I entered the University of New Brunswick in 1970, as the John Bassett Memorial Scholar in Law, having earned a B.A. in English Literature, earlier that year, from Bishop’s University, in Lennoxville, Quebec. I was called to the Bar of New Brunswick in 1973. In New Brunswick, I articled with James Dufferin Harper, Q.C. (later His Honour James D. Harper, Provincial Court Judge), before moving to Ontario, where I articled with David G. Humphrey, Q.C. (later the Honourable Mr. Justice Humphrey of the Superior Court of Justice). I was called to the Bar of Ontario in 1975 and have been continuously engaged since that time in a litigation practice for a wide variety of clients, both personal and corporate, in many areas of the law, examples of which can be seen in the attached curriculum vitae [click here to view my c.v.]. My approach to my work has been accurately described by a former student/associate, who refers to me on his own website as his “mentor” (with a few minor editorial amendments by me), as follows:
In the practice of law, I have two principal goals. First, I focus on solving problems and not adding to them. I am told by my former associate that I used to refer to myself, not as a lawyer, but as a problem solver, and I still try to think that way, determining at an early stage the possible solutions to the problems I am asked to resolve. I apply this philosophy to all my clients’ cases, although, if a fight is necessary, I am quite prepared and willing to take it on, and, as a result, I have appeared in almost every level of court and tribunal in which I am licensed to practise [see pages 3 and 4 of this c.v]. Second, I want to help people move forward with their lives. Whether someone is involved in a commercial or personal dispute, developing a business or separating from a spouse, I encourage that client to look to the future and not become stuck in the quicksands of legal disputes. That means looking for solutions - not engaging in grudge matches. Battling over who is right, in principle, rarely results in a resolution that satisfies anyone. A reasonable and cost-effective solution requires a practical and common-sense approach, which, unfortunately, many lawyers seem to be incapable of appreciating.
I particularly enjoy teaching my younger associates, law students and high school co-op students, in the hope that they achieve careers that have been as rewarding as mine. When I am not working (which is most of the time), I enjoy sailing, motorcycling with my three sons, singing in choirs, and reading or visiting friends with my extraordinary spouse, Marnie.