Year of Call: 2004 (Alberta)
Education: Bachelor of Laws (LLB) University of Saskatchewan – 2003
Bachelor of Arts (BA) University of Alberta – 2000 (History and Sociology)
Professional Associations: Law Society of Alberta
Collaborative Family Law
CDAA Collaborative Divorce Alberta Association
Association of Collaborative Family Professionals (ACFP)
International Academy of Collaborative Professionals (IACP)
Ms. Olson graduated in 2003 from University of Saskatchewan College of Law and thereafter articled at Brownlee LLP. Ms. Olson was called to the Alberta Bar in July of 2004 and approximately one year later joined the team at Hajduk Gibbs LLP as an Associate Lawyer in June 2005.
Ms. Olson is the most senior associate with our firm. For over a decade Ms. Olson’s practice has comprised primarily of family law/divorce law including custody, access, parenting time, child support, spousal support issues, matrimonial property division, and other issues that may arise within this area of practice.
For the majority of her practice she has been an aggressive and passionate litigation lawyer that advanced her client’s position through the courts and this avenue remains available to those client’s whose relationship with their significant other is not conducive to cooperation and amicable resolution.
In recent years Ms. Olson has broadened her practice to include alternate dispute resolution strategies such as mediation, collaborative law and other avenues of resolution outside the traditional use of court alone to resolve issues that arise during break down of a family unit in a more timely and amicable fashion if possible. The Courts are becoming increasingly overburdened and the waiting times for court dates has resulted in a need for family law lawyers to consider means outside of traditional trials/court appearances to resolve matters for families. Trials are booking over ONE YEAR in advance from the date of request. Special Chambers dates are often 6 months wait or more to secure a date to have the case heard. Regular chambers submissions are subject to time limits of under 20 minutes and therefore substantive issues cannot properly be addressed in this venue. Relying solely on advancing a file through the traditional court process alone may not always be the best avenue for a file, for a family or for a timely resolution.
Ms. Olson offers a variety of options available in pursuit of resolution to the client as well as legal advice, recommendation and her professional opinion as to which avenue is best for that particular client’s file and together she and the client will decide upon the path the client wishes to pursue and thereafter she proceeds to advance the client’s position pursuant to the client’s instructions.
Litigation/Court Offered Avenues
Ms. Olson is an experienced litigator and has appeared before the Provincial Court of Alberta, the Court of Queen’s Bench of Alberta, and the Court of Appeal of Alberta. She has represented clients at trials, Special Chambers Applications, regular Chambers Applications. Case Management meetings, Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR) processes and prepared the relevant written submissions including Legal Briefs, Affidavits, Pleadings (Statements of Claim, Statements of Defence, Counterclaims, etc.) to facilitate the foregoing.
Ms. Olson is an accredited Collaborative Family Law as of January 2017. Ms. Olson has also participated in private mediations before private mediators. Ms. Olson has completed the following base courses to obtain her initial accreditation:
- Basic Collaborative Law
- Interest Based Negotiations
- Mediation of Family and Divorce Conflicts
There is an ongoing continuing education obligation to maintain credentials annually such that the list of courses will grow annually.
Faced with difficulties obtaining timely trial/court dates if the parties cannot resolve matters via collaborative / mediation processes the parties may wish to consider pursuing arbitration as a means of timely resolution and this option can be discussed with Ms. Olson as well.
Ms. Olson regularly attends seminars and courses in the following areas in pursuit of continuing legal education:
- Collaborative Law
- Property division
- Spousal support
- Child Support
- Custody and Parenting issues
- Tax consequences in marriage and divorce
- Wills and Estates and Inheritance issues in divided and second families
- As well as LESA courses Ms. Olson will also attend Canadian Bar Association courses/seminars
- Ms. Olson also regularly reviews the Supreme Court decisions released, Court of Appeal decisions released
- Law Review and other scholarly journals in her area of practice
The following specific courses are some examples of the ones that Ms. Olson has attended that are offered by LESA (Legal Education Society of Alberta) that enhance her skills set as well as her overall knowledge base in the areas in which she practices:
- Matrimonial Property Division
- Family Law Trial Fundamentals
- Case Management, Litigation Plan and the “drop dead” rule
- Issues in Matrimonial Property
- Child Support Fundamentals
- Pensions in Family Law
- Issues of Liability
- Strategical Legal Writing
- Family Law Pensions
- Wills & Estates: Boot Camp
- Reading Tax Returns and Corporate Financial Statements
- Understanding and Analyzing Financial Statements
- Running a Trial
- Drafting and Practice Considerations under of the Wills and Successions Act
- 47th annual renewal: Civil Litigation
Interests: Ms. Olson enjoys watching her nephew play hockey and her niece take part in various theatrical plays/figure skating and other activities the children are involved in. She enjoys outdoor/nature activities such as hiking, horseback riding, camping and vacationing in tropical locations. Ms. Olson enjoys cheering on the Eskimos in CFL football, attending rodeos and PBR events and various local events available in our community.