This month’s other spotlight shines on Andi MacKay, of MacKay Boyar. Andi is a co-founder of MacKay Boyar Law Corporation and one of the leading civil and commercial litigators in the province. She is a dedicated trial lawyer with an extremely broad practice based on an inviolate commitment to her clients and their causes. Andi is co-chairing this year’s Introducing Evidence at Trial course on February 17.
How did you first get involved with CLEBC?
I have always been involved with CLEBC, first as a student taking courses and later as a conference presenter and occasional chapter writer.
What are you currently working on (or have most recently worked on) with CLEBC?
Introducing Evidence at Trial in February 2021.
You are a litigator who practices in a number of different areas including criminal law, commercial law, real estate, and professional discipline. What made you decide to keep your practice so broad?
I enjoy the diversity and I consider a broad practice to be one of the joys of the profession. Sound strategy and a keen awareness of the rules of evidence serve you in any case. Once you have those foundations, you will find that you can practice in any area if you wish to do so.
You are very active in the legal community including being a prolific speaker and the author of numerous publications. What motivates you to give back to the profession?
Two factors motivate me. The first is the extraordinary mentorship that I had as a new lawyer. I was fortunate to have first-class mentors ranging from Bill Berardino. QC to a number of other people who now find themselves in the upper ranks of the judiciary. With mentorship of this class and kind, I feel a strong need to share even a small fraction of the assistance I received.
Second is the collegiality within the profession. I have a great deal of admiration for the judiciary and my colleagues. I take every opportunity I can get to connect with my colleagues outside the courtroom. In fact, I don’t look at it as “giving back to the profession,” but rather me benefiting from the guidance of others in the profession.
What advice would you pass on to a newly called lawyer?
Never make decisions when you are hungry, tired, or stressed. Build your support mechanisms when you don’t need them. If you are sending a terse letter, wait 24 hours before you send it. Figure out if there is a way you can make the same point but kinder. Assume that every email you send will be read out in the courtroom. Emails seem informal until they are introduced into evidence. Practice with humility and kindness. Remember at all times that we are in positions of great privilege as lawyers.
Other than law, what are you passionate about?
Many things—ranging from music and audio, photography, design, and most things outside.