An outstanding alumni couple

(Edmonton) Marguerite Trussler and Francis Price both learned a thing or two about the law while studying at the U of A. But even more important is what they learned about giving back to their community.

Retired from her position as Justice of the Court of Queen’s Bench, Trussler’s legacy lives on in initiatives she helped spearhead, such as Judicial Dispute Resolution and Parenting After Separation, which she credits—along with the introduction of collaborative law in Alberta in 2000—with reducing the number of divorce cases making it to court by 20 to 30 percent.

In the collaborative law process each party in a divorce brings a trained and registered collaborative family lawyer to the negotiating table who act more as mediators than adversaries for separating spouses.

“I think the collaborative process is good because it keeps people out of court in an adversarial situation,” says Trussler. “Whenever parties can resolve things by themselves it is better than having a third party tell them how to run their lives.”

On the other hand, Trussler’s husband is a chartered arbitrator trained to act as an independent or sole chairman on arbitrations involving such things as labour and employment problems to commercial and business disputes. Price also carries on a general litigation practice and has appeared in all levels of the courts of Alberta, the Federal Court and the Supreme Court of Canada.

Both Price and Trussler have made their presence felt in their local community as well as on a national scale. Trussler has served as chairperson for both the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission Board and the Court of Queen’s Bench Family Law Committee. She’s also served on the editorial board of the Canadian Bar Review and was president of the Canadian Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges.

Price has served as chair of the board of Edmonton Opera and sings in its chorus. In addition, he’s been a director or member of various cultural, church and charitable organizations, including the Canadian Diabetes Association. The Law Society of Alberta also presented Price with a 2011 Distinguished Service to the Community Award.

In 2010, the couple was jointly named to the Alberta Association of Fund Raising Executives Roll of Honour who noted that, although their generosity overlaps, Trussler was most closely identified with the growth and development of the endowment and scholarship programs for the Victoria School Foundation for the Arts, while Price is the driving force behind the Edmonton Opera Association’s Aria Legacy endowment program.

Trussler and Price will both receive a 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award at the Alumni Recognition Awards on Sept. 22. For more information on this event visit www.ualberta.ca/alumni/weekend or call 780-492-3224 (1-800-661-2593 in North America).