Lisa Silver

Associate Professor

Faculty of Law

LLM

University of Calgary, 2001

LLB

Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, 1987

BA - Economics

University of Western Ontario, 1984

Contact information

Location

Office : MFH4338

Courses

Law 410: Crime
Law 507: Evidence
Law 602: Advocacy


Research and teaching

Research areas

  • Criminal law and policy
  • Criminal procedure (search warrants and privacy rights)
  • Evidence (admissibility and use of social media, issues of proof and expert evidence)
  • Sentencing principles and policy (sentencing starting points and guidelines)
  • Regulatory offences

Activities

Lisa’s research interests are as broad and deep as her career background. Her online scholarship covers all areas of the criminal justice system including substantive criminal law issues and criminal law reform. She publishes on her own legal commentary website, Ideablawg, and produces a podcast on the Criminal Code. Her off-line articles focus on the rules of evidence, such as the admissibility of expert evidence, social media evidence and informant privilege. Her writing also explores burden of proof and credibility assessment in judicial decision making. Presently, she is working on the role and the precedential value of appellate guidelines and starting points in creating a just and appropriate criminal sanction as envisioned in fundamental sentencing principles and objectives. She revised, with Pat Knoll QC, Criminal Law Defences, 5th edition. Lisa and Prof. Nickie Nikolaou are commencing a two-year SoTL Grant to investigate the impact of experiential learning in creating the “Whole Advocate” in the capstone advocacy program offered at UCalgary Law.


Biography

Lisa earned her LLB from Osgoode Hall, and completed her articles of clerkship with Greenspan, Arnup (later Greenspan, Humphrey), with whom she also practised following her articles. As a practicing lawyer, Lisa was involved in more than 200 appeals before all levels of court in Ontario, including the Supreme Court of Canada. Lisa earned her LLM from the University of Calgary in 2001, and began teaching courses as a sessional instructor at Mount Royal College, while also launching Silver Lawyers, a legal research and writing organization. As a research lawyer, Lisa has written numerous facta and opinion briefs for matters before all levels of the Alberta courts, including SCC leave applications. Lisa Silver joined the Faculty of Law full-time in 2016, after spending two years as a sessional instructor.

Lisa served for six years on the Calgary Police Commission, five of which she was Vice Chair. Currently she is a Board member of Calgary Legal Guidance.

Lisa is a member of the Flipped Learning Community of Practice  and the Learning Technologies Advisory Committee (LTAC) at the University of Calgary.


Publications

Selected Publications

  • “The Modern Approach to Judging: A Shift Toward Community” (paper), in progress, 2021
  • “Sentencing to the Starting Point” (paper), in progress, 2020
  • Criminal Law Defences, 5th edition, Pat Knoll and Lisa Silver, in publication
  • Article on online crime for “Justice Report”, Canadian Criminal Justice publication, in progress, Fall 2020
  • “The Unclear Picture of Social Media Evidence,” in publication, Manitoba Law Journal
  • “Vice, Universe and Everything” (2020) 94 Supreme Court Law Review (2d) 437-458
  • “Sign of the Times: #MeToo and Jury Impartiality,” Law Matters, Fall 2019
  • “Back to Burgess: The Impact of the White Burgess Expert Evidence Regime in Alberta Decisions” (2019) 57:1 Alberta Law Review
  • “The Ultimate Creation Story: The Confidential Informant as a Creation of Law,” in C. Hunt (ed.), Perspectives on Evidentiary Privileges (Thomson Reuters, 2019) 259-82
  • Should there be mandatory minimum sentences?”, Dialogue on the “No” Side, Alberta Views Magazine, June 2019
  • "The WD Revolution," Manitoba Law Journal (Volume 41, Issue 4), 2018.
  • “That Was Un-Warranted! An Alberta Update”, presentation paper, May 2018.
  • Brief submitted to The House of Commons’ Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on Bill C-75
  • “Poof Into A Puff of Air - Where Have All The Defences Gone? The Air of Reality Test And The Defences of Justifications and Excuses” (2014) 61 Criminal Law Quarterly 531
  • LL.M. Thesis, 2001, “The Punitive Sanction As An Alternative To The Criminal Sanction in Regulatory Offences"

Lisa’s numerous online publications can be found on the Ablawg and Ideablawg websites.

Presentations

  • Forthcoming webinar, “Driving to the Legal Limit: An Update of the New Impaired Driving Regime”, Saturday Morning at the Law School, June 2020
  • Forthcoming webinar, “Social Media and the Transformation of the Rules of Evidence in the Digital World”, National Judicial Institute Program, May 19, 2020
  • Presentation ,“How to be a Maven at Expert Evidence,” National Judicial Institute Program, Judging in the First Five Years: Criminal Law, January 22, 2020, Vancouver, BC
  • Presentation, “Social Media and the Transformation of the Rules of Evidence in the Digital World”, National Judicial Institute Program, Judging in the First Five Years: Criminal Law, January 22, 2020, Vancouver, BC
  • Presentation, “The Unclear Picture of Social Media Evidence”, Criminal Justice and Evidentiary Thresholds in Canada:  The Last Ten Years Conference, Robson Hall Law School, University of Manitoba October 26, Winnipeg, MB
  • Presentation, “Why Reconsider W(D)?” Alberta Provincial Court Judges’ Lunch and Learn, June 10, 2019
  • Presentation, “Vice, Universe and Everything or May the Source Be with You,” Annual Constitutional Cases Conference, Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto, ON, April 5, 2019
  • Presentation, “Distilling Dishonesty: Property Crime in the 21st Century”, National Judicial Institute Program, Criminal Law Seminar, March 27, 2019, Vancouver, BC
  • Presentation,  “Does the Punishment Fit the Crime? Understanding Mandatory Minimum Sentences”, Saturday Morning at the Law School, March 16, Calgary, AB
  • Presentation, “Supreme Court Update”, CBA Criminal Justice Seminar, February 28, 2019, Calgary, AB
  • Presentation ,“How to be a Maven at Expert Evidence,” National Judicial Institute Program, Judging in the First Five Years: Criminal Law, January 23, 2019, Quebec City, Quebec
  • Presentation, “Social Media and the Transformation of the Rules of Evidence in the Digital World”, National Judicial Institute Program, Judging in the First Five Years: Criminal Law, January 23, 2019, Quebec City, Quebec
  • Presenter, Canadian Institute for the Administration of Justice Roundtable, "Forging a Pathway from Jordan Through Charter Values," October 13, 2018
  • Presenter, House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights on Bill C-75, September 24, 2018
  • Presenter at Alberta Provincial Court Judges’ Association Spring Conference, May 23, 2018, Search Warrant Update
  • Presenter, National Judicial Institutes Civil Law Conference, "Digital Evidence," May 10, 2018
  • Presenter at National Judicial Institute Program, Court of Queen's Bench of Alberta Education Seminar on January 30 & 31 2018, presenting on the fundamentals of criminal law, expert evidence & s. 8 of the Charter
  • Presenter, CBA Criminal Justice-South, "A Refresher on White Burgess Langille Inman and R v. Mohan," October 27, 2017
  • Presenter, Legal Education Society of Alberta Civil Advocacy Series, "Evidence," May 2 and 4, 2017
  • Presenter, Calgary Provincial Court Judges’ Lunch and Learn, March 2, 2016
  • Presenter, CBA Criminal Justice-South, “Supreme Court Year Update,” February 26, 2016
  • Presenter, Thompson Rivers University Faculty of Law Annual Law Conference in February, 2016 on the implications of Body Worn Cameras in the courtroom
  • Presenter, CBA Criminal Justice – South, "Body Worn Camera Evidence," November 27, 2015
  • Presenter, Alberta Provincial Court Judges’ Association Conference, 59th Annual Meeting, October 7, 2015, “Widening the Judicial Field of View: Body Worn Cameras Through the Lens of the Courtroom”
  • Presenter, CBA, Criminal Justice – South, "Recent Supreme Court Decisions and The Practical Implications," March 27, 2015
  • Presenter at Body Worn Camera Symposium, Calgary Police Service, “The View Through the Oversight “Lens”: The Implications of Body Worn Cameras on Civillian Oversight”, September 23, 2014
  • Speaker Series presentation for MRU Department of Justice on the CSI Effect on the Bench and Bar with Dr. Janne Holmgren, October 16 2013

Awards

Lisa won the Howard Tidswell Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence for the 2016-2017 academic year.

Lisa's website, Ideablawg, won a 2017 Clawbie (the Canadian law blog awards) in the Law Professor category.