when they occur. Also discuss issues related to capacity assessments.

SESSION 5: INCAPACITATED ADULTS
Discuss the AGTA legislation, how to apply its provisions to achieve your client’s desired outcomes, and how it has changed the capacity assessment process. Learn how to prepare clear and complete Enduring Powers of Attorney and Personal Directives in anticipation of possible incapacity. Hear from the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee about their role in providing services.

SESSION 6: WILLS AND SUCCESSION ACT
Review how the WSA and case law affect family maintenance and support claims, the court’s authority to rectify and validate wills, and applications brought forward under the Surrogate Rules.

With all the valuable information provided in these 6 sessions, we know this Refresher program will provide enormous value to all who attend. The Law Society has also recognized the benefit of this program: attending the entire Refresher program entitles you to a $75 rebate on the Alberta Professional Liability Insurance levy.

We know you probably want to find out even more about this great program, so we’ve got a brochure with all the details at the print shop right now. Keep an eye on your mail: the brochure should be hitting your desk next week.

Don’t forget to register by February 3 to take advantage of early bird registration deadline. And remember that you can choose to register for one or both of the Drafting Your First Trust and the 48th Annual Refresher programs.

Dec 222014
 

2014 has been a busy year at LESA.

In CPLED, we’ve held 4 online modules and 3 face-to-face sessions since August, with 478 students registered in the program – that’s more students than any other year!

Our schedule of live events has also been full, as we’ve offered 27 professional development seminars in the past 4 months, including programs for legal support staff, general skills and knowledge programs for all practitioners, and seminars in the areas of business law, family law, litigation, and real estate.

We’ve also kept busy working to develop educational resources you can access from home or the office. We’re probably most excited about the new seminars on demand that we’ve been able to bring to you this year! With 6 seminars on demand currently available and more coming in the new year, we hope you enjoy being able to download seminar papers and stream video recordings of LESA presenters for select seminars that you were unable to attend in person.

Here at LESA we’re taking a short break over the holidays to catch our breath after the whirlwind of the past few months and all the activities that come part and parcel with the start of the new educational year each fall.

We’re closing the office on December 24 and reopening January 2. So if you have anything you’re dying to ask us, make sure you give us a ring or send us an email in the next day or two. Or, if we don’t hear from you now, we’re as happy as always to help you with whatever you need in the new year.

Speaking of the new year, we’ve also been busy over the last few months planning for all the exciting products and services we’re bringing you in 2015.

In CPLED, we’re kicking off the year with the Oral Advocacy face-to-face module and the Practice Management online module.

We also have 4 exciting professional development seminars running in JanuaryAdvanced Lender, Matrimonial Property Division, Running Your First Trial, and Labour and Employment. Some of these seminars have only a few spots left available! Also stay tuned for information about our upcoming 48th Annual Refresher: Wills & Estates happening April 19-21 in Lake Louise. Brochures outlining the session topics for the Refresher will be hitting your desks in the new year.

And as for print educational resources, we’re bringing you updates to the Alberta Real Estate Practice Manual and the Alberta Civil Practice Manual early in 2015. A new publication for wills and estates that will amalgamate and update existing LESA publications to reflect the new legislation coming into force in this area is also in the works to launch in 2015.

Also keep an eye to our website for upcoming seminars on demand. Collections for Legal Support Staff and Evidence Law Refresher will be available online in January.

We know this might be a lot to keep track of, and we don’t want you to miss any updates you’d like to know about, so why not subscribe to our E-Letter? With an email once a week or so, the E-Letter is a great way to keep in touch with what’s going on at LESA.

LESA is proud to be your lifelong partner in continuing legal excellence, and, although we’ve had a busy year working to offer you all these programs and resources, we wouldn’t have it any other way.

We know you’ve all had a busy year too! Hopefully you have a chance to take a break and enjoy the festivities of the season.

Happy Holidays!