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Fatality Inquiries Act

The health care industry is continually changing and becoming increasingly complex. For over 70 years Field Law’s dedicated, deep and multi-disciplinary team has been providing a broad range of strategic advice and direction on issues related to healthcare organizations, clinical leaders and front line professionals in the province of Alberta.

We guide our clients every step of the way, providing comprehensive legal services to help them adapt and succeed regardless of the challenges that may arise.

Field Law helps with: 

Resolving disputes

  • Negligence and other tort litigation
  • Medical malpractice litigation defence
  • Urgent court proceedings including injunctions and restraining orders
  • Judicial review of administrative tribunal decisions
  • Prosecutions under the Public Health Act
  • Representation at Fatality Inquiries and Coroner’s Inquests
  • Class action support and advice

Commercial operations

  • Negotiating and preparing commercial agreements
  • Clinical services agreements and research agreements
  • Joint ventures
  • Construction agreements
  • Lending arrangements including all security documentation

Labour relations

  • Labour Relations Board hearings
  • Workplace health and safety hearings, reviews and appeals
  • Collective bargaining
  • Strike and lockout preparation and management
  • Picket line activity

Finding solutions to financial problems

  • Negotiating and preparing loan agreements, commitment letters, or other documents of such nature
  • Reviewing, preparing, and registering various financing and related security documents and related registrations
  • Providing legal opinions on enforceability of security both on behalf of lenders and borrowers

Acquiring, developing, leasing or disposing of real estate property

  • Ownership structuring
  • Land assembly
  • Municipal/development issues
  • Environmental issues
  • Deal negotiation

Tax-efficient structuring

  • Structuring employee benefit plans
  • Validity of donations and in-kind gifts
  • Representation before Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

Protecting and preserving your research

  • Confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements
  • Industrial design protection
  • Licensing + commercialization
  • Trademark registration
  • Resolution of copyright issues

Maintaining the security and confidentiality of patient and staff records

  • Advice concerning the collection, use and disclosure of information under the applicable legislation
  • Representation before privacy commissioners
  • Drafting privacy policies, procedures and manuals
  • Assistance with the management of employee and patient information

Employee mobility

  • Canadian labour market impact assessments
  • Work authorizations and permits
  • Permanent residence and citizenship
  • Appeals before the Immigration Appeal Division, Citizenship Judges and the Federal Court of Canada
Al-Ghamdi v College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta, 2020 ABCA 81
Williams v Rosenstock, 2020 ABQB 303
Makis v Alberta Health Services, 2020 ABQB 245
Barlot v Eisner, 2017 ABQB 636
Graeff Estate v Huey, 2020 ABQB 330
Victoria Ann (Lindstedt) Huet v. Roland F. Lynch, et al.
Ewashko v Hugo, 2020 ABCA 228
Holmes v Gibson, 2020 ABQB 322
Makis v Alberta Health Services, 2020 ABCA 168
Zuk v Alberta Dental Association and College, 2020 ABCA 162
Makis v Alberta Health Services, 2019 ABCA 288
R v Fassman, 2019 ABQB 61
Makis v Alberta Health Services, 2019 ABCA 23
Zuk v Alberta Dental Association and College, 2018 ABCA 270
Laughlin v Alberta Health Services, 2018 ABQB 574
Elder Advocates of Alberta Society v Alberta, 2018 ABQB 37
Chan v Her Majesty the Queen, 2017 ABQB 796
R v Newborn, 2017 ABQB 635
Chan v. Her Majesty the Queen, 2017 ABQB 480
College of Dietitians of Alberta v. 3393291 Canada Inc. (Canadian School of Natural Nutrition), 2015 FC 449
Murphy v. Cahill, 2014 ABQB 62
Murphy v. Cahill, 2012 ABQB 793
Koerner v. Capital Health Authority, 2010 ABQB 753
Laasch v. Turenne, 2009 ABQB 267
Guay v. Wong, 2008 ABQB 638
August 2023
The Best Lawyers™ in Canada 2024
43 Lawyers Recognized
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August 25, 2022
The Best Lawyers™ in Canada 2023
39 Lawyers Recognized
Field Law is pleased to announce that 39 of our lawyers are recognized in their respective practice areas in the 17th edition of The Best Lawyers™ in Canada. Recognition in Best Lawyers™ is based on peer reviews of ...
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Financial + Legal Checkup for Medical Practitioners
What legal issues should medical practitioners be aware of when operating a private practice? What financial processes should be in place to support the business's health?  Join Field Law's Britt Tetz and Marc Yu and KWB Chartered Profe...
August 2021
The Best Lawyers™ in Canada 2022
38 Field Lawyers Recognized
Field Law is pleased to announce that 38 of our lawyers are recognized in their respective practice areas in the 16th edition of The Best Lawyers™ in Canada. Recognition in Best Lawyers™ is based on peer reviews of ...
June 2021 - 2 min read
New COVID Legislations. New Protections.
What is Bill 70? Multiple provinces across Canada have implemented legislation to create liability protection against COVID-19 for employers and their workers in health sectors. As of June 17, 2021, Alberta joins these provinces with Bill 70, more comm...
November 2020
Alberta's Health Information Act: What is Changing?
Bill 46: Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020 (Bill 46) was recently introduced in the Alberta Legislature. The omnibus bill amends a number of pieces of health legislation, including the Health Information Act (HIA). As the Minister of Health...
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The Best Lawyers™ in Canada 2021
38 Fielders Recognized
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July 2020 - 1 min read
Bill 30: Increased Public Participation in Professional Regulation
On Monday, July 6, 2020, the Government of Alberta tabled Bill 30, the Health Statutes Amendment Act, 2020. This proposed legislation amends a number of existing Acts, including the Alberta Health Professions Act. The Health Professions Act e...
July 7, 2020
Privacy for Health Care Organizations: What Has Changed and What Hasn’t?
Health care organizations have had to adapt quickly during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to managing an unknown disease and focusing on patient care, day to day operational life has changed- videoconferencing, fit for work screening, and liab...
September 2019
Immunizations and Immunity Provisions: The Scope of Protection Under the Public Health Act
The Alberta Court of Appeal has issued a decision involving the interpretation of the Alberta Public Health Act, which may have broad implications on limiting liability of public bodies. Frank v. Alberta Health Services, 2019 ABCA 332 involves a medica...

Areas in which Field Law provides advice and representation include:

  • Malpractice Claim Defense
  • Fatality Inquiries and Coroner’s Inquests
  • Clinical Advising
  • Medical Staff Advising and Relations
  • Development of Policies, Procedures and Bylaws
  • Patient Safety and Quality
  • Privacy
  • Class Action Defence and Risk Prevention
  • Enterprise and Clinical Risk Management Advice
  • Corporate Organization and Governance
  • Legislative Drafting and Advice
  • Health Services Contracts
  • Health Services Restructuring
  • Professional Regulatory 
  • Labour and Employment 
  • End of life care
  • Consent policies, procedures and practices
  • Patient safety and quality
  • Quality assurance
  • Clinical and governance policy development and review
  • Medical Affairs advising
  • Medical Staff Bylaw development, interpretation and enforcement
  • Senior leadership strategic and risk advising
  • Health Profession Legislation
  • Class action advising
  • Enterprise and clinical risk management advising
  • Government relations, including Alberta Health, the Office of the Public Guardian and Children’s Services
  • Administrative law, including internal processes and external advocacy involving the PPIC, Ombudsmen, Mental Health Patient Advocate and other oversight bodies and external partners

For further information, please contact J. Mark Jackson, KC.

The Fatality Inquiries Act in Alberta provides a framework for both mandatory and discretionary fatality inquiries. For decades members of the Field Law Health Law Group have represented health care organizations and personnel in Fatality Inquiries as well as Coroner’s Inquest outside of Alberta. These inquiries focus upon deaths that arise directly or indirectly in the realm of provincial health care and have a legislative mandate that includes making recommendations to prevent deaths in similar circumstances.

The Health Law Group works diligently with our clients to prepare for these public inquiries which often focus upon both systemic and policy issues. Our preparation includes thoroughly briefing frontline staff who are witnesses before the Inquiry, meeting with and briefing communications staff regarding potential media risks, and assisting with the development of key messages for internal distribution. When warranted, we have daily debriefings with senior administrative and communications staff to summarize crucial evidence and anticipate media headlines.

During the Inquiry we engage in careful consultation and advocacy to ensure that our clients are represented fairly and to ensure, as much as possible, that any recommendations arising from the Inquiry are warranted and practical. Field lawyers also work with our clients in relation to the implementation of any recommendations made by the Courts.