The Advisory: Volume 9, Issue 2, August 2011

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2011 Bencher Election: Introduction of Online Voting Will Enhance Election

By Don Thompson, QC, Executive Director

THE INTRODUCTION of online voting for the 2011 Bencher election is intended to make it easier for lawyers to cast their ballots.

The Benchers have approved amendments to the Rules to enable the Law Society to provide online voting capability. Lawyers now have the option of voting online or casting their vote by paper ballot.

At the April 2011 meeting, the Benchers determined the date for the election to be Tuesday, November 15, 2011.

Nominations of candidates willing to let their name stand for election to the Law Society of Alberta Benchers must be submitted in writing (mail/email/fax) by September 16, 2011.

All active lawyers eligible to vote are encouraged to cast ballots, either online or by paper, to fill the slate of Benchers by 4:30 p.m. MT on November 15, 2011. Benchers will be elected to a three-year term.


Every active lawyer is eligible for nomination and election as Bencher unless that member is ineligible by reason of section 13 of the Act or 2011 BENCHER ELECTION: Introduction of Online Voting Will Enhance Election By Don Thompson, QC, Executive Director the Rules. Rule 9(1)

An active lawyer is ineligible to be nominated as a candidate for election as a Bencher representing a district unless that lawyer resides in that district and the lawyer’s principal office of practise is located in that district. Rule 9 (2)


There are three Alberta districts as follows:

  1. Northern district – north of the 53rd parallel of latitude but excluding the Edmonton area;
  2. Central district – between the 51st and 53rd parallels of latitude but excluding the Calgary and Edmonton areas.
  3. Southern district – south of the 51st parallel but excluding the Calgary Area.

As well, the Calgary and Edmonton areas are considered districts. Rule 8(1) and Rule 8(2)


Nominations must include:

  1. A nomination form signed by five (5) active lawyers who are members of the Law Society of Alberta
  2. It must be endorsed by or accompanied by written consent of the active member nominated.
  3. It may include biographical information not to exceed 350 words which includes information about education, professional work and community experience.
  4. It may include a photo or likeness of the nominee.
  5. It must be received in the Law Society’s office in Calgary before 4:30 pm on September 16, 2011.

Nominations should not: contain any statements that brings the profession into disrepute; or constitutes a campaign promise or similar comment; or is libelous, in breach of the Code of Professional Conduct or in bad taste. Rule 10

The biographical information and photo will be included in the candidate profile booklet which will accompany the ballot as well as on the voting site on the Law Society’s website.

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