Sandra L. Corbett has practiced in the civil and commercial litigation areas, and in particular, in insurance defence litigation since being called to the Alberta bar in 1990. She has appeared at all levels of the Alberta Courts, and has extensive experience in alternative dispute resolution, including both private and judicial mediations. In addition, Sandra has pursued training as a mediator, having taken both the Civil Mediation I and II courses offered by Legal Education Society of Alberta, and having completed the Provincial Court of Alberta Civil Claims Mediation Orientation Program.
Sandra’s practice focuses on resolution of complex tort and liability matters in the civil litigation area. She has defended serious personal injury claims arising from products liability, municipal and school liability, and from serious motor vehicle accidents. Select trial experience includes successful defence of a municipality against allegations of defective road design and defective gravelling operations; defence of allegations of fibromyalgia and chronic pain arising from motor vehicle accidents; and defence of a school teacher and school board sued by a student rendered a quadriplegic while taking part in a gymnastics class. She has appeared before the Alberta Standing Committee of the Legislative Assembly on Private Bills on two occasions in a matter related to maternal tort liability arising from a motor vehicle accident.
In addition to defence of serious personal injury claims, Sandra has successfully defended a multi-million dollar fire loss claim against a company working on a renovation site; and a multi-million dollar business interruption claim against a chemical cleaning company involved in the cleaning of a boiler operated by a major Alberta utility company. She has been involved in professional liability cases involving allegations of dental negligence, and architectural/design negligence.
Sandra has been involved in resolution and litigation of insurance coverage issues, and has lectured on those issues, with particular focus on the Alberta Family Protection Endorsement in the motor vehicle area, and on insurance and indemnity clauses in the risk management area.
Sandra has acted direct for manufacturers – particularly with providing advice to American attorneys and manufacturers requiring cross border litigation assistance as a result of products being sold by American companies in Canada. Sandra is familiar with the Canadian regulatory regime, and is positioned to provide assistance to American companies on the same.
Sandra is extensively involved in the civil defence bar in Canada and in the United States.
She is a Past President of Canadian Defence Lawyers, and remains on the Board of Directors as a member of the same. At present, Sandra is involved as a member on the CLE, Finance, Membership and Strategic Directions Committees. In the past, Sandra co-chaired the Alberta regional CDL seminar from 2003 onwards, and chaired the CDL Annual Meeting in Toronto in 2007. In addition to chairing CDL seminars, she has been honoured with the opportunity to speak at the same starting in 2002, prior to joining the Board of Directors. Sandra was selected by Canadian Insurance Magazine to be a member of its Legal Expert Panel in 2009. She has also been asked to speak at the national annual Joint Conference of the Canadian Insurance Claims Managers’ Association (CICMA) and of the Canadian Independent Adjusters’ Association (CIAA).
Sandra was elected to a 3 year term as the Canadian Regional Director on the Board of Directors of DRI – The Voice of the Defense Bar (an American civil defence organization) in October, 2008. At present, she is the Board Liaison to both the Government Enforcement and Corporate Compliance Committee, and to DRI International. She is also a Steering Committee member on the Women in the Law Committee, which was inaugurated in 2010. In the past, she has served as the Board Liaison to the Life, Health and Disability Committee, and has been a member of the Partnering with Industry Task Force as well as the SLDO Relationship Committee (for 2 years) and the Governance Committee. Prior to being elected as the Canadian Regional Director, Sandra was the General Council Representative for Canada. Sandra was honoured to be asked to be a break-out leader at past “State Representative’s Meetings” conducted by DRI. Sandra regularly attends DRI’s Product Liability Conference to keep abreast of developing issues in Product Liability in the United States.
Sandra was elected to be a member of both the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel (F.D.C.C.), and the International Association of Defense Counsel (I.A.D.C.) in 2008. She enjoys membership in a number of their Committees. She was recently made a member of the Association of Defense Trial Attorneys (A.D.T.A.). Sandra enjoys a BV Peer Review rating with Lexis Nexis Martindale-Hubbell.
Sandra has been involved in Law Society of Alberta Committee work since 2000. She initially served as a member of the Insurance Committee between 2000 and 2002, and then was appointed to the Civil Practice Advisory Committee in 2005, eventually assuming the role of Vice Chair of the Committee in 2007. At present, she is a member of the Conduct Committee, having enjoyed that role since 2008. As a member of the Conduct Committee, Sandra sits regularly on Conduct Committee Panels reviewing the conduct of members pursuant to the Legal Profession Act.
Sandra also served as a Public Member sitting on Complaint Review Committees and Hearing Tribunals under the Health Professions Act between 2003 and 2009. In 2011, she was appointed as a Public Member to the Council of the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Alberta.
Sandra has instructed both Trial Advocacy and Examinations for Discovery through the Legal Education Society of Alberta/CPLED Alberta courses, and is presently a Competency Evaluator for Interviewing and Negotiations. In addition, Sandra has chaired and organized a number of seminars for Legal Education Society of Alberta, particularly in the area of insurance law. In January, 2012, Sandra will be co-teaching Insurance Law at the University of Alberta with her partner, Christine Pratt.
Sandra is involved in community work, and in particular, is on the Board of Directors and Executive of Compassion House Foundation, a foundation which operates Sorrentino’s Compassion House, a facility providing a warm and supportive home for women from northern Alberta and elsewhere in the north receiving treatment in Edmonton for breast cancer. In the past, she has been involved in the Danish Canadian Society, the United Way and L.E.A.F. (Women’s Legal Education Action Fund).
Sandra is a member of the American Bar Association, the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Association for the Practical Study of Law in Education, the Canadian Transportation Lawyers Association, the Edmonton Bar Association, Legal Education Action Fund, and the Northern Alberta Risk & Management Society. She is an associate member of the Risk and Insurance Management Society, Inc.