LSA Rules Amendments

 Legal News: Alberta, News  Comments Off on LSA Rules Amendments
Jun 212016
 

LSA Rules Amendments

The Rules of the Law Society of Alberta (LSA) [the Rules] were recently amended. The changes took effect on February 4, 2016. Key among the changes was the addition of a new rule (r 165.1) for an administrative rules suspension, which is intended by the LSA to streamline the reinstatement process for members who have been administratively suspended for non-payment of fees.

Summary

Under the new r 165.1, an administrative suspension occurs where a member of the LSA is subject to a rules suspension (defined in r 167(1)(b) as a suspension of membership imposed by the operation of rules 148, 149.3, or 165). Taken together, these rules mean that the non-payment of membership fees, professional liability insurance levies, or trust safety insurance levies will result in an administrative suspension.

Members of the LSA who are subject to administrative suspensions have 15 days from the date of the suspension to either make arrangements for an active practicing member of the LSA to assume conduct of the suspended member’s files, or to seek reinstatement through compliance with the rules and payment of outstanding fees or levies. Suspended members seeking reinstatement are also required to pay a suspension transaction fee (for the 2016 year, this fee was $236.25, inclusive of GST), though this fee may be waived by the Executive Director in some circumstances.

If the suspended member does not make the necessary arrangements or seek reinstatement within 15 days of the suspension, a Notice to the Profession of the member’s administrative suspension will be issued (for previously active members only), and a custodian will be appointed by the LSA for that member’s practice.

Members subject to administrative suspensions must seek reinstatement within 3 months from the date of suspension, in order to avoid the more onerous formal application for reinstatement, as set out in r 115.

More Information

For more information about the recent amendments to the Rules, and for a complete list of the changes, see the Rules Amendment History and the current version of the Rules (2016_V1).

ACIA’s Summer Training: Interpreters for Legal Settings

 Calgary, Legal News: Alberta, LESA Update, News  Comments Off on ACIA’s Summer Training: Interpreters for Legal Settings
Jun 152016
 

Alberta Court Interpreters Association (ACIA)

The Alberta Court Interpreters Association (ACIA) is in need of lawyers to participate in mock trials for Summer Training: Interpreters for Legal Settings.

This 5-day workshop (August 17 – 21, 2016), focuses on an overview of the criminal, family, and civil courts; terminology and processes embedded in these areas; skill development activities facilitated by interpreter educators and lawyers; and mock trial experiences.

Topics

The ACIA will hold mock trials on the following topics:

  • Assault;
  • Custody;
  • Impaired Driving, Refusing to Blow; and
  • Sexual Assault.
Presenters

Debra Russell is an ASL-English interpreter and interpreter educator from Calgary who has been interpreting for 30 years in a range of medical, legal, mental health and employment settings. Debra is also a founding member of the Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada (AVLIC) and the Association of Sign Language Interpreters of Alberta (ASLIA). In 2011, she was elected President of the World Association of Sign Language Interpreters (WASLI) and is also the Open Forum Editor for the International Journal of Interpreter Education (IJIE).

ACIA Secretary, Alex Zisman is a Spanish-English court interpreter, translator, and editor who was accredited as a Court Interpreter by the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario in 1986. He also obtained Interpreter Certification from Employment and Immigration Canada/Immigration and Refugee Board in 1992. He has worked as an interpreter for the Department of Justice Canada, the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario, the Immigration and Refugee Board, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Amnesty International, Legal Aid Alberta, and the Province of Alberta.

Registration

Click here for more information, including prices, registration forms, and pre-requisites for participation in ACIA’s Summer Training workshop.

For registration inquiries, contact Alex Zisman.


If you want LESA’s help to raise awareness about an upcoming event relevant to the Alberta legal community, contact Andrea Maltais, Communications Coordinator.
780.969.0555 or andrea.maltais@lesa.org

49th Annual Refresher: Real Estate – Audio Now Available

 LESA Update, News, Resource  Comments Off on 49th Annual Refresher: Real Estate – Audio Now Available
Jun 092016
 

49th Annual Refresher: Real Estate - Audio Now Available

This year’s 49th Annual Refresher: Real Estate was a huge success! With more than 20 speakers covering topics such as eSignatures, Trust Conditions, Lawyer-to-Lawyer Relations, Foreign Ownership of Land, and more, attendees gained practical tips and valuable information to help improve their practice.

Did you Miss out This Year?

If you missed the chance to attend the Refresher, you’ll be pleased to hear that we captured it all on tape. Audio recordings are now exclusively available to LESA Library Subscribers.

Review the current status of the law concerning adverse possession and specific performance in Alberta with Jeffrey R. Fixsen, learn about increasingly significant factors affecting mortgages in the residential conveyancing practice with Roger Lennartsson, discover the top 10 considerations when acting for a purchaser with Heather M. Bonnycastle QC, and much more.

Topics and Speakers

Here’s a complete list of the topics covered at this year’s 49th Annual Refresher.

  • Rare but Relevant: Adverse Possession and Specific Performance | Jeffrey R. Fixsen
  • Title Insurance | Mae Chow, Ryan MacKay & Frank Maggisano
  • Real Estate Tips for the Rural Practitioner | Cyril Gurevitch QC
  • Lawyer-to-Lawyer Relations | Khalil Haji
  • Residential Mortgage Issues | Roger Lennartsson
  • The 3 Ps to Residential Real Estate Transactions: Paper, People, and Property | Kristin Ailsby
  • Alberta Land Titles Online: Summary Session | Curtis D. Woollard
  • Foreign Ownership of Land | Mark Christensen
  • Expropriation | Debi Piecowye
  • Builders’ Liens | Tim Mavko
  • Top 10 Considerations when Acting for a Purchaser | Heather M. Bonnycastle QC
  • Recent Case Commentary | John M. McDougall
  • New Home Buyers Protection Legislation | Hugh Willis
  • Non-Resident Vendors, GST, and Other Tax Considerations | Ebony Verbonac CPA, CA
  • Farm Property Transactions | Jason Stephan
LESA Snapshot Sessions

In addition, this year’s 49th Annual Refresher saw the first ever LESA Snapshot sessions. These short (10 – 15 minute) TED-style talks, led by Jason S. McCulloch, cover topics on protocol, trust cheques, and real property reports.

 

For more details on each of the discussion topics, view the program brochure or read our blog.

Stay up-to-date on important issues and changes in real estate law. Get your audio recordings of the 49th Annual Refresher today.

Subscribe

If you’re not already a LESA Library subscriber, you can learn more at LESA.org/Library or by watching the short introductory video below.

Questions

We’re happy to answer any questions you may have to help you get the most out of your LESA Library subscription. Email us at info@lesa.org or call us at 780.420.1987 (or 1.800.282.3900 toll free in Alberta).

Bill C-14: Carter v Canada re Physician Assisted Dying

 Legal News: Alberta, Legal News: National, Legislative Update, News  Comments Off on Bill C-14: Carter v Canada re Physician Assisted Dying
Jun 072016
 

Bill C-14: Physician Assisted Dying

In 2015, the Supreme Court of Canada struck down the provisions of the Criminal Code of Canada, which prohibited physician assisted dying (Carter v Canada, 2015 SCC 5, 1 SCR 331 [Carter]). The ruling gave decision-makers until February 2016 to respond. However, there was a 4 month extension to June 6, 2016.

Summary of Bill C-14

Bill C-14 was drafted in response to the Carter decision. Bill C-14 creates an exemption to the laws prohibiting the counseling, aiding or abetting of another person’s suicide for individuals who qualify and consent to medically assisted dying.

Who can provide medically assisted dying?

Individuals who are lawfully entitled to practice medicine in the province, and registered nurses who are lawfully entitled to practice as nurse practitioners in the province may provide medically assisted dying. Alternatively, the consenting individual may self-administer the noxious substance. In this case, any other person may provide assistance to the individual in self-administering the substance as long as the following conditions are met.

  • The assistance must be at the individual’s explicit request;
  • The assistance must be for the purpose of aiding the individual in self-administering the substance; and
  • The noxious substance must have been prescribed by a nurse practitioner or medical practitioner.
Who qualifies for medically assisted dying under Bill C-14

To qualify for medically assisted dying under Bill C-14, 5 conditions must be met.

  • The individual must be eligible for health care funded by the Government of Canada (or would be eligible but for any applicable waiting period);
  • The individual must be at least 18 years old and capable of making decisions with respect to their health;
  • The individual must be suffering from a grievous and irremediable medical condition. Bill C-14 defines a grievous, irremediable medical condition as (a) a serious, incurable disease or disability that, (b) has led to an advanced state of irreversible decline in capacity and, (c) causes enduring physical or psychological suffering which is intolerable to the individual and cannot be relieved by conditions the individual considers acceptable and (d) the individual’s natural death is reasonably foreseeable, taking into account all medical circumstances;
  • The request for medically assisted dying must be voluntary with no external pressures; and
  • The individual must give informed consent. One notable difference between the decision in Carter and Bill C-14 is the condition under the latter that the individual’s natural death must be reasonably foreseeable.
What safeguards does Bill C-14 implement?

Bill C-14 imposes multiple safeguards on providers of medically assisted dying.

First, the individual who requests medical assistance in dying must have 2 independent witnesses sign and date the request. Those witnesses cannot know or believe they are a beneficiary under the individuals’ will or stand to receive any material benefit from the individual’s death. Furthermore, neither witness can be an owner or operator of any health care facility where the individual is treated or where the individual lives. Nor can they be directly involved in providing personal or health care to the individual.

Second, the Bill also requires another medical or nurse practitioner to provide a written opinion confirming all criteria described in the paragraph above are met. This other medical or nurse practitioner must be independent, meaning.

  • they do not stand to receive any material benefit (other than fee for service) from the person’s death;
  • they do not know or believe they are connected to the individual requesting in any way that could affect their objectivity;
  • they are not in a business relationship with the other practitioner; and
  • they are not a supervisor or mentor of the other practitioner.

The Bill also requires that there be 10 clear days between the individuals request and the day of death, unless all medical or nurse practitioners involved are of the opinion that death is imminent.

Current status

Bill C-14 has passed third reading and is currently at the Senate stage. However, the deadline of June 6th, 2016 imposed by the Supreme Court of Canada has now passed, leaving the Supreme Court’s ruling in Carter as the law of the land until federal legislation is passed.

More Information

For more information, read the full text of the bill, or see the open letter from the CEO of the Canadian Bar Association to the Special Joint Committee on Physician-Assisted Dying.

June in our Legal History: with the Honourable J.E. Côté

 Guest Blog, News  Comments Off on June in our Legal History: with the Honourable J.E. Côté
Jun 032016
 

The Honourable J.E. Côté

Have you ever thought how very strange it is that in this exact moment 10, 20, 50 years ago, something life changing may have been occurring?

In today’s blog, the Honourable J.E. Côté, opens a window into the past, sharing June in our legal history.


Alberta lawyers work very hard, and June is certainly no exception. Furthermore, there is actually no holiday in June, only the tantalizing vision of a long weekend just after the end of the month. Yet the weather is usually inviting in June, and the idea of going to the lake or leaving work early, or just having a beer or a milkshake, is alluring.

So what is to be done? An excuse might be helpful. Lawyers tend to be more motivated by guilt than anything else, so an excuse to give to yourself is the most important thing. You could do some internet research, and eventually find out that today or tomorrow is Honduras’ National Day, or something of the sort. But that would not really persuade you. Besides, you would know how you found that excuse for leaving early. Guilt would increase, not diminish.

Therefore, you need some significant event to honor and commemorate. It has to be real, it has to be provided by someone else reasonably respectable, it has to do with Canada or Alberta, and above all (to minimize guilt) – it must be something about the law.

So LESA hands you, free of charge, a list of true events important to Canadian and Alberta lawyers. All these occurred in June. The list extends throughout the whole month. The events are arranged according to your needs, not the needs of clients or courts; so they are arranged by date. Keep this list all month. With luck, any time you need to consult it, you will find tomorrow’s date here.

June in our Legal History

We forget a lot of our legal history, even quite recent events. Why? Maybe because there is no specific day or mechanism to remember it. The more important a legal development, the more it seems to us natural. We forget that once things were very different.

June saw many important things occur on our legal scene. It is useful to recall some of them now.

Early June

June 4 (1937), a 5-judge Court of Appeal struck down various Social Credit Acts preventing creditors from enforcing debts or foreclosing on mortgages, and reducing the interest contracted for. All were held ultra vires or contrary to valid federal legislation: Credit Foncier v Ross, [1937] 2 WWR 353, 1937 CarswellAlta 3 (Alta CA).

Fifty years later, on June 4 (1987), the Supreme Court of Canada confirmed that it is legal to make permanent contracts about spousal support, so long as they are freely made with independent advice, and not unconscionable. The Court set a comparatively narrow ground to vary such contracts later: Pelech v Pelech, [1987] 1 SCR 801, [1987] 4 WWR 481 (SCC) (CanLII).

On June 9 (2005), the Supreme Court gave one of its few decisions about rights to health care, albeit under the Quebec Charter. The Court held that for treatment where waiting lists are too long, it is unconstitutional to make illegal private health insurance: Chaoulli v A-G Quebec, 2005 SCC 35, [2005] 1 SCR 791 (CanLII).

On June 10 (1937), Sir Robert Borden, who had been Prime Minister during the First World War and the following peace negotiations, died. He was a Nova Scotia lawyer.

Mid June

On June 12 (1986), the Supreme Court ruled that courts have no jurisdiction over any dispute covered by a collective labour agreement, if the possible remedies available under that agreement are adequate: Ste Anne Nakawic Pulp & Paper v CPU, [1986] 1 SCR 704, 73 NBR (2d) 236 (SCC) (CanLII).

On June 18 (1992), the Supreme Court held that in torts, it is rarely a defence that the pl. voluntarily took part in the illegal activity complained of. And it also held that battery is actionable without damage, and that professionals often owe fiduciary duties to their patients or clients: Norberg v Wynrib, [1992] 2 SCR 226, [1992] 4 WWR 577 (SCC) (CanLII).

On June 20 1951, the Privy Council held that contributory negligence exists even where the pl. “guilty” of it owed no duty to the opposing party. It also endorsed great deference to jury damage awards, and set the rules to calculate Fatal Accident Act awards: Nance v British Columbia Electric Railway, [1951] AC 601, 2 WWR (NS) 665 (PC).

On June 23 (1982), the Supreme Court of Canada affirmed the great importance of solicitor-client privilege, as a substantive right, and set limits for searches for privileged documents: Descôteaux et al v Mierzwinski, [1982] 1 SCR 860, 141 DLR (3d) 590 (SCC) (CanLII).  The Supreme Court quoted at great length and followed an Alberta C.A. decision. This reversed the law in other Canadian provinces, in a way that many courts and authors there still do not like to recognize, despite constant reaffirmation of Descôteaux by the Supreme Court.

Late June

On June 25 1987, the Supreme Court of Canada decided R v Manninen, [1987] 1 SCR 1233, 61 OR (2d) 736 (SCC) (CanLII). Anyone detained has the right to consult a lawyer and must be given a reasonable opportunity to exercise that right promptly, including the offer of use of a telephone, and ceasing questioning until that time expires. Admissions made after breach of those rules are usually inadmissible, they held.

13 years later, in 2010, the Supreme Court of Canada laid down the Charter rules for roadside vehicle stops, and possible searches. They adopted a step-by-step analysis, recognizing various possible degrees of a right to privacy. And they defined what is a search incidental to arrest: R v Nolet, 2010 SCC 24, [2010] 1 SCR 851 (CanLII).

Many notable things occurred on June 26. In 1854, Sir Robert Borden was born. In 1947, Viscount Bennett, former Prime Minister in the early to mid-1930s, died in his new home in England. He was a former Calgary lawyer.

And 39 years later, on June 26 1986, the Supreme Court decided R v Mills, [1986] 1 SCR 863, 58 OR (2d) 543 (SCC) (CanLII).  It defined what is a competent court that can give Charter remedies: provincial superior courts, but usually not Provincial Courts when they are not hearing trials. Breach of the Charter by a court does not usually end its jurisdiction.


If you are interested in submitting a blog post relevant to Alberta’s legal community, please contact Andrea Maltais, Communications Coordinator at andrea.maltais@lesa.org.

June 2016 Upcoming Legal Events

 Calgary, Edmonton, LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on June 2016 Upcoming Legal Events
Jun 012016
 

June 2016 Upcoming Legal events

June Programs

Find out what programs and events are coming up in June 2016, including the last programs offered by LESA in the 2015/2016 educational year!

Criminal Law 25

Register online to attend in Calgary (June 3) or in Edmonton (June 10).

Issues in the area of criminal law are multifaceted and increasingly complex. Gain insight from multiple perspectives, including the Judiciary, Crown, and Defence, and learn the practical considerations one must take into account where court interpretation becomes a quandary at Criminal Law 25.

Read our blog with seminar chair the Honourable Justice R.P. Belzil for more details, including why this program is valuable.

The Constitution in the Insolvency Tool Box

Register online to attend in Edmonton (June 9).

How do insolvency proceedings interfere with a regulator’s powers under provincial legislation? How have recent Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) decisions shaped the paramountcy doctrine? How has the priority ranking of creditors been molded by constitutional doctrine? Find out all of this and more at the Constitution in the Insolvency Tool Box!

Check out our blog with seminar co-chair Dr. Anna Lund for more details, including a sneak preview of her discussion topic.

34th Annual Intensive Advocacy

Register online to attend in Calgary (June 13 – 18).

There is 1 spot available in the 34th Annual intensive Advocacy program! Don’t miss the opportunity to attend the most intensive advocacy skills course for litigators in Western Canada. Learn how to examine-in-chief, cross-examine, object to improper questions, enter exhibits, and much more!

Visit our blog with experienced panelist Tim Mavko for more details, including a sneak peek of what this week-long workshop has to offer.

ESILaw Boot Camp

Register online to attend in Edmonton (June 13) or in Calgary (June 14).

Are you a timekeeper, bookkeeper, firm administrator, or lawyer looking to enhance your ESILaw skills? If so, join us for the ESILaw Boot Camp! Discover valuable tools and learn time saving tips for managing clients, producing comprehensive reports, covering year end procedures, and more!

Read our blog with experienced faculty member Cathy Boyd to find out what you can expect from this program.

CPLED

LESA is currently recruiting facilitators and evaluators for both the 7 online modules and the 3 face-to-face sessions that comprise the CPLED program. Please note that CPLED facilitators and evaluators must have a minimum 4 years at the bar.

Visit our blog for more information, including how you can get involved! Questions? Contact LESA’s Education Coordinator, Bronwyn Connolly.


Legal Community Events

Annual AJEFA Banquet and Meeting

The Association des jurists d’expression française de l’Alberta (AJEFA) is hosting their Annual Banquet and General Meeting on June 10, at the Derrick Golf & Winter Club in Edmonton.

Check out our blog for more information, including discussion topics, speakers, ticket pricing, and more!

Dial-a-Lawyer

If you are looking for a way to help those affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires, we invite you to join Pro Bono Law Alberta(PBLA), Legal Aid Alberta(LAA), the Law Society of Alberta (LSA), the Canadian Bar Association (CBA) and pro bono clinics across the province to assist Fort McMurray residents through a one-day Fort McMurray Dial-a-Lawyer initiative.

Read our blog to find out how you can get involved!

University of Alberta Alumni & Friends of the Faculty of Law Association: Life After Articling

The University of Alberta Alumni and Friends of the Faculty of Law Association are hosting a dinner seminar for current CPLED students and junior lawyers. Life After Articling: Succeeding as a Junior Lawyer dinner seminar is part of the, Law Alumni & Friends “Pizza and Practice” series.

Read our blog for event details!


If you want LESA’s help to raise awareness about an upcoming event relevant to the Alberta legal community, contact Andrea Maltais, Communications Coordinator.
780.969.0555 or andrea.maltais@lesa.org

Support Fort McMurray with Your Legal Skills

 Calgary, Edmonton, Legal News: Alberta, News, Volunteer  Comments Off on Support Fort McMurray with Your Legal Skills
May 312016
 

Dial-a-Lawyer Initiative

If you are looking for a way to help those affected by the Fort McMurray wildfires, we invite you to join Pro Bono Law Alberta (PBLA), Legal Aid Alberta (LAA), the Law Society of Alberta (LSA), the Canadian Bar Association (CBA), and pro bono clinics across the province to assist Fort McMurray residents through a one-day Fort McMurray Dial-a-Lawyer initiative.


Details

The Dial-a-Lawyer Initiative aims to provide legal information and advice concerning issues arising from the wildfires to residents of Fort McMurray and surrounding areas. This event will be held on Saturday, June 11, from 9:30AM – 3:30PM, and will be conducted in both Edmonton and Calgary from Legal Aid’s offices.

Volunteer

Volunteers are needed to give advice in the following areas:

  • Insurance;
  • Employment;
  • Landlord-tenant;
  • Family; and
  • Immigration (temporary foreign workers).

Volunteers can participate in half-day shifts (9:30AM – 12:30PM & 12:30 – 3:30PM) or for the full day (lunch and refreshments provided by the CBA).

Registration

If you or your colleagues would like to volunteer, please navigate to the volunteer portal. For technical assistance with registration, please contact Lee-Anne Wright.


If you want LESA’s help to raise awareness about an upcoming event relevant to the Alberta legal community, contact Andrea Maltais, Communications Coordinator.
780.969.0555 or andrea.maltais@lesa.org

LESA Welcomes our 2016 Summer Students!

 Law Students, LESA Update, News  Comments Off on LESA Welcomes our 2016 Summer Students!
May 302016
 

LESA is pleased to welcome this year’s summer students – Angela Beierbach and Katie Moore!

Angela and Katie have settled in nicely into their roles here at LESA, working with Counsel, Christine Sanderman and Kelsey Dick – who was a LESA summer student before becoming our Staff Lawyer.

We recently interviewed these young professionals to find out what they are up to this summer.

Happy Reading!


Angela Beierbach

We chatted with Angela to get to know her a bit more and to see how she was settling in. Here’s what she had to say!

How did you become interested in law?

I always had an interest in going into law school … I majored in psychology and minored in sociology [at the University of Alberta] … [and] I have a lot of research experience in a social psychology. … [I was working] towards clinical psychology, but decided that wasn’t for me and I revisited the idea of law. It’s ever-evolving and there are countless opportunities to learn. It’s a really flexible profession, and there are a lot of different practice areas you can dabble in. Plus, you have the opportunity to work with and help people.”

Has your experience here so far pulled you in a specific direction?

I’m pretty much happy to be learning about all areas at this point. I didn’t know that I’d be interested in business law but after taking a few classes and working on the [CPLED] fundamentals, [with LESA’s Legal team] I feel like I kind of have a knack for it!”

What do you enjoy about working with LESA?

It’s a really friendly office. Everyone is so helpful and approachable and it’s a really good opportunity to learn about a whole bunch of different areas of law.”

What fun things do you have planned for the summer?

Maybe do a bike trip at the end of the summer … I love biking in the Edmonton river valley.”


Katie Moore

Talking with Katie was a blast! She is enthusiastic and passionate about law and is excited to be a part of the LESA team. Here’s what Katie had to say!

How did you get to be where you are today?

When I graduated high school I didn’t really know where I wanted to go. … I loved reading, I loved writing, and I loved editing. Those were my favorite things. … I did my arts degree with English as my major and psychology as my minor, and it was more towards the end of my degree that I started leaning more towards law. I realized what I really loved was the deep analysis. … In law, you’re going through legislation and doing a deep analysis and figuring out what it means. … I kind of feel like the decision came around a little more organically. … Then I applied to law school … wrote my LSAT … and then I went to University of Calgary law.”

What projects do you have on the go with us right now?

Currently, our main project and the one that I’m working on the most is we’re going through the CPLED fundamentals materials [with LESA’s Legal team]. … I’m enjoying it a lot. It’s really interesting. I’m working on criminal right now and … it’s fascinating to go through. … [There is] a lot … I have learned, but a lot of it is stuff I have not yet learned … so it’s kind of a little bit of a preview of what I’m going to be seeing – especially with criminal. I find it is a bit more visceral than other areas of law.”

What do you enjoy most about working with LESA so far?

I enjoy the freedom that I get … I kind of get to explore different areas and … get to direct that in a sense. Everyone here has been really supportive of the work that I’ve been doing and encouraging me to if you’re interested in this, pursue it a little bit more; if you’re interested in that subject, keep going with it. …It’s kind of like a run with it kind of idea. Not just finish these tasks in order.”

Will you be crossing anything off of your bucket list this summer?

I am actually! I’m going to Shakespeare in the Park this summer, which has been a dream of mine since being in Edmonton.”

MEP – Section 7 Expense Policy Changes

 Legal News: Alberta, News  Comments Off on MEP – Section 7 Expense Policy Changes
May 272016
 

 

 

Find out about MEP’s changes to section 7 expenses!

Are you a member of Alberta’s legal community who handles the preparation of child support orders? If so, did you know that the Maintenance Enforcement Program (MEP) has changed how it enforces select types of section 7 expenses?

These changes were made as a result of feedback from the courts, the legal profession, and clients.

The new policy affects expense claims processed by MEP only on or after May 16, 2016, regardless of when the claims were received by MEP.  It does not affect any expense claims added to a MEP file prior to May 16, 2016.


The change doesn’t affect you if your court order or agreement

sets an amount for expenses or specifies what expenses are payable.


Changes

MEP will no longer enforce percentage or proportionate share of expenses unless:

  • the type of expense is clearly stated in the court order or agreement, or
  • the parties agree on the expenses to be shared.

As an administrative program, it is not MEP’s role to determine what expenses are reasonable and necessary for a family. MEP will continue to enforce orders that set a specific amount for section 7 expenses, or allow for proportionate shares of clearly specified expenses. MEP will no longer enforce general section 7 expenses, unless the parties agree to specific expenses in writing.

Find out more about what is considered to be too general for MEP to enforce.

Q & A

Here are some key questions we asked Miyo Bly, Family Support and Order Services (Alberta Justice and Solicitor General), regarding these changes.

Why is it important that I know about these changes?

We want the Alberta’s legal community to be aware of this change when preparing child support orders, so that clients can avoid the extra step of completing MEP’s Section 7 Expenses Agreement form or initiating further court action. We also want the Alberta legal community to be aware of the reasons that MEP may stop enforcing their client’s non-specific section 7 expenses, and the options available to ensure enforcement of specific section 7 expenses.”

How will changes to the S7 Expense Policy affect my practice?

When an order term is not specific enough for MEP to enforce, MEP will request they complete a Section 7 Expenses Agreement.  If parties cannot agree on the specific expenses, MEP will advise parties to have their court order changed to clarify their Section 7 expenses. MEP is expecting an increase in the number of people asking for legal advice and initiating legal action to have their child support order changed.”

What do I need to do?

MEP prefers that parties submit a completed Section 7 Expenses Agreement Form signed by both [parties], but where this is not feasible, MEP will attempt to facilitate agreement by forwarding the agreement completed by one party to the other.  The second party may agree or reject any or all of the proposed expenses listed in the draft agreement, and return a signed copy to MEP.”

Contact

If you have questions, please contact MEP at 780-422-5555 (toll-free in Alberta 310-0000) and select the Program’s lawyer line.

Queen’s Bench Notice: Child Support Applications

 Legal News: Alberta, News  Comments Off on Queen’s Bench Notice: Child Support Applications
May 262016
 

 

The Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta recently released a Notice to the Profession and Public outlining changes in judicial policy regarding child support applications. The Court will now strictly enforce the income information provisions under s 21 – 24 of the Federal Child Support Guidelines, SOR/97-175 and s 21 of the Alberta Child Support Guidelines, Alta Reg 147/2005 in child support applications. There are now forms available on the Alberta Courts website that can be used for filing.

An applicant applying for a child support order (including a variance) will no longer be permitted to file an Application and supporting Affidavit unless the applicant has provided the financial information set out in s 21 of the applicable Guidelines. Likewise, a respondent will not be permitted to file a responding affidavit or reply unless he or she has provided the required s 21 information.

This change took effect on May 1, 2016 but will have a grace period until June 1, 2016.

For more information, please see the full Court of Queen’s Bench Notice.

For further reading, LESA offers a number of past seminar papers on child support applications and obligations, including the following which you can purchase from our website and are also available on the LESA Library for annual subscribers: