How did you first get involved with CLEBC?
It was so many years ago, and I’m so old now I can’t honestly recall. I have solid memories from my early days learning so much from The Honourable Mr. Justice Burnyeat’s and Mr. Bury (KC)’s very capable presentations (Mr. Bury, KC is many years older than me).
Both have been extremely generous over the years with their time and expertise, helping tremendously those of us less familiar with this area.
What are you currently working on (or have most recently worked on) with CLEBC?
Andrew and I will be co-chairing Foreclosure Practice 2021 again on March 5. Each year that we’ve done this I’ve learned much more from my co-presenters than I feel I’ve ever been able to contribute myself.
What inspired you to practice in the area of foreclosure law?
It was accidental. The early 1980s were a challenging period economically and landing articles at that time was particularly difficult, especially for those of us with unimpressive GPAs and resumés. I would have taken any offer, but was privileged to article for Pat Delsey (of Achtem Alexander at the time) whose practice was nearly exclusive to mortgage enforcement. Pat was an outstanding teacher, and with annual interest rates around 20% he was a very busy lawyer. My typical chambers morning was 20 or 30 orders nisi in those days. It was sink or swim; I learned a lot.
What advice would you give to a junior lawyer interested in practicing in this area?
Be as respectful, courteous and kind as you can to court registry and land title staff, your own staff, colleagues and opposing counsel (especially articled students) and the mortgagors whose homes you are taking. Pay attention to details. Learn the Rules of Court very well and commit to memory The Honourable The Chief Justice Allan McEachern’s article, “On Foreclosure Practice”, 41 Advocate (Vancouver) 583 (1983). Email (don’t call) Mr. Bury when you’re stuck.
What is one of your most memorable cases, and why?
There are so many. I think those that stand out at the moment are the various Controlled Drugs and Substances Act cases I’ve lost and won against much more capable counsel than me.
So, you play the trumpet?
It’s been my passion since I was a kid. My parents took me to a CBC TV studio recording of The Tommy Banks Show in Edmonton (I think I was about ten years old) and I noticed the guy in the orchestra having the most fun and playing the loudest was the lead trumpet player. From my ten year-old perspective “loudest” = “coolest”. I was hooked. It was a poor choice as it turns out … it wasn’t until my teenage years I discovered it’s the guitar players and drummers that get the girls.