University of Calgary

Lisa Silver

  • Assistant Professor

Bar Admissions

Member of the Bars of Ontario and Alberta


Lisa Silver joined the Faculty of Law full-time in 2016, after spending two years as a sessional instructor. Lisa earned her LLB from Osgoode Hall, and completed her articles of clerkship  with Greenspan, Arnup (later Greenspan, Humphrey), whom she also practised with following her articles. 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.

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


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

Research/Scholarly Activities

As a practicing lawyer, Lisa has been involved, primarily as the principal lawyer, in more than 200 appeals before all levels of court in Ontario. She has been involved in Supreme Court of Canada cases, notably as co-counsel on the Lavogiannis case relating to the constitutionality of witnesses testifiying behind a screen. 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's website, Ideablawg, won a 2017 Clawbie (the Canadian law blog awards) in the Law Professor category.

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)

Selected Publications & Presentations


  • Forthcoming in a casebook edited by law Professor Gillian Demeyere at the University of Western Ontario with the working title "Maternal Judgments: Key Themes, Cases and Readings on Motherhood and the Law" my article entitled Regina v Borowiec On Infanticide: Does the Crime Fit The Times?
  • Lisa Silver, "The WD Revolution," Manitoba Law Journal (Volume 41, Issue 4), 2018.
  • Lisa Silver, “That Was Un-Warranted! An Alberta Update,” prepared for the NJI presentation, January 2018 and updated for the Alberta Provincial Court Judges’ Association Spring Conference in May 2018.
  • Lisa Silver, “Tracing the Impact of White Burgess v Haliburton Through a Survey of Recent Alberta Criminal Decisions,” prepared for the CBA presentation, October 2017.
  • Lisa Silver, “The Impact of White Burgess Langille Inman V Abbott and Haliburton Co on Recent Alberta Civil Decisions”, prepared for LESA Civil Advocacy Series: Evidence May, 2017.
  • Lisa Silver, “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"


  • 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


Professional Service

Lisa is the Vice-Chair of the Calgary Police Commission. Lisa is a member-at-large for the Provincial Appeal Committee of Legal Aid Alberta. She is also a member of the Canadian Bar Association - Alberta's Access to Justice Committee.

Lisa is a member of the Flipped Learning Community of Practice at the University of Calgary.

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