March 8, 2022
Happy International Women's Day
March 8 is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme, 'Break the Bias,' invites us all to work towards a world that is diverse, equitable, inclusive and free from bias, stereotypes and discrimination. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality.

While we still have work to do every day to achieve women’s equality, we want to celebrate the amazing women in our lives who lead within their organizations and strive to create a workplace culture that seeks to break the bias every day.

Elizabeth J. Osler, QC, is the first female Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Law Society of Alberta. She has been in her role for the past three years and continues to lead the organization through challenging times while still maintaining the core regulatory work that we do. The Law Society continues to work at pursuing equity in the legal profession through policy development, implementation of part-time membership fees and ongoing programs being developed through our 2020 – 2024 Strategic Plan.

“Coming out of a two-year pandemic and now with tragic world events unfolding, finding ways to have an impact can seem overwhelming. International Women’s Day allows us to collectively come together in support of a powerful vision for a better world, each in our own way.” – Elizabeth J. Osler, QC

To read more insights from some of the Law Society's female leadership, read the full article.
New Process for Disbursing the Undisbursable: What to Do With Unclaimed Trust Funds
Law firms occasionally hold trust funds for extended periods of time when they cannot locate the clients or other parties to whom the funds belong. A firm must maintain proper oversight, accounting, tracking and management of matters on which the firm is retaining inactive or undisbursable trust funds. It is the responsibility of the Responsible Lawyer — not the bookkeeper, paralegal, office manager or accountant — to safeguard client funds.

In certain circumstances, the Rules of the Law Society of Alberta allow firms to pay such undisbursable funds to the Law Society. Before paying the funds to the Law Society, the firm must have held the trust funds for more than two years and be unable to locate the funds’ owners despite reasonable efforts to do so (Rule 119.43 and section 117(5) of the Legal Profession Act).

Firms must now submit a form to the Trust Safety department to obtain approval to remit funds to the Law Society. When a firm submits an undisbursable trust fund request to the Law Society, the Law Society reviews the steps taken by the firm to locate and contact the funds’ owners. The Law Society may request further information about the firm’s efforts in this regard.

Where the Law Society determines that the information in the request is insufficient, or the law firm has not made reasonable efforts to locate the owners and distribute the funds to them, the Law Society will reject the request. If the information in the request is sufficient, the Law Society will approve the request and provide further details on how to submit electronic payment.

For more information on what to do with unclaimed trust funds, visit our website or contact the Trust Safety department.
Provincial Court Announcement

Due to the current public health emergency in Alberta due to COVID-19, the Provincial Court of Alberta has allowed greater flexibility for individuals to appear by telephone or video. On March 9, the matter of R. v Coates will be made available via the link provided in the full announcement.
Upcoming Events
Visit the Upcoming Events page for a full list of events.