March 24, 2020
Update: Law Society, ALIA and CPLED offices to remain closed until April 30, 2020
As the events surrounding COVID-19 continue to unfold, we are carefully monitoring the latest updates and recommendations from the Federal and Provincial governments, Alberta Health Services and the City of Calgary.

Following the direction of health experts, the Law Society of Alberta, Alberta Lawyers Indemnity Association (ALIA) and Canadian Centre for Professional Legal Education (CPLED) have decided to extend our office closure until April 30, 2020 . We will re-evaluate the office closure at that point as further information is provided from government and health agencies as well as the City of Calgary.

During this time our staff will continue to work remotely to ensure that we address any urgent needs. We ask that you do not send any couriers to our building while we are closed, as staff will not be there to receive packages. If you have any questions regarding sending us mail, please contact Customer Service .

We will  post any further updates  to our website as needed.
Engaging with Stakeholders to Provide COVID-19 Updates
As the COVID-19 situation continues to unfold, we are engaging with various stakeholder groups such as the government, courts and the land titles office to provide important updates to Alberta lawyers and to address issues that have been identified by the profession .

These circumstances are raising challenging issues for the profession. The following are examples of issues that we are aware of at this time :

  • Swearing affidavits: Sworn affidavits are required in court processes and applications. Currently the courts have jurisdiction to allow lawyers to file affidavits that have been sworn over video. The courts are, however, hearing only urgent matters and lawyers must be aware that they may face scheduling challenges. 
  • Land titles documents: The Land Titles Office requires that lawyers submit originally executed land transfers. There is an expectation that a witness has been personally present when the transfer has been signed and accompanying affidavits of execution must reflect the personal attendance of the witness on the commissioner or notary. Other documents subject to these requirements may include affidavits of value or dower documents. At this point witnessing or attesting documents over video has not been permitted and legislative change is required to allow this
  • Testamentary and estate planning documents: These documents require personal attendance before witnesses and lawyers and currently cannot be completed via Skype. While this is perhaps of less urgency, there are people who are trying to get their affairs in order in the event they become ill, and some are in care facilities that are locked down. 

We understand that these issues, among others, are difficult to navigate given the circumstances we are facing. While many of these decisions do not fall within the authority of the Law Society of Alberta, we are making every effort to facilitate further discussions with stakeholders to provide clarity and further advice to lawyers.

Stay tuned to future eBulletins, COVID-19 Updates and FAQs as more information becomes available.
Provincial Court of Alberta Updates
COVID-19 Pandemic Planning for the Scheduling of Matters

The Provincial Court of Alberta has updated the COVID-19 Pandemic Planning for the Scheduling of Matters information. The court will continue to post further information as it becomes available, so please continue to check the Provincial Court website for new announcements.
Rules of Court Provincial Court Pandemic Plan

Last week the Court implemented the Pandemic Plan. The following announcement clarifies and confirms the status of that Plan with the express and explicit intention that it apply retrospectively:

Pursuant to sections 482(2)(k) and 482(3)(a-c) and with particular reference to section 485(1.1) of the Criminal Code, the Provincial Court of Alberta confirms that the attached pandemic plan is endorsed and promulgated as a Rule of Court effective until further notice.
Court of Appeal of Alberta: Notice to the Public and Profession - COVID-19
This notice contains important information about:
  • Appeals, applications and motions generally
  • Procedural time limits extended
  • Filing modifications and directions on correspondence
  • Modification to bail check-ins
  • Suspension of appellate judicial dispute resolution
  • Bar admissions
  • Appeal sittings and applications before three judge panels
  • Single judge duty matters in the Court of Appeal
Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta: Extension of Suspension of Sittings
To help contain the spread of COVID-19, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench will continue to limit hearings to emergency or urgent matters only. 

Clerk offices at all Court locations remain open to accept filings. However, access to Court locations is limited to those who must be present, and the Court has suspended all filing deadlines under the Alberta Rules of Court, with the exception of those Rules applicable to the commencement of proceedings, including originating applications