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Thursday, March 08, 2012

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Declare your 2012 CPD Plan before or on March 15, 2012

You will need to declare to the Law Society before or on March 15, 2012 that you have made a 2012 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Plan.

Please note that March 15th is also the deadline for Fees and the Member Information Update Form.

Your 2012 CPD Plan declaration can be made in one of two ways:

  • Online at  or
  • On your Member Information Update Form which was mailed to you with your annual fee invoice.

Evaluation of your 2011 CPD Plan and activities

A key component of professional development planning is the evaluation of the continuing professional development activities undertaken from last year’s plan. This evaluation should include:

  1. What activities were implemented pursuant to your 2011 CPD Plan?
  2. How did this activity improve your competence in the delivery of legal services?
  3. How much time was spent on these CPD activities in 2011?
  4. What will be carried forward to the 2012 CPD Plan?

Online Tools & Resources

Online tools and CPD resources for the development and declaration of a CPD Plan are available at the CPD Alberta website at

Maintain Records of Your Plans

The CPD Rule 67.2 indicates that, in addition to making and declaring a CPD plan, lawyers must maintain a record of the plan for five years from the date of declaration and produce a copy of the record of the plan to the Law Society upon request.

Your CPD Plan may be requested in the event of proceedings under Legal Profession Act (such as in conduct, practice review or other regulatory processes of the Law Society).

In the event you are asked to produce your CPD Plan, you will be asked to explain the steps you have implemented pursuant to your CPD Plan.

For example, the Practice Review department is currently requesting those lawyers who have been referred to Practice Review to provide their CPD Plans for the past two years including the aspects of their CPD Plan they have implemented.

Plans Demonstrate Best Practices in the Profession

The best practices involved in creating a CPD plan demonstrates to the public that Alberta lawyers strive for excellence in their practice of law. To this end, the Rules and Code of Conduct require every active lawyer to:

  • Annually prepare and make a record of a CPD plan in writing or electronic form;
  • On or before March 15 of each year, make a declaration to the Law Society that their annual CPD plan has been made; and
  • Retain the written or electronic record of the CPD plan for 5 years and produce the CPD plan to the Law Society upon request.

For more information on the CPD program, please visit or contact the Law Society of Alberta by email at or by phone 403-229-4766


Law Society of Alberta

Fraud Alert: Email Scams Circulating

The Law Society of Alberta receives information from lawyers on a regular basis about potential scams circulating among the legal profession.

Recently we were notified about these potential scams:

Debt Collection Fraud

In February 2012, an Alberta law firm received an email to its general mailbox (not directed to anyone specific - which was the first red flag) from an American company asking to retain the firm in relation to a potential action against an Edmonton company. Very little information was provided.

The lawyer emailed them back asking that they call so that he/she could try to determine if this was legitimate or a scam. They did not call back as requested, but did email details and asked for a retainer letter. It appeared to be a possible debt claim by an American company against an Edmonton one. However, when the lawyer tried to find both companies on the internet, the information was scant on both firms.

Text/Email Inheritance Scam

A prospective client contacted an Alberta law firm regarding filling out documentation related to claiming an interest in a very large estate. The client advised that he was initially contacted by text message, and subsequently by email by a John Bolton, a lawyer in Aberdeen, England.

The email prompted the client to submit personal details and suggested that copies of his passport and birth certificate may be required in the probate process, and that a trip to the UK would be required to finalize the transaction. The law firm contacted the Law Society of Alberta for assistance.

Know the Law Society's client identification and verification rules, posted at


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Law Society of Alberta
Calgary Office
Suite 500, 919 11th Avenue SW
Calgary, Alberta T2R 1P3
Phone: 403-229-4700

Edmonton Office
Suite 800, Bell Tower
10104-103 Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 0H8
Phone: 780-429-3343

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