Gain Tips & Info in Criminal Advocacy – Experts

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Mar 232016

Criminal Advocacy – Experts

Are you interested in learning how to face complex trials using expert evidence? If so, Criminal Advocacy – Experts has plenty to offer!

At this program, you’ll discover important insights from the various perspectives of the Crown, the Defence, and the Bench – all of which will help you refine your own practice, whether you are crown prosecutor or a defence lawyer.

You’ll hear from seminar chair Karen E. Hewitt QC as well as other program faculty:

Hon. Justice T.D. Clackson

Dino Bottos

Peter Royal QC

Inspector Dan Jones

Today’s blog passes on insights that Karen recently shared with us about the program to give you a sense of what you’ll gain from this seminar.

Who Should Attend?

As Karen explains, this full day, intensive program addresses crucial CPD requirements laid out by the Law Society of Alberta, touching on the areas of ethics and professionalism, substantive legal knowledge, oral and written advocacy, and more. Since every lawyer’s CPD Plan needs to address these competencies, attending this program is a great way to start fulfilling your 2016 CPD requirements.

Because this program goes beyond the basics to discuss more intermediate-level topics, it is targeted to practitioners with 5+ years of experience in criminal law. However, Karen notes that there are benefits for anyone working through a complex court case.

It will be good for juniors as well, because … junior practitioners are increasingly facing complex trials where expert evidence is part of the trial itself.”

Seminar Goals

According to Karen, Criminal Advocacy – Experts will be “packed with information, discussion, demonstration, and panel review.” Karen sums up the value of the program in this way:

This course is … going to provide a strong foundation for the evolution of expert evidence, the current issues in approaching the evidence, and the substantive procedural considerations. … [It’s also] going to talk about strategic use of this evidence in structuring the trial and being effective with the trier fact. That’s the key here.”

Karen laid out the key program goals and learning outcomes that you’ll take away from the seminar:

  1. Evaluate the evidence. Learn to “determine when expert evidence is an appropriate evidentiary consideration in a criminal case.”
  2. Prepare your case. Discover how prepare in anticipation of both “calling the evidence and challenging it, if and when, called by the opposing council.”
  3. Set the scope. Determine how to set the scope of the evidence “in terms of issues to be addressed and qualifications of the expert.”
  4. Understand shifting judicial roles. Explore the “potential shift of the role of the trial judge and issues that must now be considered as a result of the White decision.”
  5. Lay a factual foundation. Recognize how to prepare your case and lay a foundation “from which the expert will offer the opinion evidence” – including a discussion of “preservation of evidence, the potential for spoliation, and the impact of the evidence in terms of the expert and the case itself.”
Demonstration Voir Dire

While you’ll benefit from hearing the discussion from each presenter, you’ll also take away tips and tricks from an in-course demonstration of a voir dire.

Here’s what Karen had to say about this unique program component that brings in the expertise of Inspector Dan Jones of the Edmonton Police Service.

Dan Jones … has been qualified in court a number of times as an expert. He will be participating in the demonstration voir dire, in which we will be addressing the issue of scope, use of evidence, and potential for bias. He will be offering a perspective … into what the expectations are of the expert both in pre-trial preparation as well as what happens on the stand and how to give a balanced, fair, and truthful opinion.”

Register Online

For more information on Criminal Advocacy – Experts, check out the program brochure.

To take advantage of early bird prices, register by April 12 to attend in Calgary (May 14) or Edmonton (May 28).

We look forward to seeing you!

Mar 042016


2016 CPD Plan

Are you an active Alberta lawyer? If so, you already know that the Law Society of Alberta’s Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Program is mandatory and it’s time to submit your 2016 CPD Plan. This year, you must submit your CPD Plan online through the lawyer portal. The deadline for CPD Plan declaration is March 15, 2016.

Spring Seminars for Your 2016 CPD Plan

If you want to get a head start on your 2016 CPD activities, take a look at our upcoming LESA seminars. Here’s a sample of what’s offered between now and June:

  • Delve into current issues and emerging themes of privacy law with experienced practitioners and Alberta’s Privacy Commissioner in Privacy Update.
  • Explore commonly asked questions about 6 areas of law and gain more knowledge and confidence to answer questions from clients, family, and friends in Complete Lawyer.
  • Review how to use expert evidence in criminal proceedings while engaging in comprehensive review of substantive law, evidence, and procedure in Criminal Advocacy – Experts.
Watch for Fall CPD Activities

Not quite there yet? No problem! Keep an eye out for our 2016/2017 Educational Calendar to schedule your fall seminars.

Want to know about the new programs as soon as the Educational Calendar is available this spring? Follow our blog or subscribe to our E-Letter to stay up-to-date with all the latest LESA news, and we’ll let you know when the new calendar is published.

Access Seminars on Demand

Don’t forget about LESA’s seminars on demand, which allow you to stream video recordings of presenters and download seminar materials.

If you were unable to attend any of the seminars we’ve recorded this year, take a look at our online classroom offerings, they are a great addition to your 2016 CPD Plan. Here are two brand new Seminars on Demand from 2016:

  • File Organizations for Legal Support Staff
  • Securities Law
Need something else?

If you have any questions about the programs and resources that LESA offers, please be in touch ( or 780.420.1987 or toll free in Alberta 1.800.282.3900).

Feb 292016

March 2016: Upcoming Legal Events

It’s hard to believe that March is upon us, but it’s here and it’s a busy month at LESA! Check out today’s blog to so you don’t miss any key dates or events.

March Programs

Advanced Estate – PROGRAM FULL
Runs in Edmonton (March 1) and in Calgary (March 9).

  • Delve into advanced estate topics with other experienced wills & estates practitioners.

Advanced Lender
Register online to attend in Edmonton (March 2) or Calgary (March 10).

  • Discuss current banking and finance issues with other senior practitioners who work exclusively or predominately in the area of lender/borrower.
  • Read the blog with seminar chair Kerry Day QC to learn what you’ll gain from this program and what topics will be covered this year.

Family Law 25
Register online to attend in Edmonton (March 3) or Calgary (March 10).

  • Review the top 5 cases relevant to 5 pressing family law issues: parenting, child support, spousal support, matrimonial property, and unjust enrichment. Also discover tax tips relevant to each topic.
  • Read the blog with seminar chair Marla Miller QC to discover the top 5 most valuable takeaways you’ll walk away with after attending this program.
Registration Savings

Special early bird discounts are ending soon for the following programs. Register now and save!

Enduring Powers of Attorney and Personal Directives – ENDS March 1
Register online to attend in Edmonton (April 5) or Calgary (April 12).

  • Examine both the common and the extraordinary issues you face when dealing with enduring powers of attorney and personal directives.
  • Read the blog for more information on the topics covered and the range of perspectives addressed.

Unanimous Shareholder Agreement Disputes – ENDS March 1
Register online to attend in Edmonton (April 6) or Calgary (April 20).

  • Discover information, tips, and best practices for dealing with (and helping prevent) shareholder disputes.
  • Read the blog with seminar chair Bryan Haynes to hear more about top program topics and takeaways.

Legal Project Management – ENDS March 8
Register online to attend in Edmonton (April 13) or Calgary (April 14).

  • Explore project management principles that can help build your practice, increase your efficiency, and keep your clients satisfied.
  • Read the blog with presenter Pamela Woldow to learn more about what project management is, why you’ll want to add these concepts to your practice management tool box, and what you’ll gain from this program.

Questioning – ENDS March 15
Register online to attend in Edmonton (April 19) or Calgary (April 28).

  • Review the scope of questioning, and discuss the use of questioning evidence, cross examination, exhibits, documents, and undertakings.
CPLED Update

Do you need to register for next year’s CPLED Program? 2016/2017 registration opens March 1.

There are several 2015/2016 CPLED modules running this month:

  • Ethics & Professionalism. This online module runs March 3 to March 10.
  • Negotiations & Practice Fundamental. This face-to-face module runs in Calgary (March 14–18) and in Edmonton (March 21–22).

If you are a current student with questions about either of these modules, please contact LESA’s Student Coordinator Ashley Iachetta at 780.969.3557 or

Legal Community: Dates and Deadlines

CPA Assist Speaker Series – Running on Empty: Understanding Family Caregiver Fatigue
Attend this Alberta Lawyers’ Assistance Society (Assist) program in Calgary (March 2) or Edmonton (March 3) to learn more about the challenges family caregivers face and strategies for staying healthy while juggling these demands. Learn more in our recent blog post.

Declare Your CPD Plan
All lawyers are required to submit a CPD Plan (Continuing Professional Development Plan) to the Law Society of Alberta by March 15.

LESA Summer Students Wanted
Interested applicants can learn more in our recent blog post. Apply by March 21 to Daniel García at

Mar 092015

Find seminars and resources!

As you know, the Law Society of Alberta’s Continuing Professional Development Program is a mandatory requirement for all active lawyers in Alberta.

Have you been working on your 2015 CPD Plan? March 16, 2015 is the deadline to declare your plan to the Law Society of Alberta.

If you want to get a jumpstart on your 2015 CPD activities, LESA has 15 seminars being offered between now and June, with offerings in every practice area as well as general skills and knowledge programs suitable for all practitioners. Here’s a sample of what’s coming up next month:

  • Perhaps you’re a litigator interested in how social media can be leveraged in court? If so, Social Media in the Courts will provide plenty of information on this topic.
  • The Business of Law program has something to offer everyone, and it’s designed to help you gain the skills and knowledge you need to manage your business effectively.
  • If you’re looking to grow your business, Steve Hughes will be giving you tips and tricks for how to connect with new clients in our Making Business Development a Natural Part of Your Everyday Life seminar.

If you’re looking for programs being offered in the fall, keep an eye out for our upcoming 2015/2016 Educational Calendar. (Or follow our blog or subscribe to our E-Letter so we can let you know when it is available.) If you practice in family law, we’ve already opened registration for two September seminars: Interest Based Negotiations – one of the programs family practitioners need to become registered collaborative law professionals – and All That Touches Family Law – which will examine the intersection of family law with other areas, such as wills and estates, real estate, business, and more.

Our seminars on demand offer another great way for practitioners to participate in CPD activities. If you couldn’t fit one of the 9 seminars we recorded this year into your schedule, why not include it as a 2015 CPD activity?

Seminars on demand allow you to stream video recordings of presenters and download seminar materials as PDFs. We’ll have more seminars on demand available in the next few months, but for now you can access any of these incredible titles:

If you have any questions about the programs and resources LESA offers, please be in touch ( or 780.420.1987 or toll free in Alberta 1.800.282.3900).