July 8, 2022
Notice to the Profession and Public from Alberta Courts

Effective July 4, 2022, masking, as with social distancing, is no longer mandatory in public areas, including courtrooms, or secure workplaces in Alberta courthouses. However, a presiding Judge or Master may direct either or both masking and social distancing in a particular courtroom where the circumstances so warrant.

While masking and social distancing are no longer mandatory, both are encouraged in all areas within Alberta courthouses.

Anyone testing positive for COVID-19 or experiencing core symptoms of COVID-19 not related to a pre-existing illness or health condition is not to attend a courthouse for a minimum of five days or until symptoms resolve, whichever is longer. If you have a court appearance during this time, contact your lawyer or Legal Aid Alberta at 1.866.845.3425 for Duty Counsel assistance.

For traffic ticket matters, in-person attendance is limited to those with trial dates, on the date of the trial, and those wishing to submit a partial payment of a fine.

  • plead guilty and request time to pay;
  • plead not guilty and request a trial date; or
  • change a previous not guilty plea to guilty and request time to pay.
University of Toronto Study: Legal Ethics from the View of Practising Lawyers
Dr. Albert Yoon, a professor in Legal Ethics at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, is conducting a study on how practising lawyers view legal ethics. Much of the current literature on legal ethics comes from a theoretical and normative framework, while this study focuses on how actual lawyers approach ethical issues in their practice.

To aid in his research, Dr. Yoon invites all Alberta lawyers to participate in a short survey on legal ethics. The survey is on a secure online platform and takes about 5 minutes to complete. Participation is voluntary and all responses are anonymous. Upon completion of the study, Dr. Yoon will share his findings with the Law Society of Alberta.

Participants who complete the study are eligible to enter a draw to receive a new Apple Watch, iPhone or iPad.

For more information and to complete the survey, view the study online.
Iris Barry Yake Robe Bank Seeking Robes
The Iris Barry Yake Robe Bank has had very enthusiastic uptake. The organizers would like to thank everyone for their donations and participation.

As it is bar call season, stock is getting low and robes are in high demand, particularly in Calgary. If you would like to donate robes or have some that you have not returned yet, please return them promptly.

Calgary Donations

Calgary lawyers can now access and drop-off donations of freshly dry-cleaned gowns and waistcoats at the Iris Barry Yake Robe Bank in the Calgary Courthouse, in the Barrister’s Lounge by the Calgary Bar Association boardroom. If you have any questions, please contact Katrina Edgerton-McGhan at 403.999.4714.

Edmonton Donations

In Edmonton, the Iris Barry Yake Robe Bank is still set up to receive donations at the Edmonton Courthouse. Please reach out to Moira Váně via LinkedIn or Twitter if you have any questions.

About the Robe Bank

The Robe Bank is named in honour of Iris Barry Yake whose robes were the first robes donated to the Robe Bank. In April 1977, she passed her bar exam with a few months of articling behind her. She obtained robes in anticipation of her bar admission ceremony, however, she was too ill to attend. On Jan. 12, 1978, at the age of 49, Ms. Barry Yake died of cancer. Though she never got to wear her robes in court, her legacy and her robes continue to appear in Alberta court rooms 40 years after her passing.
Court of Queen's Bench Announcement

Over the fall of 2021 and the spring of 2022, the Ad-Hoc Remote Hearings Committee of the Court of Queen’s Bench (the Committee) studied the modes of conducting hearings that had been adopted over the course of the pandemic. The Committee undertook both internal and external engagement and submitted a report to the Executive Board of the Court, providing recommendations as to the processes for hearing matters on a go-forward Pilot Project basis.

These processes are now set out in the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta Hearing Guidelines. The hearing of matters in accordance with the Hearing Guidelines will be on a Pilot Project basis, commencing Sept. 6, 2022. All new matters scheduled after July 4, 2022 to be heard on or after Sept. 6, 2022, will be scheduled in accordance with the Hearing Guidelines.

Internal Court engagement and external engagement with the bar, pro bono organizations and the media will be undertaken and amendments will be made as necessary during the course of the Pilot Project. The Pilot Project will be subject to review in January 2023.
Upcoming Events
Well-Being in Practice | Oct. 4 – 5, 2022

Visit our website for a full list of upcoming events.