December 13, 2019
Changes to Payment Options Coming February 1, 2020
Following on the decision in 2018 to remove cheques as a form of payment starting in 2020, the Law Society and ALIA will also be eliminating the option to use credit cards as a form of payment. Starting February 1, 2020, the Law Society and ALIA will no longer accept payment by cheque or credit card . Payments can be made via online banking or electronic funds transfer (EFT).
Queen's Counsel Timing Update
The Queen's Counsel application period closed in October and all completed applications will be reviewed by the Queen’s Counsel Screening Committee. Historically, the Queen’s Counsel recipients are announced by the Alberta Government on December 31; however, the Screening Committee is not meeting until mid-January 2020 to review applications, therefore the announcement will not be made by year end.

The awarding of the Queen’s Counsel designation is solely within the discretion of the Lieutenant Governor in Council. Further questions about the Queen’s Counsel application process can be directed to the Office of the Deputy Minister at  or 780.427.5032 (toll free in Alberta by first dialing 310.0000).
Recruiting Mentors and Mentees for the 2020 Mentor Express Program Launching January 13
Mentor Express connects experienced lawyers with new lawyers and articling students. Just like online shopping, mentees browse through mentor profiles and select mentors they are interested in meeting. Last year, this self-match system paired almost 200 in-person and remote mentoring sessions. The program is now easier than ever, providing greater flexibility for all involved. Following on the success of last year’s program, the 2020 Mentor Express program will launch on January 13 with a few key changes:

  • We are opening more spots for more mentees and mentors to participate; and,
  • Mentors now only need to commit six one-hour sessions instead of 10, providing greater flexibility for busy mentors.

There is no cost to register and the program is available to all Alberta lawyers and articling students.

Register as a mentee with Mentor Express.

Register as a mentor with Mentor Express.

If you would like more information, feel free to review the FAQ or contact Practice Management .
Reminder: Family Property Act Coming Into Force on January 1, 2020
The Family Statutes Amendment Act, 2018 (Bill 28) received Royal Assent on December 11, 2018. Effective January 1, 2020, the Matrimonial Property Act will be renamed the Family Property Act; property distribution rules will be extended to adult interdependent partners; and the beginning of the relationship of interdependence will be established as the start date for property sharing for adult interdependent partners and spouses who were in a relationship of interdependence with each other before marrying. Further information can be found here .

Various regulations were consequentially amended as a result of these property division changes, including the Rules of Court and Family Law Forms:

  • Order in Council 250/2019 makes the Family Property (Various Regulations) Amendment Regulation
  • Order in Council 258/2019 makes the Pension Plans Regulations (Family Property) Amendment Regulation 

The Orders in Council can be found here.
Court of Queen's Bench: Notices to the Profession and Public
Reminder: Survey of Lawyers on Family Law and Family Violence in Canada
The Department of Justice Canada is developing a guide to help lawyers who take on family law cases safely identify and respond to family violence. The purpose of this survey is to gather information about family violence in family law cases and identify the concerns of lawyers with respect to identifying and responding to family violence in family law cases.

To access the survey click here . Please note the survey will close at midnight on December 16, 2019.