March 22, 2018
New Approved Trust Accounting Software
As of March 22, 2018, CosmoLex is an approved software vendor for the Law Society of Alberta’s Electronic Trust Transaction Reporting Program that allows law firms to directly upload trust accounting data to the Law Society. 

This program was established in 2011 to enable the Law Society to quickly audit all accounting transactions of the law firms uploading their data.  

The Law Society has worked diligently with CosmoLex to standardize its software to ensure compatibility and compliance with our requirements. We also continue to work with other software vendors to provide Alberta lawyers with more options for uploading trust accounting data. 

The other approved software vendors used for data uploads are LexisNexis PCLaw, ESILaw and Clio.

A user guide is available for lawyers interested in using CosmoLex for their data uploads, as well as for the other approved software vendors. A frequently asked questions document on CosmoLex’s Trust Accounting features is also available. 

If you have any questions about uploading your trust accounting data and available software, we are here to help. Please visit our website, email us, or call 403.228.5632.
Legal Profession Act Amendment Update
The Law Society met with lawyers across the province last fall to gather feedback on proposed amendments to the Legal Profession Act (LPA). The feedback was presented to the Board in early January and the LPA Task Force was instructed to develop a recommendation for moving forward with the amendments. 

The recommendation was discussed at great length during the February Board meeting and was approved, except for officially changing the term Bencher to Board member. 

The approved amendments are grouped into four key areas: innovation in legal service delivery; governance and adjudication; board size; and simplification. 

Amendments to the Condominium Property Act: New Deposit Rules Effective April 1, 2018
Effective Sunday, April 1, 2018, if a consumer is buying a new condominium in Alberta from a developer, the buyer’s purchase deposit must be held by an Alberta lawyer while the condominium is being built. The lawyer must be active, practising and insured, and the lawyer and law firm must be approved by the Law Society of Alberta to operate trust accounts. 

The developer must deposit the buyer’s purchase deposit funds into the lawyer’s trust account within three business days of receiving the funds. Once the lawyer receives the deposit, that lawyer has 10 days to notify the buyer that the funds are in the trust account. 

Trust Misappropriation: Your Ounce of Prevention
This Month, Let's Talk About Fraud

March is Fraud Awareness Month. We are raising awareness about the risk of fraud by providing tips on fraud prevention strategies. 

Is it possible that your practice will never become a victim of fraud? Perhaps. The bad news is that anyone can be a victim of fraud or theft. The good news is that there is much we can do to minimize the severity, duration and impact of loss. 

The fraud facts outlined below describe the impact of fraud on the profession and provide tips to help you minimize losses. Remember, “An ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure”.

Federation of Law Societies of Canada Announcement
The Canadian Bankers Association has provided an updated list of bank officials to contact in the case of delays in the discharge of mortgages. 
Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta Notices
Mentor Moments share the stories of mentors in our Mentor Connect Program .
View our listing of upcoming events in the legal community and library of resources.