ALRI Report on a New Trustee Act for Alberta

 Legal News: Alberta, News  Comments Off on ALRI Report on a New Trustee Act for Alberta
Nov 272015

ALRI logoALRI (Alberta Law Reform Institute) recently published another report – Report for Discussion #28, A New Trustee Act for Alberta.

The report reviews the Uniform Trustee Act prepared by the Uniform Law Conference of Canada, Alberta’s current Trustee Act, and Alberta law and policy. ALRI’s report then recommends that Alberta implement most of the Uniform Trustee Act provision (with certain modifications, clarifications, and enhancements to reflect Alberta law and policy) while also keeping some of the current Trustee Act provisions in the new legislation.

Here are some of the changes that ALRI proposes to the existing trustee legislation:

  • Trustee majority rule as opposed to requiring unanimity,
  • The existence of temporary trustees, and
  • Two standards of care for trustees – one standard for lay trustees and a more onerous standard for professional trustees.

If you haven’t already done so, download the full report and then complete the survey to give ALRI your feedback. Make sure you offer your suggestions before March 31, 2016.

Information provided by Carol Burgess, ALRI Operations Manager.

Congrats 2015 WILL Award Recipients!

 Awards and Accolades, Lawyer Recognition, Legal News: Alberta, News  Comments Off on Congrats 2015 WILL Award Recipients!
Nov 262015

WILLAwards2012_logoThe Women in Law Leadership (WILL) awards were handed out earlier this month, and LESA heartily extends our congratulations to all of this year’s WILL award recipients!

The 5th anniversary of the WILL Awards saw 7 outstanding professionals awarded for their dedication and contributions:

Heather McKay QC – Leadership in the Profession (Private Practice)
Keely Brown – Leadership in the Profession (In-House)
Gail Harding QC – Leadership in the Profession (In-House)
Jolaine Antonio – Leadership in the Profession (Government)
Phyllis Smith QC – Leadership in the Profession (Broader Roles)
Donna Purcell QC – Leadership in the Community
Chidinma Thompson – Tomorrow’s Leader

LESA also wants to congratulate all of the 2015 finalists (including our own Jennifer Flynn). We know that each of you has also made significant contributions to the profession, and you deserve a hearty applause for all of your hard work.

Many of these recipients (and the other finalists!) have supported LESA through their volunteer efforts in the past, so we know firsthand the difference that these women are making in the profession. Thanks for all your hard work and congrats again to the 2015 WILL award recipients!

You can find a complete list of 2015 recipients and finalists online.

Securities Law for Legal Support Staff

 Calgary, Edmonton, LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Securities Law for Legal Support Staff
Nov 252015

Securities Law for Legal Support Staff

It may seem a long way off, but the new year is only weeks away, and we’re kicking off 2016 with several informative programs in January – including Securities Law for Legal Support Staff.

Seminar chair Chris Peng’s overarching message about the value of this seminar is that, because it provides both background information and practical examples, Securities Law for Legal Support Staff is a program that will help you put the pieces together and gain the context and understanding you need to do your job effectively.

I think it’s a good mix of basic legal concepts … [and] practical applications for legal assistants. … [We’re trying] to provide a basic explanation of what the area of law is, but then we’re also trying to incorporate the practical aspect … of examples of actual documents, or forms, or agreements – things that you would actually see. … For example, for an exempt prospectus offering, what kind of forms you need to file after the offering. Or for a prospectus offering, trying to go through the process of what gets filed, when it gets filed, and what the documents look like.”

As Chris explains, the seminar is broken down into a several components:

  1. Basic introduction to what a security is (with Nav Dhaliwal)
  2. Discussion of how the legal system works for securities (with Jessica Brown)
  3. Prospectus requirements (with Andrea Whyte)
  4. Continuous disclosure (with Leanne C. Krawchuk)
  5. Corporate transactions (with Keith R. Chatwin)

You can learn more about each topic in the program brochure, but the general idea is to provide contextual, theoretical information along with example documents so that you become familiar with how things work and what documentation is required.

Rather than receive a process to follow for each transaction, you’ll gain insight into the basics and background of securities law so that you can understand the context and put the pieces together when you encounter them in your day-to-day work. As Chris explains, the goal is that understanding the context helps you know how to handle the various documents you encounter because you’ll know how they relate to the bigger picture of securities law.

I think, in general, that it helps if you have an understanding of why something is there. It has more meaning to you, and maybe it will make more sense to you. It’s something you’ll be more mindful of. … When you’re doing it, you’ll understand what the concept is rather than it just being some random document. … If you have things you can refer back to afterwards or things you recall from [the seminar], it gives you better understanding of what you’re doing later on down the road, when you’re actually doing it.”

You won’t walk away from this program knowing the ins and outs of every transaction, but you will have the background you need to better understand how the pieces fit together (as well as a helpful seminar binder full of materials to reference in the office).

Register Online

This program’s special early bird registration ends soon – on December 1 – so make sure you register online now to enjoy the savings. Register to attend in Calgary (January 7) or Edmonton (January 14).

Until we see you at the seminar, have fun ringing out 2015 and ringing in 2016!

LESA Turns 40!

 LESA Update  Comments Off on LESA Turns 40!
Nov 192015

LESA is celebrating 40 years!LESA is celebrating a special milestone today – our 40th anniversary as an organization!

The Legal Education Society of Alberta was incorporated as a non-profit society 40 years ago today, on November 19, 1975. Today’s blog will take you through a brief history of our first 40 years. Enjoy the travel back in time!

A Brief History

In 1964, the Law Society of Alberta arranged the first bar admission courses in Alberta – a decision that eventually led to the creation of LESA, when, in 1975, the Law Society identified overlap between its own bar admission activities and the professional development opportunities provided by CBA Alberta. To streamline these efforts, the Law Society recommended establishing an independent organization that would facilitate both bar admission courses and continuing legal education for the profession.

Peter Owen QC served as LESA’s first Executive Director from 1976–1979, locating LESA’s offices in downtown Edmonton in order to be close to those practicing in the profession. When William Galloway took the job of Executive Director (which he held until 1983), he worked to develop LESA’s connections in Calgary, where he was located. With offices in both Edmonton and Calgary, program responsibilities were divided between the two locations. Galloway was followed by Professor John Law, who held the office of Executive Director for 9 months. At this time, LESA moved its Edmonton offices into space at the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Law.

Next, in 1984, Hugh A. Robertson QC became Executive Director and ushered in a new era of LESA’s growth. He was instrumental in developing LESA’s relationships with other continuing legal education providers, through LESA’s association with groups like ACLEA and the CBA’s International Initiatives. Paul F. Wood QC then succeeded Hugh Robertson in 2008, helping to expand access to LESA’s programs through our Access Bursaries, which offer registration discounts for those who have to travel long distances to attend in-person programs. Jennifer Flynn stepped into the role of LESA’s current Executive Director in 2013, and she has worked tirelessly to expand the availability and quality of LESA’s offerings – both in regards to our live seminars as well as our print and digital resources. One of the most significant recent developments LESA has seen under her watch is the launch of the LESA Library – a comprehensive, online resource – that was opened to the profession on September 30, 2015.

Although its responsibilities, functions, and mandate have evolved over time, LESA continues to maintain relationships with the various organizations involved in its founding. From the beginning, LESA’s Board of Directors has included representatives from other organizations that have an interest in the activities under LESA’s purview, including CBA Alberta, the Law Society, the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary, and other members of the legal community. LESA continues to work with the universities on some of our ongoing programming: the annual Constitutional Law Symposium is held in conjunction with the Centre for Constitutional Studies at the University of Alberta and the Intensive Advocacy program (which is going into its 34th year in 2016) is hosted at the University of Calgary. Our longstanding relationship with the Law Society now sees us deliver the CPLED Program (Alberta’s bar admission program) on their behalf. We also work with them to identify educational needs, including having Practice Advisors speak at our seminars, amongst other things.

LESA’s Mandate

Its original mandate tasked LESA with educating students-at-law and members of the legal profession as well as the general public. Today, LESA continues to focus on providing quality in-person education to the whole range of legal professionals – lawyers, students-at-law, and legal support staff – while also preparing quality resources, in both print and digital formats. In its early days, LESA contributed to public legal education by making its educational resource materials available to other organizations that played a role in educating the public. Through the years, other public legal education efforts involved contributions to a Calgary Herald column (“Legally Speaking”) and a program called Saturday Morning at the Law School (held in both Edmonton and Calgary), but by 1999, public legal education was removed from LESA’s mandate, allowing LESA to focus all of its resources on educating the profession.

Continuing Legal Education – Live Events

The goal of helping practicing lawyers and their support staff refresh their knowledge and update their skills has been at the heart of LESA since the beginning. Even from the start LESA’s seminars have been highly valued by the profession: in 1976/1977 1,650 lawyers participated in our programs, by 1978/1979 that number had already climbed to 2,559 lawyers and 966 paralegals.

In the past few years, LESA’s program offerings have grown substantially, with approximately 3,700 seminar registrants attending an average of 40 distinct programs offered each year (most of which are held in both Edmonton and Calgary, with some programs held in other centres, such as Red Deer and Lethbridge). This year, in 2015/2016, LESA is offering over 45 live events, more than ever before!

CPLED Program – Bar Admission Training

While bar admission training has changed greatly over the years, one thing has remained constant: providing quality education for students-at-law has occupied much of LESA’s time and resources. Today, this training is offered as the CPLED Program, and LESA has several full time staff committed to the program delivery, assisting both the students taking the Program and the lawyers who provide the education in the online and face-to-face modules.

Recent years have seen over 400 students enter the CPLED Program each year, with 2014/2015 boasting a record breaking 478 students. These students complete 3 face-to-face modules, 7 online modules, and 1 online self-study course. This means that each year LESA administers around 1,400 in-person learning exercise, more than 2,500 assignments, and approximately 5,000 competency evaluations, while coordinating roughly 45 learning group facilitators and evaluators.

Educational Resources – Print and Digital

LESA’s first formal publishing venture was single volume Alberta Law for the 80s, a joint project between LESA and Butterworths that eventually turned into a 3 volume publication. By 1986 the publications program had grown large enough to require establishing a Director of Publications position. We have now sold over 5,600 books in our Practice Manual Series – not counting updates – along with thousands of other publications.

Since 2014, LESA has expanded its online resources in two significant ways:

  1. We have grown our Educational Resources to include about 30 offerings – including seminars on demand (that allow viewers to stream video recordings of seminar presenters and download course materials as PDFs) and online courses (that allow users to access information in a self-study module format).
  2. We have launched the LESA Library, an online resource that allows users to access Alberta-specific legal information, anytime, anywhere – all for one low price. Annual subscriptions to the LESA Library provide users with seminar papers as well as Practice Manual series and Fundamental series content (including precedents, checklists, and fillable forms).

To Conclude

There’s so much more we could say about what LESA is doing now and where we have come from in the past, but we’ll wrap things up by saying that we are forever grateful to the volunteers who generously donate their time, knowledge, and abilities to help make our seminars, CPLED Program, and educational resources run smoothly.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the trip down memory lane and learned a thing or two you didn’t know about LESA. Thanks for reading!

Delve Deeper into Advanced Matrimonial Property Issues

 Calgary, Edmonton, LESA Update, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Delve Deeper into Advanced Matrimonial Property Issues
Nov 182015

Advanced Matrimonial Property Image

In the new year, LESA is offering a series of advanced-level seminars for experienced practitioners to discuss some of the more unique issues that they encounter in their particular areas of law. One of these seminars is Advanced Matrimonial Property.

We spoke to seminar chair Krista L. Frohlich to find out why this will be a phenomenal program, and here are her top 5 reasons why you won’t want to miss Advanced Matrimonial Property.

1. Participate in a Discussion Based Program with a Collaborative Panel Approach

Frohlich describes the experienced panel as being made up of “very active and opinionated speakers” – which will make for interesting discussions influenced by various points of view. Instead of being set up as a typical seminar, with each speaker giving their presentation as a somewhat complete unit, Advanced Matrimonial Property is structured as more of a panel discussion, aiming to engage the audience and generate discussion with them as well as the panel.

I’m excited about the panel we have. They’re all very bright. They’re all very passionate about what they’re talking about and passionate about the law. So I think that the collaborative panel approach is going to be interesting. In the afternoon, where folks are prone to fall asleep – that’s not going to happen with this panel.”

2. Discuss Unique Topics

This program covers advanced matrimonial property issues that Frohlich describes as being on the rise in recent years, making it important to for practitioners to “at least know and discover what the resources are, what to look for on those files, and … what questions they should be asking.”

The Farm and Ranch Divorce – Janis M. Pritchard  & Catherine Regier

As an Edmonton practitioner, Frohlich isn’t as familiar with ranching, farming, and oil property cases, but she recognizes that they can be quite common for those practicing in rural Alberta. In this session, you’ll learn how to best serve your clients by addressing issues of valuation, exemptions, tax, and tax planning.

Family Trusts – Tina Huizinga

To Frohlich, this topic is important because “with the baby boomers retiring and wanting to protect the wealth that they’ve developed, family trusts are probably more popular now than they’ve ever been.” In this session, you’ll explore “exemptions, how trusts are constituted, where they come from, why people do them, and things for lawyers to look out for.”

Enforceability of Domestic Contracts – Nigel Montoute

Again, this topic has become increasingly important over the past few years, with what Frohlich describes as a “little cottage industry that some lawyers are trying to develop in Alberta where they’re challenging prenuptial agreements … probably because prenuptial agreements are more common than they had been in the past.” In this session, you’ll learn about the latest developments in the law and hear about cases that have been heard since 2012.

Ex Juris Assets – Robert G. Harvie QC

Frohlich is excited about this topic because it’s one she hasn’t seen addressed at any seminar in the past. How can you handle situations where people reside in Alberta but hold property in other jurisdictions? As she says,“There are limits on what the Alberta courts can do with that property, but we’re going to look what have they been doing. Sometimes do bad cases make bad law? There’s an argument that sometimes that happens. How can lawyers get creative or be prepared for dealing with those kinds of situations?” It’s these types of questions that will be addressed in this session.

3. Develop Relationships with Fellow Practitioners

On one hand, attending seminars allows you to develop relationships with your colleagues. As Frohlich joked, this lets practitioners meet each other face-to-face, which will hopefully lead to friendlier relations when you’re working on opposite sides of a file.

On the other hand, you can also build connections with experts in your field so that you have a resource to reach out to when you encounter a particularly challenging case. Frohlich explains that “all of these [panelists] are very giving” and willing to be a resource when you need to pick someone’s brain about an issue in a file that you’re working on.

4. Leave with Useful Resources

In addition to the seminar papers that you can add to your collection of resources back at the office, the panel (and audience) discussions will also impart an incredible wealth of knowledge. For Frohlich, the value of this program’s discussion based, collaborative panel approach is that the “different opinions on how each practitioner would approach the issues that we’re going to talk about … will generate discussion and may allow people to be more creative in their practice.”

5. Update Your Knowledge and Enlarge Your Perspective

It’s probably not hard to agree with Frohlich’s statement about why attending seminars is important:

I think one of the most important things that lawyers should do professionally is upgrade their education … You kind of get ensconced or insulated thinking that, well, you know everything. We get into these habits of how we think we should do things, and, by going to these kinds of seminars, sometimes you can see that there’s a different way to do things – maybe a better way to do things.”

Especially in a seminar set up to encourage audience and panel discussion, there is a lot of opportunity for expanding your way of thinking, considering new perspectives, and consequently becoming even better at what you do.

Register Online

You can register online for Advanced Matrimonial Property in Calgary on January 6 or in Edmonton on January 12. If you want to take advantage of the special early bird registration rate, make sure to register before December 1.

Domestic Contracts – Now as a Seminar on Demand

 LESA Update, Resource, Seminars On Demand  Comments Off on Domestic Contracts – Now as a Seminar on Demand
Nov 172015

LESA is pleased to announce our latest seminar on demand: Domestic Contracts. The above introductory video with seminar chair Deni Cashin shows you what the program is all about, and today’s blog gives you additional details.

The seminar on demand provides you with course materials (as downloadable PDFs) and speaker presentations (as online, streamable videos). Together the materials and presentations cover several important topics:

This seminar on demand also offers many practical resources: it references recent case law and provides sample clauses, precedents, and checklists.

To gain access to this seminar on demand, you can register online now. Once we get your registration, we’ll send you your login credentials, and you can access all of these incredible resources online any time you’d like.

If you’re interested in other online resources, you can find a complete listing of available seminars on demand or information about the new LESA Library on our website.

Discover New Seminars on Demand

 LESA Update, Resource, Seminars On Demand  Comments Off on Discover New Seminars on Demand
Nov 042015

LESA rolled out our seminar on demand offerings last year, and the first of this year’s seminars on demand are now available for purchase.

Seminars on demand are one way that LESA is making our educational resources more accessible to you, regardless of the confines of your calendar. Since seminars on demand allow you to stream video recordings of speaker presentations and download course materials as PDFs, they are a great option if you couldn’t attend a seminar in person.

Today’s blog highlights LESA’s 3 newest seminars on demand. For a fun and quick preview of what to expect from each resource, view the trailer videos below to hear a snippet from each speaker.

Court of Appeal Practice

Do you want to be prompt and persuasive in the Court of Appeal? If so, this resource offers amazing insights into basic techniques and principles that you can use to increase your comfort level and chances of success.

In this seminar on demand, you’ll glean valuable insights from experienced practitioners (Mona Duckett QC, Frank Foran QC, and Melanie Hayes-Richards) as well as members of the judiciary (the Honourable J.E.L Côté, the Honourable Justice P.A Rowbotham, and the Honourable Justice F.F. Slatter).

Topics address all types of appeals (criminal, civil, and administrative) and include discussion on when to appeal, preparing the appeal record, factums, specialized appellate procedures, oral argument, oral applications, judgments, and costs.

Here’s what some live seminar attendees found most beneficial about the program:

The speakers were excellent. The chance to hear from both members of the bench and senior members of the bar was the most beneficial aspect of the program.”
“Good real world advice.”
“Reviewing the rules is a great starting point, but the insights of senior counsel and the judiciary made this seminar excellent.”

You too can benefit from the advice shared in the program: register online for the Court of Appeal Practice seminar on demand.

Estate Accounting

Examine important estate accounting concepts, including formal and informal accounting, duties to account, review, and passing of accounts. This seminar on demand also discusses available estate litigation mechanisms and recent court decisions on various accounting issues.

Duties to Account
Wanda Fawcett

Acceptable Accounting
Malkit Atwal

Court Process and Procedure
Benjamin Kormos

Issues Before the Courts
Ted Crane

Here are a few highlights of what live seminar attendees found most beneficial about this program:

The essays that I was able to read after the seminar … allowed me to think over the issues they had brought up and reference their points after the seminar was finished.”
“Discussion between the panel and the audience.”
“General overview dealing with estate accounting issues.”

To gain access to this program yourself, register online for the Estate Accounting seminar on demand.

Technology Contracts

Analyze technology contracts and drafting issues and pitfalls in this seminar on demand that helps you learn how to identify concerns and advise clients. This resource discusses both the technology itself as well as the surrounding legal issues.

Topics include exclusion of liability issues, governing law and jurisdiction clauses, alternative dispute resolution clauses, service level agreements, escrow agreements, data security and privacy issues, licensing, and typical negotiating points in technology contracting.

The topics were presented by James T. Swanson, Stephen D. Burns, Tom A. Sides, Richard P.W. Stobbe, and George A. Wowk.

Those who attended the live program identified a variety of things when asked what they found most beneficial:

Solid information, entertaining, good materials.”
“Having time to think about things in a new context.”
“All the presenters were well spoken, knowledgeable, and current.”

Register online for the Technology Contracts seminar on demand to start accessing the speaker videos and seminar materials now.

Head to our website for a complete list of available seminars on demand .

Happy viewing!

November 2015: Upcoming Legal Events

 Calgary, Edmonton, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on November 2015: Upcoming Legal Events
Nov 032015

Mark your calenders!

November is upon us, bringing with it many exciting continuing legal education seminars (not mention the first of this year’s snowflakes!).

Today’s blog fills you in on all the seminars happening this month. Each seminar still has room available, but some are almost full, so make sure you register now to save your seat.

Top Wills and Estates Law Cases – November 3 (Calgary)
While it’s too late to register for this program, the seminar materials will be available for sale later this month.

Domestic Contracts – November 4 (Calgary)
Examine domestic contracts and learn how to negotiate, draft, and challenge them.

Mediation of Family & Divorce Conflicts – November 9-13 (Calgary)
Develop the skills, knowledge, and understanding to build a competent and professional mediation practice in this intensive program that is recognized by the collaborative law associations in Alberta.

5th Annual Law and Practice Update – November 13-14 (Edmonton)
Gain substantive legal updates, practice management tips, and networking opportunities in this program that is targeted to solo and small firm practitioners. Attendees are entitled to a $75 loss prevention rebate on your Alberta Professional Liability Insurance Levy.

PCLaw® Basics – November 16 (Edmonton) and November 19 (Calgary)
Learn how to effectively input data into the program’s software by discovering more about the program interface, basic settings, Register, and more. Attendees are entitled to a $75 loss prevention rebate on your Alberta Professional Liability Insurance Levy.

PCLaw® Beyond the Basics – November 17 (Edmonton) and November 20 (Calgary)
Review how to extract and use the data housed in the program with discussion of more advanced topics, tips, and functionality. Attendees are entitled to a $75 loss prevention rebate on your Alberta Professional Liability Insurance Levy.

Research for Legal Support Staff – November 17 (Edmonton) and November 24 (Calgary)
Discover how you can support the practitioners in your office with valuable legal research skills. Learn about the best reference tools, proper legal citation, how to make sure your information is current, and more.

Drafting Your First Will – November 18 (Edmonton) and November 25 (Calgary)
Gain confidence in drafting your first will. Review property disposable by a will, drafting considerations, common drafting errors, and how to prepare a standard will.

Enjoy the seminars this month!

Hear from Law and Practice Update Attendees

 Edmonton, LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Hear from Law and Practice Update Attendees
Oct 282015

Law and Practice Update Image

UPDATE: This seminar occurred in the past. View the complete list of upcoming seminars to discover live programs that are available now.

The 5th Annual Law and Practice Update is just around the corner. It’s happening in Edmonton on November 13-14, and, if you’re a solo lawyer or small firm practitioner, this program is specifically targeted to meet your needs.

But don’t take our word for it. We spoke to several past attendees about why they love this program and what they’re looking forward to about the program this year.

Based in Red Deer, James Dixon is a self-described “general practitioner, small-town” lawyer who believes that to excel in that setting you need to be “an expert at being a general practitioner.” For James, the secret to being a successful general practitioner lies in continually updating your knowledge:

As long as I’ve been in this business, I still consider myself a blank sheet every day, and I need to have my learning filled in and updated, refreshed. So, in that sense, LESA is incredibly important to me.”

Caila MacLeod enjoys her “small-town, general practice in Edson, Alberta” where she and her team pride themselves in “combining new technologies with our legal services to provide practical solutions for our clients in the Yellowhead County area.”

James is a small firm practitioner who has never worked in a firm with more than 3 or 4 lawyers, and Caila is the only lawyer in her firm, with 6 others who help support her law practice. While they work in similar settings, they also bring various perspectives in terms of experience. James jokingly admits that he is “getting close to the twilight” of his legal career, and Caila has been in practice since January 2014. In fact, she first attended Law and Practice Update as an articling student, where she loved gaining “knowledge for the business side of the practice.”

Two general themes emerged from their comments about the Law and Practice Update program:

  1. The wide variety of information – both substantive legal updates and practice management information – is incredibly useful.
  2. The networking opportunities are a huge benefit. Being able to connect with other similarly situation practitioners, provides a connection to an incredible community, a wealth of knowledge, and practical solutions to common problems.

Here’s more of what they love about Law and Practice Update:

Why do you think the Law & Practice Update program is beneficial for solo and small firm practitioners?

For two reasons. Number 1, it provides an update in all areas, and it turns your mind to issues you might not have appreciated (maybe they’re not part of your practice or [they’re something] you don’t do every single day). It gives you those added tidbits from the other areas so that you can connect your practice as a whole, especially when you’re doing more general law. [Number 2,] the networking – the networking is key.” Caila

Because of the wide range of offerings. You’re not going to get everything in a year or two, but over a period of years virtually everything I’ve had this inner feeling that I need to get refreshed on … pops up sooner or later. One is always canvassed for suggestions about future programs, and people don’t seem to be shy about making suggestions. Sure enough, a year or two later there’s a seminar about something you might have scribbled on a sheet.” James

What did you most enjoy about the last time you attended Law and Practice Update?

That it drew a real crowd of people who were, for want of a better expression, precisely like me. So I felt a level of collegiality there … that isn’t always present. I always run into someone I know … at these things, [and] one chats about matters of common interest, but Law and Practice Update particularly has that sort of side aspect to it. The program itself [is also valuable], because of the several nails that get hit on the head in the course of two days. … You’re getting a whole bunch of things in a short period of time. … It would be my first choice every year frankly.” James

I think being able to speak with other practitioners, even after each seminar, to discuss some of the issues they brought up and see that there is more than one way to do things. … There are lots of great ideas coming from the conference. I think they are actual practical solutions, because they are tailored to the small firm practitioner.” Caila

What are you looking forward to about the program this year?

Can I say all of it? … I think attending is one of the best things you can do as a solo or small firm practitioner.” Caila

There were a couple things that caught my eye. … Commercial Real Estate, that is something that I seem not to have had the benefit of sitting down with somebody for a period of time, so I was looking forward to that. … It’s always a pleasure to listen to Nancy. … Time Management is still a very important thing, so that seems appealing. Real Estate is something I do 8 days a week, so it’s nice to [discuss] any particular issues around that. … Summary Judgements … is a very important topic now, because it’s in use a lot more since some recent decisions came down. … And then Law Office Self-Assessment is just curious to me. It’s like going to the doctor’s office: I don’t want to get on the scale, and I don’t want to get my blood pressure taken, but I know I’ve got to.” James

So there you have it. That’s why two past attendees love the program and are registered to come again this year. There are plenty of benefits to attending, including the $75 loss prevention rebate you can receive on your Alberta Professional Liability Insurance Levy.

You can view the full line up of speakers and session topics in the program brochure. Whatever you’re most looking forward to, we can’t wait to see you there.

If you haven’t already saved your seat, register online now.

Complete your Library with the LESA Library

 LESA Update, News, Online Library  Comments Off on Complete your Library with the LESA Library
Oct 272015

Have you heard about the new LESA Library? If not, today’s LESA blog fills you in on all the information you need to know about the LESA Library and why it is an incredible resource.

The LESA Library provides Alberta-specific legal content, anytime, anywhere – all for one low price.

For a quick (and fun) introduction to the LESA Library, you can watch the below introductory video.


Library_BooksOver 11,000 pages of print content have been put onto the LESA Library, offering you substantive law and practice management information (including fillable forms and editable precedents!).

Practice Manual and Fundamental Series Content. You can access content for the following publications in easy-to-use, searchable encyclopedia-style articles:

  • Alberta Civil Practice Manual
  • Alberta Family Law Practice Manual
  • Alberta Real Estate Practice Manual
  • Alberta Surrogate Forms
  • Business Law Fundamentals
  • Criminal Law Fundamentals
  • Wills Fundamentals

Library_DocumentSeminar Papers. You can download hundreds of seminar papers as PDFs. Available seminar materials from the past 4 years are currently on the LESA Library, with newly presented papers as well as earlier materials being added to the Library on a regular basis. These papers offer valuable information and useful tools, including checklists and tips to help you expand your knowledge, skills, and practice.


You can access the LESA Library from any computer or mobile device (the Library is mobile optimized!). All you need is an internet connection, and you can connect to the LESA Library from the office, home, coffee shop, courtroom, or anywhere else you want to access to the information.


Annual subscriptions to the LESA Library start at just $795 + GST, making the LESA Library an affordable resource. If all the content on the Library was purchased individually, it would cost over $14,000, but the individual subscription rate of $795 is comparable to the cost of attending a 2-day live seminar or purchasing 2 practice manuals.

If you work in a firm setting, it is worthwhile to consider the value that you will receive from purchasing a firm subscription. Firm subscriptions start at $1,495 + GST and rates are based on the number of registered users, where every lawyer in the firm who has been called the Alberta bar is registered as a distinct user in the LESA Library.

Complete your library today. Visit for more information or to subscribe.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us at 780.420.1987 or toll free in Alberta at 1.800.282.3900. You can also reach us at