I am a British Columbia (BC) Lawyer, member of the Civil Roster of Mediate BC, and technology enthusiast. I am passionate about creating and delivering customized solutions and advice, and I have been applying my knowledge and analytical abilities for families, businesses, and individuals for well over a decade.
I am passionate about justice, and proud to be part of the legal community in British Columbia, which constantly pushes access to justice forward. You can see my curriculum vitae for more information, but if you are looking for a lawyer, you might be interested in the following tidbits:last updated: March 27, 2017
I pride myself on my ability to provide my clients with creative, pragmatic solutions. This ability is enhanced my knowledge in mediation, computer science, and strategic business thinking. I believe in co-creating a pathway through litigation, and see my role as generating options: explaining the law as it applies to your situation, discussing potential solutions, and working together to make the best decision in the circumstances. Appearing in court is generally the most expensive option, but sometimes it is the best course of action. When it is in my client's best interests, I have no hesitation in arguing in court on their behalf.
The process by which one enforces their rights through court. This is usually a last resort. Litigation does not preclude settlement, or the use of other processes to help arrive at a settlement.
Mediation can be described as a facilitated conversation, with a view to coming to agreement that avoids the need for other forms of dispute resolution.
Self-represented litigants are become more and more common. Through unbundled services, a lawyer offers litigation "coaching" or "consulting" to a person who is representing themselves through the court process.
"We cannot predict the future, but we can invent it."
I represent my clients zealously. It must also be said, however, that what is best for my clients is rarely litigation. Court processes are, by their nature, lengthy and expensive. I use my expertise in contracts, mediation, and negotiation to defray costs and set help set my clients up for success. Where that approach proves ineffective, I have no difficulty in advancing litigation on behalf of my clients, and often these two approaches go hand-in-hand, using litigation for create leverage for my clients in negotiation.
I adhere to the Law Society's Best Practice Guidelines for Family Lawyers. I believe that generally, separation and divorce are transitions - parents, especially, are rarely ever truly 'done' with their ex. My role is to help my clients through this transition, making sure that they understand their legal rights, and that those rights are protected.
"To me, a lawyer is basically the person that knows the rules of the country. We're all throwing the dice, playing the game, moving our pieces around the board, but if there is a problem the lawyer is the only person who has read the inside of the top of the box."
I am a member of the Civil Mediator Roster of Mediate BC. I have over 250 hours of training in alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and related disciplines, and have conducted numerous mediations.
My experience in mediation, negotiation, and business, is useful in helping my mediation client's reach clever arrangements. It also helps me intelligently manage my clients' matters, streamlining processes and narrowing issues where possible, to defray the costs of litigation.
I have a deep affinity for technology and design. I have competed internationally in IT-based business consulting competitions, taught myself to code from online resources, and have produced more than a few of my own projects (including this website). I occassionally take on hackathons and proto-hackathons to keep my design, programming, and presentation skills sharp.
I am a strong believer in the power of intelligent application of design-thinking and technology to solve the access to justice crisis, that the current crisis is a result of a gradual evolution of our justice systems with little in the way of redesign, and that we can redesign the way justice is delivered to create a fundamental and positive shift in North American society, as well as develop technologies to allow the rule of law to fluorish in areas of the world which currently have no access to justice.
A more detailed account of my education and technology-related projects is available on my curriculum vitae.
I am a co-founder of Vancouver Legal Hackers, and the Legal Futures columnist for the Canadian Bar Association's National magazine. I regularly give presentations and teach courses for members of the public, students, and lawyers, including through Osgoode Hall Law School and the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia (CLEBC). I regularly contribute to a variety of legal publications, including BarTalk and the CBA's National magazine - the latter of which helps me stay informed of trends in legal futures through "Legal Futures Roundups."
My understanding of how legal technology can improve access to justice is embued by an education in entrepreneurial leadership, international consulting competitions, technical abilities in computer programming, and training in alternative methods of dispute resolution (ADR).
I have practiced extensively in civil litigation and family law, and have some experience in a variety of other areas, including corporations, real estate, labour and employment, residential tenancy, consumer protection. I am a member of the Civil Mediator Roster of Mediate BC, and have worked with the Canadian Bar Association and the goverment of British Columbia on a number of projects and in a number of capacities vis-a-vis justice technology and legal futures. I am therefore able to speak intelligently on a number of topics related to the evolution of the justice system and the law, and how that might impact clients, justice, and the rule of law.