by Jeffrey Klassen
October 7, 2022

“The Defence Never Rests:  Two Veteran Defence Lawyers Reflect on 94 Years of Experience”

Copied from the information circular:

Brian A. Beresh, K.C. has invited his long term friend, Brian Greenspan, to attend a series of Special Events on October 11 & 12, 2022.

Brian Greenspan is one of Canada’s most prominent and well-respected defence lawyers. He has served as defence counsel on many of Canada’s most significant cases and represented some of Canada’s most high profile clients over the past four and half decades of practice.  In Mr. Beresh’s opinion, Brian Greenspan is presently the leading criminal lawyer in Canada.

The Law School has arranged for a presentation at from 12:00 – 1:30pm on October 12, 2022 in LC-231, entitled “The Defence Never Rests:  Two Veteran Defence Lawyers Reflect on 94 Years of Experience”.  This will feature an open discussion with Brian H. Greenspan and Brian A. Beresh, K.C.

Mr. Kent Teskey, K.C. and former President of the Law Society has graciously agreed to moderate this panel. The topics to be discussed during this event includes:

  • The Impact of the Charter – Ebbs and Flows…40 years later
  • Does R v JJopen the floodgates for future defence disclosure?
  • The impact of social media on criminal cases and the criminal justice process, and how media coverage has changed over the years
  • Dealing with public perceptions of defence lawyers
  • Choosing a Jury trial over Judge Alone
  • What role do victims and other 3rd parties have in the criminal justice system? What role should they have?
  • The evolution of Mr. Big sting operations and whether evidence generated from them should be allowed as evidence in a trial
  • What amendments…(if you were Federal Minister of Justice) would you make to the Criminal Code, if any?

No registration is required to attend this event. People are welcome to attend either in person in room LC-231 at the University of Alberta Law Centre, or virtually via Zoom. The Zoom link can be accessed here:

by Jeffrey Klassen
October 5, 2022

Alberta Defence Lawyers Associations issue Press Release in response to Government of Alberta announcement re Legal Aid


 Sent on behalf of the Criminal Defence Lawyers Association (Calgary) (“CDLA “), the Criminal Trial Lawyers Association (Edmonton) (“CTLA “), the Southern Alberta Defence Lawyers’ Association (“SADL”), and the Red Deer Criminal Lawyers Association (“RDCDLA” ):

Response to “Modernizing Legal Aid” Press Release Issued by Government of Alberta

Late this afternoon, the Government of Alberta announced an 8.225% increase to the financial eligibility guidelines that determine which Albertans qualify for Legal Aid services, as well as an 8.225% increase to the tariff rates paid to private bar lawyers. The associated costs will be paid for with money provided by the federal government.

This is the first increase to the hourly rate paid to roster lawyers in Alberta since 2015 (when it was set at $92.40/hr). Effective tomorrow, the rate for all roster lawyers in Alberta will be $100/hr, regardless of their level of experience. As a frame of reference, under the two most comparable provincial legal aid plans:

  • roster lawyers in British Columbia earn between $113.39-$124.73/hr, depending on their years of experience;
  • roster lawyers in Ontario are currently paid between $109.14-$136.43/hr, depending on how much experience they have practicing criminal law.

Like Alberta, Ontario’s tariff rates were set in 2015. There are rumblings their roster lawyers may also take job action soon.

While the 8.225% increase announced by the Alberta Government today marks a modicum of progress, adjustments for inflation alone would require an increase of nearly 20%. For low-income Albertans requiring legal aid assistance, an 8.225% increase barely restores the financial eligibility cut-offs to what they were in 2010 (when they were unceremoniously slashed by 30%). As of tomorrow, if a family of four has a household income of more than $41,270.52, they will be told they make enough money to pay privately for a lawyer. Meanwhile, for a family of four to achieve a basic standard of living in Calgary or Edmonton, they need to make more than $80,000/yr.

In August, defence lawyers from across Alberta began job action to highlight the government’s perpetual neglect of access to justice in this province. Next week, we expect that our members will vote on whether 8.225% is enough to get us back to work.

For more information, please contact:

Ian Savage                                                     Danielle Boisvert

President, CDLA                                         President, CTLA

Email: [email protected]                      Email: [email protected]

Phone: (403) 560-2123                                   Phone: (780) 298-5824


Greg White                                                  Jason Snider

President, SADL                                        President, RDCDLA

Email: [email protected]               Email: [email protected]

Phone: (403) 795-6103                                Phone: (403) 304-4859


Joint Press Release of the CDLA, CTLA, SADL & RDCDLA – October 5, 2022

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by Jeffrey Klassen

Government of Alberta Announces increase to tariff and financial eligibility guidelines.

The Government of Alberta announced an 8.225% increase to the Legal Aid hourly tariff, block billing tariff and financial eligibility guidelines (for the balance of the fiscal year “until permanent changes can be determined”).