April 20, 2023


Over the past three weeks, the Law Society of Alberta has identified a surge in cyberattacks targeting our website and the Lawyer Portal. None of the Law Society's information systems or networks have been compromised, and similar attacks have been reported across a wide range of business sectors in Canada.

Authorities within the Ministry of National Defence assert that this rise in cyber threat activity is being perpetrated by Russian-aligned actors targeting Ukraine’s partners. For additional background and recommended actions, review the Minister of National Defence’s statement.

While these attacks are primarily targeting Canadian critical infrastructure, legal information systems and infrastructure may also be appealing targets. It is recommended that organizations work with their cybersecurity teams and partners to review the federal government’s cyber threat bulletin and discuss additional safety precautions and measures. 

Deficient Packages Submitted to Land Titles

It is important for lawyers to ensure a high level of quality control when submitting documents to the Government of Alberta Land Titles office.  

In the past year, approximately 190,000 of the nearly 660,000 documents submitted to Land Titles (approximately 29 per cent) have contained a deficiency. This error rate impacts Land Titles staffing resources and the wider legal profession by significantly slowing document processing times.

Specific examples of common errors include:

  • unsworn affidavits of execution;
  • missing affidavits on caveats;
  • missing or incorrect legal description;
  • missing name or address for the transferees on a Transfer of Land;
  • missing attachments/schedules named in a caveat or mortgage;
  • missing witness signatures;
  • names of parties shown on documents are not the same;
  • names of parties shown on documents are different than on the title; and
  • for Dower Compliance submissions, Dower affidavits are not included in packages or are incorrect.

When an incorrect or incomplete document is submitted, a Land Titles analyst must review the document, prepare an itemized list of deficiencies on a Deficiency Notice and, once the document is returned, conduct a secondary complete review of the document. This means that a document containing a deficiency takes approximately three times the amount of work as an error-free document. In practical terms, the 190,000 deficiencies in the past year took the same effort as 570,000 error-free documents.

We strongly encourage lawyers practising in this area to institute quality control measures in their office to provide complete and accurate packages to Land Titles.

Please contact the Government of Alberta Land Titles office for more information or questions. 

But I Look Like a Lawyer – Documentary Screenings

In honour of Asian Heritage Month in Canada, the Law Society of Alberta, Federation of Asian Canadian Lawyers (FACL) BC and FACL Western are partnering to host two in-person screenings of the documentary But I Look Like a Lawyer.


But I Look Like a Lawyer was originally released in November 2021 by FACL BC. The documentary shares stories of the discrimination, stereotyping and bias experienced by the BC Pan-Asian legal community. It aims to increase intercultural awareness and competency, and to surface the complexity of the historical, socio-economic and colonial aspects of these real lived experiences. It was inspired by the original But I Was Wearing a Suit documentary, a similar film created by Indigenous leaders in the legal community in BC. 

These events will feature screenings of the short documentary, a question-and-answer period facilitated by FACL BC members and light refreshments catered from local Asian-owned businesses. The screening will provide a space for discussion around individual and community experiences as well as tools and strategies for dismantling systemic discrimination in the legal profession. 

If you plan to attend, please register by April 28, 2023 through the secure event pages linked below.

Event details:

Please note that space is limited and available on a first come, first served basis.

If you have any questions, kindly contact our Education Department.

Learn More

Reminder: Trust Shortage and Reporting Resource

A lawyer must always maintain sufficient funds on deposit in each trust account to meet all obligations to clients (Rules of the Law Society of Alberta, Rule 119.39(1)). Even though the trust account may have a positive balance, a trust shortage can occur in a pooled trust account when more funds are paid out on a client matter than what is available to the credit of that client (Rule 119.39(2)). A pooled trust account is an account comprised of funds held for a variety of clients (Rule 119(u) and Legal Profession Act, section 126(1)). Even though the trust account may have a positive balance, it may be short regarding a specific client.

Trust money must not be withdrawn or transferred unless it meets the requirements (Rule 119.28).

Lawyers should always review the individual client trust ledger and bank balance before the withdrawal or transfer. The individual client trust ledger must show sufficient funds to cover your withdrawal. You will have a shortage if there are not sufficient funds to the credit of that client, or if funds deposited to your client’s credit have not cleared.

Read the full article for more information on trust shortages and how to report them properly.

Learn More

Upcoming Events

But I Look Like a Lawyer screening (Calgary) | May 4, 2023

But I Look Like a Lawyer screening (Edmonton) | May 11, 2023

Visit our website for a full list of upcoming events.

Events Calendar


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