35th Annual Intensive Advocacy: Call for Volunteer Witnesses

 Calgary, Legal News: Alberta, LESA Update, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on 35th Annual Intensive Advocacy: Call for Volunteer Witnesses
May 232017

35th Annual Intensive Advocacy

Are you interested in gaining valuable trial experience as a witness? We are looking for volunteers to act as witnesses in our upcoming 35th Annual Intensive Advocacy program in Calgary, Alberta on Saturday, June 17, 2017.

About the Program

The Intensive Advocacy program is a week-long interactive program designed to hone critical advocacy skills. The program culminates in a moot criminal trial, civil trial, or administrative hearing on Saturday, June 17 from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM at the Calgary Courts Centre. Program participants conduct moot trials or hearings before Alberta justices, judges, and administrative tribunal members, who then provide participants with feedback.

The Role

Volunteer witnesses play the role of a character in one of the criminal, civil, or administrative fact patterns and give evidence on the witness stand under direct examination and cross-examination. Volunteers are briefed on their role by participant lawyers prior to Saturday, June 17, then act as a witness during the actual moot trials and hearings.


This is an excellent opportunity for law students, articling students, and lawyers to observe the trial or hearing process and gain valuable insight into the experience and perspective of a witness.

If you are interested in volunteering as a witness for the Intensive Advocacy moot trials and hearings, or for more information, please contact kathy.fortier@lesa.org.

More Tough Crimes: True Cases by Canadian Judges and Criminal Lawyers

 Legal News: Alberta, News  Comments Off on More Tough Crimes: True Cases by Canadian Judges and Criminal Lawyers
Apr 252017

More Tough Crimes: True Cases by Canadian Judges and Criminal Lawyers

The third book in Durvile Publications’ True Case Series will be available soon. More Tough Crimes: True Cases by Canadian Judges & Criminal Lawyers is scheduled for release on May 31, 2017.

About the Book

The sixteen stories in More Tough Crimes include:

  • Mr. Don Bayne on the Senator Mike Duffy trial and the theme of a trial as media spectacle;
  • Mr. David Bright on a tale of intrigue spanning extradition and incarceration from India to Nova Scotia;
  • Mr. Brian Beresh on a historic case of domestic violence;
  • Ms. Breese Davies on Ashley Smith who died by self-inflicted strangulation in her prison cell;
  • Honourable Justice J. Di Luca on funny and, at times, tragic stories of inmate appeals at the Court of Appeal;
  • Ms. Mona Duckett on a Mr. Big operation where the client falsely confessed to the killings;
  • Honourable Justice F. Finnestad on the twisting, turning, and unravelling of people’s lives as a crime unfolds;
    Mr. Alan D. Gold on the Andre Gravelle murder and bogus lip reading evidence;
  • Mr. Brian H. Greenspan on the trial of hockey agent and promoter Alan Eagleson;
  • Mr. James Lockyer on the wrongful conviction of Steven Truscott;
  • Mr. Brock Martland on the Surrey Six murders focusing on the Crown negotiating deals with alleged triggermen;
  • Honourable Judge J. Ogle on the case of Calgary druggist Stephen Kesler who shot a robbery suspect;
  • Mr. Jonathan Rudin on the deaths of young Aboriginal people from fly-in communities in Northern Ontario and the quest to get an inquest;
  • Honourable Justice R. Wyant on a vicious case of rape and murder that changed his life and career forever; and
  • Mr. William Trudell on the trial of the contract killing of the wife of Helmuth Buxbaum.

Sneak Preview

Here are some excerpts from the book that you can look forward to.

Clayton Rice | The Case of Kristen Budic: Too Crazy to be Insane

At the core of the delusion was Budic’s belief that he had signed an insurance policy on a previous visit to Dr. Bozo Bulaijic and that Dr. Bulaijic was preventing him from getting treatment. According to Budic’s thinking, Dr. Bulaijic carried out the worldwide conspiracy against him by telex machine. Dr. Geoffrey Hopkinson, a psychiatrist at the Alberta Hospital, would testify years later: ‘I suspect that [Budic] took the law into his own hands to perhaps save his own life.’ The psychiatric diagnosis was the easy part. Getting Budic to trial was something else.”

Jonathan Rudin | The Death of Reggie Bushie and the Eight-Year Inquest

Almost all of the witnesses who testified about their experience attending high school at DFC (Thunder Bay) spoke about the racism—racism that sometimes took the form of name calling, but often including food and drinks being thrown at them on the street. For the students who came to the city from First Nation communities where this sort of racism was foreign, they had to live with the knowledge that these assaults could occur at any time. None of them ever went to the police, most didn’t even report it to school staff, it was—and is—the price First Nations students pay for high school education.”

Brock Martland | The Surrey Six

As criminal lawyers we get a lot more excitement than some of our desk-bound colleagues, but it’s normally detached from the immediacy and unpredictability of the crime itself. We study the evidence and analyze photographs from the crime scene and autopsy. They can be disturbing. But our analysis is all after-the-fact and it’s second-hand. It does not have the same intensity as being there. In the Surrey Six case, veteran RCMP Staff Sergeant Dave Teboul described the crime scene as horrific, even for seasoned homicide investigators.”

More Information

You’re invited to attend the book release receptions.

  • Calgary | May 30, 2017 | 5:00 to 8:00 PM (Readings at 5:30 PM & 6:30 PM) | Danish Canadian Club (727 – 11 Ave SW)
  • Toronto | June 1, 2017 | 5:00 to 8:00 PM (Readings at 5:30 PM & 6:30 PM) |Simcoe Chambers (#100, 116 Simcoe Street)
  • Edmonton | June 14 | 5:00 to 8:00 PM (Readings at 5:30 PM & 6:30 PM) | Audrys Books (10701 Jasper Avenue)

Pre-order your copy of More Tough Crimes from durvile.com or at indigo.ca. Read more excerpts here. Partial proceeds go to Canadian Women’s & Family Shelters.

For a review copy or excerpt inquiries, to set up an interview, or for further information, contact Lorene Shyba, Publisher (lorene.shyba@durvile.com) or 403.818.4808.

Hon. Madam Justice P.A. Rowbotham wins 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award

 Legal News: Alberta, News  Comments Off on Hon. Madam Justice P.A. Rowbotham wins 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award
Apr 242017

We are pleased to announce that the Honourable Madam Justice P.A. Rowbotham has been named the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award winner of the 2017 Women In Law Leadership (WILL) Awards. A long-term judicial liaison on the LESA Board and with 34 years of experience as a practising lawyer, law professor, trial judge, and appellate judge, LESA extends our warmest congratulations to Justice Rowbotham.

About the Awards

The WILL Awards are presented annually to female members of the Alberta legal profession. The purpose of the WILL Awards is for the Association of Women Lawyers (AWL) and The Counsel Network (TCN) to recognize the contributions of women lawyers in the following areas:

  • Leadership in the Profession in Private Practice
  • Leadership in the Profession in Government
  • Leadership in the Profession In-house
  • Leadership in the Profession in a Broader Role
  • Leadership in the Community
  • Tomorrows Leader
  • Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Law Firm Award

The 7th Annual WILL Awards Dinner will be held on November 9, 2017 at the Westin Calgary. Click here for more information.

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 SRAC@albertacourts.ca.

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.

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 – Foreclosures Fundamentals

 Calgary, Edmonton, Legal News: Alberta, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on Program Feature – Foreclosures Fundamentals
Mar 282017

Foreclosures Fundamentals

Join seminar chair Denise Hendrix in Edmonton (May 18) or in Calgary (May 23) for Foreclosures Fundamentals. Review the substantive and procedural issues involved in the foreclosure process. Understand foreclosure proceeding priorities, foreclosure orders, and strategic options.

Discussion Topics

We recently spoke with Denise to learn more about this program, here’s what she had to say about the topics that will be covered.

We’ve got a great group of people who will be talking about the foreclosure process from A to Z. They will discuss the unique circumstances you may deal with in a foreclosure, such as condominium separation, homeowner associations, dealing with difficult self-represented litigants, and more. At the end, I’m going to lead a general question and answer period dealing with what we seek in court and why. We want to give people who don’t practice in the area a basic knowledge of the foreclosure process, and for those that do practice in the area, we want to give them a bit of a refresher on some of the unique issues we face.”

Discover the foundational aspects of the foreclosures process with seasoned professionals.

  • Follow the Yellow Brick Road: A Guide Through the Foreclosure Process | Ksena Court and Francis Taman
  • Condominium Corporations and Homeowners Associations: Priorities, Procedures, and Pitfalls | Stephanie Whyte
  • A Delicate Balance: Strategies for Dealing with Self-Represented Litigants | Kyle Kawanami
  • Money in Court: Money You Never Knew You Had and How to Get It | Jim Reich
  • Other Foreclosure Related Issues and Steps | Douglas Gahn QC
  • Foreclosure Remedies: You’ve Received a Motion Package, Now What? | Denise Hendrix

Sneak Preview

Denise gave us a sneak preview of her discussion topic, and here’s what we found out.

As lawyers, we represent a subsequent encumbrance on title. With a foreclosure, while there is a plaintiff and defendant, there really isn’t an adversarial process. The law is very clear on what happens and why, the steps that we take, and what the considerations are when we take those steps. The process is pretty straight forward, but the nuances about what to do when you get those packages are what I want to teach people about. I want to give people a chance to understand why we do what we do and why we don’t do some things that happen in other litigation processes. I want people to gain a better understanding of what slows down our process, what speeds it up, and how we can deal with these situations equitably for everybody.

Denise also told us why she is excited about this program.

I always love the opportunity to teach. My first degree is in education, so it is a passion of mine, but I also love to make sure that the bar as a whole is educated about what happens in foreclosures. Other parts of litigation are very adversarial and this doesn’t need to be.”

Register Online

Register online to attend Foreclosures Fundamentals in Edmonton (May 18) or in Calgary (May 23), and discover key aspects of the foreclosure process to enhance your practice.

Register on or before April 4 to take advantage of our Early Bird pricing.

Should Alberta Abolish Perpetuities Law?

 Legal News: Alberta, News  Comments Off on Should Alberta Abolish Perpetuities Law?
Mar 242017

Alberta Law Reform InstituteThe Alberta Law Reform Institute (ALRI) has published its latest report on the Rule Against Perpetuities. Details can be found at www.alri.ualberta.ca.

What is the Rule Against Perpetuities?

The Rule Against Perpetuities (RAP) is an ancient and complex set of legal rules designed to prevent people from indefinitely tying up land and assets via successive contingent interests of title so that future generations cannot sell, mortgage or enjoy full use of the property. In 1972, Alberta reformed the worst excesses of the rule against perpetuities in our current Perpetuities Act, seeking a reasonable balance between competing interests.

ALRI Recommends Abolishing Perpetuities Law

Following public consultation, the Alberta Law Reform Institute has now released Final Report 110, Abolition of Perpetuities recommending the abolition of perpetuities law in Alberta. The modern availability of court variation of trusts and other interests is a sufficient legal mechanism to balance competing interests in this area. Other provinces have abolished perpetuities law without any apparent major problems.

ALRI invites you to review the Final Report here.

March Upcoming Legal Events

 Calgary, CPLED, Edmonton, Legal News: Alberta, News, Upcoming Seminars  Comments Off on March Upcoming Legal Events
Mar 012017

March Upcoming Legal Events

This month, we’ve got a variety of upcoming legal events to offer Alberta’s legal community. Discover what programs we have to offer, learn important dates for the upcoming 2017/2018 CPLED Program year, and more.

LESA Programming

Capacity and Influence | EDMONTON: March 1, 2017 | CALGARY: March 8, 2017

Feel empowered to act appropriately when confronted with capacity or influence “red flags”. Learn how to assess capacity, recognize signs of influence or control, and determine which steps to take in those circumstances. Read the program brochure for more details. Register online today.

Buying and Selling a Business | EDMONTON: March 2, 2017 | CALGARY: March 9, 2017

Tackle issues and questions confidently, including pre-transaction considerations, structuring hybrid asset/share deals, and potential tax implications that arise in the purchase or sale of a private business. Get more details, and register online today.

Top 10+ (Things Every Lawyer Should Know) | EDMONTON: March 4, 2017

Lawyers are often called on to answer legal questions by clients, family, and friends in areas of practice outside their area of expertise. Learn how to competently answer the most common questions raised in multiple practice areas. Read the program brochure for more information. Register online today.

Drafting Wills and Trusts | CALGARY: March 7, 2017

Clear and concise language is critical when drafting wills and trusts. Improve your drafting skills, understand how to appropriately incorporate plain language, discuss common challenges, and review situation-specific sample clauses. Read the program brochure for details. Register online today.

Real Estate Essentials | EDMONTON: March 10, 2017 | CALGARY: March 17, 2017

Analyze common issues and mistakes, and discuss best practices for real estate matters. Learn practical tips to avoid Land Titles rejections, and to deal with trust conditions and trust accounting issues. Read the program brochure for more information. Register online today.

Intersection of Family and Criminal Law | CALGARY: March 11, 2017 | EDMONTON: March 18, 2017

Criminal issues sometimes arise in family law matters. Learn about protection orders, domestic violence issues, and cyber-related offences as they relate to custody, parenting, and reconciliation. Get program details, and register online today.

Immigration Fundamentals | CALGARY: March 14, 2017 | EDMONTON: March 23, 2017

Build a foundation in immigration law. Examine the basics of temporary study and work permits, the express entry program, family class immigration and refugee applications, and immigrant settlement procedures. Read the program brochure for more details. Register online today.


2017/2018 CPLED ProgramRegistration for the 2017/2018 year opens today. You can view the CPLED Program Key Dates on.lesa.org/keydates for details about when the face-to-face sessions and online modules are running.

The registration deadline is May 31, 2017. Students who do not apply by this date are subject to a non-refundable late filing fee.

Visit our CPLED for Students website to find out what to expect from the CPLED Program and for other key information.

If you have any additional questions about the CPLED Program or the registration process, contact LESA’s Student Coordinator, Craig Edhart direct: 780.969.3554 or by email.

Legal Community Events


Alberta Lawyers' Assistance Society

  • LESA is proud to sponsor the upcoming Hand-to-Hand event featuring Olympian Clara Hughes on March 8, 2017. Join the Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society, CPA Assist, and the U of A Faculty of Law for an evening with Clara Hughes that will inspire you to live your best life. Click here for more details.
  • On March 8 from 11:30 AM to 1:30 PM, attend the free-of-cost New Parents’ Peer Support session. Discuss both the benefits and challenges of your journey while juggling the demands of practicing law with other new and expecting parents. Get more details.

Does Alberta Need a New Trustee Act?

 Legal News: Alberta, News  Comments Off on Does Alberta Need a New Trustee Act?
Feb 282017

Does Alberta Need a New Trustee Act?

The Alberta Law Reform Institute (ALRI) has just released their Final Report 109 with recommendations on implementing a new Trustee Act in Alberta. Details can be found at www.alri.ualberta.ca/.

ALRI recommends clear, simple, and comprehensible legislation with its latest publication, Final Report 109 – A New Trustee Act for Alberta.

What is a Trust?

Trusts are used by many Albertans as a way to manage property and assets, both before and after death. Having modern and clear rules for setting up and handling trusts is important to allow Albertans to manage and distribute their property. The current Trustee Act is outdated and has not kept pace with the modern world.

A Trustee Act Tailored for Alberta

ALRI has just released Final Report No. 109 – A New Trustee Act for Alberta. The Report sets out ALRI’s final recommendations for new trustee legislation in Alberta. While based on the Uniform Law Conference of Canada’s Uniform Trustee Act, 2012, ALRI has tailored its recommendations to reflect Alberta’s trusts law and practice.

Recommendations Based on Extensive Consultation

ALRI has relied on the exceptionable feedback from the trusts and estates bar in the province in crafting the final recommendations. The Final Report is distinctly better with input of those trusts professionals who assisted by completing surveys, writing or calling with comments, and participating in presentations and discussions.

The Trustee Act is long overdue for modernization. ALRI is hopeful that new trustee legislation based on its recommendations will be enacted.

ALRI invites you to review Final Report No. 109 – A New Trustee Act for Alberta.