Legal News Blog

Final Surrogate Practice & Procedure Town Hall Meetings

 Legal News: Alberta, News  Comments Off on Final Surrogate Practice & Procedure Town Hall Meetings
Apr 212017

Final Surrogate Practice & Procedure Townhall Meetings

The Final Surrogate Practice and Procedure Town Hall Meetings are happening next week.

Members of the bar are invited to join in open discussion and to submit questions and comments relating to Surrogate practice matters, including the process of applying for grants, to the Co-Chairs at

Efforts will be made at the meeting to address these questions and concerns. Select the city where you wish to attend to see full details, including guest speakers and session topics.

Meeting Information


Date: Thursday, April 27, 2017
Time: 12:30 PM–1:30 PM
Location: Calgary – QB Courtroom 1801
Hosts: Chief Justice N.C. Wittmann and Hon. Justice C.M. Jones

Guest Speakers:

  • Marie Strauss | Executive Director, Queen’s Bench Administration
  • Graham Badry | Calgary Regional Public Guardian
  • Dana Kingsbury | Assistant Public Trustee
  • Yvonne Gaudet | Assistant Public Trustee

View the Notice of Meeting here.


Date: Friday, April 28, 2017
Time: 12:30 PM–1:30 PM
Location: Edmonton – QB Courtroom 317
Hosts: Hon. Justice P. Michalyshyn | Northern Alberta Surrogate Practice Advisor

Guest Speakers:

  • Marie Strauss | Executive Director, Queen’s Bench Administration
  • Shirley Peleshytyk | Edmonton Regional Public Guardian
  • Cheryl Fix | Assistant Public Trustee

View the Notice of Meeting here.

AJEFA Annual Banquet and General Meeting

 Legal News: Alberta, News  Comments Off on AJEFA Annual Banquet and General Meeting
Apr 192017

AJEFA Annual Banquet and General MeetingThe Association des jurists d’expression française de l’Alberta (AJEFA) is hosting their Annual Banquet and General Meeting on June 2 (Calgary) at the Calgary Elks Lodge and Golf Club (2502 – 6 Street NE).

Topics and Times

Annual General Meeting | 4 PM
This meeting is intended for AJEFA members. However, you’re welcome to attend this meeting as an observer. Interested in becoming an AJEFA member? Click here.

Panel of Experts on Dying with Dignity | 5 PM

  • Me Jolene Lalonde | Scenario and overview of the history of dying with dignity,
  • Me Shannon James | Legal implications for the drafting of wills mandates and other documents in the event of incapacity, and
  • Health Professional (to be confirmed).

Cocktail Reception | 6 PM

Annual Banquet – Above All, Common Sense | 7 PM
Join the Honourable Justice R.J. Chartier, Chief Justice, Manitoba Court of Appeal, to hear about his report Above All, Common Sense on French Language Services within the Government of Manitoba. Learn how the Policy on French Language Services helped increase access to justice in French in Manitoba.

Register Online

Please note that the Annual General Meeting and the panel are free activities, while the Annual Banquet is a paid event.

To register for these activities, complete the registration form before May 19, 2017. The Early Bird registration deadline is April 30, 2017.

Click here for more information. For assistance, call Brigitte or Maria at 780-450-2443.

50th Annual Refresher: Family Law Sessions

 LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on 50th Annual Refresher: Family Law Sessions
Apr 132017

50th annual Refresher: Family Law Sessions

The 50th Annual Refresher: Practice Excellence is approaching quickly, so we want to give you a bit more detail about what to expect from each of the substantive law sessions.

In a recent interview, we spoke with our Family Law Sessional Chair, Marie L. Gordon QC, who was pleased to share more detail about each of the family law sessions. We also asked her why she was keen on being involved in this year’s Refresher program. Here’s what she had to say.

I think that this new idea of bringing together four subject areas under the umbrella of Practice Excellence is a great idea. It’s going to give us more exposure to broader thinking about the way we practice law. I think that all of us have capacity to think about our practices from a forward thinking approach, so that excites me. In addition to that, to get Richard Susskind to speak at this conference is a major coup!”

Learn more about each of the Family Law Sessions, including

Separation and Divorce Later in Life | John-Paul E. Boyd
Do Family Lawyers Have Ethical Obligations to the Children of Their Clients? | Patricial M. Herbert QC & Prof. Nicholas Bala
Jurisdictional Issues in Custody Matters | Krysta H. Ostwald
Old Dogs, New Tricks | Deni Cashin

Happy reading!

Separation and Divorce Later in life | John-Paul E. Boyd

About the Session

Family lawyers are facing more elder divorces than ever. This is a demographic shift that all of us are feeling, and these files require that we have an enhanced understanding of the dynamics that are unique to divorces later in life. Some of the more challenging issues that intersect include, retirement; spousal support; new spouses and new partners; insurance obligations; the making of family law obligations binding on an estate; and public assistance programs, such as OAS, CPP, etc. We need to have a broader understanding of these issues.”

About the Presenter

John-Paul Boyd is a very experienced family law practitioner who’s now the Executive Director of the Canadian Research Institute for Law and the Family. He brings a wonderful hybrid of practical and sociodemographic information about this topic.”

Session Value

Attendees will get a greater sense of what to watch out for in elder divorces and more confidence about guiding clients through a divorce later in life.”

Additional Session Information

This session is running Sunday, May 7 (2017). Make sure to whether or not you wish to attend this session in the comments section upon registration checkout.

Do Family Lawyers Have Ethical Obligations to the Children of Their Clients? | Patricia M. Herbert QC & Prof. Nicholas Bala

About the Session

This is a really interesting take on parenting issues. The majority of our files involve parenting issues, and we’ve come a million miles away from the old fashioned notion of simply managing various schedules. Lawyers used to just help their clients manage a schedule, decide whether it was sole vs. joint custody, and we were done. This session takes a much more sophisticated approach towards understanding our role as lawyers when helping our adult clients. Lawyers have not always been aware of the impact of divorce on children and have sometimes been blind to how their role impacts their clients’ children. This is really going to inform lawyers about how they can manage parenting issues better on their family law files.”

About the Presenters

Nicholas is an international family law star. He is one of Canada’s preeminent academics, and we were extremely fortunate in securing his agreement to speak at this session. He is a prolific writer, judicial educator, and academic who is always on the cutting edge of family law issues related to children. Patricia is highly respected and a nationally recognized expert on issues involving representation of children, parental alienation, and child focus strategies for judges and lawyers. She has experience with some of the hardest files.”

Session Value

This session will give attendees the opportunity to think about their role in an expanded way. It will stretch their understanding of how they can help or harm the children of their clients, and will also allow them to become more conscious of their impact as they move through a standard family law file involving parenting.”

Additional Session Information

This session is running Sunday, May 7 (2017). Make sure to whether or not you wish to attend this session in the comments section upon registration checkout.

Jurisdictional Issues in Custody Matters | Krysta H. Ostwald

About the Session

Family lawyers sometimes feel they have to start at zero when it comes to jurisdictional issues. All of us are concerned about conflict issues and matters that intersect – either interprovincial or international jurisdictional matters. This session provides a very important update with key new cases on jurisdictional matters as they relate to custody. These matters arise frequently on a file and it’s going to be a huge comfort for attendees to get a review of not only basic concepts but also access to key go-to cases.”

About the Presenter

Krysta Ostwald is one of those lawyers who can do it all – litigate, mediate, arbitrate. Krysta has a wealth of practical experience and she is much in demand as a speaker. She is one of the leaders of the National Family Law Program.”

Key Takeaway

This session will help attendees gain a better understanding of the basics of jurisdictional custody –how to avoid leading clients into unsuccessful litigation, how to reduce client costs, and to help clients to effectively litigate if they have to.”

Additional Session Information

This session is running Monday May 8, 2017. Make sure to whether or not you wish to attend this session in the comments section upon registration checkout.

Old Dogs, New Tricks | Deni Cashin

About the Session

About 95% of all the files we ever touch never go to court. This session reminds attendees to constantly think about more effective ways for settling files. It is important to constantly challenge ourselves to get out of our old routines and to think about strategies to bring family disputes to resolution. Everything we do – whether it is in collaboration, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, etc. – all of it requires that we constantly reexamine and improve how we help people “get to yes”. Deni is going to harvest ideas and strategies to share from other family law practitioners.”

About the Presenter

I know Deni personally as being one of those hard-working effective family lawyers, who – like all of us – is striving to constantly get better as a litigator and negotiator.”

Additional Session Information

This session is running Monday, May 8 (2017). Make sure to whether or not you wish to attend this session in the comments section upon registration checkout.

Register Online

Join us for the 50th Annual Refresher this May 7–9 in at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Read the conference brochure to learn more about this once-in-a-career event.


LESA Employment Opportunity: Executive Director

 LESA Update, News  Comments Off on LESA Employment Opportunity: Executive Director
Apr 122017

LESA Employment Opportunity: Executive Director

Apply Now

As you may know, after nearly a decade as part of LESA’s leadership team, Jennifer Flynn will be transitioning out of her position as Executive Director effective May 10, 2017. If you have not had the opportunity to read her open letter to teammates, supporters, and friends, it can be accessed here.

As we note in our LESA Blog: Jennifer Flynn to Join LESA’s Alumni, transitions are a natural part of learning and growing. As such, we are pleased to announce a new LESA Employment Opportunity as we begin the search for our next Executive Director.

Want to Learn More?

Want to learn more about our innovative, dynamic organization? Click here.

If you feel you are uniquely qualified to lead LESA into the future of legal education in Alberta, please
email a cover letter and resume to with the title “Executive Director” in the subject
line. Candidates whose background and qualifications fit the desired requirements of the position will be contacted directly. View the job posting for complete details.

Closing Date

April 28, 2017, or until the successful candidate has been hired.

Rural Property Issues for Alberta Lawyers

 LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Rural Property Issues for Alberta Lawyers
Apr 112017

Rural Property Issues for Alberta Lawyers

An oil company shut down leaving the well on my land abandoned. What do I do now?
There is a transmission line running through my property. Is it necessary? Can I challenge it?
Should I sign this lease agreement? How will it affect me in the future?

Rural property owners are constantly faced with these kinds of challenges. From abandoned and broken wells and weed contamination, to difficult OH&S questions, wetlands and noxious weeds issues, and more.

Join seminar chair Gayle Langford and knowledgeable panelists in Red Deer (June 2) for Rural Property Issues for Alberta Lawyers to address some of these challenging issues.

Program Overview

When it comes to standing up for the “little guy” Gayle is as passionate as she is knowledgeable. We recently spoke with Gayle to find out more about why this program is valuable. Here’s what she had to say.

I see property rights as an extension of personal rights, so as we see an erosion of property rights we also see an erosion of personal rights. These are such important topics and they’re ones that few lawyers get the opportunity to learn about. It’s the kind of subject that you can’t get out of a book. Unless you have the experience or a really good mentor, this is a hard area to learn. It’s a great opportunity for attendees to ask some of the more challenging questions.”

Topics and Presenters

We also spoke with Gayle to find out more about the topics that each of the presenters will be discussing with attendees. Here’s a sneak preview of what you can expect.

Darryl Carter QC | Stringam LLP

Darryl Carter practices out of Grande Prairie and is very experienced in Surface Rights. What’s happening right now is that most landowners get enticed to sign an agreement, but when they sign that agreement, they actually give away a lot of their Rights of Appeal, which they may not realize. Darryl is going to speak about why landowners may want to reconsider giving consent as well as the other options available to them.”

Lee Cutforth QC | Chair, Lethbridge Police Commission

Lee Cutforth is the Former Property Rights Advocate, and he is going to explain why property rights are so important and why we ought to care as lawyers.”

Michael Niven QC & Christy Lee | Carscallen LLP

Michael Niven and Christy Lee did an appeal for me on adverse effects – damages for outside of the right-of-way. I managed to get a dissenting opinion from the Appeal Board and then Michael and Christy successfully appealed it. This is significant because it’s the first time that there has actually been recognition of the adverse effects of property outside of a transmission line where it dissects that property. They are also going to talk about Clubroot as it is becoming more of an issue for those who earn a living from their land.”

Daryl Bennett | My Landman Group Inc.

Darryl Bennett became involved with Surface Rights and leases because they were impacting his family’s land, so his story is very personal. He is well respected and can advise on what to do if your leases are not maintained and if oil companies are not repairing wells. Darryl will also be able to answer questions attendees may have about the orphan well program.”

Shafak Sajid | Co-Author of A Matter of Trust

Shafak recently conducted a study with the University of Ottawa. Her focus in the study was on the changes in legislation affecting rural property owners and the adverse impacts these changes have had. This study shows how Alberta compares with other provinces.”

Christopher Spasoff | F2 Legal Counsel

Christopher Spasoff used to work for OH&S, so he is an expert when it comes to understanding some of the broad powers OH&S inspectors have. Christopher is going to discuss the broad powers that lawyers need to understand.”

Keith Wilson | Wilson Law Office

Keith Wilson is very experienced in all areas of administrative law. He has a wealth of knowledge, and his presentation deals with Alberta environment and wetlands. Keith is also going to present on drones and the use of drone evidence. Keith’s section won’t just be useful for those who act for the ‘little guy’, but will be beneficial for lawyers who work for municipalities as well.”

Register Online

Get practical pointers, take away useful resources, and gain a better understanding of the challenges rural property owners face so you can give confident, competent advice to your clients.

Register online to attend Rural Property Issues for Alberta Lawyers in Red Deer (June 2).

Sneak Preview: Upcoming LESA Programs

 Calgary, Edmonton, LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Sneak Preview: Upcoming LESA Programs
Apr 072017

Have you heard? We’ve got 2 upcoming programs you won’t want to miss!

  • Commercial Leasing Challenges
  • Criminal Advocacy: Sentencing

Commercial Leasing Challenges

Commercial leasing is increasingly complex. Join program chair Kevin W. Keyes for Commercial Leasing Challenges in Edmonton (June 6) or in Calgary (June 8).


Discover practical, useful strategies for handling some of the most pressing issues currently arising in commercial leases with experienced panelists from across the province.

Honourable Justice J.S. Little | Court of Queen’s Bench
David J. Heibert | Witten LLP
Douglas J. Hughes | Bishop & McKenzie LLP
S. Wayne Johnson | Bishop & McKenzie LLP
Gregory A. Liakopoulos | Bennett Jones LLP
Barrie F. Pomerance | Borden Ladner Gervais LLP


Discussion Topics

Gain practical tips and strategies you can use to provide more competent and confident advice to your clients.

  • Discuss risk management, damage and destruction, and catastrophic loss in relation to commercial leases.
  • Review operating costs and the allocation of common area maintenance costs.
  • Analyze landlord waivers, postponements, and subordinations in lending transactions.
  • Explore how to blend, amend, and extend rent in restructuring commercial leases.
  • Examine and identify subleasing, assignments, lease takeovers, and wrap-leases.
Register Online

Register online to attend Commercial Leasing Challenges in Edmonton (June 6) or in Calgary (June 8). Keep an eye out for the program brochure – coming soon!

Criminal Advocacy: Sentencing

Join program chair Karen E. Hewitt QC for Criminal Advocacy: Sentencing in Edmonton (June 3) or in Calgary (June 10). Engage in a comprehensive review of substantive law, use of evidence, and procedural issues relating to the use of Gladue factors in sentencing, bail, and Charter-based decisions.


Don’t miss the opportunity to learn from and network with seasoned practitioners.

Hon. Justice B.A. Browne | Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta
Dr. Patti LaBoucane-Benson | Native Counseling Services Alberta | (Edmonton Session)
Notasha Lake | Provincial Gladue Report Coordinator
Jackson Mirasty | Gladue Report Writer
Nicole J. Stewart | Pringle Chivers Sparks Teskey | (Calgary Session)
Lindsay Tate | Pringle Chivers Sparks Teskey | (Edmonton Session)

Discussion Topics

Develop insight regarding the use of Gladue factors and evidence from the points of view of the Crown, the Defence, Gladue Report Writers, and the Bench.


  • when Gladue factors do and do not apply;
  • the differences between Urban and Reserve Gladue factors;
  • how to speak to Gladue factors under short timeframes – without a Gladue report;
  • different and creative approaches for addressing Gladue factors;
  • how to craft a fit sentence considering resources, context, and the right “fit”; and
  • the practical and procedural considerations to make when preparing your case in anticipation of Gladue-focused evidence.

NOTE: This seminar forms part of the Criminal Advocacy Series Certificate.

Register Online

Register online to attend Criminal Advocacy: Sentencing in Edmonton (June 3) or in Calgary (June 10). Keep an eye out for the program brochure – coming soon!

Personal Property Security and Debt Recovery Essentials

 LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Personal Property Security and Debt Recovery Essentials
Apr 052017

Personal Property Security and Debt Recovery Essentials

Join seminar chair Prof. Tamara Buckwold and experienced panelists for Personal Property Security and Debt Recovery Essentials in Edmonton (May 17) and Calgary (May 24). Review recent developments, discuss key issues and procedures, and examine common challenges in personal property security and debt recovery law.

Q & A

Prof. Tamara Buckwold began her academic career as a member of the faculty of the College of Law at the University of Saskatchewan. She joined the University of Alberta Faculty of Law in 2005 and has since moved on to teaching and publishing in the areas of commercial law and contracts.

We recently spoke with Tamara to learn more about this program. Here’s what she had to say.

What topics will be covered at this program?

The program will cover central issues that may arise in a lending or credit transaction that involves debt secured by a personal property security interest, right from the outset of the transaction through to enforcement in the event of default. We’ll be looking at due diligence and strategies in structuring a deal and factors in the assessment of priorities including the impact of Crown tax claims. We will also discuss the claims of judgment creditors, the operation of the registry, alternatives in enforcement remedies, and important developments in the case law and legislation.”

What makes this program unique?

This program offers comprehensive coverage of an important area of the law that generally doesn’t get a lot of attention in Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programming and practitioner resources. The focus is on the Personal Property Security Act (PPSA), but we will also look at other areas of law that can have a significant impact on the position of secured creditors. A particular feature of this program that I’ve not seen in PPSA course offerings inside or outside the law school is the comparative discussion of how personal property registries in different Canadian jurisdictions operate in terms of registration and search functionality. I think that will be of real interest given the interjurisdictional character of so much of today’s legal practice.”

What will attendees find most beneficial?

I think attendees will leave the seminar with information they can use in their day-to-day practice, and I think they are likely to learn about issues, strategies, and solutions that they hadn’t previously considered.”

What will be some of the key program takeaways?

Attendees will get practical tips on structuring a security agreement and providing pre-transaction advice, anticipating and managing credit risk, searching and registering in the personal property registry, and enforcing security. Attendees will also get an update on important current developments that they might otherwise miss.”

What excites you about this program?

I’m excited about the depth and range of the program content. What excites me the most about this program is the strength of the faculty and the range of their knowledge and experience. We have an exceptional roster of people who have deep expertise in this area of law and are enthusiastic about their subject. All of our presenters will be inviting questions and comments, and I am really looking forward to the exchange of information and views both among the presenters themselves and between the presenters and seminar participants.”

Topics and Presenters

Learn about personal property and debt recovery law from experienced practitioners.

Michael Morcom | First Steps: Providing Early Advice in Financing Transactions
Rick T.G. Reeson QC | Making the Right Decision on Enforcement Options
Prof. Rod Wood | New and Emerging Developments Under the PPSA
Michael J. Lema | Federal Tax Claims
Prof. Tamara Buckwold | Secured Debt and the Civil Enforcement Act
Kevin Bauer | Recommendations for Effective Registration and Searches

Register Online

Don’t miss the opportunity to network with seasoned practitioners from across Canada. Register online to attend Personal Property Security and Debt Recovery Essentials in Edmonton (May 17) or in Calgary (May 24).

Apr 032017

April Upcoming Legal Events

Discover what legal events are coming up this April, from LESA programming, to CPLED, and more.

LESA Programming

Child and Spousal Support 2017 | Edmonton, April 4 | Calgary, April 11
Gain an in-depth understanding of child and spousal support. Learn about the latest support developments, and discover practical strategies for addressing challenging issues. View the brochure for more details.

Estate Litigation Fundamentals | Edmonton, April 5 | Calgary, April 12
Cover the fundamentals of estate litigation and court practice, from applications, to chambers, to trial. Analyze common issues, and discover practical litigation strategies. Read the brochure for more information.

Rules of Court 2017 | Edmonton April, 6 | Calgary, April 20
Concrete knowledge of the Rules of Court is critical for every litigator. Revisit the “must-know” rules (including updates you might have missed), and discover practical tips for running effective litigation files. View the brochure to learn more.

Client Relationship Essentials | Edmonton, April 18
Clients are the foundation of most legal practices. Explore proven strategies and innovative ideas for developing strong relationships and communicating effectively with clients, for working effectively with challenging clients, and for exceeding client expectations. View the brochure for program details.

Family Law: Chambers Advocacy and Practice Pointers | Red Deer, April 21
In family law, critical points of dispute are frequently resolved in chambers. Discover insightful approaches to successful chambers advocacy and practice-oriented tips to use in addressing common issues that arise in chambers applications. Read the brochure for details.


The reserve period for the 2016/2017 CPLED Program year is now underway. Contact Craig Edhart, Student Coordinator for more information or visit our CPLED for Students page.

Legal Community Events

The National Privacy and Data Governance Congress is happening this April 5–7 in Calgary. This year’s Congress theme – A World of Change – will focus on the most critical and timely privacy and data protection issues facing organizations today: those that foretell significant consequences for employers, employees, and policy makers. Read the agenda for details on this year’s Congress content.

The Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (ASSIST)
ASSIST is holding their Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, April 5. Click here for more details.
• Assist’s New Parents’ Peer Support session runs in Edmonton on April 11. This free-of-cost session gives new and expecting parents the opportunity to discuss their journeys while juggling the demands of practicing law. Click here for more details.

Program Feature – Corporate Procedure Fundamentals

 Calgary, Edmonton, LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Program Feature – Corporate Procedure Fundamentals
Mar 312017

Corporate Procedure Fundamentals

Join seminar chair Kirsty Sklar for Corporate Procedure Fundamentals

Discuss how corporations are distinguished from other corporate structures, review basic corporate practices and procedures, and learn how to maintain a minute book (including how to properly fix an out-of-date one).

About the Program

We recently spoke with Kirsty to find out a bit more about this program. Here’s what she had to say.

At this program, we’re going to be covering various aspects of corporate procedures. The first presenter is Drew Broughton, who will be going over the nature and characteristics of different types of corporation ownership and management as well as the difference between the obligations and responsibilities of directors, officers, and shareholders. We’re also going to have Lauren Toreson, who has some really good insight on specific questions you should be asking when you are incorporating a company. Lisa Lorenzo, one of our corporate services managers – who has been a paralegal and has extensive experience in our firm – is going to presentat on minute book best practices and the required filings with CORES. Michael Flach is going to be discussing shareholder agreements and some common pitfalls and tips for drafting. Sandra Malcolm is going to be speaking about the various forms of corporate acquisitions and reorganizations that can occur. Lastly, we have Sydney Abougoush, who is going to talk about some of key issues that we’re currently seeing in this area.”

Kirsty also told us why she thinks this program is valuable.

I think this program is going to be valuable for anyone who practices in the area of corporate law and would like to dive deeper. The presenters are specialists in the area of corporate law, and I am interested to hear what they have to say in their particular area of expertise. The presentation on Unanimous Shareholder Agreements (USAs) and on Corporations will have practical, useful checklists that attendees will be able to take back with them to the office for future use.”

Register Online

Don’t miss the opportunity to dive deeper into corporate procedures with experienced panelists. Join us for Corporate Procedure Fundamentals in Edmonton (May 3) or in Calgary (May 10).

Program Feature – Cultural Competence, Diversity, and Inclusion

 Calgary, Edmonton, LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Program Feature – Cultural Competence, Diversity, and Inclusion
Mar 292017

Cultural Competence, Diversity, and Inclusion

Organizations worldwide continue to ask questions about unconscious bias – how do biases affect business results, organizational structure, internal and external communications, client relations, etc.?

More importantly, organizations are looking for the answer to this key question: How do we manage and minimize the negative effects of unconscious bias in the workplace?

Join program Instructor Shakil Choudhury (Anima Leadership) on May 11 (Calgary) or on May 12 (Edmonton) for Cultural Competence, Diversity, and Inclusion. Increase your cultural competence skills, develop bias awareness, and identify potential cultural awareness blind spots.

About the Presenter

Shakil is a diversity and leadership consultant with more than 20 years’ experience leading and building teams locally, nationally, and internationally. An award-winning educator and author of Deep Diversity: Overcoming Us vs. Them, he specializes in anti-discrimination and equity issues, conflict resolution, and emotional intelligence.

In a recent interview, we spoke with Shakil who told us why he is excited about this program.

A number of things excite me about this program. There are a lot of problems that seem intractable, such as bias involving race, ethnicity, sexism, etc. The Deep Diversity approach is hopeful because it starts with the ways in which we as a human species function. This approach is built on a foundation of justice and compassion, with an intersection of psychology, biology, and sociology. This approach has a lot of practical applications that people will be able to use in their personal and professional lives. The Deep Diversity approach has been proven to support the trajectory towards more fairness and democracy in society as a whole as well as in the context of organizations.”

Sneak Preview

Shakil also gave us a sneak preview of what you can expect from this program. Here’s what he had to say.

What topics will you cover in this program?

The main topic I will be discussing is the role of unconscious bias and emotions in our day-to-day judgments. When it comes to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, etc., there are a lot of things that happen under the radar of awareness. This impacts the decisions we make and outcomes in the broader world.”

What will attendees will find most beneficial about this program?

First, attendees are going to recognize how much the unconscious mind affects our day-to-day lives. In the context of the legal profession, we’re going to learn that we may not be as objective as we think and that even though we are well-intentioned, thoughtful, and egalitarian in our perspectives, there are all kinds of decision-making biases that directly impact our personal and professional lives. People are also going to walk away with some information about themselves and about the human condition. For those of us who care about fairness and wanting to be objective, it starts by acknowledging that we have biases and we are affected by other people’s identities and by our own identity.

What are some of the key takeaways attendees will gain from this program?

Attendees will come away with a better understanding of three key ideas. First, they will gain a better understanding about how unconscious bias functions in our professional and personal interactions. Second, attendees will leave with a heightened sense of awareness of how to identify the impacts of bias and how the identity of clients, co-workers, and other professionals may be affecting their judgment. Third, attendees will better understand how to reduce bias in the decision-making process and in their professional lives.

Register Online

Learn the role of the unconscious mind in human interactions and how this results in micro-inequities in workplaces, the legal profession, and society at large. Discover and contextualize implicit bias theory, explore the concepts of emotional intelligence and its role in uncovering unconscious bias, discuss bias reduction strategies, and more. Register online to attend Cultural Competence, Diversity, and Inclusion on May 11 (Calgary) or May 12 (Edmonton).

Volunteers are integral to the success of every Legal Education Society of Alberta program. Thank you for dedicating your time, talent, and energy in service of Alberta articling students, lawyers, and their staff. We appreciate your effort and commitment and are proud to have you as partners in our mutual pursuit of continuing legal excellence.