LYLE HARRIS, QC is a Partner at Harris & Brun. Called to the British Columbia Bar in 1976, Lyle is an experienced trial and appeal counsel who has prosecuted and defended all types of civil cases, both jury trials and judge-alone trials including: personal injury (plaintiff and defendant); insurance and insurance fraud, occupiers’ liability, and slip and fall. Lyle has also appeared as counsel in numerous cases in the B.C. Court of Appeal.
Lyle is the author of Discovery Practice in British Columbia. This manual is the established practice manual for lawyers in British Columbia and has just been updated to take into account the re-drafting of the Supreme Court Civil Rules.
How and why did you get involved with CLEBC?
I have been working with CLEBC since at least the 1990s. I can’t remember who initially got me involved. Suffice to say I was asked, and I accepted it. I was asked by the director of legal publications to write a book, which became Discovery Practice in British Columbia, first published by CLEBC in 1999, and revised annually since that time. The book took me about a year to write, and every update takes at least several days of my practice.
What are you are currently working on (or have most recently worked on) with CLEBC?
I most recently co-chaired a seminar with Robert Brun, QC, on Discovery Practice 2016.
What has been your most memorable CLEBC experience?
Usually when we do the seminars, there is filming to illustrate in a practical way the do’s and don’ts of discovery practice. The filming is very enjoyable. It allows me to get to know the other volunteers, and there are usually quite a few laughs during the filming. I am glad — so far — none of the outtakes have been released.
What’s the most valuable piece of advice you have received?
I have been mentored by a number of individuals, including Lyle Woodley, QC, and the late Hugh Legg, QC (later Legg JA). The revelation of their character, both as lawyers and as human beings, is the greatest advice I could have received.
What advice would you give newcomers interested in working in the legal profession?
Have a solid work/life balance, to avoid exceptional stress, and keep in good physical condition and nutritional health, so as to deal with the exceptional stress when it does come.
What has been the most rewarding part of your career to date?
Acting for Mr. Thomas Sophonow in 2000 and 2001 in the Manitoba Commission of Inquiry into Mr. Sophonow’s wrongful conviction for murder before Commissioner the Honourable Mr. Peter Cory, QC, retired Supreme Court of Canada Justice.
Other than law, what are you passionate about?
Poetry (both writing and reading) and golf.
What are some of your favourite legal resources? (blogs, websites, etc.)
I am on the BC Courts website several times a day. For more sophisticated research, WestlawNext and CLEBC’s website which are both useful.
Anything you’d like to shamelessly promote? (favourite charity, social cause, etc.)
I would like to convince the BC Government to fund basic social services of health, education, welfare, and the administration of justice. All of these services are underfunded, to 1° or another.