Dec 172014

If you are a legal support staff, LESA has two seminars on demand that will provide you with incredibly useful information: one on Adult Guardianship and Trusteeship Act (AGTA) Applications and the other on Court of Appeal Procedures.

These seminars on demand allow you to download materials and stream video recordings of the live seminar sessions that happened back in October.

If you haven’t yet discovered these two incredible resources, why not watch the trailers now to see what each seminar on demand has to offer you.

AGTA Applications for Legal Support Staff:

Court of Appeal Procedures for Legal Support Staff:


And here’s a bit more information about what you’ll learn from these seminars on demand and why others who attended the live seminars found them to be so beneficial.

AGTA Applications for Legal Support Staff

You’ll discover how to navigate the trusteeship and guardianship process, by learning the steps and procedures required in bringing applications.

You’ll also learn about common errors and how to avoid them.

This seminar on demand includes video recordings of 3 experienced presenters:

Sharon Buckley-Tkach
Alberta Human Services
Office of the Public Guardian
and Trustee

Tracy Canton
Review Officer
Alberta Human Services
Office of the Public Guardian
and Trustee

Marianne Rivard
Surrogate Clerk
Court of Queen’s Bench


Attendees at the live AGTA Act Applications seminar had glowing reviews of these speakers and the materials they provided.

I found it beneficial hearing from 3 different presenters and each one addressing common mistakes/issues that they encounter in their dealings with the AGTA applications.”

“The samples included with the materials are greatly appreciated. They are
great references.”

“The printed materials and verbal examples provided by the presenters were
very helpful.”

Here’s a sampling of what attendees told us they found most beneficial about the seminar.

The step by step process guiding us through an application (dos and don’ts).”

“The flow charts provided in the handouts.”

“That a Review Officer was there and explained what they look for so that we can try to avoid making errors in future applications.”

“Listening to the knowledgeable presenters.”

Purchase the AGTA Applications seminar on demand.

Court of Appeal Procedures for Legal Support Staff

You’ll gain insight into the new Court of Appeal rules that came into effect September 1, 2014. Discussion topics include procedures, types of appeals, deadlines, forms, resources, and common problems.

All this information is conveyed by 2 knowledgeable and engaging Court of Appeal staff:

Bobbi Jo McDevitt
Case Management Officer
Alberta Court of Appeal
Edmonton, Alberta

Danielle Umrysh
Deputy Registrar
Alberta Court of Appeal
Edmonton, Alberta


Attendees at the live Court of Appeal Procedures seminar had plenty to say about much they appreciated the content and delivery.

Having never done an appeal, I feel I could work through it now. Well done!”

“It was a good overview of what has changed and of what legal support staff need
to know.”

“Very practical advice, excellent delivery of material, very well done!”

There were many things that attendees told us they found most beneficial about the seminar.

The program, as a whole, was beneficial. The information shared was
extremely valuable.”

“The entire presentation.”

“The binder is helpful for future reference.”

“Updates on rules by two people who are clearly experts in their field.”

Purchase the Court of Appeal Procedures seminar on demand.


We hope you’ll enjoy these incredible resources!

Keep an eye out for the Collections for Legal Support Staff seminar on demand coming in 2015.

Dec 162014


If you’re a junior lawyer who missed last month’s Junior Solicitor Business Law Basics seminar, you can now access the content through our seminar on demand!

LESA’s seminars on demand are available for select live seminars. Seminars on demand provide you with the seminar papers and materials as well as the added value of video recordings of the seminar faculty members giving their presentations.

This Junior Solicitor Business Law Basics seminar on demand is targeted to practitioners in their first five years of practice and provides a practical foundation for fundamental topics of a solicitor’s business practice.

With 6 hours of video recordings and papers for each topic, presenters cover the basics of the following topics:

  • Drafting Contracts,
  • Intellectual Property Law,
  • License Agreements,
  • Business Structures, Minutes, and Resolutions,
  • Tax Issues,
  • Labour and Employment, and
  • Online Services.

Here’s what some attendees told us they found most beneficial about this program:

Very practical. I have already encountered most of these areas and issues within the first year of my solicitor practice.”

Materials are clear and concise.”

The presentations were great, and I especially appreciated the papers that were provided.”

When you purchase this seminar on demand, you’ll be able to download the seminar papers and stream the video recordings of the speaker’s presentations in order to access these materials at the time and place that’s most convenient for you.

Also check out these other seminars on demand that can help you build your practice:

Dec 122014


Do you work with complex litigation files? Either as a senior lawyer, more junior associate, or paralegal? If so, you won’t want to miss LESA’s upcoming Document Management in Complex Litigation Files seminar.

Document Management in Complex Litigation Files is happening in Edmonton (February 18) and Calgary (February 25).

This week LESA talked to seminar chair Stacy Petriuk and faculty member Kim Smith about what practitioners will gain from this seminar and why it will be a valuable learning experience.

For Smith, the most important reason for attending is that participants will “gain a wealth of knowledge from a very experienced panel of people. … The knowledge alone that attendees will be put in front of will be incredible.

Petriuk emphasized that this seminar “has a broad range of appeal … and something to offer everyone at every level.” She explained how everyone involved in the file has to be on the same page, from the senior practitioners who are highly familiar with the issues of the lawsuit and who have to set up and drive the structure for handling the documents to the associates who implement the plan and the paralegals who deal with the nuts and bolts.

As Petriuk noted, the faculty members speaking at this seminar include experienced people working at all three of these levels: senior practitioners, more junior associates, and paralegals. Not only will this diversified panel be able to speak to the range of people with different roles in the process of document management but the seminar will also speak to the issues at each stage of handling a file.

Petriuk explained that “the seminar has been broken down into how you would think about a file:

  1. Getting documents in, which becomes increasingly complex if there are a lot of documents … and if you’re dealing with litigation holds,
  2. Deciding how to organize files in your own office … especially if you’ve got a situation with multiple actions, and
  3. Sharing documents with the other side, [including] some unique ways of sharing documents …  and platforms that might be useful … so that you can access documents in a more user-friendly format.”

Jerry Patterson and Tracy Mettimano will cover best practices for collecting documents.

Melanie Gaston will discuss how to manage documents within your firm.

Michael Condé, Erin Baker, and Kajal Ervin will speak on best practices for sharing documents.

Kim Smith will discuss scheduling and case management.

Johanna Mustapic will cover technology issues and how to utilize software programs for document management.

In our interviews with Petriuk and Smith, we also asked them what will be the main takeaways for seminar attendees.

For Smith, the important takeaways centre around “getting actual, practical day-to-day information and practical tips based on everyday examples, … especially about things that are a little out of the ordinary.

For Petriuk, the takeaway is twofold: both understanding your own piece of the puzzle better and having a better understanding of the puzzle as a whole and what others are trying to accomplish in their roles. “The takeaway is going to really vary depending on the person who’s coming … There’s going to be so much good information that’s imparted about these various stages of the file that you have to think about. … The different takeaways could be I really need to improve my litigation hold practice, or I really need to think about better ways of sharing documents, depending on where you’re at in [the document management process].

If you practice in estate, family, or civil litigation and handle complex files, we think you’ll stand to gain a lot of valuable information and insight from this seminar and we’re looking forward to seeing you there.

Register online now (Edmonton or Calgary) to take advantage of the early bird registration deadline.

Dec 102014

cpled-logo2010-newAre you familiar with the CPLED program?

The CPLED (Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education) program is the bar admission course in Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan. In Alberta, LESA delivers the CPLED program on behalf of the Law Society of Alberta.

The CPLED program is intended to help students-at-law develop the skills they need to be successful lawyers. As such, the program cultivates competencies in a variety of areas, including:
•    Lawyering skills,
•    Practice management skills,
•    Ethics and professionalism, and
•    Legal knowledge

CPLED students complete 10 modules, 7 of which are online and 3 of which are conducted in a face-to-face setting. Each module concludes with a competency evaluation that simulates tasks typically encountered at the entry-level to the practice of law. To successfully complete the CPLED program, students must achieve a standing of “Competency Demonstrated” in all ten modules.

The online modules include:
•    Legal Research and Writing,
•    Drafting Pleadings,
•    Drafting Contracts,
•    Written Advice and Advocacy,
•    Practice Management,
•    Client Relationship Management, and
•    Ethics and Professionalism.

The face-to-face modules include:
•    Oral Advocacy and Professional Responsibility,
•    Interviewing and Advising, and
•    Negotiations and Practice Fundamentals.

Students are wrapping up 2014 with the Written Advice and Advocacy module and will be ringing in the new year with Oral Advocacy and Professional Responsibility or Practice Management.

Registration for the current 2014/15 year closed at the end of November, and the program’s growth over the past few years continued its upward trend.

Last year, in 2013/14, we received about 455 applications and ultimately registered 423 students in the CPLED program. This year, the number of applications jumped to about 520, with 478 students being admitted and registered.

Having so many students keeps us busy here at LESA, and we couldn’t possibly manage without all the experienced lawyers who help us facilitate the program by acting as Learning Group Facilitators (LGFs) and Learning Group Evaluators (LGEs).

Thanks to all those who help make CPLED possible. We’re wishing all our CPLED students, LGFs, and LGEs an enjoyable and restful holiday. With the current module wrapping up on December 18, the end is in sight!

Dec 082014

WXN Top 100 Award Recipients

WXN (Women’s Executive Network) recently recognized professional women in leadership with the 2014 Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 awards that were presented at their Leadership Summit and Award Gala.

Three incredible LESA supporters were recognized, and it is with great pleasure and appreciation that LESA congratulates Kate Chisholm QC, Anne Kirker QC, and Heather Treacy QC on their Top 100 Awards!

These worthy recipients have made outstanding contributions to LESA throughout the years. We’re grateful for all they do and especially for how they have supported LESA in 2014:

  • Chisholm, for her leadership on the LESA Board of Directors,
  • Kirker, for her support of our programs, including her role as a seminar faculty member for Running Your First Questioning and as a CPLED faculty member for our face-to-face Oral Advocacy
    module, and
  • Treacy, for her contribution to our CPLED program as a faculty member for our face-to-face Oral Advocacy module.

Congratulations to you all!

Dec 032014

Subscribe to the LESA E-LetterWe have lots of ways that you can stay in touch with all the latest LESA news: our blog, brochures, and social mediaTwitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook – for instance.

Another useful way for you to stay connected is to subscribe to our E-Letter. We periodically send out e-mail updates about our upcoming programs (including early bird registration deadlines), our print or digital educational resources, developments in the law and legal community, and opportunities for you to collaborate with us.

We’ve also been known to give away special offers to our E-Letter subscribers, such as free seminar papers or exclusive E-Letter coupons for seminar registration or educational resource discounts.

Since we only want to send you these emails if you want to receive them, you’ll need to opt in and give your express consent before we start sending you updates.

But don’t worry, subscribing to the LESA E-Letter is easy:

  1. Follow this Sign Me Up link.
  2. Enter a few details about yourself, such as your name and email.
  3. Go to your email and click the link in the email confirmation to verify your consent to receive
    LESA updates.

It’s that simple.


If you ever want to unsubscribe, simply email or call us at 780.420.1987.

Dec 012014

Register Online for Running Your First Trial

Running Your First Trial is coming up soon:
Edmonton January 21 and Calgary February 4.

This seminar has a lot to offer junior practitioners. Here’s what seminar chair Vivian Stevenson QC has to say about it.

Why will Running Your First Trial be valuable to practitioners? What will they gain?

“The idea is to give people who haven’t had the opportunity to appear in court some practical advice to assist them in preparing for that and to help them with all the anxiety and nerves you have when you’re going to do something you’re not used to doing”

“There will be some theoretical, legal advice … but the idea is to be practical. That’s why we’ve got a panel of people who have experience running trials. Civil trials are becoming more and more rare, so the opportunity that a lot of more senior lawyers got to run a lot of trials when they were juniors doesn’t happen now. [Junior lawyers now] also don’t have as many opportunities to go and sit in trials. … I wanted people [on the panel] who could give good advice about running trials and I wanted to have one criminal lawyer on the panel because they run more trials than anybody. … The seminar is geared towards civil trials, not criminal trials, but we do have two very experienced criminal practitioners.” [Mona Duckett QC is speaking in Edmonton, and P. Kelly Dawson is speaking in Calgary.]

“The idea is to try and give attendees some basics so that when they find out they have to run their first trial … they will sort of know how to approach it.”

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

“We want to give them some tools to use: checklists, or objectives, or things to think about. Things they can go back to and say, ‘Have I done this, have I done that?’ to provide them with some sort of frame work … or outline they can go back to and say, ‘What should I do next? What haven’t I done?’

Can you give us a sneak preview about the “Overview” topic you’ll be discussing at the seminar? What will be particularly useful or interesting about it?

“I’ll be talking about the importance of having a theory of the case, and how the idea is to carry that idea through from the beginning to the end, always coming back to [the question], ‘What am I trying to prove?’”

“It’s about the importance of understanding where you want to go so that you know how to get there.”

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

“The point of this is not to have someone sit and lecture at attendees as much as it is to provide them with things to think about and an opportunity to ask questions.”

“[The panel includes] some of the top litigators in the province. These are really, really experienced people but also very practical people. We want people to come with questions and be prepared to engage with the panel. … There’s no such thing as a stupid question.”

So there you have it.

If you haven’t yet secured your spot in the seminar, don’t delay and register online now. Attend in Edmonton or Calgary.

Nov 282014

Take Our Survey. Enter to win a $250 LESA product gift certificate.

Here at LESA we’re proud to be your lifelong partner in continuing legal excellence, and we strive to set the standards of excellence in the education of lawyers, articling students, and their staff.

We also value your feedback! We want to know how you access high quality legal resources.

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Take our quick online survey to let us know what you think.

To show you how much we appreciate you taking the time to share your feedback, you’ll have a chance to enter to win one of two $250 gift certificates for LESA products.

Survey closes December 15, 2015.

Thanks for sharing your feedback!

Nov 262014

Matrimonial Property Division Seminar

LESA’s 2014 seminar offerings have almost concluded, but we’re getting ready to ring in the new year with a whole range of exciting programs, including the Matrimonial Property Division seminar.

We recently spoke with seminar chair and Best Lawyers 2014 family law Lawyer of the Year award recipient Kevin Hannah QC about why attendees will benefit from this seminar.

He indicated that a “good range of younger and very experienced family lawyers from both Edmonton and Calgary” will be presenting at the seminar. The panel includes 7 faculty:

With roughly a 150 years combined experience, this panel has an impressive wealth of insight to share with seminar attendees. Hannah anticipates one of the seminar’s main takeaways will be the opportunity for participants to hear the “stories, tips, and approaches” that experienced family lawyers will share about “how to deal with the more difficult matrimonial property questions that they face in their everyday practice.”

Hannah indicated that the seminar will be valuable to family law practitioners for two reasons: you will “gain insight into recent developments in the law and practical applications of the law to your family law practice.”

On one hand, by attending this seminar you’ll get caught up on the more academic aspects of the law, since you’ll receive “updates on the most recent, relevant matrimonial property cases.”

On the other hand, you’ll learn practical skills and tips, such as how to use Excel spreadsheets in negotiation and the top 10 things clients wish you know about settlement.

Read the brochure for more information about the topics covered in the seminar.

Don’t miss this seminar! Register online now to reserve your spot.

Edmonton – January 20, 2015
Calgary – February 3, 2015

Note: Since Brad Mustard will be discussing how to use Excel spreadsheets, we’d recommend bringing your laptop or tablet to the seminar so you can follow along in Excel as he is presenting.

Nov 242014

LESA values all Max Blittour volunteers and your generous contributions of time, talent, and energy! To show how much we appreciate you, we’ll be posting volunteer profile blogs throughout the year as a way to say thank-you and highlight the specific contributions of our outstanding volunteers.

This feature highlights Max Blitt QC, an enthusiastic CPLED volunteer who assists the face-to-face programing as both a Facilitator and Evaluator.

Max is an associate at Speir Harben and practices primarily in family law, real estate, and wills and estates. He also has extensive experience dealing with the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abductions. He has assisted clients and legal counsel to recover children abducted within Canada and internationally. In addition to international children’s issues, Max works with counsel in foreign countries on support and property issues involving Canada and foreign jurisdictions.

Max is a member of numerous associations, including Canada Family Mediation and the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (International). Since 2006, he has served as a Court Appointed Dispute Resolution Officer with the Court of Queen’s Bench. He has had numerous speaking engagements and has volunteered with many organizations, including his ongoing support for CPLED, Alberta’s bar admission program.

For the past 5 years, Max has volunteered with two of CPLED’s in-person modules: Oral Advocacy and Negotiations. Max has worked both as a Facilitator, helping to facilitate learning and provide feedback to students in preparation for the module’s competency evaluation, and as an Evaluator, evaluating the module’s final competency assessment to determine the student’s level of achievement in demonstrating the lawyer competency targeted in the module.

When asked what caused him to start volunteering with CPLED, Max said that he was motivated to get involved by a “desire to give back” and because he enjoys “working with younger lawyers.” LESA certainly appreciates the wealth of experience he brings from his work assisting with the recovery of abducted children and dealing with support and property issues. And Max says that he’s happy to impart any of the insights he’s gained over the years, especially since “the idea of advocacy transcends any one area of the law.”

We also asked Max what he most enjoys most about volunteering with CPLED. For Max, it’s the “opportunity to work with future lawyers as well as the other lawyers who volunteer with CPLED.” While he certainly values the opportunity to help young lawyers develop the skills they will need to succeed in their future practice, he also emphasizes the value of connecting with colleagues. He says that “it’s key to get to know other lawyers in social settings.”

Max says his advice to fellow lawyers is “volunteer, volunteer, volunteer.” He describes volunteering with CPLED as “one of the most rewarding things you can do, and one of the most meaningful ways to give back.”

One last fun fact about Max, he enjoys using physical fitness to help achieve balance in his busy schedule. He also enjoys travelling and is part of a group who takes bicycle trips around the world. He’s been to many places, including Croatia, Spain, and Italy. And his favorite place to visit: “a place I’ve never been.”

If you would like information about volunteering with CPLED’s online modules, please contact Bronwyn Connolly, LESA’s Assessment and Evaluation Coordinator at or at 780-969-3555.

If you are interested in volunteering with CPLED’s face-to-face modules, please contact Janette Sztym, LESA’s Program Coordinator at or at 780-969-3553.